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Friday, April 16, 2010

These Days (Update) - Alec

What can I say about Alec? First of all, he is 100% toddler. He officially entered the "terrible twos" last week but his behavior has been two-ish for quite some time. (In fact, I was going to write this update yesterday but decided that right after another battle of the wills with him my post would not be as positive as it should be, so I waited until today.)

I think it's fair to say that Alec has been following the Toddler Rules ever since he came home:

1. If I like it, it's mine.

2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.

3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.

4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.

5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.

6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.

7. If it looks just like mine, it's mine.

8. If I think it's mine, it's mine
This translates into several things: First, he is very playful. Second, he is very possessive (and whiny.) And third, he is very aggressive. Fortunately, in addition to all of these he is also very cute; very funny; and very snuggly. So even if the going gets rough for a day or two, it eventually comes back around to sweetness!

Alec has a great sense of humor. He knows he is funny and he looks for ways to tease and make us laugh. The picture below is of him doing his goofy eye-fluttering face where he closes his eyes and smiles knowing everyone's full attention is on him. He loves to clown around, which is one reason I think he truly fits into the "baby" role of the family. (The other reason is how much he likes to be held!)

Alec's vocabulary is not as clearly defined as Ian's. He babbles a lot and excitedly, and we can make out many of the same words but not all. He is definitely all boy in that noise and action and roughhousing are more his cup of tea than conversations! Because Alec likes to roughhouse and wrestle, he gets along really well with big brother Owen. Yesterday Alec ran full-tilt at Owen, wrapped his arms around his brother's legs, and tried to bring him down to the floor. Unfortunately he kind of bounced off, lost his balance, and was the one to fall instead! But after coming to Mommy for a little bit of comfort, he was soon back at it again.

That same aggressiveness which can be fun at play often gets Alec in trouble at other times. He will lash out by hitting or scratching when he wants something or he is corrected for misbehavior. While scratching is an improvement over the biting he did constantly when he returned home (biting is only an occasional problem now) his knee-jerk reaction of hurting others in anger is something we deal with multiple times a day.

Sports are in Alec's future for sure. His coordination, especially when it comes to throwing balls straight and hard, is pretty impressive. A future baseball pitcher, maybe? (Too bad baseball is not a big sport in Chile, but we'll find a way!) Or maybe a gymnast - he has some amazing upper-body strength and flexibility. If we are holding him and try to put him down when he doesn't want to, he will flex his legs into a mid-air split and hold the position so that his feet don't touch the ground. Other times he will grab onto the low ledge and do pull-ups. What Alec lacks in height, he definitely makes up in muscle! :)

This little guy also loves music and rhythm. If he is fussy in the car and we turn on a music cd, he will inevitably relax and start tapping his hand on his knee to the beat. He bops his head to the tune and if he has freedom to move around he will jump or sway to the music. Often he does so with the look on his face from the picture above - eyes closed with a grin, knowing we all think he is so cute when he dances!

Having two toddlers is a challenge, but it is also a great adventure. They can be double trouble but they can also be double delight. Our two guys are so different in personality that it is fun to observe and get to know each of them with their own strengths and weaknesses. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for these "chosen children!"

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