Likes: Puzzles, play-doh, sticker books, and craft projects. You still amaze me with your coloring skills — you switch hands to get the best angle and fill in tiny circles with your favorite colors (purkle, boo, red). You spend extended periods of time every day playing with your matchbox cars. You drive them along the couch cushions and race them around the carpet and load them in your truck — along with pepperoni and mushroom pieces from your pizza set. You have also started to “crash” your cars, which typically leads to quite a mess and, inevitably, mama or dada stepping on at least one pile of cars every night.
Dislikes: Sitting at the table for dinner. Let’s blame it on an easily distracted and increasingly picky toddler. You typically do very well during breakfast (cereal with bananas, pancakes with syrup, scrambled eggs with ketchup) and lunch (macaroni and cheese, sliced ham, cucumbers, grapes), but dinner is a struggle. I ask you to take “three more bites” before you’re allowed to get down, and we count them together. I sometimes even bribe you with dessert if you finish your turkey burger or slice of meatloaf or piece of lasagna. Yes, I have become that mom.
Favorite Foods: Speaking of food, you do have a few favorites: all things pasta, grilled cheese (which you now like to dip in tomato soup just like mama and dada), pizza, raisins (ria), bananas (bina), strawberries, and treats. Between leftover Halloween candy, chocolates from your Advent calendar, and Christmas cookies, we certainly eat our fair share of “treats.”
Favorite Books: Uncle Andrew recently gifted you his favorite childhood book: Richard Scary’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, which we affectionately call the Goldbug book. And you love it as much as he did! It didn’t take long for you to memorize where the Goldbug is hiding on most pages, and you often point him out before we can find him. You say “Goldbug, ere awr you?” and “ere he is!” Another new favorite this month: The Potty Train, which you call “choo choo poop.” (Thanks, Nini.)
Favorite Activities: Family movie night! Almost every Friday night, we make pizza, choose a movie (Planes, Despicable Me, Toy Story) and snuggle together on the couch. You last about 45 minutes before you get antsy, and so we take an intermission for bath and jammies and a big bowl of popcorn. It’s such a fun new tradition. Another favorite activity: you love to help feed the dog (who you finally call “Lucy!”). You give her three scoops of dry food and stir in the yogurt. Then you pick up her bowl when she’s finished and say “good girl, dog.” It’s pretty darn cute — and helpful!
Communication: You’re still surprising us with new words every day: lap, table, polar bear, dinner, alligator, buckle. And you now often speak in sentences. Some of my current favorite phrases: I stuck. Yes, I did (in your deep man voice). Where (fill in the blank) go? There it is. And the very best one: I wuv you. Every night, we say “I wuv Mama. I wuv Dada. I wuv baby. I wuv Sam. And, always, I wuv Ricky.” Yes, you are still very fond of your stuffed frog. You give him hugs and kisses and clean his face and take such good care of him. I am so amazed by your innocent and unconditional love. You have also become very sensitive to the emotional state of others. You act sad when Dusty is sad in the Planes movie, and then say “hooray, all done sad!” when he’s all better. And you love to point out the “appy” truck in Goodnight, Construction Site, and say “cheese!” You can also quickly identify the “bad guys” in the movies we watch. Other favorite expressions: oh wow, whoa, cool, super cool.
Behavior: One milestone I regret to report this month is that you have started to hit and kick and throw tantrums when you don’t get what you want. It’s not as terrible as it sounds, and it only lasts about 20 seconds before you say “I sorry.” But it’s frustrating, nevertheless. We talk about “crazy Sam” and how he’s not nice, and sometimes we resort to timeout, which consists of sitting with you in the corner of the office and counting to ten. I know this is common behavior for a two-year-old and that you are just trying to express your opinions and demonstrate your independence, but I really hope this stage doesn’t last much longer!
Sam, sometimes you test my patience, but you are still such a love bug. I am trying my very best to soak up these last few weeks before we welcome baby sister into our lives! Love you to the moon and back, kiddo.