Cwimps-muhss, Oh My

This was Alex’s first Christmas, in many ways. While he has technically had two before this one, this was the first one he had the beginnings of understanding. He knew that it meant we got to bring a “tree? Inside!?” and that there would be presents for him. He knew that we would visit family and have the opportunity to “eat yummy tweats!” He also had some inkling that a man with a red hat would be bringing him gifts and that this man was named Santa.

Now, the whole Santa thing is probably the only thing Zach and I have a bit of a disagreement about. I’m not a fan of Santa, but we will be doing the Santa thing regardless of my feelings about it. This year was no exception, and Alex got a few presents from Santa under the tree.

Santa didn’t get the opportunity to give Alex very many “good” presents, and the ones that were there first thing in the morning for Alex to enjoy were not particularly well received.

Sitting in front of the tree, unwrapped, were two adorable stuffed animals. The kind of stuffed animals that you touch and can’t fathom how they got to be so amazingly soft. The kind of stuffed animals that are just perfect for cuddling.

When Alex saw them, he said, “Pooh and Tigger! Where’s Mickey? I want a Mickey.”

Whoops. I guess Santa didn’t get the memo that Tigger and Pooh are out and Mickey is in.

Christmas Morning

Fortunately, Alex received a Woody and Buzz from us that he is in love with, and life basically couldn’t be any better for a two year old. He runs around playing with them for the majority of the day, making them talk to each other and telling us all about their adventures:

Buzz: “To affinity…and be-onnnn!”

Woody: “You are a toy! You can’t fly!”

“Woody says, ‘howdy howdy howdy!'”

“Buzz has wings on! He can fly! Look, he can fly with Woody! Wooooosh!”

And he surprised us with this one, which I’m not sure is a part of the movie. And if it is a part of the movie, I wish he hadn’t picked it up. But if it isn’t a part of the movie, well…where did he pick it up?

Woody: “Buzz, you want a piece of me?”

Oh, My.

Woody!

One, Two, Three and Bumblebee

The car, wearing a diaper. Naturally.

What, you don’t put your robot-car in a diaper?

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A failed attempt at posing with the toy.

"Where's Alex?" "I hiding REAWY well."

He’s not the best at hiding. Especially because when you say, “Where is Alex?” he either says, “I’m here!” or “I’m hiding!” or, my favorite, “I’m hiding reawy well right…here!”

Why I Love This Age

So far, two has been a pretty amazing age. I’m still not over my fascination with Alex’s language development, and I have a sneaking suspicion I won’t be over it for a long time.

Because my time is limited these days (and by “limited” I mean “practically-non-existent-oh-my-god-how-is-it-November-holy-crap-I-have-how-many-tests-next-week-good-lord-did-my-son-grow-eight-inches-since-I-last-saw-him”), instead of making potentially entertaining posts about individual occurrences, here are two Alex snippets:

Instead of naming the colors (which he knows for the most part), he has decided it is much more entertaining to name what color it is not. Case in point: The other night I took out four crayons, each a different color, and asked him, “What color is that crayon?”

“It’s not blue!”

“Yes, but what color is it?”

“Umm…it’s not yellow!”

“Yes, but what color is it?”

“Umm…it’s not…orange!”

(For the record, it was a red crayon. And it was also not purple or white.)

Anyone who has had any experience with toddlers can tell you this, but: sometimes, they make no sense. None. Zilch. Zip. Nada. It’s not only because the way they say words is, well, less than perfect, it’s also because sometimes they just say really, unbelievably, random things.

Alex was drawing (again) tonight, and started talking about pandas. Nice pandas, mean pandas. A panda playing with a shark, who had eyes…and a tail.

Me: Whatchu talkin’ about, Willis?

Alex: Nooooo, Mommy! I not Wiwus, I’m Ass-ix!”

My little Alex. Who is not Willis. Or red, blue, purple, pink, orange or yellow.

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Let The Bargaining Begin!

I wasn’t prepared.

When I said, “if you open your mouth and let me brush your teeth we can finish watching Caillou,” I fully expected to get a screaming, “NO!” in my face. Instead, Alex opened his mouth and let me brush his teeth. When I was finished, he asked, “Caillou now?”

I thought it was a fluke.

When I told Alex, “If you put all of your dinosaurs away I will pull out those blocks that you so desperately want to play with,” I fully expected nothing to happen. For the dinosaurs to stay sprawled out all over the floor and for the incessant, “bocks! Peeeease?” to continue. But instead, Alex put away every single one of his dinosaurs and then asked for help pulling his blocks out from under the table.

I thought it was just a coincidence. He just happened to put his dinosaurs away when I wanted him to.

“If you walk up to your room and let me change your diaper we can go outside and blow bubbles.” He not only walked, he ran to his room. And he didn’t kick, scream, or fight me at all while I was changing his diaper. Then, we played with bubbles.

Whenever he wants to pull out more than two toys/sets of toys, I tell him he has to put one away in order to get the other one out. “If you want to play with the Little People blocks, you have to put away your dinosaurs or the cars.” The most amazing thing is that he then puts away some of his toys.

This bargaining? Is awesome. While Alex is often very good about most things, on those times when he decides he needs to have something RIGHT.NOW or he absolutely will not do whatever it is I need him to do? “If you do X, we can do Y” always works.

The other day, this is what I overheard:

Alex: “Help! Balloon. Can’t reach it! Daddy help. Too far away. Need the help!”
Zach: “If you give me a kiss I’ll get it for you.”

Worked like a charm. Alex gave a kiss and got his balloon.

It may not be the best way to get affection, but I may try that next time I need a little love.

Drinking from a big, real, glass

“If you give me a big hug, I’ll let you drink out of that big glass again.”

A Little Bit

Just a small peak at Alex’s language:

Language acquisition is fascinating. The way that children learn to communicate is something I would love to one day learn more about. Currently, I just love listening to him figure out new words, learn how to put words together. I love the look in his eyes when he says a full sentence (or two or three) and I repeat it back to him word for word. When he says a new word or sentence and I understand it immediately his eyes light up. When he says a full sentence that I am unable to understand, he sometimes gets very upset, tilting his head down and looking away from me.

My worries about his language development have (pretty much) dissipated. He talks all the time, communicates exactly what he needs, and surprises me most days with a new word (or ten). His narration of his life can be pretty hilarious at times, too:

“Walk walk walk. RUN! I’m running! Going down the stairs. Trying to fall down the stairs! Oh no! No fall down the stairs! Careful, Alex*. Careful down the stairs. Walk walk walk. Getting The Ernie! Oh no! What happened to Ernie’s hat? I broke it! I fixed it! Oh no! Where is the ball? Mommy help. I FOUND IT! Mommy play? Chasing the baby. Mommy chasing the baby. Run run run. I GOT YOU!”

*Yes, he really does say this to himself. Sometimes it’s just “be careful!” in the exact tone that I use when saying it to him, sometimes he uses his name. Which, if you watch the video, you’ll notice sounds little like Alex and more like “ass ix.”

The Little Things

I have come to accept that over the course of the next year I will miss some firsts. And I am in the process of accepting that that is okay. I don’t need to witness the first everything. Instead, I will focus on the adorable, wonderful, frustrating, awesome, silly, things that Alex does now, even if they aren’t brand new. Even if I wasn’t the first to see, or notice.

Take, for example, Alex’s use of “a piece of.”

It all started with his birthday cake. “Alex, do you want a piece of birthday cake?”

“Yeah! A piece of birfday cake!”

Then, for the rest of that day he would ask for a piece of birthday cake. Then, for the entirety of the next few days he would ask for a piece of birthday cake. Then, he would ask for a piece of anything.

“A piece of a yogurt?”
“A piece of milk?”
“A piece of orange juice?”
“A piece of blueberries?”
“A piece of medicine?”

He’s also mastered the understanding of half. He knows when something is broken in half, he sometimes fusses when things break in half, and he has even demanded that I cut things in half. “Cut it in half!” “No! No break in half!”

A few weeks ago, he asked me to cut his milk in half. He was not terribly understanding when I explained to him that I wasn’t able to cut his milk.

It’s the little things that will keep me going this year:

The fact that Alex finally (sometimes) says “Thank You,” even if it comes out as one big word: “Tankoooo!”

The fact that Alex almost always says “Bless you” when someone sneezes. Even himself. He reminds us all to be polite.

The fact that Alex continues to call Batman “Fatman.”

The fact that Alex runs up to me on the days I am able to pick him up from daycare, yelling, “Mommy!” while waving his arms enthusiastically and immediately asking to be picked up for a big hug and kiss.

The fact that Alex loves to build things. He asks regularly to “build a tower? Build a house? Build a tunnel?”

The fact that Alex tells us directly when he doesn’t like something. “NO WIKE IT!” (His “L” sound is still a struggle.)

I take these little moments and remember them throughout my long days at school. When a patient asks me about my life, which so far every one has, I share the little stories of my son with them. It’s amazing what a difference the silly little anecdotes can make for my sanity and for the comfort of someone in pain. I even had a patient tell me, “no wike it!” when I asked how their lunch was that day; a big smile formed across their face.

These little moments have not been well documented in photo form lately. I haven’t touched my camera in two weeks. But I keep these moments in my head, and here in written form. I may end up missing out on a few weeks of Alex’s growth in photos here and there, but I will do my best to keep up with his life here. Even if it means taking ten minutes out of my weekend studying, because I’d rather miss a question on an exam than forget that when Alex was 2 years old he was obsessed with Caillou, screamed, “NO WIKE IT!” and gave the sweetest kisses.

Dinosaur hat (cropped)