Yes, this post is ridiculously late. Alex is almost 2 months past his 2nd birthday, but cut me some slack; I have a two year old.
Oh, dear lord, I have a two year old.
I'm not entirely sure how that happened. I mean, I understand the theory - the earth rotates and revolves, minutes pass, the minutes add up to hours, days, so on and so forth, but the actual reality of the fact that Alex is two just seems to escape me.
He's so much a big boy these days. Full sentences and independence and telling me "No!" and deciding what he wants to eat all by himself (and seriously, if you try to feed him something else you will be met with tears of woe and the refusal to allow even a molecule of the undesirable foodstuff to pass his lips). But at the same time, he's still so very much my baby. Sleepy time cuddles and singing lullabies and snuggling up to me in my chair just so he can touch me.
He's not so much with the potty training, using a fork & spoon or dressing himself (undressing is another matter, he's all over that one), but the other stuff, my mind boggles.
He talks, or more accurately, he never stops talking. Sentences and ideas and plans and make believe and the recounting of memories in such a sweet voice that it brings tears to my eyes sometimes. Tears sparked by the hope that the joy he finds in these days will stay with him, that he will someday remember the sweet lazy days that we spend, laughing and playing, chasing and tickling, reading and cuddling.
He loves the water - pools, splash pads, garden hoses, sinks, bathtubs - water in all its forms. If it's wet and nearby he will find his way to it. This has led to some trauma on his part, and by trauma I mean the way his world falls apart when I won't let him stop and play in some filthy, muddy, insect corpse laden puddle at the park after a good rain storm. He falls to the ground, hands over eyes, wailing to make sure the world knows how miserable his existence is whenever this happens.
He is ridiculously smart, tearing apart puzzles and games designed for the 3+ set, and blowing my mind at the way he absorbs everything around him. His vocabulary is that of a 6 year old, and it's always satisfying, in that proud mama bear way, whenever someone comments on it. I'm so proud of him that I could burst, and I do my best not to sound smug, but if I can't brag about him here, then where can I? I know that all of you will understand (all, let's see... 1... 2... 3? Yes, all 3 of you.) the desire to shout his accomplishments from the rooftops.
He is also easily frustrated, giving up when things don't come easily. He doesn't feed himself with a fork or spoon. Not because he doesn't understand the idea, but because it's hard and when he can't do something right away he resorts to his fall back plan: "You can do it, Mommy." I fight the impulse to step in and help right away, because as hard as it is to see him fail, I know that he will be better for learning to do things on his own. This is not to say that I don't help him when it's obvious he needs it, but I'm making myself let him struggle just a little, make a mess when he eats, pushing him to try.
He is awkward with other children, calling all of them "baby" (which he undoubtedly gets from me calling him "baby" and "my sweet baby" all the time; seriously, he was almost a year old before he realized what his name is because I use pet names with him all the time). He doesn't know how to interact with them, and does much better with adults. I fully believe this is my own fault (not in a guilty, I'm the worst mother ever kind of way, though) for not getting him out to more activities. I always feel awkward around new people and I've been letting that slow us down, keeping us from taking part in playgroups and the like. We'll be signing him up for a gymnastics program soon, a Mommy & Me type class at a place specializing in toddler gymnastics, and hopefully that will clear up any lingering awkwardness on both our parts.
His emotions seem to be spinning out of control lately. I'm told that this is normal, just a part of being two. Hopefully everyone is right because it's either that or we're living with the world's smallest bi-polar person. He bounces from highs to lows faster than you can blink, and just when you're breathing a sigh of relief about a crisis averted in the store over a balloon (solution: he may hold the balloon while we shop, but not take it home because it needs to live with it's Mommy and Daddy; and yes, he seriously believes that) he's trying to pitch himself headfirst out of the shopping cart in order to get to "the pink one!" (baby lotion), "cookies" (um, any kind of cookie), books or seriously kid, what the hell, a pork loin? I've taken to picking out an item from the dollar section at Target and letting him lovingly fondle it while we wander around, just so I have something new and shiny with which to distract him.
So, to recap: