We’re three months out from officially entering the terrible two’s, but it seems our boy is ahead of the curve.  We’re IN IT.  Isaac is fiercely independent and helplessly needy all at once these days, desperate to do things on his own but lacking the skills to put on his own shoes.  Toddler-hood is hard.

But progress comes fast!  He’s finding more words, finding ways beyond crying or stomping his feet to tell us what he wants.   He’ll ask “wa-wa?” when he wants his water bottle, and I respond, “oh, do you want water?”, and he says, “YEAH!”, and it’s wonderful when communication works.

Other words include “cow!”, shouted at any animal with four legs, “peeeeease”, said as as a sweet plea while we’re getting his bedtime bottle prepared, “poopoo?”, muttered after a series of grunts, and a round of “nigh-nigh’s” for dad and sister before we head to his room for the evening.

He yuks it up a lot at mealtime and is the jolliest of dinner companions.  Except when he asks, “Mo? Mo? Mo?” and then swipes his extra helping to the floor the minute I put it on his tray.  I guess he’s got to remind us who’s boss.

Sleep.  SLEEP.  We’ve had a couple of bouts of sleep regression where Isaac was up four to five times a night several nights in a row, but I chalked those up to teething spells and they eventually passed.  Now if only we could get him to sleep in a little…he’s up between 5:00 and 5:30, jabbering, then whining, then jumping in his crib, which is my cue to start warming the morning bottle before all hell breaks loose.  Rise and shine, Mama!  We snuggle up on the couch or in our gray chair while he drinks his milk and the sweetness of that time almost makes up for the fact that I’m getting up with the sun.  And then I pull out books and toys and do my best to encourage “independent play” so that I can doze a bit more.  It usually works for about seven minutes.

I know, I know – we’re supposed to be done with the bottle thing by now.  But can you see why we’re not?!

There have been a handful of mornings when Isaac has woken up at 5am and I can see he’s totally tuckered a couple of hours later.  If I don’t have to commute into work, I occasionally use my extra time to take Buddy for a drive so he can grab a power nap in the car before I drop him at daycare.  I sip my coffee and catch up on my podcasts and enjoy the water view along Harbor Drive.  He catches some Z’s and is not an exhausted disaster when I eventually hand him off to his teachers.  Win-win!

Weekend naps are kind of a free-for-all; we try to just let him sleep when and where he’s tired.  Sometimes he falls asleep on the way to one of Juliette’s soccer games and then I sit with him in the car for an extra 30 minutes.  Sometimes we grab a 10 am chair doze.  I prefer the latter.

Isaac still tinkers with his toy cars, but his collection of balls are his greatest treasures.  He loves to play catch, but also loves to just tote them around like a favorite stuffy or a security blanket.

We find bouncy balls in the bathtub, in the car, in our shoes…I feel like they’re multiplying, like Gremlins in the night.

This stacking toy from Christmas is finally getting some play…

And our tried-and-true favorite books get pulled out every day.

I can’t say enough about how patient and kind and joyful Juliette is as a big sis.  Isaac has no clue how lucky he is.

Although if that’s not a thank you, I don’t know what is!

A mom at one of Juliette’s softball games a couple of week ago remarked over what a happy kid Isaac is, and I thought, “Is he?!”, and then I looked at him again and I thought, “HE IS”.

It’s easy (and normal) to be worn down by the hard stuff, by the whining and the early wake-ups and the constant strewing of toys on the floor.  But let’s not forget the utter delight.

You’re somethin’ special, Isaac Henry.

Keep on smiling, sweet boy!