It was one of those days, today–the kind that blindside you at about 2 p.m. and make you wonder when bedtime is, even though you’ve got hours to go. One of those days so out-of-place (like temperatures in the 70′s … Continue reading
I am so, so behind in sharing my favorites from recent sessions. I have a whole Summer and Autumn’s worth of beautiful families to show.
Something strange happened this year in Georgia; we seemed to experience a real, honest-to-goodness Autumn. The good part? There was beautiful color that actually stuck around more than a week or two. The bad part? It was cold.
This family met me at a local park one morning in October when it was FREEZING outside. They handled it more graciously then I did. Other than rosy cheeks and noses, I couldn’t even tell they were cold at all.
There is something of a lack of pictures for this post, since we just rolled in from spending a week with family and there is a little too much to be done to bring the camera out.
This has been such a fun month for Master Clive, with him becoming extremely verbal and talkative. Not just his ever-intentional (and unintelligible) Twiggese phrases, but real words, attempted English phrases (like “what’s this?” and what Mama believes to be “look at that!”) and finally–finally–the sign for “please”. He also frequently talks to himself while he plays, which is beyond adorable as there are few things in the world sweeter than a pre-toddler’s voice.
This newfound communication means that when he expresses desire for something, and he knows that you know that he knows that you know what he is asking, there is a spectacular display of emotion when he is refused. Mama imagines that all that passion and fervor will be directed towards a good cause, someday. Hopefully.
This month he started letting go of things and standing briefly before falling down. He also became confident in walking while only holding on with one hand to the person assisting him. In case you don’t know us personally and haven’t caught on through his posts, Clive has what can best be described as a gross motor delay–though he progresses steadily, he’s a couple of months behind the curve. I imagine he’ll be set to walk around the time that his baby brother is born. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.
He is in full-fledged Monkey See, Monkey Do mode, and tries his darndest to do things exactly like his Big Brother does. Thankfully, Big Brother is too young to see this as anything but hilarious. Unfortunately, Clive is the daredevil of the family without trying to copy his brother’s antics, so this habit strikes Mama as both endearing and, at times, quite dismaying.
His personality has become even more robust–if that’s even possibile–and his sense of humor is appropriately boyish. He giggles uncontrollably when another family member passes gas, or when he can manage to poke somebody in the eyes.
He looks more and more like his father everyday, which pleases Mama to no end. He is growing so fast, and all set to be a Big Brother himself in just a few short months. He will be excellent at it.
Three days ago, our oldest turned 33 months. In case you’re not the type that obsessively chronicles each month of your children’s lives, that’s 2 3/4 years. One trimester away from 3. It’s a milestone, of sorts, if you like looking for milestones in the everyday. I do.
As we got closer to twenty-four months, his development didn’t change as quickly as it did the first year and I decided that I would go for quarter or half-year updates, just to save me from typing the same thing every month.
Of course I missed the first half-year update by being miserably sick with Baby Boy #3 (who should join us in March 2014). So, a three-quarter year update is the next best thing.
One morning in mid-July, he suddenly started speaking in sentences. It happened that quickly. We were visiting family at the time, and they commented on his new skill. They were impressed; I was shocked. He has always been a big talker, but I was so used to the one-or-two-word expressions and Remy-Speak fillers for things he wasn’t sure how to say yet. (He still uses those occasionally.)
With his new-found linguistic skills came a whole new level of Big Brotherhood–chiefly the ability to boss his little brother around.
“No, Twiggies, that’s NO TOUCH.“
“No, Twiggies, put that back, put it back right now!”
“Twiggies, stop bein’ a toot!”
Reminding him that it’s my job to boss Clive around has become something of a regular routine.
A few days ago, I told him that he was absolutely not under any circumstances to tell Clive to be quiet or to stop crying. He could, however, say “shhhh”, in a nice manner. He took that to heart and now shushes Clive in the sweetest, only slightly exasperated manner.
His love of hopping is still going strong, with the added bonus of being able to jump on and off of things like curbs, imaginary curbs, stairs, assorted toys, boxes, Daddy, and one attempt at Clive, which Mama put a stop to immediately.
His love of music has only grown; he has an uncanny sense of rhythm and is quite good at matching pitch. I utilize the latter while we are brushing our teeth to help him keep his mouth open long enough. He is also good at identifying instruments in songs. (Like calling out the bassoon in a piece by John Williams that we were listening to for the first time.)
Like all two-year-olds, he loves to dance, loves to run and run and run, loves the overuse of the word “no”, loves birthday cake, loves the cat, Thomas the Train, playgrounds, singing, all things with wheels and repeating things he probably shouldn’t. He loves his brother (“Twiggies! I LOVE YOU!”) and talks frequently about the new baby, Anselm. He tells me sometimes that he has a baby in his belly, too, and I remind him it’s more likely that he has yogurt or oatmeal or peanut butter and jelly in there.
He never meets a stranger–he is friendly with practically everyone he meets. He is quick to praise and congratulate others on their accomplishments (like when Daddy finishes all the food on his plate, or when one of his toy trains “uses the potty”.) Or himself for saying something correctly (whether he actually has or not.) I’m a little biased, sure, but I do think he’s the most endearing two-year-old I’ve ever met.
For his part, Clive sees his big brother as the epitome of All Good Things That Must Be Emulated, from what is and isn’t funny to quirky sounds to make to methods of toy play to methods of eating to jumping on furniture.
They are two peas in a pod; they alternately adore each other and drive each other crazy, as all good siblings do, I assume. Ephraim is always anxious to wake Clive up from his naps so they can play together, and Clive is always anxious to have whatever toy Ephraim is playing with, because if big brother has it, it must be a Very Good Thing.
Here we are, fifteen months, three haircuts and eleven teeth into Life.
This month, Clive decided he was officially Too Old to have Mama feed him his oatmeal, and that he needed to do it himself.
He’s not too bad at it.
He’s finally become proficient and confident about pulling up on things. I imagine he is all set to follow after Daddy’s example, and walk at around 18 months.
He’ll crawl if you hold his legs so that he can’t scoot with them, but that’s not the way he likes to get around.
He’s the official cuddle bug of the family, with his charming method of scooting right up to you and lifting his arms to be picked up. If you don’t do it right away, he scoots closer before trying again (with a slightly put-out expression.)
When I got him out of bed this morning, he clung to me for a good fifteen minutes, his hand on my right arm and his head on my shoulder. It’s a move that’s so uniquely Clive and I love it.
His Twiggese sentences are becoming more frequent and complex, though they remain unintelligible.
He finds great joy in pushing cars around and making vroom, vroom noises.
He is learning to sit still while a book is being read, and knows to join hands when we pray before meals.
Still sucks his first two fingers while going to sleep, but now also hooks his shirt with the thumb of the same hand to pull the fabric up to his chin. He’s particular about things.
Now sleeps with almost as many mys as Big Brother does. (Three total; Ephraim has four.)
Everytime Mama has to wake him, he’s wedged up in the same corner and almost completely covered with blankies.
Today, when I brought him down to the table for lunch after his nap, I set him in his high chair across from Ephraim and went into the kitchen. From there, I heard Ephraim say happily, “Twiggies! I love you–I LOVE you!”
Truer words were never spoken.
Around 11:30 a.m. is one of my very favorite moments of the day.
Clive takes a short nap in the morning–short because, if it’s long, he won’t sleep again for the rest of the day. Then he is cranky. And he’s a pretty awful cranky, as cute as he is. (I am pretty awful cranky, too.)
So to preserve our sleep–and our sanity–I keep his first nap short.
Ephraim is a light sleeper, like I am; usually he sits up straightaway when you walk into his room, even if his eyes are still closed.
Not Clive. Clive is a heavier sleeper, like his daddy. He is still asleep when I pick him up, wrapped in his handmade crochet blankies, sucking on his first two fingers like he’s done for forever.
I’ll hold him like that for a few minutes, just rocking slightly, and sometimes he’ll crack an eye open at me and then close it again. He’s awake now, but he’s content. I am too.
Best moment of the day.
The Young Master turns fourteen months today. Firmly entrenched in the throes of pretoddlerhood, he spends his days waffling between whether he really needs two naps, or whether one will suffice. As it is, we just alternate. The one-nap days … Continue reading
Master Clive is going to be a big brother next year, and he has managed to catch a bit of middle-child syndrome already in the fact that I’ve been ridiculously late posting the last two monthly updates for him. Sorry, Twigs.
This month saw a couple of welcome changes:
The first was that his picky eating pattern reversed, and he began to really chow down at his mealtimes. Since Big Brother’s picky eating suddenly manifested at this age, Mama was very pleased to have the opposite happen.
The second was that he finally graduated from Immobile Lump to Professional Butt-Scooter. Still no crawling, but he can really make a mad dash across the floor and into whatever Big Brother is playing with, which exasperates him to no end.
When he is truly pleased with something, he stops scooting, sits up, and spins himself in a circle once or twice.
On the unwelcome front, of course it would be the very week that Mama’s morning sickness and fatigue hit full force that he would enter the dreaded 2-1 nap transition and begin refusing to nap in the afternoons. The situation, fortunately, has been remedied–just in time for Mama’s morning sickness and fatigue to start to wane.
And on the totally unexpected front: somehow he managed to cut a molar without my knowing. Not sure how that happened.
(That posture above is the classic Clive Is Ready For Snoozing pose. He has done that since he was only a couple of months old.)
Always a deliberate and emphatic talker, this month the little Master began to develop his own unique lexicon to include such gems as “gonk” (milk) and “gogurt” (yogurt).
While Big Brother spent most of this age babbling about everything whether someone was listening or not, Clive looks right at you and says a sentence. Then he waits for you to respond. (Or comply? I’m not sure.)
And if you don’t comply, just watch out, because there is possibly a tantrum and/or breath-holding spell about to follow.
Needless to say, Dobson’s “The Strong-Willed Child” was on Mama’s reading list this month.
Just in case.
I followed Remy outside, today, watching while he dashed around the backyard with the neighbor cat. We’re on vacation, staying with family at their home near the beach; the late afternoon not only brings a lovely shade to their yard, … Continue reading