In case you don't remember Charlie's birth story, here's a brief summary: after helping to set up for a fund-raiser garage sale for seven hours on a Friday night, I went home, went to bed, and woke up to discover my water had broken. So now every year his birthday is at the same time as this sale that I am still helping to run. It keeps me crazy busy for about two weeks... I blame that for this blog post being so incredibly late! But it's always a fun reminder of that crazy night!
So, our Charliebug is two years old already. We've had fun celebrating our littlest man; more on that later.
For now I want to record some things I never want to forget about our son at this age:
Charlie is very adventurous. There's very little he's afraid of, at least that we've found so far. New places are simply a new spot to explore. He is not the least bit intimidated by slides of any size, he simply turns around and goes down feet first on his belly. He can climb things I would never have expected, at the park and at home too. One of my favorite examples of his love for adventure is our driveway. It has a slope to it, and without hesitation he hopped on one of his ride-on cars, pushed off once, lifted his feet, and down the driveway he sailed. (I can't help but point out how our boys are different in some ways - Zach still won't ride his bike down our driveway.)
Charlie is also clear in what he likes and doesn't like - there's no guessing with this guy. He may not say much, but he is very clear. He gives you the loudest, firmest "no" if you have given him something he doesn't want. And don't try to convince him otherwise. There's no point.
I still love to watch my boys play together as much as I always have. Well, play peacefully anyway. And nothing makes my heart warm more than when I watch Charlie trying to imitate his big brother. We see it all the time, whether it's the tone of voice he uses, the volume of voice he uses (he tries to sing along with Zach at times), or his body position. He literally follows Zach around at times, right in his footsteps. One example we see regularly is how Charlie plays with things, whether it's cars or Zach's Mario guys (the two most commonly used toys in our house). You'll see a funny example in the video (see below). He makes the same noises Zach makes, has the figures interact in the same way, etc. Monkey see, monkey do!
I may have already blogged about this, but Charlie has been obsessed with his belly button. Good thing it got warmer and he's rarely wearing a onesie anymore; he'll lift his shirt and show anyone his belly-button, unprompted. I like watching how people react when he then points to theirs, clearly asking for reciprocation! We tend to refer to belly buttons as "be-bo's" courtesy of the Sandra Boynton book; Charlie needs to learn how to pronounce it better. It's disconcerting to have him point at my belly and say "be-be."
Charlie's other obsession is our newly acquired trampoline (there's a story; short version is that our neighbors gave us their old one). We cannot say the word "jump" or "trampoline" or even "outside" without him running to get his shoes and then whining and pointing to the back door. Zach has learned to talk in code, things like "mom, after lunch can we go do the thing I'm not supposed to say?" And Charlie is as brave as ever on the tramp; he jumps pretty high and giggles uncontrollably when Zach bounces him. It's been amazing to see how much his balance has improved; he can get sprung pretty high and he just bends his knees and stays on his feet. Lots of fun happening in our backyard these days.
We're watching Charlie learn new things every day, things like colors and shapes. But he still knows things like which one is Mario vs Luigi or Lightning McQueen vs Chick Hicks the best… either the curse or the blessing of being the second child! He still doesn't say a lot, but I guess what people say about the second child not needing to speak is true - even without words, we almost always know what Charlie is trying to tell us!
Some words he speaks that I think a complete stranger could understand are: hi, no, mama, daddy/dada, car, baby, meow, ball, go, bye bye.
Words we can understand or a stranger might understand if given the context: more, grandma, grandpa, pooch, baseball, basketball, football, touchdown, be-bo (probably doesn't really count!), please, shoes, McQueen, king, Yoshi, poop, yeah, blue, star, balloon, bubble. I think there's probably more, but that's all I can remember at the moment!
He's also starting to echo us more than he used to; I've definitely heard butterfly and panda when reading an animal book. But he'll only repeat them when HE wants to. Charlie is getting quite good at making various noises, like the one on his cars book (Lightning's "ka-chow" and an ominous "dah-dah-dah"). When he sees Zach wearing a Mario shirt he says "yah-hooo!"; if it's the Perry the Platypus shirt he does his best to make the platypus noise. He likes to sing along when Zach sings Party Rock Anthem, particularly the part that goes: doo-doo-doo-doo-DOO-doo! It's funny what he's absorbing.
Ahhh, there's so much more I could tell you about this funny little boy. But I have to save something for future posts! And you can see some of him in action in this little video I put together from moments in the last month or so.