Like most parents of toddlers, I have a constant supply of snacks with me. Even on Friday night when the Burgh Moms got together I found a small bag full of crackers in my purse. A selection of Elmo crackers, Cheddar Bunnies, and some Gorilla munch. You know, Just In Case.
I learned the hard way that having something for Alex to munch on at all times is an absolute necessity.
Alex loves to eat. This kid can eat his weight in food, often a few times a day. This morning? Two waffles, two pieces of banana bread, a handful of grapes, some strawberries and a small bowl full of cereal. After hearing “mo? peas?” over and over again, I would give him more food. And then more. And then more.
It shouldn’t surprise me that he eats so much. Not only has he not slowed down in his growth yet, he also runs all. the. time. It’s a rare moment when he sits down for more than a few minutes to read a book or play with something. The vast majority of the time he is running back and forth, demanding my hand to take him outside so that he can run up and down the block, climbing up and down the stairs again and again, climbing onto and off of the couch, running around the dining room table and tackling me. And then repeat.
So, I guess when he’s running around he needs to have a bite every few steps, right? Makes perfect sense.
He was actually still sick when we went to the park on Friday when this picture was taken. He still ate all day long.
What everyone says is right: they grow up so fast. The first two years are unbelievable. Before you can blink, they will change.
My little baby will be 19 months old tomorrow.
In one year he went from having two bottom teeth and his fangs, to having a mouth full of teeth. My little vampire has turned into a little man.
When did this happen, and how do I make it stop?
Did you know that the absolute best time to go to the zoo is when they are closing?
With Zach’s parents in town for a long weekend, we decided that Sunday would be a perfect zoo day. Even though it was my third time in about a month, I was still super excited. I absolutely love taking pictures of the animals, and feel that every time I go I get some amazing shots.
We arrived an hour and a half before closing, which is only thirty minutes before they stop letting people in. As we entered, there were hoards of people exiting. While everyone was leaving, there were only a very small number of people entering, so we ended up having the zoo practically to ourselves.
Spending as much time as you want in front of every animal without having to worry about blocking a 4 foot tall person’s sight? Is awesome. When you get to wait around just watching animals, you don’t miss all of the cool stuff that they do:
We were also lucky enough to have the opportunity to watch the trainers with the elephants. They were marched around in circles and told to do various things, all while the baby elephant was just running around getting in the way.
Of course, we also saw a lot of “meows,” which may actually be graduating to a “rawr!” title.
The only downside to entering so late is that we weren’t able to go into the aquarium, and all of the people that were still in the zoo twenty minutes after close were told to leave, twice, over the loudspeakers.
While I was happy to get some great shots of the animals, the best shot of the day, naturally, was an Alex picture.
For some reason, Alex finds it necessary that I am always giving him my undivided attention. Most of the time he doesn’t even want to interact with me, he just needs to know that I am there. Watching him. Only him. Every once in a while he will check in and make sure I am not doing anything else. If I’m on my phone? I get yelled at.
He discovered a while ago that if he reaches for my hand I give it to him. And once he has my hand he can take me exactly where he decides I should be. This, unfortunately, means he can also trick me into getting out of my seat so that he can sit in it instead. It also means that he can bring me to sit down on the floor with him where he is “reading” his books. He just wants me to sit there. Nothing else. He doesn’t want me to read to him, he doesn’t want to point at things and have me tell him what they are. He just wants me there. With him. Doing nothing else.
Now that he can say “hand” the demand has become even more direct. He asks nicely, sometimes even adding a “peas?” in with it. Then he just tells you. Then he orders you. “HAND!”
And then he ignores you.
I missed a first.
The first first that I’ve missed. And it is a cute one.
I was there when he smiled, giggled, said “mama,” “baby,” crawled, walked, and did every other milestone. I got to see the first time of everything. But not this time.
Last night, while I was having a lovely dinner with my Mother, Alex started saying “hello.” Like Horton.
But the cuteness? That stems from the fact that Alex can’t yet say his “L” sound. So when Zach says, “Helloooo” to Alex, Alex returns in the exact same intonation, “Herrooo!”
I’ve been making him say it all. day. long. Herrooo!
When Alex and I went to the zoo a few days ago, he taught me a lot of things.
This here guy? He is a “meow!”:
Oh, and this guy? Just another “tweet tweet tweet!”
I knew before we got there that the monkeys would make Alex happy. Every single monkey he saw needed to be recognized. “Eee aah! Eee aah!” And let me tell you, there are a lot of monkeys. Most of them were running around, swinging, jumping, climbing everything they could and picking bugs out of another monkey’s fur. The gorillas were a little lazy, though:
As we were leaving the monkeys I was told “mo! Mo eee aah!” a few times, until we caught sight of another “tweet tweet tweet.” The lovely peacocks that roam the zoo, and, as Alex taught me, always lead you to good places. His insistence that we follow the peacock led us right to lunch.
My biggest lesson of the day didn’t come until later that night when we were home. Alex successfully learned how to climb up his parental units just like the monkeys do.
This morning I asked Zach to make a bet with me. I wanted to bet on what Alex’s weight and height statistics would be at his eighteen month check-up.
“I think he weighs 26 pounds 5 ounces!” I said.
I was wrong.
He weighed in at 25 pounds 13 ounces.
Zach took a guess at his height: “39 inches.”
When I laughed, he lowered his guess to 36 inches.
My guess for height was spot on. Alex is 35.5 inches tall, which is above the 97th percentile, making him, as per usual since his two month check-up, long and lean.
Even though Zach won the weight bet simply by the fact that he bet one ounce lower than I did and was therefore closer, I consider it my win.
I guess, really, it’s Alex’s win. He’s a toddler now, so he wins every. single. time.