I have to say, I am little emotional about this whole getting older thing. Just wow. I can’t believe I have a two year old.
I’ve said it before: this kid is amazing! He blows my mind and melts my heart every day. He is just a wonderful little person and I am so proud of him. There is something about watching your own baby go from a little blob to a functioning, interactive little person that totally rocks your world.
Max is so full of energy! We frequently joke that we need to find a way to cheer him up because he is constantly laughing or trying to make us laugh. He is such a fun-loving little guy.
He is also a super sweet and affectionate toddler. He is so considerate and seems very aware of others’ feelings and needs. He is concerned if he thinks you have a boo-boo and will give kisses (even when it is just a beauty mark). He is generally very open to cuddles and kisses and loves hugging and kissing his mama in the mornings.
He is pretty sensitive, which makes discipline somewhat easier. He aims to please and gets very upset when he perceives that he has done something wrong. He still has his toddler moments, but we have been lucky in that we can usually reason with him or distract him. We found the approaches from the Love and Logic books very helpful, as well as The Happiest Toddler on the Block.
He is talking up a storm these days. This past week I noticed a big change in his verbal skills and his voice. He is talking in basic sentences now. “I want do that. Daddy more milk please. Mama come here. Auntie did this.” It is pretty cool.
Following our July trip we saw a big rise in Max’s separation anxiety at dropoff and bedtime. That was pretty rough. I am happy that it seems to be under control now. The bedtime routine went from being super easy to taking up to an hour to get him to sleep. We have been working through this with a combination of my silly made up story (about a bunny (Pete) who loves his mommy and daddy so much that he doesn’t want them to leave him at night) and a system where we come back every five minutes to check on him. We are now down to about 1-4 minutes of crying at night (last night there was no crying at all).
Max remains around the 20th percentile for weight (25 lbs) and 55th percentile for height (34.5 inches). He is very active and loves to run (another trait we can’t figure out). He is a little monkey. When we were on vacation at the beach he discovered that he could climb up and sit on my head. I definitely know where he gets that from (I was a little monkey when I was little).
Max loves to help us. His favorite chore is cleaning the floor, followed closely by emptying the dishwasher. He recently began cooking with us, which is fantastic. Yes, things take at least twice as long, but it is SO fun. He says, “I took [cook].” In fact, some nights I will have him “help” me cook an egg, even though we are eating leftovers. He enjoys it so much. When I am cooking he doesn’t want to do anything other than be right there with me. He chops (holding the end of the knife while I hold it), helps me measure and pour, adds ingredients, and stirs. I am so excited for this to continue for years to come. I think I always envisioned baking Christmas cookies together but I didn’t expect that we would cook together like this. It is fabulous.
He is a talker, for sure. We can’t figure out where he gets that. He has recently started talking in sentences, which is just an amazing thing to hear.
Max is very affectionate – some of the time. He loves to give kisses and is very concerned if he thinks you have a boo-boo (even when it is a beauty mark).
Auntie Laura reported that when she picked Max up from school one day one of his teachers was talking about how they are all impressed with how polite Max is. That was a nice pat on the back and really made me smile. Glad to hear that the constant work is paying off. He is saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ a lot more these days and it really makes me smile when he does it without prompting.
One thing has remained constant: Max is still a great little eater. I think that his overall intake is starting to decrease, as it should at this age. However, he is still pretty good about eating a variety of foods, including veggies. He has amused us recently by demonstrating that anything spicy, including wasabi, is his friend. First, he took a finger full of wasabi out of some soy sauce and after eating it asked for more. Then he happily ate wasabi-soy almonds when he was with Auntie, even though she made the yucky face at him. He made the face back and then requested “more nuts, please.”
We had an awesome summer! We spent some time at the lake, which usually involved playing in the sand. He likes sand castles but prefers sand “mickeys.” That is just a cluster of three buckets of sand together which he mushes down. Ta-da.
I had been feeling bad about not keeping up with swim classes. The session we did last year was not what I would call successful. He vacillated between distressed and barely tolerant. I was really happy when I got him in the lake this summer (very gradually) and was able to do everything with him that we did in the class. He loved it. He “swam” between Oli and me – stomach down, hands out, even some kicking. He loved it! He got his face in the water once and did not freak out. I’ll call that a win!
We had fun doing things like playing outside with his water table, going to riding his balance bike (the Knight is THRILLED about this), checking out various playgrounds, running a 5k together, playing at a couple of spraygrounds, enjoying the neighborhood 4th of July parade, eating lots of ice cream, going to the fair where Max got to play on a fire truck, and trying out the new indoor bounce house. We also celebrated the Knight’s birthday and Max’s birthday within a week. Max also had his first full day without mommy and daddy, thanks to Auntie and Grandma watching Max so we could have a night away. It went perfectly well.
We took two trips this summer. We went to the NY Finger Lakes for my Musselman triathlon in July (a race report was partially written but never finished. Short version: I did it and am happy to be back in retirement). Max was a terrific little Sherpa, although he is still not a fan of the brief hellos during the race. He just doesn’t understand why Mommy is leaving again so soon. Fortunately he had a playground to play on and lots of new Team Z friends to entertain him. He and the Knight stayed cozy under the team tent during the downpour, where Max napped on Oli’s chest after eating two whole chicken breasts, some fries and a variety of other foods.
The day after the race we went to visit my mom in Ithaca. That was a nice, but brief visit. The highlight for Max was Jake the dog (aka ‘woof woof’). They both had fun chasing each other around the house.
At the end of August we went to Pensacola to the rest of the immediate family, including our grandson. We rented a house on the beach and had a fantastic time. Max loved the ‘ocean’ and the sand and amused us by saying “beach house” all day. He was insistent on “MY mommy! MY daddy!” but he eventually got used to us holding the little guy (14 months). I also tried to explain to him that the Knight was also Joseph and Rachel’s daddy but he was not happy about that either. However, he was a big fan of his big brother and sister-in-law, as totally nuts about his big sister. It was a really great visit.
Speaking of family, Max thoroughly enjoyed his 3-week visit from Grandma. His attachment to her was instant. He loves his Grandma! He also loved that we ate out a lot more than usual. One night in the car he stated, “Eat, mama. No house.” He cracked me up.
Meanwhile, he and Auntie have a very special thing going. They are so lucky to have each other. Max talks about Auntie constantly, and frequently wants to call her on his toy phone. He tells us all the time that “Auntie did this” pointing to the monkey decorations on his ceiling and wall.
[When I say news I think everyone is waiting to hear that I’m pregnant. Nope. There will be no more pregnancies for me. ]
Max began in the “two’s” class this week. It was kind of unfortunate that he started a new class his first day back at school after vacation. It was a lot of change and it didn’t go as well as we would have liked. However, the second day was completely different since Max brought Thomas the Tank Engine to school. He held onto him the entire day and was holding him when I picked him up. We all miss his former teachers but we are excited about his new class, teachers and friends (some of whom he already knew from his prior class).
On a different note, we have started processing this whole potty training thing. Our plan it be pretty laid back about it and not pressure him. We have had the little frog potty in the bathroom for a few months. We have started discussing how mommy and daddy go potty and we even started rewarding ourselves for the accomplishment. Yes, this feels totally bizarre. Now Max cheers, “Yay Mommy!” when I use the toilet. He instructs as I go through the process. “Wipe.” “Flush.” “Wash.” SO funny. Afterwards he exclaims “Treat, mama!”
I always ask him if he wants to go to the potty and he would always say no. On Labor Day he surprised me and said yes. We went and sat down on the potty. He got a treat. He asked for more and I told him he could have another one if he took off his diaper to sit. He agreed, much to my surprise. When he asked for more I told him he would get one if he made pee-pee or poopy. That didn’t happen but we had a very positive start. I believe it will happen in time. Max’s teacher thinks it will be easy with him because he hates being messy. We’ll see.