Things that are easier:
1. He no longer has the compulsive need to open every cupboard, go through every box, and climb every climbable surface. He will still do these things, but not as insistently as he used to.
2. He can do more things by himself. He can climb up and down stairs by himself, get on and off couches and beds, etc. safely, so I'm less worried about him cracking his head open every time I turn around. He can also get down the stairs in front of our house by himself, leaving me with two hands free to get out the stroller.
|Getting out blocks is now always accompanied by a request that we help him build a "house house house house!" In fact, he won't stop saying it until some one helps him.|
3. He can communicate MUCH better. He's now at the point where he's constantly spewing new words. And, while it can still be a challenge to understand what he's saying (pronunciation is not his strong suit), his growing vocabulary is certainly helpful.
4. He can follow simple instructions. He can even do things that are actually helpful, like going to get a spoon, or putting something in the garbage. When we clean up his toys he actually puts things away in the right place and usually doesn't stop until all the toys are away. Sometimes his dedication is much greater than mine!
5. He can understand if/then statements: "If you put your blocks away, then we can go outside." You have no idea how helpful this is! The only problem is that he doesn't always agree with our if/then statements. In fact, sometimes they are the start of complete meltdowns.
Things that are harder:
1. His memory is getting very, very good. While this may be helpful in some ways, it also means that we have to be very careful what precedents we set. ONE time when we went for a walk I brought cookies in my purse for a snack for the way home. Ever since then, when we start the return journey from the store, or the playground I'm likely to hear a chorus of requests: "cookie! cookie! cookie!" Also whenever we drive by a field we hear neighs and moos from the backseat, because he wants to see a cow or a horse. We drive in the country a lot and often see farm animals, but we have yet to make him understand that there won't be horses or cows in every single field.
2. The tantrums are more intense and harder to deal with. We have a boy who's always had a mind of his own, but now that he's older it's harder to distract him, harder to make him forget when he's not getting his own way. The poor little guy just rails against a world that is not fair. I guess time is the only cure for that. The world will continue to be unfair, but his railings will become less violent. The most common trigger for a tantrum is his 3-year-old cousin Lucia (or Cia, as he has finally figured out how to say). It's not that he doesn't like her; in fact, he adores her and wants to go everywhere she goes--which is a bit of a problem, considering they live upstairs and have to go through our front hallway to go anywhere.
|Chasing bubbles with Lucia; in other words: he's pretty much in heaven.|
3. Drama drama drama. In the above paragraph I was talking about real tantrums, ones where he completely loses it and simply cannot control himself. However, there are also the less intense incidents when you can tell he's just practicing for his audition for the Stratford Festival. Like when he sees that his dad had stubbed his toe and he comes limping over, whimpering, to have his foot kissed. Or when he starts crying over not getting his way, and looks to see my reaction before gently lowering himself to the ground in his (wink wink) grief. The problem with this drama is that it can quite quickly turn into a real tantrum if I don't find some way of distracting him. Then the problem is finding a distraction that isn't rewarding the behaviour. I've never been a fan of excess drama in my life so these little displays, though often cute, usually just irritate me. I guess I just have to accept that they're a normal part of childhood.
|Not impressed at having to share. Or maybe that's just the villainous look one has when one has just stolen a shovel from a baby.|
When Isaac was born I couldn't imagine him walking and talking, yet here he is! Six months ago I couldn't imagine the time when he wouldn't be into everything all the time, and while I won't say that that stage is over quite yet, I can now see that it will have an end. I still can't imagine being able to walk down the street with him without having an iron grip on his wrist, but maybe by next summer? I often just want to cuddle him and tell him that he's still my baby, but at the same time I'm glad to see him growing up because pretty soon (3 months!) I'll have another baby on my hands. I wonder what Isaac will think of that!
|In this picture he still looks like a baby, just a ginormous one.|
(To my friend who just did a similar post about her almost-two-year-old: I'm not just copying you I swear haha! I actually had a draft of this written when I read yours.)