Eva is almost two months past her third birthday, and Jack is nine months old already. It’s been a while since I updated and things change way too fast with these kids.
Eva is swiftly exiting her toddlerhood and becoming a kid. She says such flabbergastingly grown-up things. Her first dentist appointment was the other day and afterwards she announced, “I was quite a trooper!” She’s also making fascinating logical leaps with her language development. Recently we were shopping at Target and it was time to go home; she said, “but I’m not done Targeting!”
I don’t know what “typical” three-year-olds are like (or if there is such a thing as a typical three-year-old), but she seems to me like she has a little bit extra in the drama department. This makes for some funny and fun times (the sparkling imagination!), and also some times where I wonder if I’m parenting a hormonal 16-year-old (the long-suffering sighs! Her ability to make “ugh” into a six syllable word!) If I’m busy putting Jack to bed and I need her to be quiet, she’ll sigh, whine, flop herself down, and wail things like, “but mooooooom, I love you soooooooo much. I just want to beeeeeee with you!” But, her drama extends to her pretend-play and her love of reading. She’s memorized books like The Cat and the Hat, and the Lorax, and recites them with such expression in her voice it makes me really excited for the future when she’ll really know how to read.
She loves to pretend to be characters from her favorite tv shows and movies. I think I will always remember the time I heard her in the other room playing with her Dad and forcing him to be Bambi’s mom. I love that man; he played along, pitching his voice higher and everything. She likes to be Swiper the Fox and makes a “ch-ch” sound, then emerges from her hiding place and tries to steal something. No matter how fast I say “Swiper, no swiping!” she still steals the thing. My girl likes to win. But she’s also really caring and generous. She even defends her brother (“Mom, you don’t yell at my brother! If he tries to get the cat food, you say, ‘Jack, that’s not for you.’”). She gave away half of her coveted Valentine chocolates because she wanted to share with her Mom and Dad.
So far, toddlerhood has been a roller coaster, but age three has definitely been higher hills and lower valleys. Her growing independence (potty-training is finally happening; she sleeps in a bed now; she can finally dress and undress herself to some degree) is offset by the DRAMA and we spend a lot of energy trying to manage her really big feelings.
Jack is about 9 1/2 months old now. He crawls, he pulls to standing, he rolls, he gets himself to sitting, he goes for the cat food, he goes for Eva’s potty, he goes for peoples’ hair, he goes for my iPod. Are you sensing a theme here? This boy goes.
I kind of had a feeling I had it easy with Eva, who was content to sit and play till she was about 10 or 11 months old. Even well after a year of age, she would get stranded like an overturned turtle if she fell onto her back. I could leave the room for a minute or two and be reasonably sure she wouldn’t kill herself. Not Jack. You can’t turn away from him for two seconds or he’ll be down the hall, sticking his head between the railing rungs, or hanging from the chandelier. Smiling the entire time.
He’s a smiley guy.
The word that seems to come to everyone’s lips when describing Jack is “sweet”. He’s sort of like our cat Indy, the sweet, cute and dumb cat. I’m not saying my child is dumb, but he sort of heedlessly crashes through the world in a way that our cautious little Eva never did. Why go around when you can go over or through? But temperamentally, he is the sweetest baby. Happy as can be. He hates things like having his face wiped, but the instant you finish, he stops screaming and is all smiles again. He would never think to hold a grudge.
He still hasn’t slept through the night with any consistency at all. On a good night he’ll sleep till 3 or 4 in the morning, I feed him and he’s out until 6:30 or 7am. On a bad night, he’s up every two hours. I’ve mostly learned to cope with the sleep-deprivation. It’s not nearly as bad as it used to be. But again, I had it easy with Eva who at this age would go to bed at 7 and sleep till 7, sleeping through thunder, lightning and fireworks. Thank goodness Eva still sleeps like a rock and I’m only up with one kid.
Everything is going lightning-fast with this second baby. We know he’ll be our last baby, and while I’m perfectly happy that he’ll be our last, I also linger over his babyhood and don’t want it to end. I’m in no rush for him to be talking, walking, or any of it and I know that with his first birthday around the corner, he’ll be a toddler before we know it. Sometimes after I feed him in the middle of the night, I have a hard time getting myself to put him back in his crib because I know that in the grand scheme of my life, this time when I can hold his perfect, warm, sleeping little body in my arms will be over in the blink of an eye.
I love these guys.