I have had a running list of things to write about our guy here, but as with so many of you, our lives seem to be moving so quickly and chock full o’ so many things it’s hard to find time to write them out.
We have generally been quite busy this past month. We had a very 2012 travel schedule, which is mercifully not characteristic of the rest of 2013. But as part of that, the zunzun got to visit both of our families, which is always nice. A and I have both had deadlines and both been working like maniacs. Things are a bit chaotic around the house, but little buddy doesn’t seem to mind. He has really come into his toddler self, and it such a joy and such a challenge.
Here, in list form, are some of the most salient points of this toddler self:
* To start with the most challenging and least charming, the zunzun has ventured into tantrum territory. It’s not terrible (yet). He will throw himself on the ground when his way is not acceptable. It doesn’t usually last long, thank god. He went through a brief phase where at the first moment of frustration, he would bend down and bang his head on the floor. It kind of freaked us out, but apparently isn’t uncommon, especially amongst toddler boys. This only went on in earnest for maybe a week? He still does it on occasion, but now only when he’s really tired or really frustrated. Usually if you articulate verbally what he wants or what he’s frustrated about, he’ll stop. It seems to be a really direct product of that developmental stage where toddlers know what they want but can’t express it. Poor buddy.
* He’s getting there, though! He’s got probably 25 words that he uses consistently, if intermittently, plus 5 or so signs. Most of them are names or English words, though a few are Spanish (he might also have more words that I haven’t recognized as such because they’re in Spanish and his pronunciation is still pretty unclear). His reception has improved tremendously, and it’s really so incredible to realize when he understands new things.
It’s even more interesting to me to see his bilingual brain at work. If I say something about cats in English, say, to A, then he pipes in “gato! gato!” (his cutest word — I die). It also is funny to watch him sort out similar sounding words. The other day I asked him, in Spanish, where his mouth (boca) is and he said “moo!” for a cow (vaca). But the current family fave story about this is that we took his abuela and tía-abuela to music class when they were here visiting. The teacher said that we had some abuelas in the class and he whipped around to point at them. Later, we sang a song where the birds fly, so the chorus goes “Vuela, vuela, vuela” (fly, fly, fly) and he again whipped around to point at his abuelas.
(Sorry. I bet those stories are not as amusing to read. I just have to record them!)
* He established favorite books. His two most favorite are Where the Wild Things Are — awesome, classic — and this odd little Mexican book called El Niño con Bigote about a boy who wakes up one day with a mustache. He can find these, and several other books (La Oruga Muy Hambrienta, Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom, Goodnight Moon, etc.), if you ask for them by name or by beginning to recite the story. Sometimes he will request Where the Wild Things Are by roaring. The roaring is his favorite part — the louder and scarier you roar, the better. Often if he is upset in the car or out in the world, he can be calmed by the recitation of his favorite stories.
* Everything is a phone. Everything is a scarf. He is very good at moving, deleting, recategorizing apps on the actual phones. His love of draping all things around his neck is terrifying to his moms.
* We built a fort in the living room, behind the sofa, a little over a month ago. He LOVES it. In the last few days, he has started hiding from me in there when it’s time to get dressed or leave or get ready for bed. If you can’t immediately see him, he’s usually in there. Sometimes with one or more cats, who he’s been really loving on. He is so tickled if a mom gets in there with him. Inside the fort, it is preferable to whisper. He is really good at whisper-babbling.
* He does a lot of silly-excited squirreling. In the mornings, he often does a stompy little dance and turns circles in his pajamas. He likes to dance with his moms and has a lot of fancy footwork. He is starting to pick up a lot of speed when he walks, but it isn’t full-on running. You can tell when he’s trying to run because he bends his arms and pumps them like he’s running, even when his feet are doing normal walking. His favorite part of bathtime now is when all the water is almost drained. We take the mat up and out, and he goes crazy slipping and spinning in the slippery wet tub. He laughs hysterically and sort of pants to show his excitement. So funny.
* He continues to give lots of kisses and hugs. He routinely offers them up on his own, and will also give kisses to just about anyone who asks for one. He still comes into bed with us in the mornings to nurse and hang out. He often wakes up A by planting kiss after kiss square on her mouth. He sometimes pulls his moms’ heads together to get us to kiss. Then he wants in and we three-way kiss. His most favorite thing is to have a “zunzun sandwich” where he hugs each of us around the neck and we all go “ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!” He loves it when we’re all three together. If we try to stop the sandwiching before he’s done, he’ll sign “more.” We melt.