Hooper @ 30 Months

Growth & Appearance: Your knees are always scabbed, your shins always bruised, and your feet are always dirty. You’re a true toddler. You’re tall and thin, but your belly is almost always sticking out (despite the fact we rag on you for being such a terrible eater). Your hair is blond on top, brown underneath. More and more, I think you look like your Papa, but with my eyes.
You’re wearing size 3T clothing, with some room to grow. Size 8 shoes. You’re tall enough to ride the kiddo rides at the carnival. 
Eating: We’re all doing better with your eating. Your Papa has made a huge effort to make the table more of an inviting place and the tension has lessened considerably. We’re giving you more independence over what you eat and how much you eat, with the occasional boundary here and there; because you can’t eat chicken nuggets for every meal. There was a girl that did that, I believe, and she died or something. True story.
You’ve gotten better at trying new things and I’m doing my best to keep offering you new foods to try. We’ve also started making smoothies that consist mostly of frozen berries and boat load of spinach. You like them, so that’s a win.
You drink with a cup now on a regular basis. You feed yourself, using mostly your left hand. 
Sleeping: You like to be “cozy”. Some times, after putting you down for a nap, I hear you stirring about and will go in and check on you. You request to be made “cozy”, upset that the blanket has become loose around you. I tuck you back in as best I can and you wave you little palm up to the sky and say “by-yee!”.
You’ve picked up on the fact that asking for “more cuddles” will prolong nap and/or bed time. Every time we tell you it’s time to go to sleep, you raise your little index finger in the air and say, “cuddle, minute” (aka, let’s cuddle for a minute). We’re suckers for your manipulating loving ways and we pull you close and hold you tight for as long as you’ll let us.
The other morning, I heard you whining at 6:30am, which is way earlier than your normal waking hour. I went in your room and it became clear that you were still tired but perhaps had a bad dream. I laid down with you and I spent the next hour watching you twitch in your sleep; your arm laying flaccid across my face, your little body next to mine. It happened again about a week later. Not gonna lie, kinda hope these nightmares stick around.
We’re still forgoing the second nap. Some days we are home and you appear ready for another nap and I need a break, so I put you down. More times than not, you’ll nap in the morning and stay awake until it’s time to go to sleep for the night. Your schedule looks like this: Wake up between 8 and 9am, nap around 11 until 1 or 3 (it varies greatly), and go to bed around 8:30pm. As I type this, you are supposed to be napping but I can here you tickling your stuffed animals.
You woke up the other morning and the first words out of your mouth were, “peanut butter”. Then we cuddled in silence. Talking: Those that aren’t around you on an everyday basis note there has been a word explosion. At times it feels like the world is one big game of pictionary.
You dropped your guitar and said, “Oh shit”, clear as day, over and over again. We ignored it, but apparently we need to start watching our mouths. That will be a challenge for your Papa and I.
You’re starting to put two adjectives together, like “big blue truck”.
When I say, “thank you”, you say, “nell come” (aka “welcome”). When we give you something, you say “shanks” (thanks).
You speak in first person; The ball got away from Van and you said, “I’ll get it”.
You know that frogs go “wibbit”, snakes go “ssssss”, and alligators go “chomp”.
You can tell others that your brother’s name is Van but you’re unsure what to say when people ask you “how are you?”.
Things you like to say with your index finger pointed toward the sky: “cuddle minute”, “back minute” (aka, I’ll be back in a minute), “one show”. 
Development: Where has all this energy come from? It seems like overnight you’re moving faster, sleeping less, and into everything. I was beginning to wonder what was wrong when your Nina pointed out that you are a full blown toddler now. You’re wild and rambunctious and always wanting to get into more than you’re supposed to. You push boundaries; you climb, grab, and take. Some days it feels like I’m following you around telling you constantly what you cannot do. You used to sneak by with a bath every other day if time didn’t permit, but now you require at least one bath a day.
You love playing outside, shoveling dirt from the plant to your wagon. You refer to it as “cleaning”. I refer to it as “more work for mama”. But I let you do it, as it keeps you occupied for a nice chunk of time.
I pointed out your shadow and, ever since, you’re quite fond of it. I tell you to give your shadow a hug and you chase after it endlessly. You like to watch your shadow on the wall as you jump up and down on your bed, then you proclaim, “shadow go boom!” when you jump to your butt.
You’re getting better at riding your scooter. More times than not, you ride with your left foot forward and push with your right. You use your spoon with the left hand as well, but occasionally use your right as well.
You’re beginning the transition out of parallel play, where you simply play alongside another child. Whenever you see a group of kids playing, you want to join them. You approach them with only the slightest hint of uncertainty and always greet them with a big “Hi-yee”.  
Favorites: You love Curious George and insisted on “the man in the yellow hat” when I tried to change it up and put Cat in the Hat on the other day. When you’re overly rambunctious, Curious George is my saving grace. As soon as it comes on, you start air kissing that silly little monkey. You’re also still into your cars, a long time favorite. And playing outside. Thank god. You love gardeners and insist on being outside to watch the trash trucks go by. Oh yes, and keys. You love fitting keys into locks whether they were made for the hole you’re sticking them in or not.
Some of my favorite posts, featuring you, from this past month:
Hooper Eats (about your shitty eating)
They come in all shapes and sizes (your size, compared to your brothers at the same age)
Hooper & Van (you and your brother)
The Roosevelt Hotel (photos of mostly you, while your brother napped in the closet)
Shits & Giggles (on potty training)

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