Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dharma Doll

Wow, the past couple of months have really slipped away from me. It was just warm and beachy, then all of a sudden it was Halloween (he was Daruma), and now it's Thanksgiving. And he'll be two (TWO!) on Saturday. Time really does fly when you're having fun.

Zephyr is growing so fast, both cognitively and physically, and I can barely keep up. In the past two months he's gone from using maybe 20 or so words to 100 words, and is starting to form sentences. He's finally catching up. Our favorite latest development is his contraction of "yes, please" to just "yep." We still ask him to say please, but "yep" is pretty cute. I've listed the rest of his words at the bottom of this post for posterity and record-keeping.

He's finally entered the part of his speech development where he is copying and repeating words in addition to his normal attempts at talking. We try to model proper speech by repeating back to him what he's trying to say. For example, if he says "apeas! apeas!" while standing next to the horse, we say "I want up please!" Oh, by the way, any four-legged ungulate is 'moose.' Horse is moose. Elk is moose. Deer is moose. At home he has an Ikea rocking moose, so we blame the Swedes for this one.

Also, in a tragic case of "Who's on First," Zephyr is calling a lot of things "mine." He doesn't necessarily think they belong to him, it's just that when I hold my coffee and say "this coffee is mine. that water is yours," he thinks "oh, she said that cup of coffee is called 'mine'". He doesn't assign the ownership to the word 'mine', he just thinks it's a label. I guess all kids probably do this, but when this clicked for me it was kind of a revelation. It's always nice to know that our kids aren't totally narcissistic sociopaths.

Zephyr loves trying to jump. It's still really more of a stilted gallop, and his vert totally sucks, but it's adorable watching him try. He also loves doing barrel rolls on the carpet and walking up and down stairs and his little step-stool.

He's starting to mellow out a bit, but last month was challenging, with lots of mood swings. These photos were taken within 30 seconds, during which time he went from sheer ecstasy:


to rage:


I guess he didn't like the silly faces I was making at him after all.

Since the end of September, we've been members of Eastside Family Co-op; it's a part-time day care that is run entirely by parents. He goes three mornings a week, including one with me. It's been really nice for me to have two mornings a week to myself to get work done (or just catch my breath, increasingly), and he gets lots of solid playtime with other kids his age. It's just 1.5 months to 3.5 year olds, so he's right in the middle developmentally. He's really thriving there.

Zephyr's friendships at Co-op are starting to blossom. He loves to hug and kiss his little friends, which sends my cute overload meter soaring. He went through a bit of a hitting phase at around the time we started, but fortunately it was very short-lived.

He's starting to become aware of the potty, or at least the bathroom. He goes into the bathroom whenever the door is open, points at the toilet and says "pee. boop." I know it'll be coming soon, but I guess I just haven't felt like pushing it. I ask him if he wants to go potty and he's already out the door and onto something else.

All of these new tricks are amazing, but it's also becoming very apparent that Zephyr isn't a baby anymore. I actually have to learn how to parent him now, to help him become the best person he can be. It's really scary to know that I, alone, could fuck this kid up completely if I don't do this right. I'm reading every book out there, and have really found the Positive Discipline techniques valuable. I'll probably be taking at least one class to help retrain me. I get really worried about my ability to do this when my knee-jerk reaction is to yell, and I know he deserves better, so I'm just working as hard as I can. As one mom at Co-op likes to say, "it's a process."