I know I said I was going to stop with the regular reflections posts for Caelan but I changed my mind 🙂
It’s been a very eventful six months for Caelan! He has grown up SO much. Everyone says he speaks like a 3 year old, but I have no frame of reference for this – I don’t know any 3 year olds well enough to know how they speak. To me, he speaks like Caelan. Yesterday at his doctor appointment, the doctor said he usually sees this fluency in 4 year olds! (Yes, I’m bragging – I’m allowed to do that here 🙂 )
Six months ago, he was already speaking in complete sentences, but they were still a little choppy and missing some words here and there. But now, he’s added in the missing words, and the missing letters, in some cases. He used to always omit the “S” sound for any word that started with “S”, but then one day, he said “snake” correctly and it was like something clicked. He was immediately able to pronounce any other word starting with “S”. It seems like AGES ago that he’d march toward the playground saying “I go a wing and a lide”. Now he says “Let’s go see the swing and the slide”…clear as day.
Out for a walk/stroll
Bill and I frequently say to each other “This kid knows ALL the words.” because it really seems like he does! He cleaned up his last nonsense-sounding word (apalumb) and is saying “elephant” now. It’s happy and sad. By 28 months or so, there just didn’t seem to be anything he couldn’t say. He spoke in long complex sentences and he could even describe past events (such as things that happened at daycare). His stories weren’t always reliable, but still. He started to get the hang of using he/she/him/her correctly though he still made plenty of other grammatical mistakes. I feel kind of nit-picky when I correct his grammar because he’s ONLY 2 years old , but he’s pronouncing the words correctly already and grammar seems to be the next step.
One of his favorite things to say is “Whatcha doing, Mommy/Daddy?” He says it to start conversations, he says it to interrupt conversations when he realizes we’re talking to each other and not including him, and he says it whenever he’s bored. And he says it over and over and OVER again! It gets annoying but it’s also charming in a way. The other night, he was very upset about something and crying for a long time. When he finally stopped crying he said “Daddy……whatcha doing?” and we knew he was okay 🙂
Mommy and Caelan
He has been going through a stage in the past couple of months where we’ve heard a lot more gibberish from him. It’s weird. He doesn’t seem to be trying to say anything meaningful, nor does he seem to be talking TO us necessarily, but he’ll just let out a mouthful of indecipherable sounds. Maybe he’s talking to himself, or singing, or maybe he and his friends at daycare do this, who knows.
He knows all of his colors very well. We haven’t really made any progress with counting – somehow that fell by the wayside. He knows all of his letters by sight and even recognizes his own name in print. He can sing the alphabet all the way through now and it’s one of his favorite songs. We’ve been amazed at his memory for songs and books. He can recite the whole first half of The Giving Tree by heart! His play has become so imaginative. Cars hit each other and get put in time out, they crash, they line up, and they go to the dentist! Whatever he thinks of at the moment 🙂
“Them in line!”
Caelan has seemed to loose some interest in Sesame Street and has moved on to things like Thomas the Train, Chuck and Friends, and Cars. Despite never having seen the Cars movie, he LOVES Mater and Lightening McQueen thanks to some Little People cars and some hand-me-down sheets. In general he seems to love vehicles (particularly trucks) and dinosaurs. He also has an obsession with the color yellow.
Bill and Caelan
We moved Caelan into his new bedroom with his “big boy bed” (a twin bed with a rail) when he was 25 months old. I was really nervous about this transition because his nighttime sleep has always been so solid and I am loathe to do anything that might mess that up. But the baby was coming and we needed to make this move. And it was a total non-event. Caelan slept in that bed, in that room, like he had always been sleeping there. No big deal. It’s only been recently that he’s learned how to turn the door knob and leave his room. And even that only happens occasionally, and usually at nap time. And speaking of naps…those are still a crapshoot. Actually, there were a few times when we thought he was going to just quit napping altogether but, thankfully, that hasn’t happened yet. Right now, Caelan is napping about a few times a week for about 1.5-2 hours.
Sleeping with Panda
How could I forget to mention Panda?! Caelan developed a need to sleep with several stuffed animals a little after he turned 2 (namely, Panda, Elephant, Pooh, Seahorse, and later, Leo). Panda is the favorite though. He is often found tucked securely under Caelan’s arm when I go in to get Caelan in the mornings.
The “terrible 2’s” are here for sure. Caelan is a handful lately. I actually bought a book about discipline. Bill and I both read it but we didn’t try to implement anything new yet. Timeouts became a disaster (he laughed and ran away) and he outright ignored us when we asked him to do something (or not do something). Even things like “no standing on the couch” – which has long been a rule that Caelan was well aware of and followed really well – were apparently forgotten. We haven’t had too many completely epic meltdowns – mostly it’s the not listening that is the major problem. And the attitude…WOW. He is definitely going through a bossy stage. As always, we’re winging it and trying to do what we can to keep his behavior in check. At the very least we’re trying to impose consequences for his actions. Bill and I want to bang our heads against the wall on a daily basis, but we also laugh on a daily basis (see why here, here, here, here and here). I’ve heard that 3 is worse (the “shoot me in the face 3’s” I’ve heard them called) so yay for that.
Leah arrived when Caelan was 26 months old. He adjusted to his new baby sister really as well as we could have hoped. He has yet to show any major jealousy or any major regressions related to her arrival. We did notice a few smaller things like a skinned knee that had him completely hysterical and refusing to walk for days so that I had to carry him around just like I was carrying Leah around. But other than that he’s taken her arrival in stride. He stayed with my parents for 2 nights while we were in the hospital with Leah and that didn’t phase him a bit. He did get a little clingy with Bill right after Leah was born. Bill was spending all his time with Caelan while I spent all my time with Leah so Caelan became even more attached to Bill than usual. But that evened out after a few weeks.
Taking the big brother thing seriously
Caelan showed little interest in “baby sister” while I was pregnant. I don’t think he really understood what was going to happen. But when she was born, he was interested right from the start. She’s still an infant so she doesn’t interfere with his activities too much yet, but he seems to love her and regularly asks to see her, hold her, give her kisses, or “boop” her (touching her nose and saying “boop!”). He shares his toys with her, often putting a car or dinosaur in her lap. He also gave her his “animals” (a projection mobile) that he was still using up until she was about a month old. I thought that was a pretty big gesture. When I first suggested it, he refused, but a few days later he told me (on his own) that we needed to give Leah the animals 🙂 We also noticed that when he meets strangers (like the waitress at a restaurant, for example) he does his usual smiling-but-not-talking routine, but now he points to Leah to show her off. Sometimes he’ll even say “that’s my sister.” At daycare, he’s one of 3 kids with a younger sibling so he’s often referring to Leah as “mine” or “my baby”. It’s really sweet and I’m so excited for her to get a little older so they can really start to play together.
Playing on Mommy’s tab-a-let
Though we took Caelan trick-or-treating last year when he was about 17 months old, this year was the first time he really GOT it. I wondered how the whole saying-“trick-or-treat”-to-strangers would go since he normally clams up, but he did great and seemed to have a great time!! He was a dinosaur which was ridiculously cute. We also carved our first jack-o-lantern.
Potty training is still a no-go. We suggest it on a daily basis, but he flat refuses, sometimes even getting upset about the idea. We’ll continue to suggest it, but I’m not hopeful that he’ll be out of diapers anytime soon. Otherwise, he seems to be doing so well developmentally. He drinks from an open cup and he’s very good with a fork and spoon (though he often prefers to use his hands because it’s faster). He’s getting much better at undressing, but we haven’t really worked on dressing yet. He’s learning to brush his teeth, including rinsing and spitting in the sink. In the mornings he gets his own breakfast from the pantry and then helps me feed the cats.
He’s getting to be so grown up! It’s hard to believe that he’ll be THREE in just 6 months. Leah’s arrival has definitely made Caelan look much more like a little kid than a little baby. He’s quickly growing out of toddlerhood and he’s settling into his new role as “big brother” so well. We couldn’t have hoped for a better transition. I thought I would miss the baby stage more as Caelan got older but I find I’m just always excited for whatever is next on the horizon. In Caelan’s case, right now, that means preschool – more learning, more talking, more conversations with this silly kiddo!
Caelan’s 2.5 Year Stats
- Wearing 2T and 3T clothes, but can still fit in some 18-24 month pants
- Size 5 diapers
- Weight: 26 lbs 6 oz
- Height: 35 inches
- Loves Mater, Lightning McQueen, dinosaurs, trucks, and the color yellow
Caelan Vaughn, age 2.5