Growth & Appearance: You had your first haircut. It was great. You look like a little boy, just as you did before minus the mullet. So before you were a redneck little boy and now you’re more of a gonna-go-surf-the-waves little boy. I like the latter much better.
You’ve just about grown out of your size 6 shoes and we’ve been on a mad hunt for a size 7, scouring the flea markets and thrift stores with no such luck thus far. Tell your feet to put growth on hold. Diapers are still size 4, clothing 2T with the exception of some shorts/pants that fall right off your little waist.
Feeding: You finally understand bribery, which has worked great with eating. I allow you to watch Yo Gabba Gabba so long as you eat, but if you refuse to eat, I turn the show off. It’s worked like a charm every time. I should mention, however, that it works on a bite by bite basis. This means I have to pause the show the get you to eat another bite. And then repeat. It would be much less tedious if you I only had to threaten one time and then you ate everything, but it doesn’t work like that. I’m not sure if this is the right thing to do, per say, but it works, so whatever. It’s made eating time much less of a battle and for what feels like the first time ever, there is some peace at the dinner table.
Still, in general, feeding you is nothing short of difficult. Anytime you have to resort to strategy, there is an underlying challenge. Feeding you is the challenge. It’s not even about getting the food simply in your mouth. Some times you take the bite with no problem and the food just sits there in your mouth. You forget to chew. Or you keep chewing but don’t swallow. I watched you sit with a single bite of cereal in your mouth the other morning while I simultaneously polished off my entire bowl. Then I had to coax you to chew and swallow… and that’s all for one stinking bite. Papa had to run to the store to pick up some fruit for a BBQ and when he returned, you had the same bite of food in your mouth as when he left. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink… or I can put food in your mouth but I can’t make you swallow. Same same, but different. Not a struggle, per say, to get the food in but talk about tedious and time consuming trying to get you to swallow. I should also note that you are fully capable of using utensils to eat but due to the struggles I’ve touched on, we end up spoon feeding you most of the time. Otherwise, it’d never get done.
When Auntie Kiki came to visit for the weekend, she restored my confidence in feeding you by pointing out how healthy you eat. Sometimes I just need a pat on the back to keep motivated. You do eat healthy, it’s just a struggle. And the struggle at the table leads to a general impatience on my part and the rest of the day kinda goes to shambles from there. On the days you eat good, I have a grin from ear to ear. You’re happy, I’m happy, the day goes smoothly. On the days where you are a pain in the butt, I’m frustrated, you act out, and the day ends with me needing a break. I hate that it seems to all be centered around food, but that’s the way it feels. We’ve both gotten better and the bad days seem to be fewer and further between ::fingers crossed::
Oh yes, I should mention (because I’m neurotic about documenting all the mundane things) that you still drink your milk out of a bottle. We give you watered down juice in a sippy cup at lunch and on occasion I’ll give you a small amount of water in a cup. You do fine with a cup, but the bottle is safest since it seems that I spend so much time breastfeeding your little brother that I’d be losing my mind watching you spill your milk all over the place when I couldn’t do anything about it. Then I’d be crying over spilt milk and, well, they say you shouldn’t do that.
Development: You are still an organizing fiend. In fact, there are five things we leave on your bed: a decorative pillow, a stuffed smurf, a stuffed clown, a stuffed raggedy Andy, and a vintage Dapper Dan doll. Almost every morning, I come into your room to find them neatly piled one on top of the other. We have named the stuffed smurf “Niles” and the stuffed clown “Jeff”, after your grandpas. Your Papa and I find this funny, get used to our humor.
You are coming out of your shell at your gym class, showing a bit more personality each time and dare I say actually enjoying the activities. You’ve gotten much better at hanging from the bar. Before, you’d turn into a limp noodle anytime I’d put your hands on the bar. You also do a better job at following instructions given to you by the instructor and when the instructor is showing a skill or telling a story, you actually listen and follow along. You can jump with two feet on the trampoline, but have yet to jump off an elevated surface with both feet at the same time.
You’re shy with most new people you meet, but a high five always breaks the ice. You have yet to refuse a high five. You love to laugh and are drawn to wherever the laughter is. Sometimes your Papa and I will be having an adult conversation in the front seat and laugh about something you wouldn’t understand anyway only to hear you giggling, or mimicking us, in the backseat. You love a good laugh and when you make someone laugh with your game of peek-a-boo or your wild shenanigans, you want to do it over and over and over and over. I can think of worse things to be addicted to, so keep laughter as your drug of choice. Oh my god, are we already talking about drugs? Stop. Get out. Don’t get another day older. You hear me?! I said STOP!
You’ve been a dancing machine as of late. You love the song, “Young, Wild, and Free” by Wiz Khalifa. We discovered this when it came on the radio on the way home and you started head banging to it. Your head banging, by the way, is a cross between A Night At the Roxbury and Snoopdogg, or Snoop Lion, or whatever.
Hitting and throwing has been a bigger issue than ever. We had a play date with a friend from high school and I swear I’m scared to call her after you whacked her super cute and ubber polite little boy on the head with a toy phone. Hard. I used to have some reservations about disciplining you and I used to have sympathy when Papa would scold you in the corner. Now I do not. It sucks to see another boy cry because you hit him. Now I take you to the corner faster than you can say skipidy doo, which in fact you can’t say at all, but do trust that I take you over to that corner at lightening speed. The other day I scolded you for hitting Sarah (we have a zero tolerance issue now) and you walked yourself to the corner. I died laughing (inside, of course). When you’re in the corner, you do this blatant stare off to the side refusing to make eye contact. Other times, you have no sense that we are punishing you and you look us straight in the eye and let out a big “hi-yee”. Either way, we get your attention and make you look us in the eye, we count to ten, we reiterate that you cannot hit and we end with walking you over to Sarah or Van or whoever your victim is and making you say “sorry”, which you say with a hug instead because, well, “S’s” are hard.
You won’t stop making noises by sticking your tongue out and blowing. This results in a ton of slobber all over your shirt. I’m considering going the bib route. I know you’re awake from your nap because I hear you making noise with your tongue in there. In other news of things you can do with your mouth, you now smile on command. You just don’t follow the command all the time. But, you don’t follow any command all the time… except for when Papa commands you to put your nose on things. You do that every time… like when we were out to breakfast the other morning and Papa instructed you to go put your nose on an old lady’s leg. You did, of course. Again, you should get used to our humor.
We’ve tried the potty a few times but haven’t pushed it. The other day I saw you get into the squat position to push a load out so I scooped you up and brought you over to the potty. Almost immediately a little nugget fell into the hat, but I quickly realized you had already pooped and that piece was a little pellet that had stuck to your butt and simply fell off when you sat down. Total fail. Oh well, one of these days you’ll get it.
Sleeping: I sense you are transitioning from two naps to one. This means you are slowly and more consistently refusing your second nap, then needing to go to bed early, sleeping in later, and taking your morning nap in the early afternoon. So your schedule seems to be shaping out to waking up around 9am, napping from 11-1 or 2pm, and going to bed around 8:30pm. But, being that it’s in a state of transition, this isn’t always the case. Some days you still take two naps. These are good days. You’re sleeping in your bed at night, but we still have you in your playpen for naps. I’m pretty sure you need to be held prisoner in order to take a nap.
Whatever the case may be, nap or no nap, bed or play pen, you always wake up happy. As soon as you see the door opening, you eagerly glance over and greet us with a bundle of “hi-yee’s” as if you thought you were never going to see us again. I dread when I hear you first wake up because it means I have to stop whatever mom chore or activity I’m doing, but as soon as my hand grabs hold of that knob I’m like Pavlov’s dogs and my whole body tingles with excitement. Every time I open that door I feel so loved. Thank you.
Talking: Your on the brink of a language explosion. You always seem to be saying something and the jibber gabber is at an all-time high. Your favorite word has been “hi-yee!”. You say it to all of us numerous times a day and by numerous I’m literally saying somewhere in the ballpark of 200x per day. Some days even more. We were on the car on the way to dinner and in the ten minutes it took us to get there, I counted six times you enthusiastically blurted out “hi-yee”. You love to get right in Van’s face to say it too. It doesn’t stop with your family, however, you also say “hi-yee” to your stuffed animals, the moon, the plants, and lots of other inanimate objects. I had a mickey mouse sweatshirt on and you said “hiyee” to mickey. You don’t even know who mickey is. You do a quickened version of “hi-yee” each time we go into your room after you wake up. It sounds like a chopped, “hi hi hi hi hi” in very fast succession.
You say the word “love”, only it sounds nothing like love. It sounds more like “va”. The only way we know you’re saying “love” is because you do this head nod every time you say it.
You also say flower (which comes out as “flow-nay” or “flawn”), again (“ghin”), and dog. You’re started to put some words together… You say, “Papa doo-doo” and “Papa si” (Papa sit… you’re so demanding). You’re also adding two syllable words to your vocabulary.
Your answer to how many anything is is always two, which you answer by putting two fingers up. Any question with the word color in it is still answered with “boo” (aka blue).
Favorites: Cars, cars, cars. Big ones, small ones, fast ones, slow ones. You are obsessed. You like lining them up. You like making them go “voom”. You like throwing them. You like carrying them. It’s been all. about. the. cars. You’re even smitten with Dr. Seuss’s “Go, Dog, Go!” because the dogs are riding in cars. Your more into books, in general, than ever before.
You love giving kisses. You kiss everything. At your gym class, you took the stuffed beanie babies out one at a time, kissed each one, and then lined them up thus combining your loves for organizing and giving kisses. I was coloring with you the other day and drew a flower on the paper. You proceeded to lean over the picture and give the flower a kiss. But I think your favorite thing to kiss is still your brother. Hands down, he gets the most unsolicited kisses.
You also love stickers. We can get you to do a lot of things, like allowing the hairdresser to cut your hair or even getting you to finish your food, with the promise of a sticker. You like tattoos too.
Tuesdays and Fridays are your version of our Saturdays and Sundays, aka the best days of the week. That’s because the gardeners come on Tuesday and the trash trucks come on Friday and, well, it’s the highlight of your week.
In Conclusion: Each month gets better and better. Your Papa and I look at each other in disbelief every.single.day. We’re eager for Van to reveal his personality as you’ve taught us that newborns have nothing on toddlers. Don’t get a big head though, we love your brother too. But seriously, you are so fun. I don’t want you to get another second older.
And now two bonus videos of your now infamous “grandfather” walk and an extra little boogie video too.
Side note: Thank you to everyone who voted yesterday for The Stork & The Beanstalk as the Top Baby Blog. I know at one point we were in the top ten, but I believe we’ve dropped since then. You can vote daily by clicking on the link below or the TBB icon on the right. Many, many thanks!!