At two and a half, Sal is full steam ahead. I often describe him as full throttle. The kid operates in 5th gear 24/7. He has more energy in his little toe than I have in my entire body. That being said, I'm endlessly pinning activities and games and projects on pinterest in hopes of keeping him challenged.
He's taken a recent liking to puzzles, both on my iPad (try the tozzle app) and for real. His favorite is a Melissa & Doug fishing puzzle that has a magnetic fishing pole to place the pieces in their respective spaces. He still isn't the artsy type, but he did make his dad two pictures using bingo blotters (we use a brand of blotters called dot a dot) and narrated the entire picture for me to write captions to the different parts. I was quite impressed as this was the first time I can recall the coloring being his idea.
Two and a half kind of crept up on us. In the last few months, he has really gone from a toddler to a little boy reaching milestones like transitioning into a big kid bed, potty training ( He only wears diapers to sleep and if we are going out for more than an hour) and giving up his bedtime milk ( save me the "you know milk will rot his teeth, right?" Yes. I'm aware.) It turns out that the whole milk routine meant more to me than to him. I worked it up in my mind that he would go to bed screaming if we didn't sit on the sofa after bath (and brushing teeth) and have his sippy of milk. Little did I know that the night we told him we were going to read a story instead of having milk would be met with a "sure, guys!" attitude.
Giving up milk? Not a big deal.
Sal still loves his blue blankie and his stuffed animals; Pluto, Figuero and Mickey. All three nap with him in my bed, and Figuero gets to sleep with him each night, lucky son of a gun. Naptime has been fairly consistent again, with Sal heading to my room around 12:30 and sleeping until 2:30 or 3:00. I don't really notice a behavioral difference on napping days vs non napping days, so it won't be too much of a change when he does give naps up.
One of the benefits of living in China and being in a high rise is the vantage point of many many construction sites. Sal loves excavators (he calls them escabators), dump trucks and cement mixers. He often perches himself in Carla's window seat and watches them come and go at the apartment complex near us. Sometimes we walk over to see them, but he's usually content watching from our windows.
We love hearing his little chatter, and it's getting clearer every day. Some of our favorite sayings of the moment are:
"Dats not berry nice" (That's not very nice) I have no idea where he got that one from *wink, wink*.
"I have a idea!"
" Yet's find a suwution" (let's find a solution)
" Yet's go to Elemenfesh and have mac'n tees". Once at Element Fresh, he usually asks NZ , "can I have some your yamb dada? (Lamb)", "can I have you yaffa bed, mama?" (Laffa bread)
"See ya guys"
"Have fun. Have fun at work dada"
"I need a tiss!" (Kiss)
"She need milk" (said whenever Carla is crying)
"It's a emergency!"
"Jus yike da big boys do it" ( He's discovered that he can stand to pee. Yes, baby. Just like the big boys. Now wipe off the seat for the ladies.)
"Not of you Carya!"
He's made strides towards caring more for his sister, but he did get a mouthful of her leg and left his mark last month. He's also exhibiting typical two year old defiance and aggressiveness at times. He's usually loving, but we have encountered a few situations as of late in which he pushes, shoves and takes toys from a playmate rather than using his words. I know its normal, but it's really challenging for me as a parent to watch my kid behave in such a way. All I can do is stay consistent with the discipline that NZ and I have chosen to use to deal with the behavior and hope that as his vocabulary and self awareness develops, that the words get used more than the hands to make a point.
Two and a half is great-but it's also so very challenging to parent. There's a fine line that I skate between micromanaging and letting him learn cause and effect on his own. Sure, I don't want him to push his playmate down to take a toy, but at the same time, he needs to learn that the playmate might hit him back, cry because he is sad, or yell at him and tell him to wait his turn. I feel like I always have to be on watch, because I don't want him to become a bully, and I want to be able to model appropriate responses to unfavorable behavior when it happens. But man, oh man, does it ever wear me out some days!
Sal, you're gonna keep your mama on her toes...but I wouldn't have it any other way. Here's to being closer to three years old than to two!