Holy cow! Max likes to say that a lot these days ever since he heard me say that in response to the price of organic cauliflower ($7.65/head! Are you kidding me?) Anyhow, Max is getting older and I can hardly believe it.
As you may know, I keep a private blog called Max Memories where I record one cute, sweet, funny or memorable thing per day. It has been a such a fun endeavor and it has been so awesome to be able to look back over the past year and remember everything. It is also amazing to see how far he has come over the past year. Almost exactly one year ago, for the first time Max gave me a hug when I asked him to. He was barely verbal then, and would express himself with sounds (yah, no), motions and signs. Now we are having full conversations. Well, maybe not complete ones, but definitely dialogues.
Yes, I am totally biased, but he is a great kid. He is FUNNY! I don’t know if all 2 year olds are so funny but Max really makes me laugh.
Max continues to love books more than pretty much anything – other than his parents, of course. We have a good collection but we still love going to the library for fresh material. On our most recent trip I was so proud when he picked up a book and correctly said “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” He pretty much always wants to read from the moment he gets up to the moment he goes to sleep. Books trump toys every time. Oh how I hope this love of reading continues forever.
His teachers report that Max is an easy going kid. Apparently he is pretty passive so they are happy when he asserts himself. I’m not sure who they are talking about but I am glad to hear he is well-behaved. At daycare he is very compliant, and is the first one to follow instructions to start nap time. That is not the case at home and I am aware that we are being played. Haha!
Building on that compliant personality, we recently implemented an award chart. The main motivation was to shorten the bedtime routine and eliminate all of the fussing and crying. It worked like a charm in just a couple of nights. As I have mentioned before, this kid really likes to follow the rules and he is very responsive to positive reinforcement. The snowman pez dispenser he got for a week of good behavior was a huge hit!
Around the end of October Max started speaking more in sentences. I can’t tell you how neat it was to hear him ask “Where’d Daddy go?” Most recently, he told me “This is a good day!” and “I like that plan!” I was looking back and my last post where I mentioned Max had said “Eat, Mama. No house.” Now he says “I want to eat at a restaurant. I no want to eat at home.” He can tell you what he wants to eat (and what he doesn’t) which is good and bad :)
It is interesting to watch the physical changes in him. In November I took him to the indoor trampoline park and then again in mid-January. The first time around he was much more interested in playing with the balls than in bouncing. The second time we went he was much more interesting in jumping – though the balls and running around really did prove to be the biggest draws. Oh well, he had fun – and so did I.
He has begun to get into his stuffed animals and now makes a big pile of his animals and blankets before going to sleep. His favorite is “Ice Bear” which is a wonderful stuffed Harrod’s bear our dear friend Karen brought back from London. He will sometimes cuddle with them but mostly just has to have the mountain next to him.
In the past month he has started showing an interest in playing with, not just near, his classmates. This is so cute to see. It started with him pretending to eat his classmate, but okay.
He is also learning at an amazing rate, like all toddlers. We are definitely having some of those moments where we realize we need to be very careful about what we say.
The Knight wants to help Max develop his physical skills so recently we’ve been playing catch and soccer a lot. We are definitely not the “no playing inside the house” kind of family. I am sure I will live to regret this at some point.
An amusing moment from the other day went like this. We’ve been trying to get him to say “yes” instead of “yup” or “yeah.” Usually we do this gently by simply saying “yes” after he says yeah or yup. We were in the car the other day when I answered “yup” to a question he asked me. He said “Say yes Mommy.” He followed up with “Don’t say yup.” Okay, buddy.
There were a lot of highlights of the past 6 months. We took a trip to Greenville, SC and then to Augusta, GA for the Knight’s half Ironman. It was a great trip overall and Max discovered a love of hotels. I am not sure what exactly. Perhaps it is the long, open hallways or the elevators. He did really well on the trip and slept in his peapod travel tent without issue (unlike the first time we tried it where he wound up sleeping in our bed after hours of failed efforts).
We did a lot of fun activities over the past six months or so. We had a blast at the pumpkin patch and Cox farms. It was a fabulous day full of animals, slides, a hayride and a LOT of apple cider.
Max loves snow and snowmen, though to be honest the only snowman we made was more like a pile of snow than a man. Oh well. He didn’t know any better so he was fine with it.
We met the Cookie Monster at the Children’s Museum. That was interesting. Max loved the idea until he was actually confronted with the life-sized character. We are so not ready for Disney! :(
As you would expect, Christmas with a toddler is a blast. Seriously! Everything was so full of magic and excitement. I would have to say it may have been my best Christmas ever. From the day we decorated the tree to Christmas morning, it was wonderful. Egg nog might be the best thing Max has ever tasted. He couldn’t get enough. That’s my boy! George the Elf of the Shelf joined our household for the month and we had a great time with him. We didn’t do anything elaborate. We just moved him every night and Max thought this was great fun.
If we’re friends on Facebook, you know all about the play kitchen that Santa brought (huge thanks to Es, Don and Jared for assisting in the assembly endeavor!). Max was and still is over the moon about his kitchen. He is constantly cooking for us. He is also good about storing the leftovers. He will make us, for example, a lemon. He puts it on a plate and serves it. We pretend to take a few bites and then we give it back and Max tell us he is going “save it for later.” I had no idea until I looked the other day that what he was doing was putting everything in the Tupperware he lifted from our pantry. I looked in his fridge and found a bunch of containers full of plastic food neatly stacked in his refrigerator. It cracked me up!
Max is a huge fan of Santa – in concept. He talked about Santa non-stop and assured me that he wanted to meet him. When he saw him in person it was a completely different story. Wow. After that he kept telling me “I no like Santa.” Okay, got it.
In my last post about Max I mentioned that he is generally very compliant and eager to please. While this is still true, he is definitely developing more of the toddler independence and testing the limits. Honestly, I think he is still extremely well behaved for his age but he truly has his toddler moments. We follow the basic tenants of the book series Love and Logic, which works very well for us. I recommend it.
Over the past two months I have noticed a big change in Max’s relationship with the Knight. He still wants Mommy most of the time, but he is much more excitedto get home to Daddy or to play with Daddy. One night the Knight was downstairs fixing something and Max wanted to wait to eat until he came upstairs.
We had a really interesting few months involving Max’s fear of shadows. It started suddenly and took months to work through. Now he is fine with them and tries to catch them, but wow, that was some phase. It is like so many things that come and go with little ones. You know it isn’t going to last forever but it can be hard to manage when you’re in it.
We started a new tradition of going out for frozen yogurt (Menchie’s- YUM!) on Sundays after dinner. It is so fun and is such a nice way to end the weekend.Honestly, I could write pages and pages more. Being Max’s mom is just awesome.