a little update on my sweet Hayesie is in order. and a few cutie pics for all you non-readers.
✩my favorite thing he picked up on his own is telling me "mama i'm a happy guy." he then started asking me if i was a happy guy, at which point we had the whole gender/anatomy talk a lot earlier than planned. so now he says "mama you a happy grill?" (girl) and then mumbles something about boo-boos and weenies.
✩Hayes is incredibly possessive a toys, not even just his toys. He's been known to spot a kid with train at another table at a restaurant and he pounds his chest with his little fist (seriously like a gorilla) and says "my train!" this is our biggest challenge when it comes to friends. i work like a maniac the first few minutes of any play date to get them all settled, trading toys around, and playing together peacefully. if i slack on this job, i'm usually paying for it the rest of the time. you live and learn, right? it is a constant conversation when we're at home just us three. siblings are amazing for so many reasons, but they are especially nice when you're trying to illustrate how to be a decent human being. there's always a life lesson to be taught when they're playing together, and there's always incredibly heart-warming behavior to praise as well.
✩Cal was teething one day and wanted to be held, but was sitting on the floor while i was making breakfast. Hayes went over to him, bent down, put his little hand on Cal's back and said "baby Cal, you sad? baby Cal, mama's right hee, baby Cal" and points to me. (when he says "right hee" i die a little, it's the cutest.)
✩he's the most hilarious negotiator. he says he wants a cookie, and i say "sorry Hayes, no cookie." and then he replies with "two cookies? three cookies?" he says he wants the ha-pad (iPad) "no iPad, Hayes." and he says "mommy's phone? daddy's phone?" his absolute obsession with those darn Apple products is really quite out of hand. he pulls up YouTube finds clicks on the most viewed, starts streaming Gotye, then goes down the rabbit hole of videos, usually ending up in some German techno. the whole thing stresses me out, i wish i could lock him out of YouTube and only let him use the PBSKids app. he would sit on a phone all day if i let him, and it's been really good for both Russ and I to limit our phone usage at home. if we're using it, he wants to use it. so, we have to keep them high and out of sight and reach. it's a good thing, for certain.
✩he's expanded his knowledge and vocabulary for animals, and is feeling pretty confident. so much so, that i usually get corrected.
Hayes: "what's that?"
Me: "a lobster."
Hayes: "no it's a crab."
it's not a beaver, it's an otter. it's not a fox it's a cat. it's not a parakeet, it's a toucan. is it weird that being corrected all day gives me a sense of pride?
✩Hayes has all his letters and 1-10 numbers down by sight, and loves to pick them out wherever we go. i figured the next concept to work on with him would be their sounds, but he could care less about it. in general he really loves to learn and if he'll stop to read books, we'll read ALL THE BOOKS. he'll bring me stack after stack.
✩we had a hard couple weeks together, it was basically a moment by moment struggle of testing boundaries. he really wanted to establish how far he could push things (and me) and standing my ground all day was exhausting! i found myself going to bed so depleted and waking up feeling the same way. thankfully after explaining to Russ how i was feeling he took a day off from work and spent it with the boys so i could go do whatever and it helped a lot. i started the next day with a tank full of patience and turns out that's exactly what you need when this little phase strikes. for Hayes i can never give him too much love and praise, there's always more space for a cheerful attitude and big smile directed his way. while he doesn't love to cuddle so much anymore, i've found ways to show him physical affection, even if it's just stroking his hair or popping his toes. staying calm is the key to his heart and his rationale, and it took me a little while to get it right, but we're in a good place now.
once i got my parenting style right for him, he seemed to blossom. he became easier to logic with, seemed to accept and let go of the way certain things are, and started listening to me again. nothing makes me happier than calling him downstairs for lunch or to run an errand and he says "okay mama i comin'!" or when his brother comes crawling over to his train set and instead of hitting him and saying "go away baby Cal" he gives Cal a train to play with and says "help mom!" which as we practiced means he needs to me to get Cal out of his grill.
✩often times i look at Hayes and my heart aches for him, being two can't be easy. and parenting a two year old is pretty tough at times as well, but we're making our way together and the shining moments and successes make my heart want to burst. i just love Hayes, he is something to celebrate, someone i am so grateful to have in my life, and i'm so blessed to be his mama.
all pics by Nicole except the last one shot by his Auntie Too-Ken. (McKenzie.)