My favorite part of our days right now are the book reading times before nap and bedtime. He gets to pick out two stories and gets stuck in his favorites for days and sometimes weeks at a time. Right now his favorites at the Cape are, “Blue Hat, Green Hat” and “Ernie’s Big Mess” and some counting books where you lift the flap to see how many. At home, he loves “Lllama Llama Red Pajama” (which he calls “Llama Llama the funny book!”) and his large collection of books about trucks. After we read the two books that he sometimes pushes to three or four, he gives us kisses and hugs. He still has not mastered the art of how to kiss but I’m hoping he never does because right now he says “MUUUUWAHHH” and calls that a kiss. These kisses and hugs are followed by a series of “Love you Mama!” and “Love you Dada!” and “See you when the light turns green!” It’s pretty adorable and I hope I never forget it. In the last week or two he has started to delay nap and bedtime and wake up sometimes at night. We are hoping this is a short lived phase even though he does say pretty funny things when he calls us back!
Max also talks nonstop from the minute he wakes up until he goes to bed. On our trip to Cincinnati he had some funny quotes. First, there was a little glitch with the car seat installation and Max’s seat literally fell over and all we heard from Max was, “uh oh, my car seat broked!” Later he spilled water on me and then asked, “why did you spill water on yourself?!” Finally, he showed his summer attachment to us when we were trying to talk to him about his friends at school and we said, “who are your best friends?” and he said, “Mama and Dada!”
His favorite phrases are:
“We need a problem” (he actually means “we need a plan” but it’s so much funnier)
“Don’t say funny!” (this is when we laugh at him)
“It don’t can’t drive!”
“That’s what I said!” or “That’s what I did!” (he says this after he says or does something, ha ha)
“I want to eat breakfast!” (said at any time of the day, he is convinced this is the only meal)
“Hey Mamma and Dada, how’s it going? It’s going good. How’s it going with you?” (yes, he says the whole part)
Late this spring into the summer his biggest challenge was transition. Almost any time we left the house was a battle even with routine and warnings and even when it was something he LOVES doing. Some days were worse than others, but it was not unusual for it to take us 30 minutes or more to actually leave the house, with more than a few tears (sometimes even mine). I tried many things including making him a visual schedule for his morning routine on school days. It seems to be improving a lot now that we close in on the end of the summer so I guess like everything in parenting, it was nothing at all that I did and instead was just another phase that had to be endured. Now that we’ve entered this bedtime and middle of the night challenge, I’m finding myself missing the difficulty getting out the door if that’s the trade off!
The other big challenge was our little runner. To all the parents out who are smug about parents who use leashes or any other form of keeping their child safe in public, I wish upon you a sprinter like I have. Without any warning at all, Max will just SPRINT away from us with only a quick glance back. Like the transitions, this seems to be improving. He will still run away, but he now looks back and will sometimes stop if no one is following him. Of course this is a dangerous game at times because while not following him, we are letting him get far away, but there is only so much you can do.
Along with some of the challenges, there have been so many great things about Max this summer and getting to spend so much time with him. He is really starting to enjoy some of our outings. I took him twice this summer to a children’s museum in a nearby town and he was completely obsessed with a ball and ramp room. The second time we went, we visited the outdoor discovery playground part and the science museum. I thought the science museum would be over his head but he found more interesting balls to play with there so he didn’t want to leave! Like last summer he continues to LOVE splash parks and pools. This summer his puddle jumper life jacket really holds him up so he’s been able to be more independent in the water which he loves. Yesterday we visited a splash park that had a bubble machine so he would get himself covered with bubbles and then run happily to the sprinkler part to get them all off.
There are even more things Max loves besides outings and books. He also loves animals, including the elephants at the zoo and the chickens at the farm. We saw a rooster and he was trying to have a conversation with it, "chicken! you make that noise again?" Max continues to love his toys, especially any car or truck and he probably owns more than the average child. He likes to count them and invent different games with them, usually involving one of the cars having a flat tire. You can probably imagine his excitement back in June when I actually got a real flat tire and it was the best day of Max's life thus far, followed closely by the day I needed an oil change. Ha.
It's so much fun to watch him grow and change. I love him more than I can possibly put into words and most of the time I really like him too! It's hard to believe we will be starting back again in a few months with a new little guy. We are hopeful Max will be a great big brother! Even if right now he does ignore us when we talk about the baby...