Somehow we've gotten to the 22 month point, and boy am I relieved. For a while there I wasn't sure we'd make it.
Before, Alex was just dabbling in the Terrible Twos - being defiant here, throwing a fit there. Now, not only is he the Terrible Twos Club President, he is also a member. In good standing. He has started to test his boundaries like never before, disobeying with reckless abandon, experimenting with various biting and hitting techniques to determine which ones are most effective and which he can get away with, and the WHINING, ooooohhhhh, the WHINING. My tolerance for whining is...well, I pretty much have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to whining. I CAN'T TAKE THE WHINING. Someone PLEASE STOP THE WHINING.
The tiniest part of me sympathizes with his plight (and the supposed plight of all "Terrible Two-ers"), which is the inability to communicate his thoughts verbally, resulting in awful and oftentimes intolerable behavior. But that's no excuse. My child is perfectly capable of communicating his wants and needs, even with his limited vocabulary. I know this because once he has been threatened with a Time Out or a Spanky Spoon*, Alex suddenly remembers that he can talk.
And boy can he talk. He says a ton of words now, some two word phrases, and even a couple three-worders. He has started to count objects and can count to ten, although he has an odd aversion to the number one and will usually only include it when we remind him to. He can repeat all of the letters of the alphabet, can recognize most of them on a regular basis, and has started to sing his ABC's.
His Words of the Month are "OOOooh noooo!" and "mess!" and "boo-boo". And yes, they are often uttered in succession. The kid is a glutton for sympathy, and everytime something other than air touches his skin, he will thrust the affected area towards us so we can kiss his boo-boo. But we are so onto him, so usually we just tell him to suck it up and he ends up kissing his own boo-boos. Lately, he will even skip the part where he asks us to do it and just kisses himself. Saves us all some trouble.
He loves to sing, and his favorites include Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, If You're Happy and You Know It, and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Anything that includes gestures typically makes it to the top of his list. In fact, a few weeks ago I started singing Twinkle Twinkle out of the blue, and he started doing the actions that go with it. And that was the first time I discovered that there are actions that go with that song. Apparently he had learned this at school and this was the first opportunity he had had to demonstrate it. Which is so bizarre, to have your child to unveil this big chunk of knowledge that you as his parents didn't teach him. It was a very enlightening experience to be learning something from him for once, and I sat there in awe as he completed every action to the very end of the song with no prompting whatsoever. (This video was taken several days after the initial "unveiling".)
In fact, he often does or says things that make no sense at the time, but eventually the right context comes about and we have that "AHA!" moment. It was after the Twinkle Twinkle experience that we started to realize this because he had been doing the "diamond" shape with his hands for weeks and we never connected it with that song. Same with "If You're Happy...", where he kept shouting "hooray!!" for no apparent reason, and we immediately tried to think of a song that contained that word. He was very excited when we finally figured it out, and he proceeded to show us yet another thing he had learned at school.
Despite the issues I have with him, the times that he is being terrible are still rarer than the times he is dazzling me (and everyone else) with his charm. Unfortunately, the hard times feel like they last ten times longer than the easy ones, which is why they get so much "air time". But he is really good about saying "thank you" when given something and saying "sorry" when he's been bad. He loves to play with Murphy and go to the park and hit baseballs and golf balls and tennis balls with bats and clubs and rackets.
He's been all about jumping this month and, try as he might, he has the hardest time getting his white-boy self off the ground. His method is to bend his knees and then thrust himself upwards as fast as possible, which should work in theory, but he always ends up looking like his feet have been cemented to the floor. Every once in a while he will catch an inch or two of air, and of course we all cheer as if he has cured cancer.
He loves to spin around in a circle as fast as he can, then he stops and watches the room spin as his googly eyeballs roll around in his head. I plan on getting some video of this soon because it is hilarious.
He has started to undress himself, or rather, he can finish undressing himself if I pull his arms out of his shirt and unbutton his pants. On that note, it seems as if we are on the verge of potty-training-readiness. He will tell us "pee-pee" or "poo-poo" while he is performing the respective acts, and this morning he even "poo-pooed" on the potty for the first time after asking me to put him on the "potty". If we can just get him to start consistently telling us he has to go before the act instead of during, I think we will be ready to officially start the process.
He is a total goofball all of the time and a handful some of the time. We are very excited for this new "talking" phase to continue, and we look forward to all of the crazy things he is sure to say.
*I will be discussing the Spanky Spoon topic at length in a future post because I'd love for y'all to weigh in on the subject. Prepare yourselves.