He's getting much more independent. He can eat by himself pretty well, though I admit I get impatient and still shovel food into his mouth if he's taking too much time. He can climb into his booster seat by himself, and snap the straps. He's been eating at the table lately and seems to really like that. He can climb into the bathtub by himself, and he's starting to insist on fastening his own clothes, though he still needs a lot of help with that.
We've started pushing him to use the toilet a lot more. We picked out some real underwear a week ago and he does pretty well with it as long as we're just home. Every time he uses the toilet, he gets to pick a mystery treat - we have them in plastic Easter eggs in a basket. Each egg has some mint M&Ms and a sticker or a small toy, like an alphabet magnet, a bouncy ball, a balloon. He gets pretty excited to pick out an egg and announces that it "Probly has 3 M Ms in't."
His vocabulary grows enormously all the time, and he's getting a lot better at communicating more complex ideas. I love coming home from work and getting him to tell me about his day - it's always interesting to hear what he wants to share. Sometimes I need some interpretation from Father, especially if they did something out of the ordinary. We still have a hard time with pronouns - Elmer refers to himself in the third person all the time. I never realized how difficult a concept pronouns are - how do you correct that? Here's a typical exchange:
Elmer: "Elmer Arthur sit with Mama. Arthur no touch you."
Me: "Yes, you and Arthur are sitting with me. You should say 'I don't want Arthur to touch me.'"
Elmer: "Arthur no touch me."It's all so confusing!
Elmer loves to sing, and have us sing with him. Some of his favorite songs include "Three Blind Mice," "Puff the Magic Dragon," "Bibbity Bobbity Boo," and "I've Been Working on the Railroad." We sing when we eat, we sing in the bath, and he always wants one of us to sing before nap and bed. Sometimes he sings to himself.
He also likes to quote from books or poems. Certain phrases will set him off - for example, if you say "Boom!" he'll say "Mr. Brown is a wonder!" from Mr. Brown can Moo, Can You? If you don't know where it's coming from, it can be pretty strange to have a conversation. Luckily, we nearly have all of his books memorized because all this boy wants to do is read! It's hands down his favorite activity, and he would probably sit and read all day if we would do it with him. His favorite book of all time is Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever, which he calls "The Clock Book." He also loves lots of Dr. Seuss books, The Little Engine Who Could, Beatrix Potter's stories, and too many other books to list.
Of course we have some struggles with discipline and the usual toddler drama, but Elmer is very well behaved in general. It's hard to be strict when he knows he's misbehaved, looks up at you with those big eyes and says "Forry!"
One of my favorite developments is his displays of affection. He'll come over and lean into my legs or want to hold my hand or cuddle in the chair with a book. I love giving "Big hug, little hug, kiss" when I'm leaving for work, and giving kisses good night. Elmer is such a sweet little boy - we love him so much!