Toddler E turned 3 years old today! Hooray! He is that much closer to being as old as he looks! Huzzah for him! It's been hard to look like you're four and a half and be only two! And least now he's a whole lot closer!
Toddler E has really come into his own this year. He finally learned to speak...and then hasn't stopped! He has even started a funny little habit of talking to himself or to others and then, at the end of saying whatever it is he's saying, he'll just start nodding his head and saying "yep, yep, yep" and then he'll simply, literally, babble, make sounds and move his head as if he were talking but not say anything at all. It's as if he has realized that people talk and say a lot but he's run out of things to say so he just inserts some filler. It's hilarious! He has also finally realized that the way to compete with J is to match him story for story and, right now, that means he usually repeats every story J tells right after he tells it, embellishing and extending the narrative as he goes. E is also really, really loud lately. I think he is just daring us to forget he is there!
Toddler E is his own kid. Recently, even though I had decided to wait until he was at least three to start potty training, he started on his own, going whenever we put him on the potty. Then, a little later, I decided we would just start with the short potty training sessions I did with J...only I forgot we were doing them one morning and and he went until he couldn't stand it any more and went into the bathroom by himself, went, and called me to come help him finish. But as soon as I put a diaper back on him, he also promptly went in the diaper. So I decided that meant he had enough control to skip diapers altogether and move right into big boy underpants and we haven't looked back, with no accidents to speak of. He is even staying dry all through the night and resents that I am making him wear the overnight pull-ups I bought until they're gone. Toddler E does what he want, when he decides to do it.
He also loves to eat, and he's an adventurous eater. He recently told me, after visiting an Indian friend, "Gupta makes the best food, Mommy!" That's what I like, a just turned three year old who spontaneously identifies Indian food as one of his faves! His other favorite foods are cheeseburgers, blackberries, mandarin oranges, cheese pizza, watermelon, and the perennial favorite, mac-n-cheese. In fact, E would rather have fruit than just about anything. And he's a savory boy at heart, preferring bacon and eggs to pancakes or waffles any morning. He does love candy, don't get me wrong, but isn't a huge fan of chocolate or ice-cream or cake or any typical desserts at all. He'd really just like another serving of barbeque pork, please!
Toddler E is now a big boy with a big personality. He loves trains, cars, and animals and makes up intricate stories about all of them. He can entertain himself for hours doing that, but he would rather play with J. He wants to BE his big brother and or at least be WITH him, and, failing that, to beat him up when J becomes too much to handle! E can't wait to go to "P-K" so he can go to school just like his brother. In the meantime, he's learning his letters and numbers, faster than J, actually. He's ready to catch up just as soon as he can! Everyone love Toddler E and he loves most people, having skipped the shyness phase, at least so far. I wish he were a tad more shy, actually, or had a more intensely developed fear of the unknown, but my youngest child fears no one and nothing, not strangers or city streets or running off by himself or disappearing from sight and never reappearing until found. He is a handful because of this lack of fear and sometimes makes me wish it were kosher to put a leash on him! The only thing Toddler E is really afraid of is apple peel, because of an unfortunate incident recently when he choked on an apple peel while eating breakfast alone (I was dozing in the next room). I had to do the Heimlich when my mommy sense woke me up and sent me in after him and, sense then, he has avoided apples altogether, telling me solemnly each time "I choked on those apples, Mommy!"
As with J, I'm happy that Toddler E is growing up. I love the quirky, funny, creative little boy he's become and can't wait to see what the next year brings!