Lately, our day have been starting at 7am, which is so much more civilized than the pre-dawn hours of not too long ago. It is also generally without the desperate screeching of a toddler that woke up too early and is pissed about it and is willing to bring down everyone else with him. It begins with intermittent sighs and builds to a crescendo of constant chatter, with the occasional “uh-oh!” and “no-no-no” (teddies being ceremoniously tossed from the crib) and “ba!” (the pictures of basketballs and footballs on the wall). When we finally enter his room, the sheer joy on his face and his outstretched arms are totally priceless. Of course, we are just a means to an end so as soon as we have him gathered in our arms, he wants DOWN and is off to find his favorite book of nursery rhymes. With tome in hand, he settles into our lap, backing up butt first, and turns to the page for Old McDonald and tells you “EI-EI-O”.
We try to fill the day with as much activity and interaction (kiddie AND adult) as we can stand. When at daycare, we are told he loves to help with the little babies on the other side of the classroom. On Saturdays, we’ve been going to the Little Gym, where kids around his age are led in some circle time and toddler gymnastics. Maxon can still be found wandering around IN circles instead of staying in the group circle but who can blame him when there’s so much fun equipment to climb on? He also loooooooves being outside, finding sticks and transferring rocks from one part of the yard or playground to the other, and with the longer days, we have some extra playtime before and after dinner.
And whether you call it growing intelligence or lack of spontaneity, Maxon recognizes who people are or where things should be. If we’re in the backyard, there is a good chance he’ll see our neighbor Pete (“Peeps!”). On the weekends, we’ll often have brunch with Lucy (“Eesie!”) and he knows that she sometimes plays just a few houses away at her grandparents during the week if we’re out walking. And whether we’re out with the stroller, on bike, in the car or on foot, he knows where we cross over the creek (“dah-doo!” [water], “bye-bye!”). If we’re pulling into the driveway and I say that we’re home, he knows to look for Daddy… and the tables are turned if it’s Daddy bringing him home to Mommy. Old diapers are “duh-tee” and go in the trash. Sometimes other non-“duh-tee” things go in the trash too so we need to stay vigilant.
Once we are settled at home, we must-must-must dance to his music class CD. And it must-must-must be one track in particular. We’ve tried to mix things up a bit and start the CD on a different track and he just stands there in mid-bounce, waiting for something better to happen. And when that particular song comes on, the entire family must join in on instrumentals. If either Mommy or Daddy are not around at the moment, they are recruited from wherever they may be hiding out. He also knows which song comes next. It’s kind of freaky.
Finally, Maxon will usually tells us when he’s ready for bed. He’ll be dancing one moment and then standing by the gate to go upstairs the next. Lately, even with all his desperation to get upstairs and get in the bath, he’ll stay pretty wired until we finally we put him down and turn off the lights. Before as we were just struggling with his pajamas, he would be rubbing his eyes and pleading for milk. Now, he’d much rather read EIEIO first and will rub his eyes only at the suggestion of brushing his teeth and going night-night. And then I’ll be on the brink of declaring bedtime success as he gets tucked in with no complaints, but 30-40 minutes later he’s still rolling around his crib, chatting quietly to himself. And again, he’ll be chatting and singing EIEIO one moment and then zonked out in silence the next, and remain so until the next morning light.
And these are the days (and nights) of our lives. This week, anyways.