Those terrible twos everybody talks about? I feel like we are over the hump and on the downward slope with all of that. The "terrible" behavior comes with pushing boundaries, seeing what they can get away with, and asserting independence. Carter seems to have pretty much figured out what he can and can't get away with as well as who he can get away with certain things with. I think it has helped tremendously that we are super consistent. The same behavior results in a time out every time. He gets a warning and when he does it again there are no more chances, it's an instant time out. He also knows I'll put him in time out anywhere. Being in public is no safety net. It didn't take him long to figure out that when I said he had to help clean up, I meant it. Now when we are somewhere and it's time to clean up he happily helps me put everything away. I'm so glad those temper tantrums turned out to be worth it because he's such a good helper now! When we are getting ready to leave somewhere I set a timer and he knows when it goes off it's time to go. I'll tell him something like, "When the timer goes off we're going to check out our books and leave." When he hears the timer I don't have to say anything, he just immediately heads to the library check-out. Every once in a while we are out too close to his naptime and things get ugly. One day we stopped to pick up some books I had on hold at the library and he refused to go in when we got to the door, throwing a fit, screaming, tears running down his face, and snotting everywhere. Eventually I bribed him to go in by telling him he could pick out a movie to watch during lunchtime if he went in. Since he's never picked out a movie at the library before and he's watched a total of 2 movies ever with me, that instantly got his attention. I figure you have to pick your battles and that was one we were both losing. With the movie solution we both won! Plus he was obviously exhausted and needed the down time a movie provided.
Now when I say he knows who he can get away with things with, I mean he knows the softies. If I tell him no, he'll try Oma. If she says no, it's Opa. If Opa says no, he tries him again later. There are certain things he doesn't even bother asking me, like if he can have a treat or if he can watch a movie. He knows I'm not going to do either. One day he was in big trouble and I gave him the infamous teacher look. I've never found the need to do it with him before. He actually started crying and covered his face saying, "Mommy, no look at Carter." He just couldn't stand it. He is the master of trying things to get out of trouble when he knows he's done something wrong. One day I told him to come talk to me. When I got down on his level to talk to him, he leaned in and kissed me. Well played, little guy! Another time he threw a toy and he knew I was going to get onto him so when I asked him to look at me he quickly turned and looked right into his Opa's face saying, "What?" and pretending he was having a conversation with his Opa.
Lately he hates saying good bye. When he is sad someone is leaving or when he doesn't want to leave he refuses to say good bye. So when his friends are trying to say good bye to him he refuses to let them and will even go as far as to run away and hide in a corner. I understand why he's doing it but they don't which is so sad because it hurts their feelings. I'm hoping it's something that he grows out of but for the meantime I just try to explain to his friends that he doesn't want to see them go. I also explain to him that we are leaving even if he doesn't say good bye and he doesn't want to hurt his friends' feelings.
I am continually amazed at his problem solving skills. He comes up with solutions to his own problems as well as to the problems of those around him. One day Ty said he was cold at dinner and got up to go take a shower (he was all sweaty from running). Carter turned to me and asked if daddy was getting a jacket. That would have also been an appropriate solution! A lot of the time he'll talk out loud as he figures out a solution and it's so cute to hear his wheels turning. Other times I'll see him really studying something and then the next thing I know he's manipulating or moving it to get it where he wants. He also has moments where something doesn't work quite how he wanted so he just launches it and the boy can throw!
|I asked for a silly face.|
He is still the sweetest brother. One day he told me he would feed sissy milk from his nipples when he grew up. I told him he wouldn't be able to because only girls make milk. He responded with, "When I grow up I'll be a girl." It cracked me up and we talked about how he'll still be a boy when he grows up just like daddy. Then he said, "Yeah, and daddy has little nipples like Carter, not big nipples like mommy!" I was laughing so hard and now need a comparison on the size. He still can't stand for his sister to cry. He's worked through responses to her crying and I'm thankful to say now knows not to scream or hit her. He used to get frustrated if what he did for her didn't work and would revert to yelling or hitting. But now that I think of it, what he does pretty much always works. Elise just adores him. When he's in the room she tracks him and watches him. When she's crying if he lays by her, it's game over. She prefers his singing voice to anyone else's and he somehow knows exactly what song she wants to hear. On our last trip to Gma and Gpa's house when Elise started crying he made up a song for her. He sang, "Baby girl, oh baby beluga, it's okay! Almost there to Gma, gpas!" He'll grab a book and sit by Elise telling me he's going to "read to sissy". He likes to check out her poopy diapers and tells me how gross they are. One morning we were at home which was rare, normally we are out on a playdate. Elise wasn't wanting to nap in her crib and kept fussing. While I was off finding her a pacifier she stopped crying so I went running in and found Carter in the crib with her. He would talk to me and then realize he was talking and pretend to be a baby reverting back to just saying, "gooo". It was cute until he asked for a pacifier. Another time he got in her crib and bounced her which she thought was a grand old time.
Potty training is going really well right now. I'm so glad I took a step back, realized what Carter's actions were saying was "I'm not ready!" and just gave it time. Things are going so smoothly. We're doing a little bit at a time and not just switching over. Right now I have him get on the potty before getting dressed in the morning, before naptime, after naptime, and before bath. For the past few days he's gone potty every single time. Sometimes it's a lot. Other times it's just a few tinkles he pushes out just to make me happy. That week at my parents' house really helped because they had a different potty he really likes which helped spark his interest plus he had more adults to please. He's even asked to go potty on his own a few times. One night he told my mom he had to potty and then yelled "uh oh" as he ran down the hall to the restroom but he made it! It's also helped that he's starting to not like diapers. When he tells me I put his cloth diaper on too tight I don't loosen it. I want diapers to be annoying to him. Today as I was making lunch he came running in to tell me he'd gone potty. We excitedly ran into the living room together to find that he had in fact pottied in his potty chair! I feel like he's almost ready to make the full day big boy undie plunge! The only thing holding me back is how upset he gets when he has an accident. I know that would be multiplied many times over if it happened in public. So for now he's in big boy undies or training pants at home and a diaper in public.
His sense of humor cracks me up. If we ask him what noise a certain animal makes he'll tell us the wrong one and then crack up laughing, eventually telling us the sound that animal actually makes. I might show him a duck puppet and ask what it says and he says "baa". He'll even give me this mischievous grin as he gives his response. It's so cute! He also likes to make up stories. We've been practicing telling stories using toys or puppets and making up stories about them. I'll hear him telling stories to himself starting with "one day" or "one time". He also loves to hear stories about when I was little, especially when they involve his uncies. Stories from when he was Elise's age are a favorite as well. He'll repeat information back to me. Telling me what he was like and what he did when he was Elise's age. He'll tell me he's not a baby, he's a big boy but he's my doll baby. He also likes to tell me what his favorite thing is that we're eating at each meal. It's fun to see what it is each time. He tells me he loves me and asks for kisses. He is a big softie most of the time and I love it!
Today Carter said to me, "Mommy you're big! Carter getting taller and taller and taller!" He was so proud of how tall he's getting. I look at his long legs and his flat tummy and I wonder where all that baby chubbiness went. He's looking more and more like a little boy and less and less of a baby as the days go by. When I see pictures of him from a year ago, I'm amazed at how little of that baby still exists in his face and body. I love everything about him right now. How spunky and energetic he is. The conversations we have. How he communicates his joy and excitement. But at the same time it is hard to see him getting so grown up!
|No more pictures!|
|I snuck in a couple more!|