Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ace and his discoveries

((Editiors Note: This is a post that I started a while back, but I hadn't posted because I was waiting for a couple more to add to it.))
I sometimes forget Ace is a toddler. I mean he's officially still a toddler, he's not even three and he still has profound discoveries of an almost three year old would have. But considering he corrects my grammar, knows words like pedestal, that the moon is made of silicate rock, and can give directions to places we've been to once - he just doesn't 'feel' like a toddler to me most of the time, and so I cherish those times that he does equally if not more than the moments he outsmarts me (I mean seriously kid, you've got your whole life to do that!) He's SO smart it's really frightening at times. Don't get me wrong, he still thinks he can get to the moon with a rocket ship that clearly is available to him at a moments notice. He still thinks the ideal way to climb into that rocket ship is with sticky shoes... but his brain is always firing away and so he just doesn't FEEL like a toddler to me. He is a busy boy soaking up and retaining any information that we give him... like the fact the moon is made of silicate rock!

On our road trip Ace made two very profound discoveries that he was in awe with...

A freckle! Yes, Ace discovered a freckle that has made an appearance on his lower leg. At first he was a bit unnerved by this brown dot that wouldn't budge on his leg. He discovered it sometime while we were driving in Utah. A quick explanation and shared stories of our own freckles quickly diffused any worry - but now every time he sees it with excitement and awe "Mom I have a freckle!" - Yes, yes you do son. Silly wonders of a 2.5 year old. :)

Crickets! On our road trip somewhere just outside of Texas we were stopped at a truck stop to refuel and refill Mae ;-) and so the boys were out burning some energy. They took a walk off into the distance and happened upon a cricket chirping. The way Ace tells the story is that they found a cricket and that cricket was singing and playing music for them. Now whenever he hears that sounds - he gets really excited and has a giant smile on his face and says "That's a cricket! It's playing music for us!" I love it.


Since these profound discoveries six weeks ago, Ace continues to amaze us with his knowledge and ability to retain the information that we give to him. He astounds us every day with something else we've once told him. For example yesterday when on our way to dinner - he looked ahead to see clouds and the dark streaky look the sky takes on as rain is coming down in the distance. He observed that and said to us "Look over there guys, it's RAINING!" Wow... yes, yes it was. We showed him once before about a week prior and explained how it worked... he remembered... he observed it again... processed and explained to us! Shockingly smart for a not-yet-3 year old.

He also has his silly moments and his head scratching ones too... like statements like this "When you have your sunglasses on mom, you look like the cat in the hat" Um... thank you?

Ace also has discovered how to open the fridge. He also wants to solve his own problems (a doozy coming up in the next paragraph...) but in the mornings that is often wanting to feed himself to solve his hunger problem. No, I do not starve my child, but when he wakes up crazy early, I hand him a banana and tell him to go watch PBS until his sister and I are awake - which usually isn't terribly long after he's woken up, but I have to nurse her before getting out of bed. Apparently one morning the banana wasn't enough and so he went on the hunt for something more. And he found himself some cherries! Now to his credit he did great eating them. Only his face and hands were messy all furniture and carpets remained unstained and cherry pits were individually discarded into the trash can. I was shockingly in awe of how well he fed himself cherries. Stems were in a neat pile on the carpet... that was my only objection to his methods of execution... that and the fact that he didn't ask if he could eat a half a bag of cherries for breakfast!

Now he also has his eerily smart problem solving skill moments... like when he chose to change his own diaper. A back story might be needed on this one. Ace is a smart kid, but like all kids he likes to stall before bedtime. Both Loving Husband and myself are convinced that Ace has cataloged in his mind all of his efforts to stall going to bed and established which ones have gotten him into trouble and which ones were effective. He's processed and learned "I heard a noise" isn't going to cut it. So he's stopped using that one.

His latest effort was "I peed in my diaper" now for a kid who has ZERO problem loading up a diaper during the day when he's busy running around and playing until the thing is ready to FALL OFF it's so full... it's CLEARLY a sign of stalling when he forces himself to pee a tiny amount just to get out of bed and seek a diaper change. Loving Husband and I were very torn on this matter... because on one hand we want to applaud his effort to acknowledge that he is wet, his desire to not be wet, and even his ability to make himself pee... on the other hand it is the negative behavior of stalling for bed. Eventually, after some entertaining and some success with potty training during the day and immediately before bed - we basically told him to knock it off that it was just stalling and that if he went that we'd change him in the morning. After a week or so he finally gave up on the nightly: coming downstairs after being put to bed and just would fall asleep (likely formulating another 'valid' excuse to get out of bed for.)

But the other night when I went up to check on him to see if he had fallen asleep, he was still awake laying in bed... but there was a diaper mysteriously discarded in the middle of his room. There was also one of his sisters. Hmmm. So I went into Mae's room... more Mae diapers discarded all over the floor. Whaaat?! So I go into his room and sit down on the edge of his bed and before I can ask why he looks up at me and says "I used one of sister's diapers because I peed in mine and I didn't have any more of mines." And I pull back the covers and indeed there was a size 1 diaper on my size 4 boy. To his credit he had successfully put on his sister's diaper after, by the looks of the floor, was the 6th attempt. haha I tried my best to stifle laughter as I changed him into one of his own diapers and told him to go back to bed. ;-)

He's certainly a smart kid, but there's still a little bit of toddler left in him. :) Like I said I'll take all the littleness I can get out of him while it lasts. The best part is - he still loves to hug me all the time and I cherish that because I know he'll outgrow that well before I'm ready.

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