The Tovsky Tribe

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Friday, January 16, 2009

2.5 years

Chase and Ryder turned two and a half the day after Turner was born. It seems that at all milestone birthdays they naturally mature as they are supposed to, as was the case this time around. Of course the birth of their baby brother makes them seem exponentially older and larger than they are, but still, they really have advanced all on their own.
The boys play together now, and even if playing means wrestling, it is still very endearing. They have conversations with one another that I know I should not be listening to, but I have to, it is just so cute. They literally run in circles around each other, or will help one another with a puzzle. They look out for one another the way brothers should, asking for two of something so they can give one to the other or letting me know (in case I had not noticed) when one is sleeping, crying, or in need of something. They will say "good job" when one of them does something, or encourage one another to keep trying if they are struggling with something. They ask each other if they are OK, when one seems sad or hurt, and even if they are the one who made them sad or hurt it is nice to see they have empathy. This brotherly love is indeed something we nurture, but we can't help but think so much of it is nature. Is it a twin thing? A brother thing? Can it be so simple as the way we are raising them?
Sleep issues have finally been resolved, at least for now. We have compromised with the door being left open and the hallway light remaining on. I have to sing songs after books and no matter how many times I say "last one," there always seems to be one more. The last few nights Ryder has insisted on sleeping with his guitar, Chase then asks for his Elmo guitar, and they often sing themselves to sleep. Chase also has a tendency to sleep with ten or more books scattered all around him. And, in the morning, when he comes to our room he is carrying Pooh, his blanket, his guitar and at least five books. He does not ask us to read them, he just likes to carry them.
They don't eat very much, nor very often, but they do drink a good amount. Ryder prefers chocolate milk and Chase prefers juice. Chase continues to be the better eater, willing to try more things. Ryder, when he is hungry, will sit and eat nicely, but is certainly a bit more picky. Despite eating grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, and hot dogs with cheese, he does not usually eat a cheese stick and will often take all the cheese off of his pizza before eating. Of course, if you give him pizza without cheese (tomato pie) he will not eat it at all, and will ask for a plain slice...then pull the cheese off.
They insist on doing things themselves, from washing and drying their hands, to putting on their own pajamas, to changing the CD's. As we revel in their fight for independence we wish there were some things (ie: handling of the CD's, or the cutting of a bagel) they allowed us to help them with.
At two and a half you can have full conversations with both boys and we continue to be amazed by both the things they know and the things they remember. Although both boys have great language skills, Chase speaks with a clarity well beyond his years. Yesterday he was correcting Ryder's mispronunciation of the word picture. "Pishture" Ryder would say and Chase would correct him "Ryder, it is piCK-ture, not piSH-ture."
They have a new fascination for The Wiggles, much to my dismay. I have learned to accept, perhaps even like, Barney but I find nothing appealing about these four Australians. And, despite never actually seeing a Bob the Builder episode, they have somehow taken a liking to Bob and so I went and purchased a DVD.
They have basically dropped their nap, which makes for a very long day, particularly on a non-school day. They will still fall asleep in the car but I no longer drive just to have them nap. By 3 in the afternoon they are often in a daze and will stare at the TV for some rest time.
Ryder has become a classic rock enthusiast insisting on listening to Todd's CD's or watching concerts we have on DVD. He has also been going to the bathroom on the potty several times a day. Although he has gone on command by both sitting and standing, he is not yet ready to give up the diapers. He goes when he wants to and, as usual does things as he is ready. Although Chase has no interest in potty peeing (his response, when asked if he wants to go potty, is simply "no thank you") he does like to flush his poop down the toilet and say goodbye to it every time.
They welcomed their baby brother with the same charm they present to us daily. There are moments when they love Turner Luke (as they call him) and kiss him or pat his head, then spend the rest of the time hardly noticing he is there. Although occasionally they are too rough with the swing or the bouncy seat, at times it seems the bouncy seat will work as a slingshot and they will catapult young Turner straight across the room, mostly they handle him well. Chase often wants to help feed his brother, or help change his diaper and Ryder will have a tender moment when he thinks no one is looking. Their behavior has been pretty good and they have not seemed to have jealous moments or signs of regression.
They continue to have moments of hilarity and often it is their simple exchanges that can keep us laughing. They continue to do well with school and love to be around people. They often greet you with smiles and hugs and are pretty good about using their manners, though they do sometimes have to be reminded. Of course, with their age, comes some whining and some crying. There are days where they are great listeners and days where they are not. Chase almost seems to enjoy testing his boundaries, and though we stick to our punishments, he has not yet learned. But, also with their age comes the thrill of hearing them say I love you, the thrill of their greeting me with a hug, the thrill of their voices and their laughter, the thrills of two and a half.

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