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’s communication took a turn for the better this month. He has become much more assertive and willing to make his will known verbally–even if most of his verbiage sounds the same. He insists on a “please” that sounds exactly like “more” and gives the most perplexed of responses when you act like he hasn’t said it correctly. Filler words like “jah-jah” encompass a variety of meanings which I still haven’t figured out; “dah-DAH” is generally used to affirm locations or directions towards which he requires help moving. For example:
“Mama, mama, mama, mama…”
“Ah-do-do-do-do-do…” (Said while pointing outside.)
“You want to go outside?”
The conversation can be repeated nearly verbatim for going inside, outside, up the stairs, down the stairs, into his crib, out of his crib, etc.
Speaking of stairs, he had a scary experience this month where he fell all the way down the steps. He got a little bump on his head but was otherwise fine, though he now treats the stairs with extreme caution and apprehension. After a couple of weeks’ break, he started going up and down them alone again, though very carefully, and he claps for himself once he reaches the top.
He has started running, which is wonderful considering he just started walking about two months ago. Of course his feet still have a little bit of trouble keeping up with his will, so he falls frequently, but he is getting better. He is determined to keep up with his brothers, whom he finds a great source of cleverness and delight.
He loves to read, and he’s at that wonderful age where he will fill in the words of the book if you stop reading for a moment. Or, at least, as close to the words of the book as he can get. Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Dr. Suess’s A B C are his very, very favorites, though he will read just about anything the older boys do, provided it isn’t too long.
He is still my sneaky one, proving himself a very good listener and obeyer so long as you are around to stop him from doing something, but the minute your back is turned, he’ll likely just try again. This is a far cry from Ephraim, who would approach something he knew he wasn’t supposed to do, whisper no to himself, and move on, and from Clive, who would go for something he wasn’t supposed to touch and then look at you like you’d suddenly grown horns when you told him not to do it (and then go ahead and do it anyway.) Anselm has incredible reserves of self-control, provided he is being supervised.
The other day I was sitting in Elvie’s nursery when Anselm wandered past the door and down the hallway with the TV remote in his hand. Now, he knows he is not supposed to play with the remote. And as proof, when I said, simply, “Anselm…!” He jumped, startled, did a complete about-face, and high-tailed it back to the room where the TV is. When I got up and walked into the room after him, I found Anselm sitting innocently on the floor and the remote on the entertainment center in the exact spot I had left it earlier. A sneaky one, he is.
He is also trying his hand at emotional manipulation and has been severely disappointed to find it doesn’t actually work in our house. At least, not most of the time.
He is a bright spot in our family, bubbling over with excitement and displeasure and melancholy and cheerfulness with abandon; quick to laugh or cry, carrying his my over to you to demand a moment in your lap where he can suck his thumb in pensive silence. I still call him “the Baby”; I can’t help it. I’ve tried to stop, but he’s just so darn charming. He knows the special place he holds in the family.