Laine, two-years, three-months-old
Becoming a girly girl. She’s not afraid to jump in dirt or a muddy puddle but she must be wearing a “pretty dress.” It’s so fun to watch how they are who they are regardless of anything. She’s into babies, pretty dresses, pink, hair bows, dancing, princesses (which is so odd since we are so not into princesses nor watch anything princess, I am not a Disney fan)… girl everything. She still holds her own with a truck though.
Very caring. Blaise plays by crashing trucks and rescuing things. Laine plays by taking babies and wrapping them up in blankets or feeding them; brushing her horse’s hair; tucking in stuffed animals in her bed; getting Blaise things when he needs them… She’s also the first on the scene when someone gets hurt, offering a band-aid or kiss to the hurt area. She’s innately maternal.
Outsmarting us. Rather, calling us out on things. For example, one morning at 6am: Brian to Laine, “It’s too dark, we can’t get up yet.” Laine, gets out of bed, grabs a flashlight and says, “It’s okay dad, we can see now.” She is always figuring a legit way around things to get her way (no idea where she gets that from, not me or anything).
“I do it myself.” She HAS to do everything herself. If we dare lift her into her car seat, she’ll scream the entire time until she gets to do it herself (as witnessed by friends, sorry!). She has to put the toothpaste on her toothbrush, put her shoes on herself, climb into the bathtub on her own, etc. While it’s frustrating at times, I love the confidence and willfulness she has.
“My turn.” On the same token as doing things herself, everything everyone else does, she has to do.
Confident and assertive. I LOVE that she is this way and hope it sticks. If she sets her mind on something, she will do it. It may not go as planned but she will accomplish it. And the way she talks is so confident. Her tone when you ask her if she can do something is like, “Of course I can!” While I love her this way and don’t want her to change, it’s a bit challenging some days as the parent. Along these lines, Brian took them to the park a while back. There were two girls, maybe five and seven. They asked Blaise what his name was. She walked over and said in her assertive voice, “His name is Blaisey Daisey,” then walked off.
Knows how to take a compliment. This video comes to mind. Laine is the complete opposite. Little Miss Confident is quick to respond with a “thanks” the moment she gets a compliment. At the doctor a few weeks back, she was wearing a jean skirt with her pink cowgirl boots walking up the stairs when a nurse walked past. The nurse said, “I love your boots!” Without a moments pass, Laine responds, “Thanks!” The nurse chuckled as did I.
Little Miss Dictator. Maybe not quite a dictator but close. A cute, polite one at least. “Daddy, I need sausage please.” “Mama, I want a snack please.” “Blaisey, upstairs! Please?” She spews out orders and expects people to jump on command, though isn’t terribly disappointed when we don’t (except for when she is). I guess it comes along with her confidence. We turn her down half the time and ask her to ask instead of command… she’s slowly getting better. And on the same note as being a dictator, she’s the clear leader between the two. Mostly because Blaise is so easy going. He’ll pull rank occasionally but he just lets her dictate things.
Talking, all the time. And by all the time, she only doesn’t talk when she’s asleep. She narrates everything. “Blaisey’s playing with trains.” “Mama, I’m eating pancakes.” “Blaisey, Daddy’s at work making bacon.” (We apparently use the “bring home the bacon” expression often.)
Loves to read. The same book. Over and over and over. Laine was into books as soon as she could sit. She still is; give her a book and she is a happy camper. She loves to memorize them and immediately point things out the minute the page turns. It’s almost like a game to her.
A sponge. She picks up on everything. I clearly say “damn it” often. She is very observant and always listening, and stores information for when she needs it. I was amazed that she was counting to ten in Spanish one day… I guess Dora can teach Spanish. I had no clue she could do that. It’s amazing what kiddos can retain. Some days Brian and I will be chatting and she’ll join in with points that make us wonder when we’ve talked about it before and how the heck she knows half the things she does.
A snuggler. She may be one of those people who joins a snuggling meet up when she’s older. She’s like a lap cat; if there’s a lap, she’s on it. And the nights she sleeps with us, no matter how much space we have when we go to bed, we have about six inches between her and the edge of the [king size] bed come morning. Brian and Laine are the family snugglers; Blaise and I like our space.
Loves to eat, everything. This kid can eat. She wasn’t interested in food until past nine-months-old and hasn’t stopped since. Some nights she’ll have three servings and eat Blaise’s leftovers. She runs it all off, maybe that’s why she eats so much since she never stops moving during the day. She’s the family foodie.
Television addict. We’ve dramatically limited their television time, and have a select few approved shows (on demand only, no commercials) but this kid is glued when a show is on. Maybe it’s part of her being such a sponge but it’s worrisome at times. The only time she sits still, except for her eyeballs moving around (and she still talks during). Not quite a zombie but close enough (she probably would eat brains). She has moments of whining where all that will make her happy (or selfishly quiet her down) is to put on a show. It works, then I question if that’s the best call but it makes us all happy. Blaise plugs his ears when she whines.
Blaise, three-years, one-month-old
The neat freak. He’s my son for sure. As I started typing this, he was taking wipes and thoroughly cleaning his castle tent (apparently it’s dirty after less than one month of having it). And if there is a toy in the wrong bin, we have to stop everything and put it where it belongs. He’s also a neat freak when it comes to himself. While he has no problem jumping in mud and getting dirty, the moment he’s finished he needs to change or take a bath. Then there’s his teeth… as soon as he’s finished eating something, he needs to brush his teeth to get it off. I wouldn’t call him obsessively clean but he’s close.
Talking, all the time. For a child who didn’t say much until 2.5-years-old, he is making up for lost time. We were never concerned about his lack of speech, despite all the speech therapy recommendations and number of words he was supposed to say at certain ages… we knew he’d talk eventually and not stop. I’m actually enjoying it for the moment, even all the “What’s that?” questions, and the constant, “Mama, you want to play X with me?” And the conversations he has with Laine are adorable, a few highlights:
On the stairs one morning (Brian was downstairs, I was upstairs; we were both out of sight), Laine walking up as Blaise walks down, “Blaise, here’s your gummy vitamin.” Blaise, “Oh, wow. Thanks, Laine.” Laine, “You’re welcome.” They’re so polite, love.
Blaise has a favorite song to listen to (over and over and over) in the car. Blaise, “Laine, do you like Tyrone the Mailman?” Laine, “Yes, I like Tyrone. Knights is my favorite.” Blaise, “I like Knights, too.”
The rule follower. He listens well and follows the rules (for the most part, he’s still has days of being a toddler). And by default, he’s first to point out when Laine or anyone else isn’t following the rules. “Mama, mama, Laine’s on the counter!” I think he’ll make an excellent big brother in their teenage years.
Imaginary playing. He no longer just plays with toys as is… each toy is rescuing someone, putting out a fire, flying an airplane, fighting off a scary bear, building something, turning books into booby traps, slithering along the floor as a snake, turning his carrots into some sort of vehicle at dinner… the list goes on. He also loves to make up elaborate stories and have us join in too. It’s a fun age and to see the imagination kids develop is fascinating.
Obsessed with shapes and numbers. He’ll position things to make shapes or point them out when we’re out and about. At restaurants, he’ll fold his menu up to make a triangle opening or position his cars at home into shapes on the floor (he even managed making a heart one day). He loves numbers too; he recognizes groups of things up to 10 without counting. He loves to count, too. Counts everything. I think he’ll be our math man.
A book fan, not a reader. On the flip side of being into math, he’s not really interested in reading. He loves to look at books but the minute we read the book, he turns the page. He just likes looking around at all the images, which is fine by us. It’s still “reading” in my book (pun intended).
Prolonging bedtime. He’s easy to get into his room for bedtime, and ultimately easy to get to sleep but he’s been taking his sweet time between the two. After bath and story time, he all of a sudden needs to use the restroom (which is a stall tactic since he has no interest these days in potty training). Then he needs to brush his teeth again because he feels a strawberry on his molar or he needs a special toy from downstairs or fill-in-the-blank. We’re pretty easy going with it; we remember not wanting to go to sleep as kids so it’s understandable. Then there are some nights when all goes well, we leave him in his bed and when we come for the night, there’s a toddler asleep in our bed. I love this because he knows not to walk downstairs, which is interesting since we’ve never said not to. It’s just innate to not make an appearance when you’re supposed to be in bed.
Diaper dude. Months ago, he was totally interested in wearing undies and using the toilet. Even using the iPad in there. That lasted a few days, then he had zero interest. His interest comes and goes; we have a few days here and there like that then back to diapers. We’re not pushing it (no need to) so when he’s ready, he’ll tell us. I still ask him often each day if he wants to use the toilet. Sometimes it’s a yes, most times it’s a no. Last Sunday he was all about undies, and we even made it to the grocery store and back with him wearing undies and no accidents. Slow progress is progress.
Mister empathy. One of the main things I want for our kiddos is to be empathetic. It’s a top three human trait of mine. He’s on track. If someone is sad, he’s over there hugging them; if someone is upset, he works to make things right. He’s in touch with the feelings of others, and his own.
Mister equality. Whenever he gets something, he makes sure everyone else gets something, too. This also makes him a great sharer (for the most part). Unless it’s one of his favorite trucks, which are his that she likes to steal to get his goat. Probably since he was 10 months when Laine arrived, he doesn’t know any different. On the topic of equality, this has stuck with me. A few months back, it was right before lunch and I was changing Laine’s diaper. Blaise all of a sudden raced over and said, “Oh no, Laine’s penis is missing!” Laine calmly responds, “Blaise, I have a vagina.” He so wanted to make sure she had what he had. So over lunch, our conversation was naming family and friends and deciding if they had a penis or a vagina. Conversations with toddlers, always interesting.
Mister GPS. The moment we get into the car he asks where we’re going. I tell him, then he proceeds to give directions (and he’s usually spot on).
Ditching preschool. He was set to start in September at a really great preschool. We pulled him and it was the right call for him. He’s social and listens so he’s ready for that part, and the school didn’t care if he was potty trained. We just don’t feel he’s ready overall, so young to send away even for a few hours (and I don’t need a break). I think I got caught up in the “Which preschool is your kiddo going to???” at every.single.playdate over the past year. I even joined in asking others. We’re rebelling the social norm around here I suppose. That and our decision to homeschool was solidified since signing him up last January. We’re not anti-preschool, just anti-preschool for him right now. It’s great for some kiddos and families and we’re open to the possibility of sending one or both if/when it feels right.