Saturday, March 12, 2011

2 Years of Charlie

I still can't believe I have a 2 year old. I've been successfully avoiding writing this post because I didn't want to sit down and type out exactly how this child is every bit a toddler and no longer a baby. It makes me weepy.

I have been starting to plan for Charlie's big boy room and trying not to think about how sad I'm going to be to say good-bye to the nursery. It feels like we just brought him home... yet it also feels like it's been a lifetime since then.

I'm pretty sure Charlie's been talking constantly since my 21ish month post. He talks all the time. It will always be the predominate thing I remember about him as a baby. Talk talk talk. Now more of the words make sense and he's tackling more syllables and stringing 2 and 3 word sentences together.

Some of these are quite funny, especially little Charlie telling all of us what to do. He has a demonic/growly voice he uses with the poodles when they are getting on his nerves. Row-Ree (Zoe) NOOOOOO.

For Brad and me, he uses his normal voice and very matter-of-factly tells us his expectations. This morning he took one of my shoes to put on and when I told him I needed it back so I could put it on he said "no, my turn." Quite calmly: back off Mommy, remember that whole spiel you gave me at the park about taking turns??

That's been a really cute thing lately - Charlie loves to put on our socks and shoes and walk around. He pulls the socks up to his knees and any shoes will do - even high heels. He recently started wanting his hair blown dry after his bath. It takes a few minutes, but does look quite nice afterwards! He's also been into helping me clean recently. He wants a paper towel and he is going to help! It's so cute and very sweet.

Charlie's finally gotten pickier on the food and vegetables are only acceptable when delivered through an appropriate vehicle. Preferably, pizza. Broccoli on its own = bad. On pizza = delicious. We also go through phases where a certain food is awesome, like instant oatmeal, and then as soon as I've gotten all stocked up on it, will not do, not at all. Pancakes, pizza and ice cream remain constants, though.

He has such a sweet tooth, it's funny to watch. He actually cried and cried at this birthday party we went to today because there was a cake that he could see but could not have yet. The other parents were worried he was HURT - that's how dramatic it was. When he finally got his slice, all the tears stopped and he was the last one to leave the room as he savored each bite of his cake. If he could have pushed the birthday girl aside to get the first piece, I'm fairly certain he would have.

On the sleeping front, I have stupidly thought to myself several times in the past few weeks how incredibly blessed we are, we're so lucky blah blah blah. 11 to 12 hours at night and a good 3 hour nap in the afternoon. I jinxed myself. Charlie has now not take his nap for the past few days. I'm hoping it's a phase. I need that sanity time! Brad is gone and it's just me! Surely Charlie understands this and will nap accordingly, right??

Bed time and diaper changes have become a struggle. How do you torture someone with a bad back? Hand her a squirming toddler who needs to be carried up the stairs. Sheesh. I get so scared I'm going to drop him. He is STRONG! Not sure what is suddenly so objectionable again about diaper changes, but he's never really liked them since birth. That and being cold. The first 5 minutes after bath time is pretty torturous as well.

We used to happily snuggle up and read books before bed. Lots of books, sometimes over and over. But now Charlie wants to run down to our room and get into trouble, throw things around, get up on our bed and play 'night night.' I let it go on for a little while and then plop him in his crib and read him a couple of books from there. He's just too curious now for our old routine. Maybe we'll get it back in the future.

There are cries of protest (from him), explanations that it's time for him to get some sleep (from me) and then magical, happy silence as soon as the nursery door closes (from both of us). I tell you what, our current bed time routine has me in no rush to switch to a big boy bed. I'd never get him to sleep!
I realize I sound a little complain-y here and I'm not trying to be. For as many changes that take away something I love, there are other new things that I love. I love playing 'night night' as much as I loved reading books. I love understanding what he's telling me now. He's just getting older. Sigh. I wish I was better with change. Now I understand why my dad always made me promise not to grow up when I was a little girl.

Charlie's favorite thing to do is be outside. We have a big backyard and he likes to run around checking things out. There's a sandbox, piles of dirt to dig in and water to play with. Quite heavenly for the 2 year old boy set. He also loves any park, but not so much for the equipment - just somewhere to explore. The outdoor dog-friendly shopping mall near us is a favorite Charlie spot, too. I'm glad the weather is getting warmer because any day spent outside is a perfect day for Charlie.
As for toys, Charlie is all about cars and trucks and trains. He points them out everywhere. When we're at my parents' house, he also likes to point out airplanes. He also loves to ride things and push his shopping cart around, play at his kitchen and try to figure out his Mr. Potato Head. When the crayons are out, no solid surface is safe. I think I'll get him some chalk soon, that'll probably clean up easier than the crayon. Search and destroy, that's Charlie's motto.

He loves to watch "show", too - his favorites are Zoboomafoo and Caillou on Sprout. Occasionally Thomas the Train. I think Caillou is his #1 favorite right now - he has learned to say Ay-yoo and it's the first show he asks for.

Pictures and video of him are more challenging than ever. As soon as he sees one of us holding a camera, he wants to hold it and boom, your photo/video op is over. Which makes for pictures like so:
Funny, but when 9 out of 10 of them look like this, I don't find them quite as humorous. I'm scared a lot of the time that I'm going to forget all the adorable things that make Charlie this age without appropriate documentation.

I'm already forgetful enough. I called a flamingo (yard art) a penguin earlier this afternoon at the garden center when pointing it out to Charlie. So relieved nobody heard me. Complete strangers would have judged me, whereas blog readers will embrace and understand. Right?

I managed to reschedule Charlie's 2 year doctor appointment for Monday. Now all I have to do is remember it. That seems to be the major challenge lately. So we'll find out all the stats then.

We haven't been to the doctor in ages. I'm not sure if it was pulling him out of daycare or getting older or what, but Charlie hasn't been sick since he had pneumonia over Labor Day weekend. There I go, jinxing myself again. He worried me a couple of times when he was cutting his two year molars, but those fevers passed quickly.

I think he might have all of his teeth now, but he won't let me in to look. Will a dentist appointment be next? I hope they don't lecture me. Charlie is not the most compliant teeth brusher, no matter how many books or TV programs I show him on the topic. We had a brief stint of good brushing when my mom found him an electric toothbrush with Thomas the Train on it at Target, but he's tired of it now and pushes it away and clamps his mouth down. Might as well brush the teeth of a snapping turtle. It gets nasty!

You just can't get mad at the kid, though. He is so sweet and loving. And curious and playful and determined. He gives lots of hugs and kisses and is so excited every time his Daddy comes home from a trip. He's even kind of learned to tease Brad by telling him bye bye daddy during the weekend. Brad will say no! I'm staying! And Charlie laughs and says no, bye bye. He cracks himself up.

So that's a little of what it's like to live with 2 year old Charlie! Doctor appointment stats will be up next!

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