Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hayden at 34 months old

Hayden is growing up so quickly!! Although he is a munchkin in size, he is a force to be reckoned with. I hear him saying such big kid things and see that there is little left of the baby in him. It's like the last three years have been on fast forward.

Hayden is so verbal. He makes brings different ideas into conversation and remembers the most minute details of things that we forgot had even been mentioned. When he talks to other people and gives them details about our cars or various topics, they will look askance at us to see if what he is saying is true. It generally is very true and accurate. He makes connections between things that we love to hear. He was playing with a toy that asked how old he is and he said two and a half. Fillip said "You are almost three!" Hayden told the toy "Yes, I am almost three. I will be three in March." He is quite the parrot, and we have to really watch our language these days. We have improved greatly, but not everyone around us has. The other day, out of the blue, we hear from the back seat of the car "Fucking is a bad word. We aren't supposed to say fucking." Yes, Hayden you are right about that.

He seems to need to establish boundaries and rules, often quoting the rules back at someone. "Grandpa, don't chew ice. It's bad for your teeth." "Logan, you can't play with this. You are too little and could choke on the pieces." These days he is obsessed with being the Line Leader. I'm not sure how the Line Leader is chosen at school, but it is clearly a great status symbol when you are nearly three years old. He tells us he is the Line Leader if he gets to the sink first to brush his teeth, if we are the first people at a traffic light, when it is just he and Logan playing around the house, etc… Of course, Logan will follow whatever Hayden is doing and is happy to let his brother lead the way. A new thing Hayden says is "I already did!" As in washing his hands, drinking his milk, picking up his toys. Whatever it is we are asking him to do, he says he already did, even when it is blatantly obvious that he didn't. He hasn't quite caught on that if the sink is dry, we know he didn't wash his hands.

He is pretty good about sharing with Logan, although doesn't hesitate to grab something out of his brother's hand or push him over. The second I leave the room one of them is crying as the other takes something, hits, pushes, or otherwise offends. The other day I told them to work it out themselves since I felt it was a ploy to grab my attention back, again and again. Surprisingly, once they realized I wasn't rushing to the scene of the crime to mediate, they got along much better. No gratification in crying when nobody is listening, I guess. Whenever Hayden has a treat he offers some to Logan. When Logan wants a turn with something, Hayden quickly finishes his turn to hand it over. Of course, he expects the item back quickly, or any item someone is playing with. The second Logan has something Hayden is complaining "Logan isn't giving me a turn!" We are working on the concept that just because Logan has something, doesn't mean it immediately needs to be handed over, and vice versa. Overall though, they are quite a team.

After Logan came home from the hospital, we saw a backlash from Hayden. He was being extremely stubborn, argumentative and difficult. Clearly, he was feeling pushed aside in the whole situation and after a few days of encouragement, reminders that the "normal Hayden is a really good boy," and more than a few timeouts, he is back on track.

Hayden has always been a good eater, but these days I wouldn't say he is great about it. He isn't picky at all, just distracted. He is too busy talking and looking around to focus on finishing his meal. He can have the same bite in his mouth for 5 minutes while he does other things. He wants to sit in a regular chair like a big boy, but twists and turns, gets up and down, and overall drives us nuts without his booster seat. Sometimes the stepstool is a better solution, but sometimes we just put him in the booster. He doesn't protest much when I say he seems uncomfortable in the regular chair and this would be better. He loves to get a treat and asks for gum all the time. He rarely gets it since that invites a couple more issues like Logan protesting that he didn't get any ('cuz he doesn't have teeth!), gum getting put in various places it doesn't belong, and getting him to spit it out when it is time to eat, go to bed, etc.. At school he doesn't take his naps, which is usually the only negative feedback we get from his teachers. However, he really needs a nap and sleeps for a couple hours each day he isn't in school. We aren't sure why getting him to nap is no problem at home or Grandma's house, but doesn't happen at school.

Bedtime is my favorite part of the evening- not because I don't want to spend time with him, but because we have a pretty good routine and things go smoothly. He loves to snuggle up with me to read a story, which is so sweet. He often "reads" to me as he knows some of his books by heart, or at least the basic gist of the story and can tell me the story in his own words. He recognizes all the letters by sight and knows one or more words that start with each letter. He knows the days of the week, is starting to grasp months, can count to 20 and has learned all the basic rules and routines of his classroom.

Always an active child, he loves to ride his bikes and trucks, speeding around the patio or the playground at school. His imagination is kicking in and he will sit on the couch by himself or with Logan and pretend they are on a train, or in a truck, or in the kitchen whipping up dinner. Even Logan gets into it, stirring a spoon in a bowl and "pouring" things in. Hayden will put on his two backpacks (yes, both at once), grab a bag and a water bottle and tell me he is leaving. He keeps expressing his independence by saying he will drive the car, walk to school, make his own dinner, do his own laundry, etc… We don't let him play with the car keys for fear he really will try! He has been fully potty trained, day and night, for awhile now and almost always dresses himself. He is good about cleaning up when we ask him to, and especially good about cleaning up when it means stalling on going to bed.

This boy gets more handsome each and every day, and is truly a sweet soul. He is so friendly and outgoing that I see people respond to him wherever we are. He loves to giggle and wrestle with us, but is quick to give hugs and kisses as well. I'm amazed at how quickly he has turned into a little boy from my little baby, but so proud of the person he is becoming.


Ann said...

Hayden is lovely soul - your updates inspire me to do the same. I find this age group (well, the 4 year olds and the 1 year olds too) are so much fun - pushing back, so grown up but so little too.

Have fun (hey, and congrats on the gym!)

Jen H. said...

Everything you're saying really hits home, and reminds me of Andrew (well, except the potty training!). They are so sweet and hilarious at this age. I'm eager to see what age 3 brings, because for the most part, age 2 has been pretty great.