I've been thinking a lot lately about things Drew does that make me smile and that I want to remember, and every time I think about these things, I think to myself, "I've got to write that down!" So here they are. These are the sort of things that are probably only endearing to a kid's parents and grandparents, so if you're not one of those people, sorry! And I'm sure now that I'm taking the time to write them down, I probably won't remember everything.
-Drew is a kid with so much personality. He has a very stubborn side to him (he always has), and it comes out quite often. With Zach I've pretty much always been able to get him to do what I want without too much fuss, but with Drew, I've learned to let more go. For example, yesterday Drew and I went to the grocery store for our regular Monday morning shopping trip, and then we went to Mommy and Me Music at our church. The whole time, Drew wore his big brimmed summer hat, and while we were at music class, he also kept his sunglasses on the entire time. Today he also wore his hat the whole time we were at the library. The kid really likes hats. Here are two cute pictures of him wearing Zach's Hawkeye stocking cap.
-Drew loves the Hawkeyes, and so every time we go into Scheel's or HyVee, or anywhere that has a Hawkeye display of any sort, he shouts, "I-ah!" I think he's saying "Hawkeye," but it really sounds like "Iowa," so usually I say, "Yes! Iowa Hawkeyes!" I love the smiles we get from people and the fact that my son recognizes that the tiger hawk means Hawkeyes.
-I don't know how or why Drew ever started this, but for some reason, many nights when we say, "It's time to go get ready for bed!" or "It's time to go take a bath!" Drew stops what he's doing, drops to his knees, and crawls to the stairs. Once on the stairs, he climbs up one stair at a time, stopping every stair or two to pretend to be asleep. It's some silly game he loves to play, but he made it up on his own. Now, of course, Zach does it with him, but originally it was just Drew.
-Drew loves to pretend he sees elephants in books, and lately this elephant thing is creeping into other areas, like when we're driving. He doesn't say elephant usually, but he makes his elephant sound and raises his arm like a trunk. He first started doing this on the plane to Denver back in October, when we were reading a book about farm animals. He does the elephant sound/sign, and I say, "You see an elephant?!" He says, "Yeah," and then I say, "There's no elephant!" and tickle him. He loves this game, and again, it's something he started on his own.
-Drew uses the word "shoot" in the right context. I heard him say it the other day, but wasn't sure I heard him correctly, but then a little later he dropped something and clearly said, "Shoot." It really cracks me up to hear it coming from his little 20 month-old mouth. He also says "shit," but only when he means it as "sit." I learned my lesson when Zach was about Drew's age and haven't cussed since.
-A couple of weeks ago we moved Drew from his high chair to a booster seat at the table. When Drew saw it on a chair he knew it was for him, and right away he wanted to sit in it. He was so proud. I hadn't even said the words "booster seat," but he kept pointing to it saying, "Boo-boo!" Here he is sitting in it for the first time.
-On Sunday night we were at a friend's house, and Mike and Zach left early to go to Mike's basketball game. When it was time for Drew and me to leave, we went out and got into the car, and Drew suddenly started frantically saying, "Dada! Dada! Dada!" and pointing to the front seat. I explained that Daddy and Zach were at Dad's basketball game. We went home, and as I pulled into the garage, Drew was jabbering, saying something to me that I couldn't understand, but I could tell he wasn't happy. I got out of the car and walked around to get Drew out, and he was definitely upset. I said to him, "Drew, I don't know what you want. What is it?" He said, "Hoop!" which I knew meant basketball. I asked, "You want to go to Dad's basketball game?" Drew answered with "Yeah," which is what he says instead of yes. So we went to Mike's game, and Drew was happy as could be. He's talking so much, but still a lot of it is incomprehensible to me, even though he knows just what he's saying. So it's really great when we have a moment like that where he conveys a message to me that I actually get.
-Drew loves to count buses on the way to Zach's preschool every morning. As soon as we are about out of our neighborhood, he shouts, "Usss!" Some days we see 10-15 buses, and other days, when we're running a little behind, we see only 3 or 4. When we see two or more buses together, Drew always says, "Two!" He also shouts this anytime he notices two of anything. I wonder how long it will be until he can count to three...
-Zach loves to "scare" us by shouting "Boo!" at us all the time. Of course, like the book The First Rule of Little Brothers says, "The first rule of little brothers is always do what your big brother does!" So, Drew likes to count and say, "Boo!" just like Zach. It's really cute to see/hear him count. Basically he goes like this, "Deh, deh... boo!" And when he "counts," he moves his hand up and down as somebody would when they are counting on their fingers. He gets a big kick out of all of this.
-Drew still uses sounds to identify a lot of different things. He's been doing this for a long time, like saying "moo" when he sees a cow, or "woof" for a dog. A couple of my recent favorites are the ways he identifies a few Sesame Street characters. He's seen parts of Sesame Street a few times, but rarely has he seen a whole episode. I feel like the Muppets that used to be on Sesame Street aren't on as much anymore, so the sounds he uses to identify them are more from hearing me attach those sounds with them. For example, when he wants to hold his stuffed Cookie Monster, he makes a sort of "arghrarghargh" sound. When he sees Ernie, he copies Ernie's laugh and goes, "Heheheh." And for the Count, he goes, "Two! Ah ah ah." I have to admit, I might be a little sad when he starts calling them all by name!
-Here's Drew enjoying his new Elmo slippers. Originally he loved them and wanted to wear them everywhere, but lately he doesn't want them on. I'm not sure if they make his feet really hot or if they're tough to walk in since they're so heavy where Elmo's head is, but for some reason he isn't as into them lately. I still think they look cute, though!
Three funny things Zach has said in the past few days:
1. "You have a lot of lines on your forehead." Said to Mike tonight while we were getting Zach in bed. I guess we're getting old and wrinkled (or at least Mike is).
2. "I'm flickin' cold!" Said after his shower the other night. At first I tried to ignore it, and he pointed out to me what he said, so I asked him where he heard that. Mike and I don't say "flickin'" ever, but we might be guilty of saying "flippin'" or "frickin'" at times. Zach said he made it up on his own. So then Mike said he probably shouldn't say that and I suggested the alternative of "really cold" and made a mental note to myself to use "really" in place of the alternatives.
3. "Wow! There's a lot of black people!" spoken not so quietly at Cheesecake Factory the other day. We were sitting enjoying a family lunch, and three African-Americans walked by, and Zach noticed. It was shocking to us because neither Mike nor I have ever called attention to anybody's skin color. Granted, we live in a very predominantly Caucasian area, so it is not all that common for us to see African-Americans, but it's not like this was the first time for Zach. Anyway, Mike quickly started a conversation with Zach while I hid my face and tried to compose myself (you know how I have problems with laughing when I shouldn't), and then we both tried to talk to Zach about it. The thing was, Zach didn't say anything inappropriate, and how do you explain to a 4 year-old (so he understands) why he shouldn't say what he said? Basically we told him that we don't call attention to people's differences and that some people could have been upset by what he said. I knew a moment like this, where Zach commented on someone of a different race, or someone who has a disability, etc., would happen some day (and I'm sure it will happen again), but it still caught me off-guard!
On a totally different note, Zach read his first book a couple of weeks ago. We've been working on sounding out words and putting letter sounds together to make words, and we got some B.O.B. Books. They're easy books with just a few words per page. I will admit, his comprehension on that first book was not great, but he was working too hard sounding the words out to really focus on what was going on. Since then he's read a couple of others to me, and already his comprehension is improving. We need to work on sight word recognition, and I have been searching all over for these Sight Word Post-It Notes that were recommended to me, but I cannot find them anywhere! I can order them online, but then I have to pay a bunch for shipping (more for shipping than for the actual notes), so I think I should just make my own. Anyway, it's a small step, but I'm still proud of Zach. I might have a video of him reading that first time, but it's getting late, so I don't think I'll mess with posting it right now.
This evening while I was making dinner, the boys were playing in the basement, and it was so great to just listen to them having so much fun together. I could hear Zach telling Drew what to do (in a nice way), and it seemed like they were racing. Then I'd hear Drew laugh, and then Zach would say, "Ok, wanna do it again, Drew?" Later I found out Zach would say, "Ready, set, go!" and they would take off running, and then Zach would wrap a blanket around Drew and tackle him, but "not real hard," as Zach told me. They played on their own for a good 20 minutes. This is becoming more and more common, and I love it. I recently got them these little light up snowman ornaments, and they love to shut themselves in the bathroom and watch their snowmen change colors in the dark. It's just such a great feeling for a mom to hear her two kids having fun together. If only they could always be happy with each other!