February 2011

Marcus is two and a half years old this month, a bit over 25 pounds and just a shade under 35 inches. He sometimes calls me "Mom," as in, "I go tell my mom I no like that orange!" (one day when his tangerine at lunch was mushy). We can barely remember life before him—we just have so much fun as a family together.

His joke-of-the-month is that, when reading the lift-the-flap book Where’s Spot?,  he pauses before opening the closet/piano/basket/box and waits for me to say, “Gee, I wonder what’s in there!” before saying, “Jellybeans in there!” or “Um-num-nums [M&Ms] in there!” I open the flap, and when he sees that I see there’s really a snake or a gorilla or a lion in there, he laughs uproariously. He'll also say, "No! I was just joking!" when he is, and then laugh again: he was eating a grilled cheese sandwich and said, "Mommy, that one peanut butter sandwich--no! I just kidding you! Not peanut butter!" It's hysterical for us to watch his sense of humor come into being.

He sings to himself, sometimes—“No more dee-dee [monkeys] jump-in-won-the bed,” or “Oh moe-doe-dold have a farm, woof woof here, woof woof there,” or “Wheels on bus, wheels on bus, wheels on bus, round round round.” He also sings the alphabet now, getting most letters—I distinctly heard “Double-ess, Y, Z” in there somewhere. He's currently loving a babywearing around the world book, the "Shaun the Sheep" short videos (available on Netflix to watch instantly), and some Charlie the unicorn videos on YouTube. Here he is watching some sheep with Daddy, and then napping while Robert (wearing the matching robot tees I bought them for Christmas) plays some Warcraft.

He was invited to his first-ever “real” birthday party—the fourth birthday party for one of his friends from school (Declan), at the MyGym in Allston. He wouldn’t say happy birthday to Declan that day, but the next day he was walking around the house chanting, “Hep-pee boor-dee Dec-den! Hep-pee boor-dee Mommy!” etc. By a week and a day later, when it was Amalia’s second birthday party, he was saying, “Happy boorday, Amollohwe!” like an old pro, and even “singing” the “Happy Birthday” song—albeit super slowly, waveringly.

We had a Superbowl party, and Marcus was concerned at first, earlier in the day, when he saw us rearranging some of the chairs in the living room. We explained that we had to do that because we were having a party later and we needed to make room for all the people. “All the people come my party?” he asked, cautiously. So we said yes, it was his party, and Sarah and Sean and Debbie and Amalia (his “baby”) were all going to come over to see him. “A-moll-oh-we coming my party?” he asked, now excitedly. When the doorbell rang, he ran to the door and looked down the stairs, calling, “A-moll-oh-we!” It was Leonid, though, so Marcus stood by the door and waited some more. When Debbie arrived, the same thing, and then Sarah and Sean, same thing. Robert started to get panicky that maybe something had come up and Ren and Matt weren’t going to be able to make it and Marcus would be disappointed, but at last they arrived. Marcus and Molly were thrilled to play together—he kept asking to hold her hand, but she was often more interested in holding her little USB drive. They played a lot with his little kitchen, though, and with the robot nesting dolls, and at another point they both sat at his little table and colored and used stickers. They definitely look like they could be siblings: About two minutes after entering, Matt got Marcus and Amalia confused, putting down his hand onto a small curly dark head and saying, “Okay, Molly, let’s. . .” before realizing that was Marcus. It was a great evening—Sean, Debbie, and Ren followed the game, and the rest of us just ate and talked and let two-year-olds climb all over us. At the end, Marcus was really cute—he stood by the stairs and waved goodbye and said, “Dee-doo [Thank you] coming my party!” to everyone, but especially Amalia.

We went to Chinatown to celebrate the Lunar New Year for the Year of the Rabbit, and Marcus loved the lion dances, the firecrackers, and even bits of the stage performances (dancers, martial artists with swords, etc.). He didn’t want to leave, but I explained that the lions had to go home and take a rest, and he fell almost asleep in the wrap on the way back home.

Marcus has real friends at school, now. He routinely asks kids to play with him, and they trot off hand-in-hand to a specific area. Sometimes there’s a really cute negotiation process that goes on, where Marcus asks Ellery to play with him, and she says yes, so they hold hands, and she suggests they go play in the block area, and he considers it; he counters with a suggestion of the water table, but she declines, so she suggests they go to “blue shelves” (puzzles and manipulatives), and he finally agrees, and off they go. One day last week Ellery got a bump on her head in the block area and Marcus was very concerned; he went and sat next to her while the teacher got her a smiley-face icepack and told everyone around that Ellery had bumped her head (“Right there! Right there in block area!”).

Marcus has been eating lots more lately--below you see two packed lunches for school. He always eats all his Clementine, and he loves rice and meatballs, but also leftover shreds of chicken. He can open his lunchbox all by himself and get everything out, and then pack it all up aftewards by himself too. At IHOP with Great-Grandma Helena, Marcus ate a quarter bowl of my potato cheese soup, with crackers; a quarter of Robert's Belgian waffle, plain; 1/2 of a kid's apple juice; and all--every last shred--of Robert's slice of ham. Below you see a couple lunches I pack for him. I usually add the meat straight from the freezer at night, and then it's fine when he eats it.

We went to Jocie's last hockey game in the Boston area, at Northeastern, on Presidents' Day weekend; UConn won, Jocie scored a goal, and she was announced as one of three all-stars of the game. Very exciting! Marcus has by now perfected his cheering: "Go, Jocie!" he yells, and "Yay!"

It doesn't matter whether she's on the ice or not—he's enthusiastic and actually audible in his cheering no matter what. It was very cold and windy that day, so we bundled up for the (very short) walk there and back, eating a slice of pizza on the way over and stopping for Eithiopian food at Lucy's and Korean-style fro-yo at Red Mango on the way home. Robert and Jocie posed together after the game; they're squatting down because Marcus was supposed to be in the middle, but apparently his patience for hockey is greater than that for posed photos at the moment.

Here are a whole bunch of catch-up videos--I did a big download from the camera, brief editing, and then upload to YouTube.

Wearing his babydolls around the house

Playing in the snow in Titus Sparrow Park

Playing with Pop-pop in NY last month

Wandering through the stands eating popcorn at a hockey game

Playing at the birthday party at MyGym

 Building at the Children's Museum on Presidents' Day

Being silly around the house--giant tickle gloves and crazy stickers on the belly

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Created: 3/1/11. Last Modified: 3/1/11.