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Ethan: Beyond Two and a Half

2013 October 14
by Becky

I miss the monthly “Ethan Update” posts I did for the first 24 months of our little man’s life.

But in my attempt to avoid being one of those “he’s 34 months old” people, making others do math to figure out that my kid is two and a half, I’ve been trying to do a six month recap. It’s proven extremely difficult.

I can barely keep up, this kid is changing so fast. Getting all of his “developments” onto a page has been an ongoing process.

FallOutfit

So the big question: Who is Ethan at two and a half?

Well, he’s different than he was a two, even different than two and a half (hence the “beyond” in the title). I remember thinking he changed rapidly in the first two years, but the past ten months have shown us a whole new level of development…it’s like he wakes up from naps smarter and older. Like he grows during meals.

But here’s some things I’ve jotted down:

He’s a Singer. I’m starting with this one because it’s just about the cutest thing I’ve ever imagined. After worrying for a while there he was tone deaf, he’s finally started actually singing along with songs and sometimes all by himself! Thought he’s known his ABC’s for a long time, when he “sang” them it was more of a mono-tone droll. Now it’s downright melodic.

He’s a Performer. When he’s not being shy, he’ll give us quite a show.

He can also sing “You Are My Sunshine”, “Blackbird”, “Puff the Magic Dragon”, “All You Need Is Love”, “Twinkle” (in his own voice AND in Sharky’s voice, which is similar to Christian Bale’s Batman voice) and about 10 Raffi songs. He even makes up songs, our favorite is “Diggers and Cranes” (in one instance it was “Diggers, Cranes, and Flamingos”). I keep our favorite songs mixed on CD in the car so we can have sing-a-longs every day.

Heaven.

EthansDigger

He’s a lover of big machinery. The digger obsession is still going strong. He spots them all over town and loves to watch construction sites. Any time we pass a good one—Ethan can spot a Digger from a mile away—I pull over so we can get a better look. Construction workers all over St. Louis have smiled and waved to us as we peer through fences at their cement mixers, bulldozers, excavators, and dump trucks. For almost six months, due to some alley work on the next block over, a digger has been parked practically in our back yard. We called it “Ethan’s Digger” and visited every day. In the same realm he also has quite a passion for rocket ships and space shuttles. They are pretty much the only thing he wants to make out of Legos.

He’s Bossy. We’ve got a little dictator at the Voboril house these days, as Ethan is constantly telling us what to do.

“Push on my back!” he insists at the swings.
“Wrap towel around!” he demands after a bath.
“No Mama, it’s not your turn to Eye Spy, it’s Dada’s turn!” we’re told during a friendly game.
“Dada, don’t sing that song!!” as Stu belts out a Disney tune.
“More oranges!” at lunch.
“NO, it’s MAMA’s turn to put me to bed!” at night.

We’re constantly reminding him to use “Please” when making requests, since they usually come out as demands. Good thing he’s so cute.

EthanMomSwimming

He’s a fish. As I shared back in our post about his swimming lessons…you’ll see what I mean. It’s actually a little nerve-wracking taking him to the pool…he’ll just jump in or plunge himself under the water any time—even if I’m not watching. So we’ve been working on being patient and always making sure someone knows he is going under the water. It’s officially the first “sport” in which he’s shown a true interest. We start another session of lessons today, this time without me in the pool with him. (Yikes!!)

He’s a little more independent. Finally, FINALLY, Ethan is starting to play on his own. For more than two minutes. All that pretending we’ve practiced has paid off—the kid has quite an imagination. He has conversations with his animals (which sometimes includes putting them in “Time Out”), flies planes and cars around the room, cooks up delicious meals in his kitchen, and explores the back yard on his own. Sure, it never lasts that long and we check on him every ten seconds, but it’s a start.

LegoPlay

He’s attached to his favorite toys. So he’s playing on his own, but what’s he playing with? Well, of course there are his mini construction trucks Uncle Bob got him. I’ve started giving these as gifts to his boy buddies on their 2nd and 3rd birthdays—a huge hit. Other favorites include his big Cat diggerdinosaursDusty plane, Duplo Legos, blocks, tape measures, the African animal collection he’s accumulated, his kitchen, and books…he especially loves the Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go and Little People Farm when “reading” on his own.

Every few days he gets really attached to something and carried it around everywhere, usually sleeping with it too. Most recently it was a tiny Dora the Explorer journal from a birthday party gift bag. Next week it will probably be his baby elephant or the mini “flat roller”. Who knows.

He is a numbers guy. Instead of randomly shouting out numbers, Ethan can now point and count up to 10 items in front of him or. We count while reading, while cooking, while sitting at the park…he loves numbers. Maybe he’ll have his dad’s knack for math?

Letters

He’s really interested in letters. After thinking he was just too young, Ethan all the sudden started learning his letters. Like a switch flipped, one day he was recognizing “E for Ethan!” and from there it’s spiraled into him knowing almost the all the letters. T and I are frequently mixed up, S and Z get switched around, but he’s getting it. We’ve actually been playing with the felt alphabet my mom and I tediously made for him! I think the Melissa & Doug Alphabet Train and the book LMNO Peas have helped the most with letters learning.

He’s coordinated. In addition to swimming, Stu has started to introduce Ethan to the world of football and baseball—not my strong suit. But even I’ve had a blast playing t-ball with the Peanut in our backyard. He’s getting pretty darn good and enjoys it, which is most important. Now that football season has officially begun, surely there will be more educational sessions between father and sonHe’s also good at throwing and kicking balls…it will be interesting to see which sport he grows to love (fingers crossed it’s only one or two).

tball

He’s still a sleeper. He still goes down right at 7pm and never wakes until between 6-7am. He still takes a two to three hour nap at 1pm every day (and will till he’s 10 if I have my way). Bedtime routine still includes tooth brushing, three or four books, a couple songs, and lights out, white noise on. Why change what works?

We have noticed Ethan’s beginning to use some stall tactics like saying “I’m really hungry!” when we say it’s time to head upstairs for bed, asking for more books, saying he needs a diaper change, requesting more songs, and sometimes comes up with brand new things we have to decipher before even addressing them. He’s been in his big boy bed for over six weeks now and has yet to venture out on his own. Each morning he dangles on the edge until we walk in, then he slides to the floor (sometimes doing a summersault too).  I still can’t believe how easy the transition was. Last week he wanted a toy that was just out of reach so he called for us a few times then, while holding on to the crib with one hand, quickly climbed out to retrieve the toy and jumped back into bed. When we went in his room later he fessed up to the “crime” immediately.

EthansBigBoyBed-FirstTry

He’s a Talker. As always, Ethan’s talking constantly. My mom always asks him, “Ethan, is there anything you don’t know?!” because he always seems to know the word for everything. And he comes out with the funniest things, we just die laughing at his hilarious observations or questions. Here are a few recent gems:

“Probably” — Not sure where the heck he picked this one up, but he uses it constantly.

MOM: “Ethan, what color is that crayon?”
ETHAN: “Um, probably red.”

“No Way!” —  Remarkably, he uses this one perfectly. For instance, this post-nap conversation.

ETHAN: “Dad, what did you dream about?”
DAD: “Um…I dreamed about butterflies!!”
ETHAN: “NO WAY. Me too!!! I dreamed about butterflies too!!!”

 “Hey, it’s not too bad!” — Said often when trying new food I’ve made for him.

MOM: “The grilled cheese isn’t too hot, try it.”
ETHAN: “Hey! It’s not too bad!”

“That was AMAZING.” — Referring to something he’s just done that we’ve watched.

ETHAN: “Watch me!! Mom, watch me do this!!”
I watch him do it
ETHAN: “That was AMAZING!”

“I think I did…” — Merely to replace “I did”.

MOM: “Did you go on the swings at park?”
ETHAN: “Um, I think I did.”
(He did)

“He’s breaking the house!” — During our recent kitchen floor work. Our flooring expert friend Pat was in the midst of demoing the old tile floor and I was trying to keep Ethan out of the way.

MOM: “Let’s finish swinging and see if Dad is home!”
ETHAN: “Pat’s there mom. He’s breaking the house.”

And after nap

MOM: “How was your nap buddy?”
ETHAN: “Good. Is Pat going to break my room now?”

“Look mom! Baby elephant is drinking milk from his mommy!” — Figured out on his own while playing with his animals. Heart = melt.

Nursing-Elephant

He’s a sweet boy. Ethan is grasping concepts like love, family, sincerity, and friendship.

Like when he asks, very seriously, “How’s your back today Mama?” 
Claims like “Dada will love me his whole life long” and “Claire is my favorite friend.” 
When we watch a lovey Disney movie, “Did they fall in love and get married?”
And I never get sick of “Mama you look so pretty” when I’m getting ready in the morning.

I swear I didn’t teach him to say that last one.

He loves his family and friends. He gets that they love him too. Even family he doesn’t see all the time because they live far away, he somehow keeps everyone straight and knows there is a special connection. He’s a sweet sweet boy.

He’s a student. Ethan goes to school two days a week now and has really started catching on to the Montessori lessons of being responsible for himself. Like cleaning up toys, washing his own hands, taking of/putting on his own shoes, and putting away his own dishes after lunch. He LOVES school and never gives me trouble about going. He gives me a hug then runs in the classroom with his buddies. And he is crazy about his teacher, Miss Ellen.

He’s motivated. Along with independence comes accomplishment. Ethan is motivated to make things and complete projects or tasks on his own, when he does he is so proud. And me? Well I’m just BURSTING with pride. At this age he really tries and listens to directions, like when he advanced to the next level in swimming? I almost cried I was so proud of him. He worked so hard to do what the teachers taught him. I could see the motivation in his eyes. There’s nothing quit like watching your child accomplish something they want.

He can be stubborn. It doesn’t happen often, but Ethan can be tough to crack. Things like eating certain foods, following certain rules (such as holding on to the railing while going up stairs), getting dressed in the clothes I’ve picked out, and trying on Halloween costumes he insisted he liked. My tactic? I bribe him. Usually with M&Ms. Sometimes it takes some major coaxing, but he usually comes around.

He’s a cuddler. He is not so independent that he doesn’t want us around. People say kids get less snuggly and cuddly as they get older, but it is quite the opposite with Ethan. I get a kiss whenever requested (and sometimes just because) and he always hugs us, lays his head on our shoulder, and holds our hands. When Stu leaves in the morning Ethan will usually jump up and say “Hug?” He even fell asleep on me the other day, just because.

One thing he’s not?

He’s not potty trained. We’re not even trying, he’s just not ready. And we’re just happy to keep changing diapers. Really. If I get to choose between changing a diaper or hearing “Mama I need to potty” while we’re at the grocery store, I choose diaper.

EthanPumpkins

He’s a great kid. Ethan’s smart, sweet, well behaved, cuddly, fairly patient, and is still a pretty darn good listener. Having a heart-t0-heart conversation means something to Ethan…he gets it when we give it to him straight, preventing melt-downs and keeping our tantrum count very very low (like two in his life).

He’s my buddy. We do everything together, obviously. I love that he snuggles with me in bed, love that he asks to put on my make up, love that we explore together, make new friends together, and spend each day right next to each other. He challenges me by keeping me on my toes—chasing him around, practicing my patience, and coming up with creative ways to educate and entertain him. I challenge him to learn, grow, behave, and have tons of fun.

This post could go on forever. I’ve just got to click “Publish”.

I’ve probably said this about every age, but so far two has been my favorite.

2 Responses
  1. October 15, 2013

    You nailed it!!! Every age has been great, but 2 1/2 is the best so far. His abilities are amazing and his understanding of concepts and his behavior make being with him a delight. I just can’t get enough. HE’S THE BEST!!!!

  2. Linda Johnson permalink
    October 17, 2013

    I agree with Sandy, HE IS THE BEST!!

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