Marcus is two years old now! He’s 24 pounds and just over 34 inches. He’s still wearing size 4 diapers—don’t know if that will ever change at this rate—and a mix of 18-month and size 2T clothes. Health-wise, this month we had hand-foot-mouth, both me and Marcus—it was annoying, but not terribly serious—and another summer cold with a cough. He had a blood test for lead levels and a TB test, so a lot of needle sticking there, plus his annual checkup. Marcus loves trying to dress and undress himself. He is usually successful with everything except putting on socks, if you give him long enough.
One of his favorite books currently is Knuffle Bunny, and he always gets all sad and says “Oh no! Uh-oh!” on the page when they leave the bunny in the washing machine. “Again! Again!” he demands, returning back to that page over and over. He also loves this big (I mean two feet tall) Richard Scarry word book we got him--he drags it around, points out cats and boats and bananas and all sorts of things, and seems to like the novelty of how big it is. He says "lap!" when he wants to come up into our laps, to read or whatever, so when you see baby dragging a giant book around yelling, "Lap!" you should get ready. Another of his favorite books is a puzzle book of city animals with fold-out pages and a guessing game. “Forse! [Horse!]” he says, triumphantly. “Again!”
“Again,” like “more-more,” is one of his favorite words, but overall he speaks in sentences now:
Sometimes, when looking at a picture of himself, he’ll say, “Baby!” and point. I always say, “That’s you!” so he’s started tapping his chest and saying “Joo! Joo!” when he sees pictures of himself as a baby. His word for ketchup (formerly feh-fup) and for toothpaste (formerly foo-fee) have converged into “fee-fee”—apparently, both are yummy things you squeeze out of containers and Mommy won’t let you just eat on their own. He can say “pwees” (please), sometimes on his own and sometimes when prompted, when making requests. He always smiles when he says that.
He knows lots of animal names and their sounds, all the face and body parts, and some colors (yellow, green, red, and blue). He’s starting to know shapes—circles are a favorite. His joke of the month involves answering “Roar!” with a mischievous grin to the question “What does the cow/sheep/dog/cat say?” Sometimes he’ll then say “Roar! Moo! Roar! Moo!” and giggle at his own cleverness and subversion. He loves "hiding" in the pillows on the bean bag chair or floor, and sometimes he'll lie down there and say, "I sleeping," with a little grin on his face. That's my cue to say, "Are you sleeping?" and then he yells "No!" and laughs.
He finished up at our local daycare, complete with tears on the part of the teachers and lots of hugs and a sweet card they made him with the handprints of his classmates. We’ve been visiting at the university daycare, and his first official day there is next week. It will be great to have him so close to me, right on campus, even though I know he got really loving care the past year and a half at the other place.
Marcus loves playing with his trains. We have lots of different kinds of pieces now, cross-pieces, bridges, etc., and he will often go to the coffee table, lift up the top, take out some track, and very seriously start building a long, complicated track around the living room. Robert, of course, loves playing with the trains too, but Robert generally goes for loops while Marcus prefers "longest road" (ha!). One of his favorite mini-games related to the trains is to let the battery-powered engine run under the couch, then get the yardstick and a flashlight and dig it out, and then repeat.
He also really likes watching little animal videos on YouTube, and the occasional Sesame Street song or sequence there too. He particularly likes robot videos, too—usually funny Japanese-made ones with small robots who climb a ladder or jumprope or play competitive robot soccer (Robocup). He calls them all “ba-bems,” which is his word now for the Roomba, and applauds them. He doesn’t really “watch” TV or movies, though—when we get together with friends and they say that their son or daughter likes “Up,” or “The Little Mermaid,” I’m slightly mystified—I can’t imagine Marcus sitting still long enough to watch a whole movie!
Usually a few mornings a week, we do watch a little kids’ TV in the mornings while still in bed. Marcus is a great sleeper, sleeping 11-13 hours at night almost straight through, but depending on when he goes to bed—anywhere from 7:00-9:00, depending in turn on the business and exhaustion of the day—he wakes up between 6:00 and 8:00. If he wakes up on the earlier side of that range, Robert and I usually convince him that sitting in bed playing with the remote is better than completely getting up. Marcus channel surfs, mostly, but does seem mildly interested in the PBS morning shows, including “Peep,” about a fat stupid talking bird; “Martha Speaks,” about a chubby annoying talking dog; and “Clifford,” about a freakishly large goody-goody talking dog.
We first celebrated Marcus’s birthday here in Boston with Grandpa Richard and Great-Grandma Helena. She gave him a Mr. Potato Head with all the parts in a nice clear plastic case, which he loves carrying around with him, and we had cupcakes and sang and blew out a number two candle (left over from one of Sarah’s 20-something birthdays, I think).
Then we went to New York to see the California cousins on the last day of their trip East. We also got to see Maria and baby Davy, to swim in Rie and Steve's pool, and to celebrate Marcus’s birthday again on the day of his actual birthday, when we went to church in Masspequa and then out to the Hicksville Chuck E. Cheese. The family's first Chuck E. Cheese experience was quite something--the pizza was, given our expectations, surprisingly adequate, and Marcus had a great time putting the tokens into the machines for the different games.
I think my parents had a great time with him, too, and the weekend overall was filled with many trips to the trash room with Pop-pop, kisses for Grandma, and bunny books and games with "Ann Mare" (Aunt Mary). We were sad to leave NY, as always, but ready too to come back to Boston and start the school year next week. Happy 2nd birthday, little one!
Here are just a couple movies from the birthday weekend in NY:
Aunt Mary singing a song about monkeys.
Grandma Connie playing with the tea set.
Pop-pop playing ball.
Cuddling, kissing, and climbing--all sorts of fun.
Playing in the pool with baby cousin.