Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oliver Turns Two

I can't believe Oliver is two today. His second birthday! Where has the time gone? At two years old, he's full of laughter and mischief. He's goofy and snuggly and just a whirlwind of joy. It's amazing how much these little ones grow and change in two years. Two years ago today, we brought him into this world as a newborn! Amazing.

Here's Oliver's two year update:

Oliver's language has been developing a great deal over the last few weeks. He speaks over 100 words, but he's just started pronouncing many of them properly (or, at least, more properly). Instead of only saying the first syllable of words, Oliver's beginning to emphasize entire words. For example, he's started saying "water" instead of just "wah." I don't think his language has reached a level yet where strangers would be able to understand most of what he says.

Oliver has also just started using two-word phrases. He's not using them all the time, but he's recently started saying some things like, "Flush potty," and, "Push button." He knows all of his capital letters, but he can't say, "K," or "Q." Oliver doesn't sing well yet, but he tries to sing the alphabet song. Unless you're listening for it, you wouldn't be able to discern it from babble. When we play Sesame Street videos for him, he'll try to sing along with some of them, especially "One Fine Face." Oliver excels at understanding language. Andrew and I have to constantly spell words because Oliver picks up on everything we say. He can understand multi-step directions, such as, "Oliver, can you go use the potty, and then we'll get your shoes on and head to the store."

Speaking of using the potty, Oliver is fully potty trained. When he's wearing loose clothing, like sweats, he can take them off himself to sit on his little potty. Otherwise, he comes up to me and tugs at them to indicate to me that I should remove them. Sometimes, he'll say, "Pah," (his current word for potty), and other times he'll say, "Boop" (his current word for poop). Accidents are few and far between during waking hours. I'd estimate he has an accident one to two times a month. He still wears a diaper overnight, and he pees during his naps about 1/4 of the time.

Oliver still sleeps in his crib. We're slowly working on getting him more comfortable with the big boy bed. We now do the nighttime routine (reading books) on his big boy bed. I hope he'll be sleeping on it in a few months or so, and then we can start setting a potty next to it at night for him, too. Unfortunately, he still wakes up a lot around 5am, which makes us hesitate to move him out of the crib. We have to go in to his room, offer him water, and let him know that it's still bed time. Oliver then goes back to bed for another hour or two. I worry he'd just get up and start playing with his toys if he slept in a bed instead of his crib.

As far as fine motor skills go, Oliver has always amazed us. That still continues. He now takes screwdrivers and puts them to screws and tries to unscrew covers on his toys. He's gotten close a couple of times. Oliver is basically obsessed with figuring out how everything works, and he gets very upset if we don't let him do something himself. When I bake with him, Oliver gets to do basically all of the steps, including breaking eggs and spooning in flour to dough. Of course, he doesn't understand risks and dangers yet. If it was up to him, he'd be opening the oven door and turning on the stove top and adding ingredients to pots on the stove. I have to be very observant whenever I'm cooking or baking.

Oliver's gross motor skills are OK. He runs a lot in the house, but he falls a lot when he runs outside on unstable ground. He doesn't jump yet, and he's still not very interested in climbing. He goes down some slides on his butt, but he usually prefers the more stable method of sliding down on his belly. Although he likes sitting on his tricycle, he hasn't figured out how the pedals work yet. He has shown some interest in going up and down the stairs like adults do, but, for the most part, he still climbs up and down on all fours. That's OK by me!

Happily, Oliver's starting to become a little more social with other children. He loves to run up to all the neighborhood kids and watch them play. He watches and laughs and claps for them. At music class, he likes to pick up toys that other kids drop and hand the toys back to them. He doesn't really understand boundaries, though, and he gets confused when other children act possessive over things. For example, one boy had a truck at the park yesterday. Oliver walked up to it. He didn't touch it, but he leaned in to examine it. The truck's owner ran up to it and yelled at Oliver. Oliver seemed confused and upset, which made my heart ache for him. Today at the zoo, there was a button to push at one of the exhibits. Oliver loved pushing the button, but one older child (maybe 7?) yelled at him because he didn't want any other kids pushing the button. This type of behavior makes me sad because Oliver isn't exposed to it very much. He doesn't understand, and all he knows is that someone is yelling at him! Of course, I know Oliver will go through the "mine!" phase, too, so I try to be understanding.

Finally, I want to say that Oliver's favorite thing to do is still help people. He wants to help everyone with everything. He wants to do the laundry. He starts the machine himself (same with the dish machine). When a load is done, he goes upstairs and collects more clothes to wash. He's in charge of doing things like brewing coffee and making smoothies. At Grandpa Larry's and Grandma Judy's, he enjoys cleaning out the lint trap and loading and unloading the dish machine. He likes throwing away everyone's garbage, and he wants to flush the toilet for everyone. He wants to be the one to unlock the cars. Oliver wants to help Daddy get dressed every day and gets his clothes out of the drawers. He also hands him his lunch and closes the door after he leaves for work.

In all, we have an amazing toddler. I really love how active and fun he is, and how he still loves lots of cuddles and affection. Oliver's going to be a great (and very helpful) big brother soon.

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