Recently - the last couple of weeks in particular - we have seen a marked difference in Alex's vocabulary. We ran by the church to drop off his tuition, and while we were in the office writing the check, Alex was holding a conversation with the secretary, her daughter, and the head of Mother's Day Out who said, "My, Alex, is it just me or are you talking up a storm compared to last week?"
This month, he debuted several new words including "moon", "box", "shoes", and his new favorite, "book". He occasionally shouts, "I did it!" when he accomplishes something, or at least something that sounds exactly like it. He can tell you that a sheep says "baaa", and if you ask him where something is, like on the page of a book, he will point and say "right d'ere!" He says "hi d'ere" and "bye d'ere" to everyone he sees, and has recently perfected his "big boy wrist wave", as opposed to the "one hand clapping" method he was using before. After a little encouragement, he has finally learned to say "no" when he means no and "yes"...well, "yeth", when he means yes, which is the most effective set of words he's learned since "this" and "that". We've attempted to curb his habit of whining for what he wants by training him to say "help" when he needs it, and when combined with "yes", "no", "more" and "all done", that pretty much covers the basics.
He has boundless energy, and while I appreciate his eagerness and curious nature and love to spend time with him, I am more than ready for his nap time each day, and even more so for his bedtime at night. I am realizing that I just can't meet his energy level at this age such that I can keep him entertained all day, every day. Which is why the Mother's Day Out program has been such a blessing, where other kids run him ragged and some other lady changes his poopy diapers while I get a few hours to rest and recoup. And while those hours were not very restful after the first couple of times I left him in hysterics, he quickly adjusted to his new routine. After three days, he decided school was okay and walked right into his class without so much as a tear in his eye, nevermind a kiss goodbye or an "I'll miss you dearly, Mom". When I pick him up each afternoon, his teacher tells me how sweet and happy he is, and how he has made so many friends.
The older he gets, the more I seem to love him, and while that would not have seemed possible a month ago, it has proven to be true. I am often overwhelmed with frustration that I just can't squeeze him hard enough or smooch him often enough or let him know how loved he really is. But somehow, I kind of think he knows. At least, I hope so.