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@abulsme Updates from 2012-03-13 (UTC)

Alex is Two and a HALF

As of the moment this posts, at 19:11 UTC (12:11 PM Pacific, 3:11 PM Eastern) Alex will be exactly 2.5 years old.  I haven’t posted one of the “things Alex is doing now” kind of posts since he turned two, so here is another one of them, with just a few things I can think of off the top of my head.  It is of course nowhere near complete.

  • TRAINS!  He liked trains before, and would play with them when there were sets in bookstores or toy stores or whatever, but he got a set of wooden trains and tracks for his birthday.  Then he discovered he didn’t have to be limited to the table, and could build out his tracks on the floor.  The track setups became more and more elaborate and sprawling.  At the moment we essentially have a whole room where the floor is nothing but a train track set up, and he spends hours playing with the trains.  Which lead to train videos of course.  Which in turn led to…
  • YouTube!  In the last couple months he has become a major fan of YouTube.  It started with the trains, but expands from there.  If you give him the iPhone YouTube app, he is completely and totally proficient in navigating around, going from video to video to video, following his interests.  (Where he ends up can be interesting sometimes.)  He has even been known to save videos he likes as favorites.  The only thing he can’t do is spell and type, so he’ll tell you what he wants to search for as a starting point.  On a laptop, he hasn’t mastered the trackpad yet, so he points at what he wants to watch next.  Of course there are trains.  Then there is a whole genre of people using toy trains and cars and such to act out stories.  Then there are adults reviewing children’s toys.  Then there are a wide variety of children’s videos from kids songs to full episodes of TV shows…  in many languages!  And all sorts of other things.  Very entertaining!
  • He loves walking Roscoe!  He will bring the leash and say he wants to walk the dog.  I attach a second leash for safety, but he holds his leash and runs with the dog and loves it.  In general, he and Roscoe play and chase and have a great time.  Roscoe usually tires of it and wants to be left alone before Alex is done, so then we have to separate them, but until then Alex has fun.  :-)
  • He has friends at school!  He now has friends at school that he plays with regularly and calls by name when he arrives or leaves.  “Bye Zoe!  Bye Zoe!”  And they call “Alex!” when he arrives as well.  They run around and play and talk to each other.  They are definitely little kids now, not babies any more for sure, and barely “toddler”.  Hitting that “Preschool” phase instead now.
  • I mentioned YouTube, but in general he is a master of the iPhone.  He navigates effortlessly from game to game.  Within games he quickly figures out what you are supposed to do and can navigate through multiple levels of menus to get to things if needed (although he prefers the ones where that isn’t needed).  He can also open up his movies on there and choose which he wants to watch, etc.
  • He will talk to various people on video conference over Skype and the like.  We’ve done this with him since he was a newborn, but now he actually actively interacts with the people on the other end, talking to them, showing them things, etc.  To quote my mother’s Facebook post after one of these sessions:  “Two year old grandson was on Skype with me quite awhile tonight – I was on a phone picture and he lay me on the floor in the middle of his wooden train set to show me cars so it was like I was lying on my back looking up at him doing things! But when the dog came and sat on the phone he was all upset – and had to be reassured that ‘grandma’s okay see here she is!’ Very interactive tonight but imagine! He is worried about the disappearance of my talking and watching head and carried me around to play with him – and sees that as ME! and cried that I was saying goodbye when I did! As if I were really there! Sigh!”
  • He likes the karaoke machine and will turn it on and start making noises into it himself.  More recently he realized it can actually play songs he knows (like Old MacDonald) and he can sing along.
  • When he plays with his cars or trains, they actually play out stories.  Sometimes he reenacts scenes from the movies or TV shows the toys come from, sometimes he makes up his own.  But they have conversations and have adventures.  They aren’t just being pushed around.  We’ll hear him talking thinking he is calling us, but then realize that it is actually two of his cars having a conversation.
  • He can open the refrigerator and freezer on his own, and does so almost every day to get popsicles.  But he can’t open the popsicle by himself yet, so he’s no sneaking anything past us…  yet.
  • He is very good at articulating what he wants most of the time, and uses words to describe it.  This includes things like saying what he wants for dinner, what drinks he wants, what toy he is looking for, etc, etc, etc.  We don’t ALWAYS get exactly what he wants, but more often than not, he is pretty clear.  He will sometimes even order his own meal when we are out at a restaurant.  What do you want?  FRIES!  CHEESESTICK!!!
  • When we tell him it is time for bed, he protests and asks for more time.  But when time is up, he’ll come to one of us and go to sleep.  He still wants to be near us to go to sleep, not just left in his bed or whatnot, but when it is bedtime, he knows, and he may not like it, but he stops what he is doing and goes to sleep.
  • He will follow complex sets of instructions, like “Alex, would you please take this upstairs, knock on your sister’s door and give it to her, then come back?”.
  • He’ll also fill in the gaps on his own and take the needed action.  For instance, if he indicates he wants to go outside, and we say “Sure, but you need your shoes and coat” he’ll go off and find them and bring them back to get ready to go out.
  • Most of the time when we are out at a restaurant and sit at a booth, he sits with me on the regular booth seat, rather than using a high chair.  (He still needs a high chair when it isn’t a booth though.)
  • He says his own name!  He won’t answer “What is your name?” when asked yet (at least I haven’t seen it), but when he sees himself in a mirror or on video or whatnot, he will say “Alex!”.
  • Most of the time he isn’t crying when we drop him off at school any more, although he still usually lets us know he really would rather stay with us and is unhappy with being dropped off.  Except when everybody is playing on the playground.  Then sometimes it is OK if we leave.
  • He tells stories about us.  At school the teachers tell us he tells them about how Mommy and Daddy are at work.  When I am driving him home after school he talks about what Mommy and Amy are doing.
  • He is very deliberate about his art, drawing very frequently, and telling us what it is that he is drawing (“train!”) and who it is for “Grandma!”.
  • We have “parent/tot” swim lessons every week and have had them for more than a year, but in the last couple months he is really getting comfortable and having more and more fun, participating with all the activities and getting more adventurous and brave every week.  He had been starting to get that way last summer, but between the move and and people being sick and such over the winter, we had missed a bunch of classes and we switched to a new pool because of the move, so he had regressed a bit over the winter, but he’s completely come out of that now and is back to being super excited and enthusiastic about swim each week.
  • He tries to share things he is really excited about with the dog, but the dog doesn’t always appreciate it, and that makes him sad.  “Look Dog, train videos!!!”  (Dog looks blankly).  “Look Dog, train videos!!!”  (Waves iPhone around, holds it to Roscoe’s face to show him.  Dog looks unimpressed.  Alex gets sad.)
  • He likes to ride on my back, and will insist on climbing up and being carried that way from room to room.
  • He loves to wrestle and roughhouse.
  • He is still working on catching, but he is now pretty good at throwing a ball right to me for me to catch!
  • Alphabet!  He is very excited about letters and numbers and learning to identify them.  His favorite games right now are all games that involve letters and numbers.  He doesn’t know them all yet, but he knows some of them, and is eager to learn the rest.
Well, there is probably a bunch more.  There is definitely a lot more.  Every day there are awesome moments and new things.  But it is impossible to capture them all.  Those are just a few that came to mind with a few moments of thinking.  This is a great age.  Lots of fun.  But also exhausting.  :-)