Luke is two! How in the heck do I have a two year old? It’s going to take a while to switch from saying “he is X months” to “he is two years old.” Oh man time has flown by!
I last updated you guys on Luke when he was 18 months. The last 6 months have brought major cognitive and physical growth (30lbs, in the 78 percentile for height & 97th for HC). I love the beginning of these toddler years even though they have been extremely challenging.
In the last 6 months he has started to assert his independence. He wants to do (almost) everything himself. It’s been really cool to see him want to do things independently but this also means simple tasks take forever. Being the Type A person I am I have to consciously tell myself that it’s okay and to let him try (and fail) at whatever he is trying to accomplish. That being said he is very clingy (especially in the mornings) and often wants to be held. The mix between wanting to do it all himself (“LUKE DO IT”) and the constant need for cuddles (“MOMMY, DADDY, HOLD YOU) is adorable and frustrating all at the same time.
His language acquisition skills have taken off in the last several months. Everyday he says new words and phrases and it’s been amazing to witness. Out of no where he started to sing the A,B,Cs, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Twinkle, Twinkle. His vocabulary seems limitless at this point although his pronunciation needs some work. He makes semantic errors that are super cute (at this point). He will say something like “Luke water need.” Sometimes it takes me a second to understand what he’s saying and there are definitely times where I’m like “what in the world?” but he manages to get his point across every time. He’s a parrot and we’ve had to watch what we say. I also try to make sure to explain everything that I’m doing. He is learning at every second of the day and you never know what little piece of information he’s going to pick up and hold on to. So when Walt sneezes and I say bless you I explain to Luke what just happened and why I said what I did. As a former teacher I’m in love with this new learning phase. He can count to 14 but usually skips the number 4 and tries to spell his name but leaves out the letter L and U and say E like “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”
I’m amazed at the memory storage in the toddler’s brain. Sometimes he seems to remember almost everything. For example, he has a world map above his crib and we had to take it down one evening as the fan needed to be on and the map was making a knocking sound. My husband hung it back up and now Luke will constantly point to the map and say “daddy, hung up.” He does the same thing with a knob on his play kitchen that Walt fixed. He once scraped his hand by trying to throw a ball up the stairs and he will tell you exactly what he tried to do and what happened all the time. He associates songs we sing with the librarians who sing them and will say “MIMI (Ms. Emily at the library) sing that” when we sing “Rock a Bye Baby.” A lot of times he remembers things and tells me a story and I’m like “uhhhh, oh YEAH that did happen!”
He continues to be a decent eater and I am thankful for that. The biggest issue surrounding food is that some times he just doesn’t have time to eat. He’s too busy wanting to play or read and it can be a struggle to get him to the table. He’s boycotted the high chair and booster seat so now sits in a normal chair which has pros and cons. We also have to be pretty diligent about reminding him to eat his food at said meal time as he’s usually busy talking or playing with the fork, etc. Breakfast is by far his best meal and consists of an egg, toast, and his favorite smoothie which has plain greek yogurt, whole milk, spinach, frozen cauliflower, strawberries, half a banana, and blueberries. Lunch is always hit or miss and he eats what we eat for dinner. He doesn’t have a “go to” meal that I 100% know he will eat which can be frustrating on those days where he doesn’t want to eat anything.
Out of desperation I tried to get him to watch shows on T.V. when Olivia has to take a cat nap in the carrier around 5pm. He would not sit still for anything until I turned on an episode of Sesame Street. He’s hooked and I am thankful that it (mostly) holds his attention for 23 minutes a day. We’ve been so militant about screen time and while I do still feel guilty I have to say that Sesame Street is AMAZING and I enjoy listening and watching with him. And as you will see when I post the pictures SS was the theme for his 2nd birthday party.
Things Luke likes: reading books, doing puzzles, singing songs, being silly, running up and down our hallway, music class, story time, swimming, baths, attention.
Things Luke doesn’t like: being told “no”, getting out of the bathtub, being forced to do anything against his will, and wearing socks
Luke became very interested in using the potty around 20 months. It started when he would bring us a diaper after he had gone poop. He was like “yo, change me momma!” and I thought that association was kinda cool. Then he began taking his diaper off himself after he had gone to the bathroom which became a bit problematic. One night before going to bed I glanced at the monitor and all I saw was a full moon staring back at me. He had removed his pants and diaper….the kid is like Houdini with the removal of his clothing. His interest continued and he began to tell us he needed to poop/pee before he went. I asked a few friends who had recently potty trained their toddlers but I just felt like he was too young. The book “Oh Crap, Potty Training” was recommended and I read it. I was SO hesitant as I really didn’t think we would be potty training before 3 but after reading the book I realized he was ready and I wasn’t. I gave it two weeks (as recommended in the book) and let all the information soak in (no pun intended). We started on November 1st and he is now potty trained. There were definitely a few rough moments/days but now he is only in a diaper when sleeping. I continue to be amazed that he basically initiated the training himself and forced me to jump in. I know that our situation is not normal and I feel lucky the process was (mostly) easy for us.
Luke’s bond with Olivia has definitely strengthened over the last several months. He loves her and is more excited to see her when she wakes up than he is to see me. We are still working on things like sharing and trying to teach him to be gentle. He struggles with sharing toys (he wants whatever she has) but now asks “can I play with that” (as he’s taking the toy from her). We’re slowly making progress and I have a feeling it’s going to take many more months until he fully comprehends what he should and shouldn’t do.. We’ve had a time out policy instituted for a few months and it seems to work. We will go several weeks without having to use it but then will have to use it 4 times in one day. He tends to be very aggressive when he’s upset and certain traits he has (biting, pushing) are very animalistic. It’s hard to know what to do and I’ve been reassured that it’s developmentally appropriate but it is disturbing at times. Hopefully he will grow out of it as I feel most bothered by the pushing and taking away of things from other people. I sometimes see it as a direct reflection of my parenting skills even though I know it’s not.
We are starting to tour preschools for the fall. I know he’s ready (he’s probably ready now but I’m not). I plan to send him 2x a week for 3 hours a day. I think this will be a great start to his educational career and I hope we find a place that fits his needs.
I’m excited to see what the next year holds with Luke! Here we come!!!
Another hair cut around 19 months.
Taste testing apples at the library (20 months)
Apple Picking (21 months)
Music class with sis (23 months)
Science Center (23 months)
Painting an NC ornament (23 months)
1 of 3 visits with Santa (23 months)