three and a half
Nico is coming up on three and a half and it may be the death of me. He's still sweet and sunny most of the time but he's SO strong-willed. I suspect it'll serve him well later in life, but for now he's mostly just busting my balls all day long. His potty-training is going pretty great, except for when he flat-out refuses to go. We've got him in swimming lessons yet again and he's messing around at every lesson, refusing to practice skills that he has been working on for months, goofing off, splashing around and telling the teacher no when she asks him to try things. It's so bad that I texted MB from the pool Tuesday night and told him that unless Nico drastically improves in the next two lessons, I'm going to skip signing him up for the next session. Otherwise I might as well start lighting $10 bills on fire, because he'll learn about as much from that as he is at the pool right now.
Everything I ask him to do (or not do) turns into a string of whys or the what-happens game. Example:
Me: Please put your toys away.
Nico: What happens if I don't?
Me: If you don't pick them up, I'll put them in time-out.
Nico: What happens if I get them out of time-out?
Me: I'll take them away from you.
Nico: What happens if I take them away from you and then I run away? What happens if I run away and I go in my playroom and you can't find me?
And so on, on just about any topic you can imagine. It's kind of awesome that he's thinking so much about stuff, that he's working stuff out, but damn, kid. Sometimes I just want you to pick up your toys.
I also hope it's normal for kids his age to not stop moving or talking, ever, unless they're asleep. Yesterday evening he trotted around the living room / dining room / kitchen / foyer circle for ten minutes straight saying "Baby! Baby! Baby!" Over and over. For ten minutes. When I finally cracked and demanded that he stop, he paused momentarily, then resumed his laps while chanting, "Mommy's holding the baby. Mommy's holding the baby."
But after I put the baby down on the couch, Nico climbed up beside him to visit. I don't think he actually ever stopped talking. "Look at this baby. I love this baby! He's so little. He's covered in little. He's little all over. Why is he little? Hi! Hi, Elliott! I think he said hi back to me. Hi, baby baby baby. Hi, baby!"
He's also reciting in their entirety two storybooks we've read to him fewer than a dozen times. He seems to be enjoying his five-week Kindermusik class. He constantly negotiates to get coins to put in his piggy bank. He asks me how old I am and then says, "Mama, you're so pretty!" Last night I put Elliott on the glider chair with his little stuffed fox to take his four month photo and Nico kept bringing more animals to set beside the baby. "Now you won't be scared while you're sleeping!" he told his brother. "You won't be scared when the dream ends because you'll have all your friends."
So in a year when I come here to post about how four and a half is killing me (just like I did for two and a half), maybe this post will give me hope that he'll be pretty awesome even while he's utterly exhausting.