Sunday, May 15, 2016

Who are these little people: "John-Thomas"

JT recently turned 2 and is figuring out how to talk. We have been very excited as he recently discovered 3-4 word sentences: "Daddy cut cheese" (literally), "We read about Jesus," "I want drink" and the like.

JT is the cutest, most adorable little person. His adoring smile greets us first thing each morning. He likes to "hug" and tonight when I hurt my wrist, he came right over, said "kiss," and fit word to deed. When he prays, he lists everyone in the house every time - and sometimes multiple times just because he enjoys saying our names. He sometimes lists our names when we're not praying, just to ask where everyone is. The flip-flop pitter patter of his feet running through the house is a delight. He's developed the most adorable little "pouty face" with a protruding bottom lip. I give his lip a beep, show him my protruding bottom lip, and sing "If you chance to meet a pout, do not let it staaaaay. Quickly turn it upside down and smile that pout away." He usually smiles broadly again right after.

JT loves superheroes, mostly Spiderman and Superman, who are still both "Man." He loves watching the old 70s/80s cartoons my mother recorded for me as a kid. (By the way, that made our trip to Six Flags over Texas all the more fun yesterday. The kids got to see the Hall of Justice, and they knew what that was. The guy next to us in line was bemoaning that his kids didn't get it when he said "Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice....") He also enjoys Super Why, Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues, Thomas the Train, and anything else the other kids happen to want to watch. He is a bit confused right now and can't tell the difference between Mickey Mouse and Mario, both of whom are Mickey.

JT loves counting 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 and 8, 9, 10. He is also fond of 19, 20. He can count to 5. He also loves to color. Like his older brother, he has a proper pencil grip from the beginning. He writes little marks on the paper as if he's writing letters or numbers instead of the broad, page-covering scribbles from other children his age. He will say the letter or number he is trying to write.

JT is unique in that he listens to reason at the age of two. I'll explain why he can't have something, and he'll say "okay." Tonight he wanted mango, but couldn't have anymore. I told him he could have some tomorrow. When he learned he could have some later, he stopped fussing, said "okay" a few times, and went on happily. Knowing he will eventually get something is enough. Sometimes during prayer when we prompt him with "please bless me to...." he will come out with "wait." I think this kid will pass the marshmallow test someday.

He is usually the first one done eating, and once excused from the table will wander around picking up books for me to read to him while eating. There are very many repeat favorites, among which are a Frozen story his aunt and uncle got for Princess, the pictures I put together of Superstar and me when I was leaving for my last year in Nigeria, books of shapes and colors, and the Thomas the Train books his grandparents got him for his birthday.

JT needs people. He loves to play outside, but never alone. If he is the last one outside, he comes right back in. He loves to play with the balls and toys in the bouncy room, but never alone. He loves to take a bath and play in the water, but not alone. Today Joy set him down with some cards he had brought her to play with, but as soon as he saw us leave the room, he announced he was done and went toddling after us. He is especially enamored of his sister: her name was one of the first words he learned to say consistently.

JT follows Joy around with his toy lawn mower when she mows the lawn. He has a very serious look on his face as he does it. He throws balls with gusto, both inside and outside the house.

He is deeply interested in electronics. He is the first of our children to expect that all computer surfaces are touch screens, so he keeps trying to push the obvious buttons on the monitor of my laptop or on DVD menus. I'm just thankful this computer doesn't work that way! He turns the TV on and off and plays with the volume controls and plugs. He's removed a couple keys from an old keyboard. He is fascinated by anything we are doing on our electronics. For a while, he figured that if Daddy was laying down on the couch (which I had to do a lot this semester thanks to my allergies and sicknesses) that it meant it was time to watch Thomas or Man on my iPad. I usually obliged him so the other kids could finish helping Joy clean the table with fewer interruptions.

I think JT would prefer to eat only two meals a day, one around 10am and one around 4pm. When I make a soup for Joy, he eats the vegetables in it while Princess eats only the broth. (And so between them both, you see, they lick the platter clean.)  His favorite food is probably tortillas followed by anything that can rightfully be called "meat" or "cheese." He likes crackers of all sorts, bananas, yogurt, and peanut butter ("P-T bu'r"). He loves "noodles" and "nuggets." He drinks the milk from his cereal and eats the marshmallows, but he leaves the cereal bits to get soggy. He eats bread and a lot of other soft foods, but only in small pieces. Otherwise he tears it to pieces and spreads it everywhere. He drinks prune juice with Mommy.

JT is in love with little animals. His favorite plush right now is a puppy with a leash he can swing around wildly. He loves monkeys. He adores kitties and I have to be careful what Youtube videos I show him - if the kitty gets hurt or looks unhappy he gets very emotional about it. He randomly walks around the house meowing - a perfect tomcat.

He doesn't play in the dirt as much as he used to, which is a relief to Joy's garden. He is happy enough to slide, but really loves to swing - just not too fast, please. That may change: he just discovered underdogs. "Dog? Dog?" He enjoys spinning or swinging in our arms too - just make sure we have a very good grip and he can feel us supporting most of his body doing it. It's quite a contrast from baby-Superstar, who would squeal with delight when I tossed him in the air.

He likes to help "cook" - in part because he thinks he will get treats for helping. He likes lolli"pop"s like Princess.