Alex at 29-30 Months

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September 19, 2007

Alex having breakfast

Alex enjoying strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast.

Alex went to the dentist today! Scott and I scheduled back to back appointments so that Alex could watch a little, to get used to the idea since I want to make his first appointment sometime in the next few months or at least around age 3. But they actually got him in the chair and took a look. Alex was very cooperative. He sat (laid) on my lap and let the tech and the dentist each look in his mouth and count his teeth. I think the dentist actually used a little implement on him to check a spot. Alex has 20 teeth (all he will get until the 6-year molars come in) and they looked fine. Guess that diligent brushing is paying off. I was talking to the dentist about some of the postings on that message board, and he told me he actually saw a case in which they had to remove all 20 of a child's teeth -- so decayed they couldn't even be fixed or crowned!

I was thinking the other day about how much I appreciate some of the things Alex does. Even the terrible twos aren't so bad (but, we aren't to or through 3 yet...). Alex is very polite. He says please and thank you without being prompted, not every single time, but a lot. Of course, he will continue saying please until you do what he asks: Please may I have my treat? Please? Please? Please?.... He puts the caps back on his magic markers. We leave the markers and crayons out because (at least so far) he knows to keep them on the paper. Getting him to do most things is more like having a conversation with him than having to threaten, bribe, etc. I just find him to be a really pleasant kid. I hope most people feel like that about their kids.

Last weekend, Scott parked Alex in front of the TV to give him a haircut. It went really well. He used the shaver on the back and sides and even had time to give a real haircut with scissors too. We started out watching football, but had to switch to Teletubbies part way through.

Our refrigerator

What our fridge looks like these days (after I tidied it up).

Alex has recently watched his first episode of Sesame Street.

I think Alex has hit that "language explosion" stage. I notice new words all the time now, and it seems that he only has to hear a word a couple times before he incorporates it into his vocabulary. His pronunciation is ok. I can understand most of what he says, but sometimes he has to repeat it. He will laugh if I repeat back something other than what he was trying to say. I guess his humor now includes the non sequitur. Alex can make an S sound, but he won't do it at the start of a word. Same for F. I guess they are hard to hear. They both come out as H. So we get, If you heve too many vitamin treats, you get hick, and I harted.

Still no potty activity, but he is interested in talking about it now. We have conversations about who uses diapers and who uses a potty. Alex always wants to come in the bathroom when I am there. Today he brought me a magazine!

Getting a haircut

Scott giving Alex a haircut.

October 5, 2007

Sorry for so long to update, we all had colds last week. At first it looked like Scott and I would have colds and Alex wasn't even going to be sick, but then he ran a fever for a few days. I would have to say that it was the easiest sick time we've ever had and we are having just a little residual night waking now.

A few weeks ago, we went to Remlinger Farms. I knew they had pick-your-own fruit and farm animals and that there was a little train you could ride around the place. We went for the fall harvest festival and I thought we would see tractors and maybe have a hayride. What I didn't know was that it basically is a little amusement park. We walked around and looked at animals but of course Alex was taking his usual while to warm up the situation and he didn't want to ride the pony or climb on the firetruck or do anything we thought he might like. Eventually he became interested and we jumped in the hay, went through a hay maze, and rode the train. Scott managed to get Alex on the little roller coaster. I thought he might freak out. We went around once and everything was fine. Halfway through the second lap, Alex wanted to get off so I signalled the guy as we came around (we were the only 3 people on it). The operator wasn't paying attention so he didn't notice until we had started up the hill again, so he stopped us and backed us down so we could get off. Overall I thought Alex was very brave. We didn't get to the hayride, since that was in another area for an additional fee -- I hate to think how much $$ we dropped on snack (since unexpectedly, they didn't open the amusement area until 11), admission, and lunch (it was cold and rainy so we needed to eat and warm up, plus if we had headed home Alex would have fallen asleep on the way without eating). Anyway, it was something to do and something he will probably enjoy more later.

Some new speech notes: We are no longer Mommy and Daddy. Alex calls us Mom and Dad a lot of the time now. He has started a lot of noise making and baby talk, which is very annoying but sometimes cute. I think it is a combination of becoming creative/goofy and the fact that he is now about the oldest in his daycare group (in fact, he can move up to the next group next month and is required to move within the next 3 or 4 months). He continues to be a kitty-cat but is also frequently a monster, though he will tell you there's no such thing as monsters. Oh yeah: I think I figured out who Dackin is! (see this video clip). Alex sings lots of songs and today I heard him singing Frere Jacques, only Jacques sounded a lot like Dackin so I wonder if that is where it came from. When I ask Alex if he is ready to do anything, I typically get back a sing-songy "not ye-et". And now he has turned the admonition against too many treats into his own, if you have too many treats, you get more treats (don't ask me!).

I think Alex can really count. There's a difference between memorizing numbers and actaully understanding how to enumerate things, and I think Alex has learned to really count. He used to frequently start "counting" at 3 instead of 1 and he would basically keeping pointing to items until he felt like stopping, so counting 4 items was like 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, for example. He has learned that counting starts at one and now stops when he has pointed out each thing. I don't know if this is early or not -- we saw a show about it but I don't remember the ages of children who could and could not count. The show was in a series on Discovery Channel called The Baby Human, which presents a lot of research findings from projects at various US and Canadian universities. It will air again at the end of this month.

Potty update: On Wednesday evening, I noticed Alex's pants were very wet. At daycare, they had put his diaper on wrong. Since it was only a couple hours until bedtime, I thought I would be very clever to suggest that maybe Alex would like to wear underpants until bedtime, instead of getting a new diaper right then. I reminded him that if he needed to tinkle, to tell me so we could take him to the potty. About a half hour later, he seemed to need to go, so Scott took him to sit on his potty. Well, of course nothing happened, until about 10 minutes later when he pooped in the underpants! So much for me being clever.

Alex has been super whiney lately and I hope it stops now that he is over his cold!

November 7, 2007

I have been a big slacker about updating, so I am going to hammer this out and hope it reads ok!

Alex and I made a whirlwind east coast tour. We flew to DC and visited in Sperryville for a few days. We sat on tractors, looked at cows, and Jake and Alex played together. Alex got to sleep in a regular bed with bed rails on it. He seemed to like it a lot, except that I wouldn't let him jump on it (twin bed is too narrow). Scott had a Google recruiting trip to Tech, so Alex and I drove down to see him there. Alex had fun wandering around Squires and at the terrific playground at Red Caboose Park. When we got back to Sperryville, Chip and Susan were there with Anna, Charles and Alan. I think Alex was a little overwhelmed by all the activity, but he really like playing in Jake's room by himself.

After a couple more days in Virginia, Alex and I took the Amtrak to New Jersey. I learned that (a) you can't check luggage on the train and (b) when the train stops, you have to be ready to get off (I know this because we weren't!). After a trying but comical return on the next southbound train (Alex says we took a fast train and a slow train, which we did, the express and a local), we met Nana and Pop Pop at the station.

We stayed at a rental house a few blocks from the beach at Ocean Grove. The weather was good for beach play one day, but then turned windy and rainy. Alex's favorite activities included the playground at the park near the Gasch's house and the "mall with all the steering wheels" (Monmouth), but "no quarters, Nana!". He also liked going for donuts in the morning, which was really just a ruse to pry his away from me so I could sleep. Alex and I were sharing a bed and neither one of us slept nor napped well.

Alex was cute on our return flight. When we walked to the bathroom, we were stuck behind the drink cart so we spent a little time at each row along the way. One passenger high-fived Alex, and then he wanted a high-five from everyone else as we went. Then on the way back, he peered into each row with a laugh, ha-hah! I scheduled the flight back in the evening, hoping Alex would sleep. He was getting cranky and fussy, so finally around 10:30 I told him he should try to lie down and sleep. He got this look on his face like the thought had never occurred to him before. What I learned was that at bedtime, I should have told Alex it was bedtime, read a couple books and snuggled him in to sleep -- he probably would have, if only I had asked! Oh well. When the plane landed, he was completely sacked out, so I waited for everyone else to leave the plane first. All the people passing us told me how cute Alex was. I think he was the only child on the flight.

Overall, I think Alex did really well on the flights, the train, and driving in the car. Sleeping was not really a problem -- few naps, but he slept through the night every night on the trip (except for insistent 6 am wakings when we were charing a bed!). He didn't really even have any trouble adjusting to being home either. I think Alex missed Scott on the trip, because he showed lots of interest in Chip, Karen's friend Josh, MSP staffers Brian and Dave, etc.

Unfortunately, we got another stomach flu when we returned to daycare. Alex was sick for about 1 1/2 days, then I got it for a few days too. So far Scott lucked out. We have a 4 am waking pattern now from that, but it's getting a little better.

Some other quick quotes and observations:

Alex asks "What else I do when I was a baby?" He is very interested, but he doesn't seem to make anything of it. We look at his album sometimes. We also talk about things that Scott and I did when we were little.

Frequently at toothbrushing time, Alex has been telling me that I am not going to have a turn. Often in the morning, if he does a decent job, I will agree. But then one morning I insisted. Here's the dialogue:

You're not going to have a turn, mommy.
Yes, I am.
Damn. (this said with the appropriate inflection.)
What damn means?
Where did you hear that?

Then the phone rang or something and got me off the hook. He probably hears it from me, under my breath! Because about a week later, for no reason at all but sounding a lot like me, Alex said "Oh man! Dammit. Dammit." Oh well...

As a 2-year-old, Alex is of course very intersted in his penis and is grasping the notion that he has one and I do not. I guess he is trying to generalize, because when we were in the car with Nana and Aunt Karen, Alex wanted to know if Nana had one too. I said no she didn't. I was quite comfortable with the conversation, when Alex said, "What she have?" I was like, "uh... girl stuff."

Alex continues to impress me with what he knows and comprehends. Last night I was complaining about one of his toys being too loud. I was looking at it, mutteering, I can't believe this think doesn't have a volume control, when Alex said, "Here's the volume" and flips the switch. Ha, next he can program the VCR for me.

My pictures from our trip:
Scott's recent pictures:

November 26, 2007

Most of my current observations involve things that Alex says. One new one is adding "of course" to his statements. He got it from some Curious George books. Scott started a game with Alex, putting things in some little boxes we have around. Alex would open the box and proclaim, "It's a ball, of course" or "It's a truck, of course." This just lasted a couple weeks, but it was really cute. Another short-lived habit was saying "actually" -- I remember Jake doing this too.

Alex likes the word "silly". He says he is a silly runner, then he will in fact do a silly run in which I am surprised he doesn't just fall over or crash into something. We even get elaborate expressions of silliness, like this one: Why is that airplane flying at night? That captain is silly to fly the airplane at night!"

Alex has remarked on a few occasions that he looks handsome in his shirt.

Scott was impressed when Alex said he wanted to eat at a restaurant that had couches. It took a moment to figure out that he wanted to sit in a booth.

We were driving to Puyallup for a model train show (that was a bust, but the fun part was that we met up with Aunt Lisa). There is a stretch of highway that goes through sales yards for trucks, boats, RVs, trailers, construction equipment, etc. I said, "Holy moly, look at all the trucks!" Then for about the next half hour, we got Holy moly, look at this and holy moly, look at that, even if whatever we were directed to view was not very astounding at all.

Potty training is not going well. We have tried books and videos (Scott and I know all the words to the Potty Power song now!). We have tried running around naked or wearing underpants instead of a diaper. I put the potty seat up on the toilet; I've brought it down in front of the fireplace. Alex knows he will get trucks and a ride on a bus if he uses the potty. We are about to impose a moratorium on treats except for after potty use (these are known as "potty treats", for real). At this point Alex does not want to sit on the potty at all. Nor does he want to wear underpants. He requests a diaper. I met with his daycare teacher today and she said we can try backing off at home and just bringing underpants and lots of changes of clothes to school with him and they are going to try getting it started for us there. Sheez, there are so many things I would have done differently if I had known Alex was going to get so ornery about it. All I read talked about not pushing it, waiting until the child is ready, not creating a battle, but that has not been working for us at all, and now we have something of a battle. Alex showed interest a year ago -- we talked about it at his parent-teacher meeting last year -- and I wonder if I shouldn't have just insisted that it happen at that time. Oh well, I am sure this will not be the last time that I will look back and wish I had done something differently!

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