Dedicated to Anselm Ioan
Who is Two-Years-Old
Dedicated to Anselm Ioan
Dedicated to Anselm Ioan
Who is Two-Years-Old
(with apologies to Kipling)
Long ago, O Mostly Liked, or maybe last weekend, there was a mother who lived on a hill called Janderhil. And she had four little children that she called her own: Ephraim Eldest, Clive Contrary, the pretty baby Elvie Kate, who smiled and sang but didn’t say much, and Anselm. And all morning and all evening the children played out-of-doors, except of course the pretty baby Elvie Kate, who smiled and sang but didn’t say much, as she couldn’t get around on her own just yet. She stayed in-of-doors with her Mother, but the other three played and frolicked out-of-doors until the sun set and the fireflies came out.
And it was one day after dinner, which was scrumptious and nutritious, that the Mother went out-of-doors herself, because Elvie Kate (who smiled and sang but didn’t say much) was already asleep for the night, and because she had some work to do in the flower-beds. And she called Ephraim Eldest to herself, and said:
When our second son Clive was just eleven months old, we discovered we were pregnant again.
I had spent the last ten months working my house like a well-oiled machine; Clive kept us all ticking along to a very predictable routine. I had just gotten my cycle back when I realized I was late that next month–I took a test on a whim, in the middle of the night, at my in-laws’ house while we were on vacation. After the test turned positive, I was absolutely unable to get back to sleep. Looking back, I probably should have taken the opportunity to rest, but you never really can when you need to, can you?
Anselm Ioan is twenty-three months old today.
Typing his middle name this morning made me smile. People frequently read that “I” as an “L”, and wondering why we would name a child Loan.
His whole name is difficult, I guess, judging by the number of people that still call him “ans-lum” instead of “ans-elm”. In a way, I guess it’s appropriate for him. Not that he’s difficult, himself, but he is a little unexpected and incredibly unique in our little family. What I mean is that Ephraim takes very much after me, and Clive is his father made over, but Anselm still puzzles us. Who does he look like? Where did that personality come from?
Anselm turned twenty-two months yesterday, the seventh.
Twenty-two months, and two months away from two years old! What a bunch of twos yesterday brought us.
It means he has two more monthly updates after this one, and then he and I are off the hook. I post updates on the boys monthly until their second birthdays. It also occurred to me this morning that, once Miss Elvie is born, it will be the first time I’ve had a new baby and won’t be posted monthly updates for two children simultaneously. I’m still not sure how I’m feeling about the wider age gap this time around!
Anselm Ioan turned twenty-one months yesterday.
I missed his last monthly update (mea culpa!) and a lot has happened since October. For one thing, he walks!
Nineteen months for Mr. Anselm!
Guess who’s walking? Not Anselm! He is close, though, getting braver (because that seems to be the major obstacle.) He spends a lot of time on our bed, standing and holding his balance for as long as he can. On solid floor, he tests himself by letting go of whatever he’s holding onto, then quickly checks to see if I’ve noticed.
Clive was 19, nearly 20 months before he walked, so Mr. Mo is right on target with his brother. But unlike Clive, Anselm seems to really, really want to walk. Here’s hoping that he’ll be a walker by his next monthly update.
He suddenly became enamored with saying “bye-bye” this month and, when before he had to be cajoled a bit, he will now say it to anyone and everyone, whether the situation calls for a farewell or not. He tells his reflection “bye-bye” when we leave the bathroom after washing his hands; he waves and murmurs it to the cars leaving the cul-de-sac. Every morning, when I go to get him up, he drops his blanket and bear out of the crib, wishing them a fond farewell as they hit the floor.
He is also fond of car trips (“Go go, go go?”) and punctuates his request for his “my” with a sweet little lilting hum. (“Ma-ma? Hmmm. Ma-ma? Hmmm.) That one’s hard to describe; I need to get a video of it before he stops doing it.
And yes, he still calls the blanket “mama”, and no, he doesn’t call me that (he doesn’t call me anything.) He DID give me a kiss today, so I’ll call that progress. Of course, everyone else continues to have names.
He is preoccupied with imitating his brothers. Whatever they are doing, Anselm must be involved as well. If they are playing cars, he must play cars. If they are finished eating, he is finished eating (whether he’s actually finished or not.) If they are reading, he must also sit and read. If they go outside, he must go outside, or else a full-on hissy fit is bound to ensue. He does fairly well on keeping up with them, and I’m sure that, once he’s walking, they’ll find it excessively difficult to keep him out of their games and activities. They are good with him, but he of course has a knack for disrupting their intentions without knowing it. It’s the privilege of being The Baby.
He has a serious love of the washer and dryer. The laundry closet is just outside his room and across the hall, so that when his door is open he can see the machines from his crib. He likes to tell you that they go “round and round” (he has a sign for this) and loves to help me put clothes in and push the buttons to make it go. It’s his special little chore, and he’s not too bad at it.
He finally had his haircut this month, but folks still ask if he’s a girl. I noticed while taking these pictures that he’s already due for another (crazy bangs!) This child and his hair. He seems to have grown a year in the last month.
Slow down, Mr. Mo, while I still have the right to call you “The Baby”.
Anselm Ioan turns fifteen months today.
A year ago this month, he was finally starting to sleep longer stretches at night–up to nine hours, I think–until summer traveling threw him for a loop and he reverted to every 3-4 hours. And napping for 45 minutes at a time.
Now he sleeps 12 hours at night, and takes two two-hour naps a day. He’s the first child to still be taking two naps consistently at this age. Thank goodness! Although I’m looking forward to the days where we can be out all morning without being concerned with missing naps, it is nice to continue in our months-old routine for just a little longer.
He’s a funny little guy. Our bedtime routine consists of a change, a book (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is his FAVORITE right now. He watches intently while I read, quietly popping in his thumb near the end of the book, and quietly murmuring “zhe enn” after I declare it “The End” and offer the book for his perusal. He flips back and forth between a few pages before tossing the book to the ground (unless I catch it on the way down.) Then he leans against me, cuddling his “my” and sucking his thumb, before I lay him down in the crib. Once there he immediately kicks himself in a circle and protests. By the time I am out the door, he’s over his complaining and quieting down to sleep. It’s almost like he just has to throw that in there.
This month he added another form of mobility to his repertoire: The Bum-Scoot. It has changed the way he sees the world. I have no idea how I have ended up with two very unorthodox movers (crawling? what’s that?) but Bum-Scooter #1 has turned out OK, so I try not to be too frustrated by it. At the very least it’s cute, and at the most it means he’s much more content than he has been these past few months.
Along with this mobility, he has encountered the truth that not all things are available to his touch. Through these encounters, I have learned that he is more strong-willed than Ephraim but not as stubborn as Clive. Thank goodness.
Another jump forward this month was his relationship with Clive. Clive was nineteen months old when Anselm was born, and was not too terribly concerned with The Baby except to find out what happened when he poked The Baby in the eyes. While he’s never been totally disinterested, because of his age Clive wasn’t as fond as Anselm as Ephraim was, and has been, since his birth. But now that Clive is nearing three, he’s taken a special interest in his baby brother, wanting to be with him, to make him laugh, to tickle him, to show him things. It means that Anselm now has two very adoring Big Brothers, and a major highlight of our day is first thing in the mornings when I get Anselm up first and bring him into the boys’ room to get them up. There is much joy and excitement on the part of all three boys when they are all together again for the first time that day.
He is keeping up his noodly-loopy-squealy-sounds, but now punctuates them with a growl.
He can say everyone’s names, but ONLY when he’s in the mood. He is a lot like Clive in his perfectionist refusal to speak until he is either perfectly capable of saying the word he has in mind, or at least until he is feeling congenial enough to talk to you. He has started a gravely-growly self-narrative, though, which he brings out when he’s playing alone or is just not aware he’s being watched.
He himself is endlessly observant, as if the whole house atmosphere is endlessly intriguing and worthy of very close inspection; he will spend an hour or more scooting quietly from room to room, looking at this or that. He watches his brothers very closely, and is eager to be entertained by them and entertain them in turn. On the whole, he has the air of someone who knows very well that he is The Baby Of The Family: that his snaggletooth grin is dangerously disarming; that Mama melts when he sucks his thumb (that little finger on the nose!); that The Cat finds him irresistible; that his brothers think he is the best baby brother anyone could ask for.