Growth & Appearance: Your father (I refer to him as your “father” when he’s in trouble) decided it would be a good idea to trim your bangs, which had been pecking your eyes like a bird at bread. He might as well had put a bowl on your head and given you a trim. Needless to say, for the first time ever, I started using product in your hair to allow you to rock the comb over look. When your bangs hang straight down, each end meeting perfectly in line with the one next to it, you look straight up dorky. Yeah, I said it. I’ll keep combing it on over. And, you’re welcome. Your hair has darkened up a bit and is the sweetest dirty blond.
You have eczema on the back of both of your knees. This is from your father, who says he had it throughout his child and adolescent years. He remembers it as a horrible experience, so you can thank him for that.
In other news, all of your two year molars are in. I hope this means less bipolar behavior.
Your feet are just nearly grown out of size 7 and these are the first set of shoes that may not make it through a Van cycle. The worn in souls and the shotty Velcro serve as a testament to days spent puddle jumping and galloping free as a bird. You’re still in size 4 diaper, when you wear a diaper, size 3T shirts and pants and pajamas.
Eating: Oh lordy, it’s painful to even discuss. You suck at the table. I know we are largely to blame for many of the bad habits you have and we’re trying desperately to find the way out of the hole we’ve been digging. Desperate times call for desperate measures and I’ve actually arranged for an occupational therapist to come in and throw a rope down to the bottom of the cave where your Papa and I sit shivering in the cold. Our hope is that we can find peace during mealtime; meaning no ultimatums, no distractions, no bite by bite negotiations. It’s gotten incredibly time consuming and frustrating and while we both understand that you’re a toddler, we need to be on the same page as far as how to handle your toddler behavior at the table. If you ate every meal like you did chicken nuggets, however, dinner would be a breeze. I think that’s the only meal you eat entirely on your own with no fuss and even request more when you’re done. I can’t lie, I wish I could give you chicken nuggets for every. single. meal. But alas, I love you and want you thrive. Damn my love for you. Life would be easier if I just didn’t care.
Talking: There really isn’t anything that you don’t say. You’re able to put a few words together. Here’s some of your most used phrases: “Papa, sit”, “One show, pweez”, “More sicken (chicken)”. You’re picking up so many words these days that oftentimes we don’t understand a lot of them. We used to speak your language and be able to translate for others but now I find myself shrugging my shoulders, unsure of what it is you’re trying to say.
The outside world remains one big game of pictionary. You love riding in the car and pointing out the buses and motorcycles (still called “da!”). You like to point out random male strangers and pronounce, “man!”. In fact, several times a day we say “yes, yes, Hooper, you’re right, that is a man”. I’m dreading the day you add adjectives and label someone as a fat man or a smelly man or an ugly man. Oh the lessons of life yet to come.
Sleeping: You’re still number one sleeper. You sleep about 10 hours at night and roughly 4 hours during the day (2-3 in the morning, 1-2 in the evening). As always, your evening nap is hit or miss. We still put you in your playpen for the naps because it’s easier for us and, like most things that are easier for us, has become a hard habit to break. You’re just as happy to nap there as your bed and you never fight a nap or bedtime (Picture me kissing the sky above, because that’s exactly what I’m doing right now). You sleep with your blanket (which you still call your da-dgee) and a bigger blanket (which you call your big da-dgee) and several stuffed animals that all have their own names: cooooooow, Niles, Jeff, Dan, Andy, Montner, to name a few. And yes, we did name a stuffed clown after one of your grandpas and cowboy smurf after the other.
You seem to have forgotten how to open your door. For a while there, you’d magically appear in our room. Now, when you wake up, you plant yourself at the foot of your door and wait for us to come get you.
Development: You have a concept of things being “gary” (scary). I think it’s a game, but you play the scared role well. Papa pretends to be a monstor and you come running toward me saying “gary, gary” and insist on being held. Yesterday you started running from Sarah and insisting she was scary too. You noticed a long dark hallway at a restaurant and referred to it as scary. You were happily playing with two older girls and when something went crashing and made a large sound, you refused to play with them any longer and kept referring to them as scary. We use your new found fears to our advantage by chasing you with the scissors so you now find them “gary”. This has solved the problem of you going in the drawer and trying to take the scissors out.
Along the same lines as your “gary” shenanigans, you now let out random screams. We think you picked it up from Curious George. Anytime any sort of commotion is going on, you look at us and let out one big loud scream. We were at a Spring training baseball game when a foul ball hit someone a few rows back. You picked up on all the commotion and let out one of your Curious George sceams. You also scream when Sarah is being overly rambunctious and, in general, during any times of mayhem.
You’ve figured out that blowing into your straw creates bubbles and you like this. You also like quacking like a duck and walking around in circles with your fists nestled into your armpits like duck wings. You love riding your balance bike and are able to balance well on it. It’s time to get you a bike or scooter, but we have yet to do so. Your legs are nearly long enough to start peddling.
You’re connecting concepts. Like the concept of swimming, for example. The other day we were making pasta and you pointed to it in the pot and proclaimed, “pasta fumming” (aka pasta swimming). The door of your imagination has cracked open and I’m sitting on the edge of my seat to hear how it all plays out in that little head of yours.
The jury is still out as to whether you are right or left handed. You tend to draw with your left, throw with your right, and eat with both your left and right.
You do a good job of entertaining yourself and are independent in all aspects other than eating.
You play the butthole game with your Papa. This is when you say, “butthole” and then Papa tickles you to near death. I’m not sure how I feel about this game because I’m your mom and I’m not supposed to encourage things like you saying “butthole”, but you really enjoy it and I’m quite certain it sounds like “pothole” anyway. Yeah, I’m going with pothole.
You mimic, oh do you mimic. The other day you copied me by resting your chin on your hand with your elbow on the table. You also do your own version of push-ups, something you picked up from your Grandpa (though I’m not going to lie, I wish you picked it up from me).
Your memory is on point. It’s amazing the things that obviously find a little corner to make a home in your brain. Like when we went to Arizona and you started looking for the balls you had hid by the sofa months before.
You’re a great traveler. You enjoy looking out the window at the passing cars and can easily tolerate a whole day of driving in the car. We’ve driven to San Francisco and Arizona (about 6-8 hours) and both times have been a breeze. I hope this translates to you enjoying the open road as an adult. Make sure you go places, ya hear?
You’ve become a good little helper. You clean up your toys at the end of the day and seem to enjoy putting all your cars back into your little suitcase just as much as you like taking them out. You’re better than I expected at sharing and like to pile your brother under a mountain of miscellaneous objects. You’re generally sweet and kind hearted. You’re a gentle soul and you love to laugh. You enjoy being the center of attention and play that role well. You’re a good sharer most of the time and love being rewarded for a job well done.
You have moments of toddler tantrums, but they seem to have simmered down considerably and are rather few and far between these days. Nevertheless, you still raise your hand to me, but more often than not, it lands on my head and is followed by a gentle pat. You love the reinforcement you get for being kind and rewarding normal behavior has done wonders for the terrible twos.
You can count. You refuse to do it when we ask, but at the most random times, you’ll go all the way from one to ten with a few hiccups in between.
Favorites: There is a book called, “The Bike Lesson” by the Berenstain’s that you love. We read that a lot. You also love tractors and motorcycles. Whenever we see a parked motorcycle, we have to walk over and admire it for a least a few minutes. You still like arranging your cars into separate piles and are back at spreading your toys all over the sofa, making sitting down near impossible without ruining one of your piles. Luckily, it does not upset you in the least to have one of your piles pushed to the side. When this happens, you go right on to making a new pile. You’re adaptable that way. The gardeners are still one of your favorites and every time you see a truck with a lawn mower in the back, I have to pick your jaw up off the floor. You’re also still quite impressed with trash day and insist and going out to watch the trucks go by. Although, I have a sneaking suspicion this may start to get “gary”. Oh you little rascal, I sure do love you.