My Favorite Things About My 4-year old Right Now:
We are finally, mercifully, experiencing that Independent Stage of "I'll Do It Myself" that we've been hearing about and patiently awaiting for two years now. In the last few days, Evan, my Help Me Kid, has independently decided to take on the following responsibilities:
*putting on his own socks
*putting on his own crocs (which he is agreeing to wear!)
*putting on his own jammies
*using the potty in the middle of the night (he was in Pull-Ups at night)
*using the potty BY HIMSELF in the middle of the night
*tucking himself back in after using the potty in the middle of the night
*wearing underwear to bed (and staying dry)
*sleeping without rails on his bed
Evan is chewing with his mouth closed and sitting politely at the dinner table. Evan is climbing into his carseat and buckling the top part by himself. Evan is controlling his behavior and his voice (for the most part) with fewer meltdowns and less screaming. Evan is PLAYING WITH HIS COUSINS. Evan is thanking me for making delicious dinners (and eating them). Evan is kissing me goodnight with an, "I had a fun day with you today, Mommy." Evan is well into his fifth year and I am LOVING it. Oh, what a difference a year can make.....
My Favorite Things About My 20-month old Right Now:
Max, my Monkey See, Monkey Do baby, is TALKING. Every time an intelligible word comes out of that itty-bitty little baby's mouth I stare at him like he's some sort of genius. And then I really see him and notice that, somehow, at some point, my itty-bitty little baby turned into a Real Live Kid. Who Speaks. Some of his favorite words (which he is stringing together with babbling to make real sentences):
*Aunt KayKay, Warren (Lauren), Bren (Brennan), WeeWee (Olivia)
*coooooool (school--when referring to a school bus or Brennan's location during the day)
*coooooool (cool--when referring to himself when he's wearing sunglasses)
These are the ones we hear 100s of times a day (often coming repeated over and over, as in: "Bren ho' cooooool. Bren ho' coooooool. Bren ho' coooooool," until we look him in the eye, nod vigorously, and repeat back to him, "Yes! Brennan is home from school!")
But he's also parroting. He can repeat just about anything he hears, much to Evan's amusement. The favorite dinner table game is now:
Evan: "Max: Say 'Mommy'."
"Max, say 'rocketship.'"
"Max, say 'boo boo baloo'."
"Boo Boo Boooooooo."
"Max, say 'poopie doo doo'."
At which point the game ends and the Potty Talk Lecture begins.
Max is snuggly, and cuddly, and affectionate. His hugs are free and frequent and I'll often catch him patting Evan's back or trying to hold Olivia's hand. He's a lover.
He's also a pistol. This is the kid who's flailing his body out of my arms yelling, "WOK! WOK! WOK!" As I'm trying to convince him that I Will Not let him walk across a parking lot by himself. This is the kid that throws his body on the floor of the store when I tell him that he must not run while pushing the stroller down the aisle. This is the kid that pushes my helping hands away when I'm trying to assist him in climbing up the ladders and apparatuses on the playground. This is the kid who sticks out the biggest bottom lip when pouting over hearing "No, you may not hammer Evan." As much as the behaviors may be tiresome, the independent streak, the confidence, and the I'm A Big Boy mentality, are all good things.
And my very favorite thing of all:
A dozen times a day, maybe right after I announce that breakfast is ready, or when I tell the boys to get their shoes on so we can go to storytime, or when Brennan comes home from school, Max's happy little face lights up, he claps his hands together, and he shouts, in the most joyful, adorable voice in the world, "YAY! YAY! YAY!"
It really does just keep getting better.