Charlie at 2 Years

Here's Charlie in a nutshell: silly, sweet and LOUD. Our little man loves to demonstrate his dominant vocal chords any chance he gets.  He's a screamer.  Whether he's having fun, getting mad (usually at his brother) or just for the heck of it, the kid loves to scream.

He also suddenly has a huge vocabulary and surprises us all the time with new words he knows. He's speaking in several word sentences, which impressed our Parents as Teachers lady when she visited a month or so ago.  He had said a few words to her when, about 15 minutes into her visit, he looked at her, pointed at Jack and said "Dat pay soccer ball.  Mommy pay soccer ball.  I pay soccer ball too."  She said "OK then, he's speaking in sentences...."

His pronunciation isn't quite perfect yet, so there are still times that we don't understand him, but I'd say we get most of it.  Here are some of our favorite things he says:
"Tittle Me Daddy" (tickle)
"Bop Mommy" (stop, if I'm aggravating him)
"Oh Man" (he came back from our Seneca Lake saying this, so clearly he learned from Parker)
"Go Cardinals" and "Go Yadi"
"Dat" (that's how he pronounces Jack)
"Watch Me Peoples!"
"Uh Oh Bettio" (spaghetti-o)

Our big shot recently learned to count and can count up to 14.  Sometimes he misses a number or two in there, but often he gets it right.  My favorite is when we play hide and seek and he says "One, Doo, Bee, Boor, Bise.  Not!  Mum!"  Demonstration:
Charlie knows his colors and is especially fond of yeyow.  Good thing since his big brother already has staked a claim on all things blue.  Charlie's already figured this out and when he sees a blue cup, plate, balloon, anything, he says "Dat's XXX" so we know that one is for Jack.

The week after Charlie's birthday party we decided it was time to say bye-bye to his boppy (pacifier).  He only used it for naps and bedtime, but it was the first thing he'd ask for when we'd walk into his room at night: "boppy?  loveys?" so we weren't sure how the transition would go.  We took it away on a Monday night cold turkey and just explained to him that he was a big boy now and his boppy went bye bye.  He cried at bedtime for about a week and a half and now we're back to normal, easy bedtimes again.  I have to say, that was easier than I expected since we had waited so long to take it away (we took Jack's away when he turned one).

He's a good sleeper just like his brother.  He generally goes to sleep by about 8:00, sometimes a little earlier or later.  He takes a good afternoon nap, but not quite as long as Jack; usually about 1.5 to 2 hours.  On the weekends if we're running around in the mornings he almost always falls asleep in the car for a nice little cat nap, which usually doesn't mess up his afternoon nap.  At my parents' house during the week, a lot of times if he sits still too long during the 10 o'clock hour, he'll fall asleep.  Doesn't matter where he is: on the couch, floor, wherever.  They wake him up after 20 minutes or so to make sure he still takes a nice afternoon nap.  Charlie wakes up earlier than Jack (by 7:00 at the latest, but usually closer to 6:30) and hasn't quite figured out that weekends are for sleeping in, much to Mommy's dismay.
Asleep on the way to Jack's soccer game, upside down sunglasses and all
On the potty front, you'll recall from here that he started showing interest awhile ago.  We haven't pushed it, but occasionally he asks to sit on the potty.  For the past month or so whenever he sits on the potty he's able to squeeze out some pee pee.  One night Jack and I sat with him in the bathroom and all three of us cheered each time he squeezed out a few little droplets.  Boy was Charlie proud.  One night about two months ago, Charlie sat on the kiddo potty while Jack was going potty on the big one pre-bath.  He sat and sat and sat and finally I basically made him get up to get in the bath.  Much to my surprise (and displeasure - cleaning those things out is no fun!) he had gone poo poo and pee pee in there!  It hasn't occurred again since, but he's taking baby steps in the right direction for sure.

Charlie does a new thing that we love.  It started when he did something naughty, and he would give me this sweet and innocent look with long, dramatic blinks and a big smile.  I'm telling you it's impossible to keep a straight face when he's doing it, so now it's become something we ask him to do all the time, "Charlie, show me your eyes."  Caught a little demonstration on video a few times recently.  Note:  Charlie is in full-fledged narcissism-mode and won't let me video him unless he can see the screen, so my videos are all very off-centered these days since I have nothing to look through.  Hopefully this phase passes quickly so my videography can improve...
Charlie loves to do the actions to all the kids songs: Happy and You Know It, the Wheels on the Bus, Ring Around the Rosie, Itsy Bitsy Spider, the Hokey Pokey, etc.  I've been struggling to get him on video due to his camera shyness, but I got a little snippet the other night.  This one also displays his tendency to watch and do and/or laugh at whatever his big brother does.  He's definitely a little copy cat, as most second children are!
He doesn't generally sing along; he just does the motions.  I do hear him every once in awhile singing to himself though (he stops if he realizes you're paying attention), and it's usually Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or Old MacDonald Had a Farm.

Charlie transitioned to the Turtle room at school the week of his birthday.  His new teachers, Ms Jill and Ms Malorie are great and he has really great days there still.  However, we are still, five weeks later, struggling with drop offs.  We went from a quick hug, kiss and goodbye to now tears every morning where I have to hand him over to a teacher and leave the room.  They say he stops as soon as I'm out of ear shot, so that's a good thing, but that still doesn't make it any easier on Mommy.  The last few weeks he's started getting upset as soon as we pass the turnoff to get to Grandma and Grandpa Lang's house.  He will whine and cry the rest of the way to school and then break down when it's time for me to leave his classroom.  Hopefully we'll get past this soon!

At Charlie's two-year check-up, he weighed 30 lbs (73%) and was 36" tall (86%).  He's on the bigger side of the charts, but not as big as Jack was at his age (35 lbs and 36.5" tall).  He was on track with everything the doctor asked about him: climbing stairs, throwing and kicking a ball, hopping, and I can't remember what else.  This boy is going to be another athlete we think - he's really in to playing baseball right now and has a pretty good right arm.

We are getting a little glimpse of the terrible twos - poor child is doomed with two stubborn parents, which really shows in his personality.  When he wants something, he wants it.  He's had his fair share of timeouts already either for not listening, for whining or for hitting at his brother.  All in all though, he's a happy, goofy, lovey little guy.  I love this age because they are still so snuggly but are learning so much and becoming independent too.

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