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.

Alex update – A long time overdue!

I have been meaning to write this post for so long that some things that Alex does have already come and gone. A week is such a long time in a baby’s life, much less a month and a half!

So let’s see, what is Alex up to these days?

Well first off, he can stand up for long time without holding on to anything. Like maybe 30 seconds or more? And he can raise and lower himself a little bit as well. He’s a really fast crawler and he *loves* getting into trouble. You can just see from the twinkle in his eye and the grin on his face that he’s going to do something he knows is naughty. He very clearly understands when you tell him “no”, and you can tell because he pauses, looks back at you and grins, and then does it anyway.

He does pretty good with sign language. He signs train, milk, more, book, water, eat, and waves bye bye. But mostly what he does is point at things.

He’s basically always pointing at things, mostly to direct you which way to go. But if you ask him he can point to things like clocks (“tick-tock”), earrings, doors, lights, fans, the piano, books, watch, ring, nose, ears, and of course Evie (EE), Ollie, mama, dada, and nala. Even more impressive, if you hold up a picture book he can point to things like flower,  ball, and dog.

He can give you a kiss, give you a “bonk” (smashing his head into yours), lay his head down for “night-night”, and he does this adorable thing where he kisses each page of the book when you’re reading Sam Loves Kisses. Also, if you ask him where your nose is, he bites it. I do not know why.


He has been able to say a few words for a while, but it’s not always clear that he means them more than just a string of syllables. You can never really be sure…he never does it when you’re trying to show someone else. So with the other kids they had a very definite “first word”, but I’m not sure what Alex’s first word was. I think it was “door”.

He very definitely says “mama” and “dada” and means us. Aside from that he says, “nala”, “book”, “tick tock”, and “nana” (banana).

He still cries himself to sleep every night, for at least a few seconds, but we’ve just sort of gotten used to it I guess. He just seems to be one of those kids who needs to cry a little bit to fully relax. I never thought he would still be crying every night at this point, but I guess it is what it is.

He LOVES to eat solids, and usually cries if you’re not shoveling fast enough. He seems like he’s not going to be a picky eater. However, recently he has discovered that he has a lot of power, so he likes to reject food (mostly by slapping it away from him) and point to other things on the table that he’d like better.

The one thing he loves above all else is hearing books. I read him 20 in a row the other day and he was still furiously signing “book”. He clearly has his favorites (and will throw other ones on the floor to get to the ones he wants). In fact, if you ask him to get individual books he will go over to the shelf and pick them out and hand them to you.

Some of his favorites are: Moo Baa La La La, Trucks Roll, The Big Red Barn, Peekaboo Morning, Baby Faces, So Big (Elmo), Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? / Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear?, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and May There Always Be Sunshine (although truthfully I could go on listing these for a long time…he has a lot of favorites!)

::whew::! I think that catches us all up!

Of course his big sis and big brother are good helpers to keep him occupied, and keep up with his steady diet of books. I should tell you what a good reader Ollie is becoming, but that’s a topic for a different day.


10 Month Comparison Photos


9 Month Comparison Photos


You can see from Ollie’s photo that we actually missed taking his 9 month photo on the 12th, so we had to get it the next day.

You can also see that we had to give him a piece of paper to play with so he wouldn’t crumple the sign, and let me tell you, that was a good idea! This was about the only photo in which Alex wasn’t grabbing for the sign, crumpling the sign, waving the sign around…

He certainly is a mischief maker these days. One of his favorite things to do is to pull himself up to stand at the bookshelf and just pull all the books off one by one. If you clean them up he gets mad, like, “Hey! I just spent a lot of time doing that you know!”

He still crawls like a maniac and is often not happy being held (since, yanno, less mischief that way!). He can walk a bit if you hold his hands and lately he has been letting go of things while standing up. I counted a record of 4 seconds of free standing without holding on to anything.

Won’t be long until we look back at these crawling days as being so easy and relaxed…

Alex’s taking it to the next level

It seems like in the past couple of weeks, a switch has flipped in Alex’s head, and suddenly he’s a human being. He just made a huge leap in sort of understanding.

Anyway, without further ado, I present to you videographic evidence:

Alex saying “mama”:


Alex doing “bye bye”:


Alex doing “so big”:


Alex signing “more”:


Other signs that he knows include “milk” and “all done”, and he understands “book” and “train”, but doesn’t do them himself.