Friday, August 17, 2012

Graham at Two and a Half

Since Jack has started school, I'm excited to be able to give Graham some one on one attention for the next six weeks or so until the baby arrives! Since he's my middle one, I really won't have much time like this to just be with him alone so I am hoping to really cherish it. I am noticing how grown up he is and it has been awhile since I posted on here about his milestones so it seemed like a good time to update.

Graham has matured greatly over the past six months or so. He really is such a sweet boy and has not at all lived up the the cliche "terrible twos." I would say our most difficult behavioral challenge with him is simply not wanting to share. This probably wouldn't even be much of an issue for a first born since he does well with friends at church and the gym. It is mainly at home with Jack that he gets frustrated with not having his toys all to himself. The boys have recently moved into the same room so that makes it even more difficult to distinguish whose toys are whose so we try to just share everything and that is challenging at times. However, we are working on it and he doesn't hit or anything, but he does break down into tears at times if Jack has something that he wants.

Speaking of tears, Graham is so much more emotional than Jack ever was, which is funny because I would say that Jack is actually more sensitive. They just handle things differently. Whatever emotion Graham is experiencing, he displays it on a grand scale. So when he is happy and excited, his face could light up a room and he is loud and full of laughter. When he is sad, his face just drops so dramatically and he can break down into tears so quickly and easily. It is really heartbreaking to see him sad, although he usually very easy to console and quick to recover. Even his language development reflects his emotional side. Jack had a very big vocabulary at this age but did not use the same words Graham uses. Many of Graham's words have to do with emotion (some of which he got from Thomas the Tank Engine which is why they seem so random). He tells us that he is sad, happy, worried, tired, mad, stern, and cross. He also tells us when he misses someone. Today he said to me, "Mommy, I am stern and I want to tell daddy about it!" Sometimes I think he's just trying to get a laugh but I just find it interesting that he recognizes and labels his emotions so well.

Over the past few months, Graham has experienced many changes and has handled them all well! Not only did he move into a big boy bed, but it is a bunk bed and it's in the same room as Jack. He has done so much better than we expected! I knew that he would be fine in the bed but was worried about him talking too much and keeping Jack awake. He does tend to want to talk and play for awhile but if Randy and I remind him to lay his head down and be quiet a couple of times, that is usually all it takes and they are both asleep within 30 minutes. I am so relieved about this since we wanted them to be very settled in their room long before the baby arrived. That is one thing off the list!

Another change was that we began potty training. Although he was very excited about it and did great with going in the potty, he still had trouble letting us know when he needed to go so we have decided to take a break and try again in a few weeks. I would love to have him potty trained before Reid is here but know that pushing it when they aren't ready usually backfires! We'll give it some more time. He does love his Thomas underwear though!

The most recent change is of course, Jack going off to kindergarten. After we dropped Jack off this morning, Graham said in a pitiful voice, "I want to go to kindergarten too!" Poor little guy definitely misses his big brother but I think he will enjoy the time with mommy and in a couple of weeks he will be starting music school twice a week and I know he will love it!

Some other milestones from the past few months:
- Vocabulary is skyrocketing! He speaks in full sentences and we are amazed by the new phrases he picks up seemingly on a daily basis.
- Ever since he turned two, he has started "helping" with "chores." These are very small things but include carrying his plate to the sink after dinner, getting out his own placemat and putting it away, washing his hands by himself, picking up his toys when he is finished with them, putting his own clothes in the hamper, etc. He really loves his little chores and especially loves the praise that follows after he has completed a task!
- He still loves singing and his current favorites are Somewhere over the Rainbow and Amazing Grace. He also likes singing the prayer song at dinner.
- His prayers have progressed greatly! Previously when I asked him to pray, it would sound something like, "Dear God, sdfasdfkj;sdfjas;dfjskdfjsd, Amen!" Now I'm hearing things like, "Dear God, sdfsfsdfs baby Reid, asdfskdfasdf Daddy at work, sdfasdfsdf Jack school, Amen." It is so sweet to hear him name his cares and concerns when praying.
- He loves books and some new favorites are Chicka-chicka-Boom-Boom, We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Veggie Tales Story Bible, and Thomas book, and Good Morning, Good Night. He likes to be read to but is also now liking to "read" the books himself and it is fun to hear him recite them.
- He loves TV. We limit it of course because he could watch it all day! His current favorites are Sesame Street, Curious George, and of course Thomas.
- On a daily basis, his favorite activities include going to the kids club at the gym, going to any playground/park, having playdates with friends, going swimming at BB's, going to the church library to play with the train table, and simply playing at home in his room. If he's in his room, he is almost always playing cars. He likes to race them and just drive them around on the floor. He is also really enjoying play dough lately.

Overall, Graham continues to be extremely energetic and full of life. He does not slow down willingly! He can run away from you so fast that you won't even know it happened so I always have to have my eye directly on him. He is rambunctious and could be described as "all boy" because when he's outside, he likes to play in dirt, jump in puddles, and put leaves and wood chips all over the slide. He loves people and always tells us the names of his friends from church and other places. After playing with a friend at the park the other day, he repeatedly said, "I want to be with Luke!" the rest of the day. He just thrives on making people smile and laugh. I am so in love with this little guy and can't wait to see what he does next!

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