Being the younger brother

As an oldest child, I didn’t have older siblings to teach me things. Naturally, I set a sterling example for MY brother and sister, but obviously that is not always the case. Lately Alex has picked up things that…well, let’s just say it didn’t take much work to figure out where he’d learned it from.

For one thing, he has been running around with a toy sword, pointing it at people and saying, “pew pew!” Pretty sure he didn’t learn that from Sara and me. He also is prone to sobbing “No fair!” when he doesn’t get his way (okay, that one he *might* have gotten from me).

On the other hand, being the youngest might have advantages. Alex certainly was the easiest of our children to potty train, and I don’t know if that’s because of something about his personality, or if he just has a whole lot of examples to model himself after (and a whole lot of extra people to sit with him and read Little Critter and/or Clifford books over, and over, and over while he’s on the potty…)

It certainly could just be him personally. All of our kids are whip smart. It’s hard for me to remember precisely how smart they were at 20 months, and I remember being impressed by them, but Alex’s language and memory both seem to be well off the charts.

What if he’s the smartest of the three of them? I have to say…the prospect is a little frightening.

Advertisements

“Me do eet!”

Just like his brother and sister before him, Alex talks. A LOT.

At first it was an endless series of nouns, but now he’s gotten to a lot more abstract concepts. In particular, when I put him to bed at night I like to recap the day a little bit. It’s amazing how much he remembers! He often mentions things that happened in the last few days that I’ve forgotten about.

And then, of course, the commands. Alex is FULL of commands. Anything from which book to read (“Clifford book”), to what you should feed to him (“pizza”), to where *precisely* you should sit (“in the corner”). And if there’s any question about who should do something, there’s only one answer: “Me do eet.”

If there is something to be done, Alex wants to do it. Before you can even say what it is, he’s clamoring to be included. Running outside to take out the trash? “Me shoes!” Pouring a bowl of cereal? “Me do eet! By me-self!” Sara got a picture of him sobbing the other day because he didn’t get to go on a rollercoaster.

Other than talking, he is definitely getting to be a two year old. He just has that…gleam in his eye. If you tell him not to do something, he’s headed straight for it. This brings us to climbing, because there’s nothing that boy loves more than climbing things, the more precarious, the better.

Finally, one big new development is that Alex is using the potty. He can’t tell you that he needs to go, but if you plunk him down regularly he will usually go (as long as you are willing to sit and read books to him for 20 minutes). Sometimes he even gets to wear big boy underpants (“vroom-vroom underpants” because they have cars on them). Never in my life have I sent and received so many poop emojis.

So all in all, Alex is just becoming a real person. He uses the potty! He can actually hold a conversation! He sleeps through the night! It’s amazing how fast they grow up, isn’t it?

Alex’s First Camping Trip

We are generally a camping family, though we haven’t been camping since Alex was born. It’s hard enough to get a camping trip together without all of the accoutrements necessary to bring a baby (and hard enough to fit 5 people in our car without all the camping gear).

However, this first camping trip was about as perfect as could be. The weather more or less cooperated (our tent didn’t leak, and while it was pretty cold in the mornings, the flipside is that it wasn’t too hot in the afternoon), and we got in tons of fun activities! Paddleboats, kayaks, hiking…you name it.

IMG_1714

IMG_3480

IMG_1790

IMG_3484

IMG_1763

IMG_1754

IMG_1787

IMG_1783

IMG_1774

IMG_1767

(I love how Ollie is kind of photo-bombing us in this pic)

Alex literally could not have had a better time. When we were putting him to bed on Saturday night he said between sobs, “More walking!” That dude was just go-go-go the entire weekend.

You might say he got a little tired out…

IMG_1719

Now that is how you parent

My favorite part is when I say, “Set the clock for dinos” and he looks at me, grins, and then *yanks* that minute hand around. Gotta go pretty far if you’re going to see dinos…

Explosive Learning

Closing in on two years old is one of the best ages for a baby. Everything he does is just amazing. He’s speaking more, understanding more, and can actually recall things from previous days. Every time he does, it just blows my mind all over again. He’s using 3 word sentences now. He’s learning new words and concepts every single day.

How is this tiny thing, who was completely unable to do anything whatsoever just a few short months ago, able to express thoughts and opinions?

In fact, lately he has started making deals. The other day we were trying to convince him to go to the farmer’s market, and he didn’t want to leave. Evelyn said, “Alex, if you go to the farmer’s market, I’ll give you my [pretend] phone to play with.” Alex thought about it for a minute, and then agreed. The second we got out to the car he said, “Phone!”

I know it’s a little thing, but there’s so much wrapped up in that! He can understand what we are offering him. He is able to conceptualize the fact that he wants the phone, and he has to do something to get it. He is able to weigh two different things he wants, getting the phone or staying home, and decide which he prefers. He is then able to communicate all of that to us, and then remember his decision later when we actually get in the car.

Amazing!!

Sara has been trying to get him to go on the potty. He has been kind of interested in it, but will only sit down for a second or two before standing up, that kind of thing. We’ve offered some rewards, like “Hey, if you go in the potty I will read you a book” or “I will do hip-hip-hooray” (which is like tossing him up in the air and catching him). Finally, Sara hit upon the correct reward: “If you put your pee pees in the potty, I will give you a spoonful of ice cream…”

He went immediately there, sat down, and squeezed some out. (And a good thing, too, since we don’t have our tried and true potty training method anymore)

The next day Sara said, “If you put your pees pees in the potty I will do hip-hip-hooray” and Alex looked at her slyly and said, “Ice cream.”

He drives a hard bargain, this one.

Kwkwkwkwkw (chicken)

Alex has a couple of words that he consistently says to indicate something, even though they don’t sound anything like the word itself. For example, “Guh” is always cheese. He will point to it in books, he will ask for “More guh”, and he will show you where it belongs in the refrigerator. If you say, “Do you want more guh?” he will laugh, but if you say, “Do you want more cheese?” he will shake his head yes, violently.

So he knows that cheese is cheese, but it just comes out guh for some reason.

One of the entries in Alex’s word list was “Kwkwkwkwkw (chicken)”. This was my attempt to spell the way he says chicken, and it is ADORABLE. Again, chicken is always consistently this sound, kind of a cross between clearing your throat and choking to death.

Anyway, enjoy:

Alex’s Word List

In the spirit of posts like this one, Sara and I have been putting together a list of words that Alex knows. We started with a few words, and then we kept coming up with more and more, texting each other additional words for the list, until we realized that Alex knows a lot of words! It seems like he learns a new one every hour or so, so I better publish this quick, otherwise we will never stop adding to it.

I think it is a pretty impressive list of words for a not-even-one-and-a-half year old!

To quote from the post about Oliver:

So I tried to be very conservative in my list, and only include words that he uses often and obviously understands completely. He has a lot of words that he has said just a few times, or that he repeats after you, but has not used independently. So those I didn’t include. He also understands about 100 times more words than this, but I think that’s pretty normal.

Anyway, here is the (partial!) list, in no particular order:

  • book
  • Eva (Evelyn)
  • Oliver
  • Mama
  • Dada
  • Up
  • Down
  • More
  • apple
  • applesauce
  • avocado
  • cracker
  • egg
  • pasta
  • pizza (sounds pretty much exactly like pasta)
  • water
  • burger
  • Guh (cheese)
  • Guh (keys)
  • Vroom-vroom (car or anything with wheels)
  • Ambulance
  • Airplane
  • No
  • Packer
  • Girl
  • There
  • vata?  (flower)
  • elephant
  • bacon
  • pancake
  • hammer
  • come on
  • Nana (cat)
  • Da (dog)
  • Kwkwkwkwkw (chicken)
  • Ba (bear)
  • fish sound (fish)
  • rar (for lion or other big cat)
  • Monster
  • Elmo
  • Bir (d)
  • Who-who (owl)
  • Tongue clicking (horse)
  • Baah (sheep)
  • (ba) nana
  • Buh (bottle)
  • Buh (bib)
  • Buh (bug)
  • Buh (ball)
  • buh (bus)
  • balloon
  • bicycle
  • elephant

Maybe tractor too. Maybe puzzle. He also inexplicably still signs a few words, but refuses to actually make the noises: bye-bye, night-night, all done, milk, train.