On Saturday our neighbor hosted an Easter Egg hunt for the toddler set. Though many of us first-time parents had low expectations, the kids took to it naturally. Cormac had a grand time pointing to the pastel-colored plastic eggs “hidden” in the yard. He filled his pail eventually, but at about half the speed of the other kids. Another neighbor with a son 1.5 months older than Coco said “I’m a little envious– does he always move at this speed? My guy is Mr. Energy!” I explained that Cormac is more of a relaxed observer-type, but that Ansel more than makes up for it with his frenetic energy. Unfortunately, Ansel couldn’t come because he had caught a cold. Though I’m sad he didn’t go to the Easter Egg hunt, I’m happy he napped for four hours instead.
Recently I’ve seen Cormac walking backwards several times, often with a silly smile on his face. This is a new thing for him. Surprisingly, he’s walking backwards before Ansel (usually Ansel leads with new physical abilities.) Speaking of which, Ansel can climb up our child-proof fencing like a little monkey, hooking his toes into the little holes in the fence. He hasn’t managed to go over the top yet (that we’ve seen), but we’re keeping our eyes on him…
The boys still don’t have many words– though they have added hot to their repertoire (pronounced “ha”). “Dada” is Ansel’s favorite word and he says it often. I’ve noticed him saying it more in the hour before Dan arrives home from work– does he know when to expect Dada? They’re pretty quiet overall, though they are doing some chattering. My friend Chris Walker says when they start talking it can be like your cat suddenly started talking. I can imagine– I’m so used to them not saying anything now. Today after Ansel woke up from his nap it was obvious what he wanted without words– he grabbed his snack cup and pointed to the cupboard that holds the Cheerios.
In other news Cormac has three freckles now– one on his neck, one on his chin and one on his forehead. Silly boy, doesn’t he know that freckles belong on your nose? Ansel is winning the tooth race: he’s got his eight incisors, top & bottom, his four first molars, top & bottom, and is now working on his two top canines! Cormac has his eight incisors and one molar. He’s not one to hurry.
Ansel loves to put things away. When Cormac came home with the pail full of easter eggs, Ansel spent a good 20 minutes emptying them out of the pail and then putting them back. Unfortunately, he’s still pretty aggressive about taking Cormac’s toys. Cormac doesn’t fight Ansel much to try to keep the toys but now he’s showing real frustration after it happens. Recently Ansel took a Patagonia catalog that Cormac had been looking at and Cormac turned to me afterward and very deliberately picked up a nearby toy and threw it down in anger. I felt like he was trying to say “Why does Ansel always take my toys?” or maybe “Why don’t you keep Ansel from taking all my toys?” We work with Ansel on sharing and taking turns (and are starting to work with Coco on his frustration) but we also know that they need to learn to work these things out between themselves too.
Coco and Ansel were sick through much of March and the nights got pretty bad (a post for another day perhaps.) Just recently the boys have returned to health and we’ve been trying to get our bedtime routine back to what it was pre-sickness: milk, tooth brushing, books, cribs, lights out, sleep. Since their sicknesses we often need to add 15-45 minutes of soothing before they go to sleep. Bedtime tonight was an interesting experience. I turned the lights out and rubbed their backs, talking about it being time to go to sleep (and warning them that I was going to leave soon.) They were both standing in their cribs, seeming agitated, so I kept rubbing their backs. Then Ansel reached up his arms and pushed me away. I was confused. He reached up his arms again but in a way that seemed like he wanted to be picked up. Instead of picking him up I gave him a big hug and told him that I loved him. Then I did the same for Cormac. They still didn’t lie down so I left the room intending to go get my cell phone so I could come back and chill out with them. As I left the room Ansel started crying but after I closed the door behind me the crying stopped within 30 seconds. I’m not sure but I think Ansel wanted to go to sleep but found my presence too stimulating and that’s why he pushed me towards the door.
I’ve noticed Cormac making arm rolling motions occasionally (like you do when you sing Pat-a-Cake) and I thought it was cute, but didn’t think much more about it. Today I noticed that he did it at breakfast when I said “it’s time to roll your sleeves up” and I realized that he was correlating “roll your sleeves up” with the lyrics “roll it” from Pat-a-Cake and I got really excited! They might not say much but their brains are coming up with connections that I never expected!
Also, they love to help us (sweep, vacuum, pick up (sometimes)) and are starting to care for each other, it seems. Oftentimes when we go into the nursery for naptime or bedtime, one or the other of them (especially Ansel) will hunt for their pacifiers and bring them to the other. And when one or the other of them is lying down for a diaper change and fussing about it, his brother will bring over a toy for him to play with while he’s being changed. I’m hoping this is just the start to a lifetime of fraternal affection for these two.