Here we are, in your last month as a two-year-old. You’re becoming a big boy in a lot of ways. One of the biggest developments of the month is that you and your brother got bunk beds. You’ve done great in them so far. Your brother technically has the top bunk, but the bottom holds a full-sized mattress. About half the time, he ends up sleeping down there with you. We don’t do it that way on purpose. It happens when we’re all cuddling down there, with the plan that he and I will go up to the top bunk after you fall asleep. But you are quite a champion at fighting sleep, and a good amount of the time, he falls asleep before you do.
That’s okay. You seem to like having him down there with you, and I like it too. You haven’t wanted to get into bed with your dad and me since you got the bunk bed. You do wander into our room fairly often and want me to join you in your bed, but I assume you’ll get over that. It’s a step in the right direction, and at least I don’t have to sleep with you draped all over me anymore.
I sort of miss you, though. It didn’t bother me much when we took some recent trips and stayed in hotels, and you shared a bed with me. Our trips have been due to some fun family events. We saw Shrek: The Musical twice in two weeks, because two of our family members were in the casts. The first was Uncle Mark, who absolutely killed it at the Des Moines Playhouse. He played Lord Farquaad, and he balanced the sight gags with great singing and theatrical panache. You were especially excited to meet the actor who played Shrek after the show. You gave him a high five, and you said his hand felt slobbery.
We followed that event with some time in Des Moines with family and friends. You especially enjoyed new cousin Charlie. You just adore babies, and we’re really looking forward to meeting cousin Aleks next weekend. I’m sure we’ll have large numbers of pictures documenting the time we spend in Lincoln. I love how gentle and caring you are with babies. It makes me feel confident that you’ll be a great big brother in January.
Photo by Denny
One thing I hope you accomplish before January: potty training. We got out Miles’s old Potty Power DVD. You love watching it and singing along with the songs, though you haven’t done a whole lot in terms of actual potty usage yet. You sat on the potty last night, which seemed promising, but nothing emerged. You threw an enormous fit this morning because you wanted to eat the chocolate eggs my friend gave us to use as bribes. I stuck to my convictions, though. No excretin’, no egg-eatin’. We’ve got six months or so to work on it, though I’d appreciate it if you got the hang of it sooner. You can’t go to preschool until you’re potty trained, and it would be nice for you to be adjusted to school before the baby arrives.
Our second Shrek featured cousin Maxwell, who was a stellar Humpty Dumpty. You had a little trouble sitting through it both times, but you definitely had fun with Max and Meredith. They came and swam with us at the hotel, and then we all went out for brunch and to the Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque. That was a very cool place, and you enjoyed the interactive exhibits. You also really, really liked Max’s Nintendo 3DS. You’d seen a big kid playing one in the park some months ago, and the concept has never left your brain. Max was very generous about letting you watch and even try it out. You’re too little to have one of your own, but you sure disagree with that sentiment. I think it’s fair that kids who can’t use the potty can’t have 3DSes. It’s a wee bit pricey to use as a reward, though.
A more appropriate reward for true mastery might be another construction toy. Your obsession with them, as well as their real-life counterparts, burns on. I hope there’s a lot of road construction of the non-delay-causing type on our way to Lincoln, because you get really excited about excavators and back-hoes and dump trucks. You still love to sit out in our front dirt pile and dig. You have memorized several digger books from the library.
We did some redecorating in the living room over the last few weeks, and you wanted to help so much. Unfortunately, most of your helping involved touching freshly-painted walls, so I ended up taking you and your brother out on a lot of errands so your dad could get work done. That worked out okay. You helped me pick out some new curtains, and you got to try mango juice at Costco.
You’re tired now, because you’ve been moving away from naps. This can make for some long afternoons, especially because you’ve picked up the very annoying habit of saying, “But, Mo-o-o-o-o-m” whenever you don’t like how something is going. Sometimes you even say it when you have nothing to complain about, presumably because you like making so many syllables out of one word.
You’re also in the middle of a stage I remember your brother going through, though I don’t remember at exactly what age. It’s the stage in which you strictly assign tasks to certain people (usually me), and nobody else may complete them. The biggest one right now is getting you out of your car seat. Never mind that you sit behind the driver’s side, so it’s more convenient for your dad to take you out when we’re all getting out of the car at the same time. Never mind that I’m often carrying a bag of library books and soggy clothes from a fountain adventure. No—nobody can get you out of your seat but Mommy. In general I prefer not to negotiate with terrorists, but I tell myself I’m picking battles by letting you have this one.
But let me tell you, you’re not getting any of those chocolate eggs without a legit pee or poop on the potty. This much I swear.
Photo by Denny
We may have to hide the chocolate eggs from your dad, although I suppose he does a good enough job on the potty that he’s earned some. Easter eggs are hard to come by in July, though, and I don’t want to squander them.
Your current favorites: the “Wipe Your Bottom” song from Potty Power, excavator videos (still), broccoli (still), grabbing things triumphantly from your brother, playing outside and in the dirt, and sleeping in your Special Tobin Cave.
My current favorites: your blond curls that get so fluffy in humid weather, when you kiss my tummy and say hi to Little Potato, your giant smile. You are the sweetest, little Tobin.
Photo by Denny