Playing Catch-Up

When you are two, a lot happens in half a year. It is amazing to me how much Gus has grown and changed in what feels like just a blip in time. Where do I even begin?

Well, since I last blogged, there is a lot more talking. A LOT. Gus basically narrates every moment - what he's doing, what he's feeling (more on that later). And of course, he is full of questions. All kinds of questions. He has the cutest way of asking them, too. His voice goes way up high at the end. Which is how we indicate a question in speech, but the way he does it is so exaggerated. I have to work really hard not to crack up!

He has started going to daycare a few days a week and loves having other kids to pal around with. And now, unbelievably, we are into the preschool application process. I'd much rather deal with tantrums and the like than this type of logistics. But I think we've found a place that is a great fit for him and hopefully it will work out. He has to be out of diapers to go there, so we are working on that, with pretty good success.

Hmmm. Well, he wears them the "proper" way too!

On top of these developmental milestones, it is so cool to see Gus's understanding of complex concepts grow. He seems to really be working out the nuances of being adopted and what that means. We talk about it openly, and he asks questions. We've had some friends have babies recently, so he's been very interested in pregnancy/birth and talks about how he came out of his birthmom K's tummy. And earlier this month when I asked him to whom we should send Valentines, he said "Um... D & K!"

He's definitely working out the similarities and differences he experiences around him. He asks a lot about differing body parts. We talk specifically about who has what, but not about girls vs. boys. His concept of family is 2 moms, (When we see a "Mama" bulldozer and a "Baby" bulldozer at a construction site, he wants to know the whereabouts of the "Mommom" bulldozer), but he knows other types of families exist.  These distinctions are all matter of fact and "normal" to him. Because we teach kids to take issue with differences, to try to fit everything into a box with respect to families, gender, race. They aren't born with any preconceived notions about what is "normal" or "right".

Another really great thing about Gus is his awareness of feelings - his and others'. He is obviously a toddler, so he isn't always completely in control or aware of all of his emotions, but he definitely has a grasp of the concept. We talk a lot about feelings - how there are all kinds, how you can have one or more at a time, how they change. We have always tried to parent and teach by acknowledging the feelings behind behaviors, but I still think it's pretty amazing how well he seems to understand. For example, yesterday he and I were walking down the sidewalk. He ran into a store that I had asked him not to go in, so I had to carry him out. He was less than thrilled about this arrangement, and was pretty upset. But as I carried him back to the car, through his tears and snuffles, he said, "I'm very frustrated. I want to go in there." Crazy, right?! And when gauging others' emotions, he doesn't always pick up the specific feeling, but he generally gets within the right "category" (positive or negative).

One thing that has not changed is Gus's exuberance. He remains joyous, funny, friendly, and gung ho about life. We just went on vacation to Maui. Although he was a little hesitant about the very big waves in the ocean, he still went in (and had a blast). He wasn't sure about putting his face in the water (in the ocean. he has no qualms about this in the pool) but he tried it. We went on a boat trip (poor kid got a little sea-sick at first, but can't stop talking about Captain Casey and how much fun it was to see whales). He went skinny-dipping under a waterfall. He took a surf lesson in which he went out into the huge Hawaiian waves with his instructor. And even caught a few!!! It seems his mostly fearless, willing to try anything, adaptable temperament remains intact. In addition to doing all of that, he also had fun making friends with kids at the beach and in the pool. Some older, some younger, some his own age. He's such a little social butterfly!

I feel so fortunate that we get to parent such a carefree, hilarious, big-hearted, fun kid.

    Gus was very into non-alcoholic pina coladas. After his surf lesson, he ran down the beach yelling, "Where's my virgin?!!"