Sunday, May 22, 2011

Little Things: Jude, 2 and 3/4 years

Jude is 33 months old today.  I'm following Amber's lead, and only writing formal updates every three months now that Jude is out of the baby/toddler years.  It feels like a lot has changed since the last time I wrote a long post about Jude.

Jude has entered a "why?" phase.  He asks "Why?" many (many) times a day.  We try to answer with simple but true explanations for everything.  So far, he is pretty accepting of our answers.  This is the usual flow: "Mommy, why do I have to wear a jacket?" "Because you might get cold if you don't wear a jacket." "Oh." There are some things that are harder to answer, though.  "Mommy, why do you call Daddy 'Babe'?".  How do you explain nicknames to a two-year-old?  He was kind and pretended to understand what I was talking about.

Jude gives the best hugs.  When he is happy to see someone, he will give a big hug around the neck, and hold on tight for longer than you would expect from someone who doesn't particularly like affectionate physical contact.  He has also started occasionally responding when I say "I love you" with a hug and a quiet "I love you too, Mommy".

Jude has grown adept at translating Ada's gestures and chirps.  He often says things like "Ada wants a bite of my toast." And he is usually right.  The two of them are still clashing fairly often when it comes to toys and attention, but Jude has begun to believe that Ada is actually a person.  He talks to her and answers her when she tries to communicate with him.  For example, she will hand him a toy, wanting to play the game where she hands you something and then you hand it back.  If he doesn't want to play, he'll say "No thank you, Ada".  Of course, she doesn't know what that means, so she'll try again and again, until eventually he's had enough and bats her hand away or pushes her.

Jude can be very challenging behaviorally.  He has a rigid idea of how the world is supposed to work, and it is very difficult to change his mind.  He is also very strong, and it's no longer possible for us to physically make him do most things, although we can still pick him up and take him to his room if he needs to be removed from a situation.  But things like diaper changes, getting into his car seat, changing clothes, and getting into bed need to be done with his cooperation or they won't happen.  This means that we often have to wait to leave the house until Jude is ready or we have to be willing to force a tantrum that will make him more compliant in the end.  It's a delicate balance between avoiding confrontation (by letting go of the nonessential tasks) and forcing confrontation (for non-negotiables) to keep things moving along so that we can stay on schedule.  I remember in my last update that I was thinking that his tantrums were decreasing, but I don't think that has happened yet.  On good days, we might not have any tears, but on bad days we might have ten full-blown screaming, kicking, throwing fits.

Jude can be very focused when he is interested in an activity.  We have these animal puzzles that Ama bought in Mexico over a year ago.  Jude has always loved playing with them, but only in the past few days has he really had the ability to put them together.  Once he was ready to learn, though, I only had to show him once how to solve each puzzle, and he worked on putting them together and taking them apart for almost an hour.

Jude loves to play computer games and games on my phone.  It can be really difficult to get him to stop playing, though, so we often resort to using a timer and then standing our ground after the timer goes off (this often triggers a tantrum).  In the picture below, he's sitting in front of the Kid Laptop at Nini's house.

Jude does love my bear (see below), although in general he is indifferent to stuffed animals.  He is much more attached to his blankies and binkie.  The other day as I was getting him ready for bed, I had to go upstairs to get his blankies.  He told me to make sure that I got both of them, but to put the other binkies away.  "I don't need two binkies.  I only have one mouth."

This is my first attempt at video editing, so please forgive me for not doing much cutting.  I did manage to merge together two separate videos and a title, though!  Baby steps, right?

We love our little monkey!

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1 comment:

Amber said...

Once again I love reading about our kids' similarities & differences! I like this update about Jude's personality (I can't resist always adding in the specifics... sleep, food, etc. which I'll probably never care about in the future!). Nice job on diving into editing videos too. I haven't tried that out yet (but always want too).