Thursday, September 8, 2011

Two and a Half Years Later

Today, I am the parent of a two and a half year old.  TWO AND A HALF, people!

Nicole Campo Photography

It just so happened that I signed up for a free Chick-Fil-A breakfast this morning, so we started our day off right with some chicken minis.  All I've got to say about that is: Ethan is surely his Mama's child.  I've never in my life seen him eat breakfast with such enthusiasm!

Well, maybe on cinnamon roll day, but that's another story for another time.

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I'm not really in the letter writing mood today (I still love you, Ethan) but I did want to jot down some things here for the baby book.  Ethan doesn't necessarily seem older to me but, once we hit these half-way marks, I know it's all downhill from here.  First comes fall, then comes Thanksgiving and Christmas; then we celebrate the new year and, before we know it, Ethan will be three! It just doesn't seem possible.

Nicole Campo Photography

At two and a half, Ethan stands over 3 feet tall and is hovering around 28 pounds.  He has a vocabulary the size of Texas, and we continue to work with him on his language development.  Some of the funniest things he has said lately are:
-When making a choice between two activities, foods, etc. he will purse his lips together, smack them, and say, "Ummm ... let's see".

-A couple of weeks ago, there was a strange sound outside.  Ethan looked at me, surprised, and said, "What's that?!" I told him I wasn't sure and asked what he thought it was.  He looked out the window, began scratching his head with his index finger and said, "Um, prooooooobably .... a cat!"

-He has practically memorized various stories from "One Fish Two Fish" and, while in Ohio, he picked up a toy phone and said, "Hello? Hear me Joe? Oh no! Mouse cut wire.  Goodbye!" and hung up.
He keeps us laughing, that's for sure!

Nicole Campo Photography

I am always amazed at the things he picks up on.  From memorizing parts of books, to remembering past events, he is taking it all in.  I have to remind myself that he is always watching, always listening.  A good friend of mine shared a quote the other day that said, "Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you." This was so good for me to read, especially on a day when my bad attitude was rubbing off on him.  My number one prayer as a parent is that I would be so full of love, joy, peace, patience, et. al., that it would spill out onto Ethan.  I want to show him appropriate ways to behave, not just tell him.  Let's just say I have a lot of work to do on my end!

In many ways, I think Ethan is going to be a lot like me.  He has his Daddy's humor, no doubt, but I see so much of myself in him.  He's a bit socially awkward right now and is learning how to interact with his friends.  For those that only know the 21st century Joye, you may be surprised that I would describe myself as socially awkward.  Or, maybe not! If that description doesn't seem right to you, just ask my friends from back home; I'm sure they will put your mind right to ease!

But, Ethan is smart as a whip.  The things he knows, and the words he can say, is truly unbelievable.  Just yesterday he asked to read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".  He got the book out of the basket, looked at the cover and said, "Caterpillar! Caterpillar.  kuh-kuh.  Caterpillar starts {with} k!"

Nicole Campo Photography

He gets so frustrated when his body isn't able to do what his mind is telling him he can.  At two years old, I would sit in the middle of the floor and bang my head against it (or a wall, whichever was closest).  It made my mama a worried mess, of course, but the doctor told her it was a sign of intelligence (ha!) and that I would stop before I hurt myself.  He was right.  Granted, Ethan isn't hitting his head on concrete, but I see that level of frustration rise up in him when he can't figure something out.

Nicole Campo Photography

God bless my mama.  Parenting the two-year old me is no easy task! I can only pray that I show Ethan half the grace and patience she showed me.

Everything else seems to be falling right into place with Ethan.  After a brief period of resistance involving his big boy bed, he is sleeping in it beautifully these days.  Next up will be potty-training, but I don't even plan to touch that one with a ten-foot pole until sometime this winter.

Nicole Campo Photography

I can't say that this is my favorite age; just being honest.  (I still love you, Ethan.)  While I'm thankful for the lessons this stage is teaching me, I very much look forward to incorporating some reasoning and logic into our days! I've kind of labeled this time as "the age of extremes"; there just doesn't seem to be much middle ground, whether we're talking about eating or behavior.

However, on those hard days when I feel as though I'm ruining my child, I think back to the time when I never thought he would be here.  And not just figuratively.  When I think about parenting through the lens of possibly not getting to parent at all, it changes things.

Nicole Campo Photography

He changes things.

9 comments:

Stefenie said...

Adorable pics! Those are really good!!

Happy 2 1/2 Ethan! Before you know it Joye, he'll be starting preschool! {{{HUG}}}

BlessedMommy said...

I just want to eat him up! Those pictures are amazing!!!

Becca said...

He is so cute! I love the pictures :-)

Kim Smith said...

This post makes me happy. You are a great writer, Joye! When I have days when I wonder if I'm "ruining my child", I remember something that Jeff told me once. He said, "You can do everything right and Palmer is still going to be a messed up little kid." We are ALL sinful, messed up little kids inside. We are "more sinful than we ever imagined but more loved than we ever dared hope." Take comfort in that. :) Love ya!

Kelly said...

Happy 2-1/2 birthday, Ethan!!! The pictures are beautiful!

Amanda Baumann said...

You are such an amazing mama and I have learned so much for watching you and Jeramie parent Ethan. All your hard work is and will pay off. Ethan is such a joy to be around. Thanks for being honest about motherhood. You help me and make me feel more normal! Love your heart!

Tara said...

You are an amazing momma and writer! I love this post...so beautiful. Ethan is such a precious little boy...just love your family! Hugs and blessings and happy 2.5 years Ethan!!

Mandy said...

I can't believe he is already 2 1/2. So crazy how fast time goes. Enjoyed reading your post.. :) miss ya girl

Anonymous said...

Another wonderful post. I cannot express to you how much I love that little boy.

You and Jeramie are doing such a great job. I am proud of all 3 of you!

Ethan is very intelligent. I can see the excitement in his face when he does something that he is proud of and looking for a 'yay!!!' from whom ever is watching him. (He will always get the yay!! from me!)

Thank you for another wonderful post Joye. I absolutely love reading these stories. You are a gifted writer and you are writing about my favorite subject too. :)

Love always, Grandma A

PS.Grandma Amy is what he called me last night. He heard you call me Amy, he looked at me and said 'Amy'. A few minutes later I asked, Ethan who is this?, pointing to myself, he said Grandma Amy.

I'll take it!

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