Monday, January 5, 2009

bath pictures: 27 months

We decided that since Will didn't look all that different anymore on a month-to-month basis that we would do at least a few more bath pictures, but spread them out a bit more. So we took some pictures last night.

Since the last bath pictures post, which was on his second birthday, Will has grown up quite a bit. I hope you all can get a sense for this with the blog posts of late, but here are a few short examples from recent weeks on how he is developing.

Will usually listens to his mommy and daddy and responds well to our instructions: Following our (mostly mom's) instructions, he asks nicely when he wants something ("peese?"), excuses himself when he burps or has a "duck butt", and smiles for the camera when instructed. Although, his posing smile always looks like the picture above. (here's another one). He can also follow complex instructions like "take off your socks before you climb in the bath", "close your eyes, don't peek, and hold your arms over your head" or "go downstairs, wake up your daddy, and tell him to change your diaper"

Will wants to do a lot of things by himself, without help from mom or dad. If you insist on doing something for him (because, for example, he cannot possibly put his boots on by himself or figure out the complex button combination required on the Wii remote for the game he's "playing"), this can very quickly turn into a devastating, bawling face-down in the carpet situation. Don't even think about offering to help him put his coat on.

His vocabulary is growing exponentially. The most fun about this is he's starting to be able to sing entire songs, which is really funny because he consistently pronounces some song phrases incorrectly (like how he pronounces "l-m-n-o-p" in the alphabet song). He will spontaneously initiate conversations with people all the time, some of them are already all-timers that we'll retell for years. Another classic came when we were at a Christmas party a few weeks ago in Madison at our friends the Hyer's house. Someone was outside on the porch carrying inside a handful of beverages and dropped one when fumbling with the door. Will, who was standing right on the other side of the door, announced to everyone there: "Oh no, drop a beer!"

Will's memory is outstanding - he must get this from his mama. Some of you know about Erin's uncanny ability to remember what clothes she was wearing at various events in her life, even back to early childhood. While the full potential of this skill as a practical skill is yet to be realized, Will seems to have inherited this skill. For example, several weeks after Will's last visit to Cate's house, we were looking at the blog post for that trip together. When we came to this picture of Will with baby Claire, which shows him wearing a nondescript gray shirt like many he has in his wardrobe, he announced: "Will hawkee-guys shirt!"
You had better not promise him anything he wants for "later" or "tomorrow" and assume he'll forget about it (like a hotdog or pretzels for lunch), because he won't ever forget it. This is especially true if you promise him you'll play something with him later if you're trying to get some work done. He and I play the Wii a lot together - his favorite game is Mariokart (a go-kart racing game) which he calls "Marr race". I think Will would rather "pay marr race" than anything else we do for fun. So he talks about it all the time and sometimes I'll tell him something like we can play Mario race tomorrow morning if he's a good boy and eats his dinner. Sure enough, 7:15 the next morning I will be awoken to Will yelling "DADDY! I PAY MARR RACE!"

When he's not playing Marr race, his playing is very energetic and creative. In addition to loving to play sports in which he barely understands the concept, he has invented several games we play around the house. Some of my favorites include "baby rarr-daddy rarr", in which he and I pretend we're lions and the baby is scared by the daddy's loud and ferocious roar and runs away, being chased by the daddy. Eventually this game ends in tickling. Guess who plays which roles in this game - here's a hint: the daddy lion is much smaller than the yelping baby lion.
My other favorite is one he just invented last week but which we have been playing quite a bit. Basically it involves two pom-poms that Uncle Jeff gave Will which were fan swag from the Packers game we went to last week, and the beanbag chair that Santa brought Will for Christmas. The game starts by one of us holds the pom-poms and chases the other around and around for awhile, shaking the pom-poms at them. Then the chasee eventually jumps on the beanbag chair and screams. Then the chaser catches up, tickles the chasee in the armpits, and performs either a "daddy smoosh" or a "Will smoosh", by laying on the chasee for a few seconds. Then the roles switch and repeat over and over and over.

In his playing, Will is quite brave: he likes to play in the dark for some reason, and will often shut a door for one of the rooms with the light off and then talk about how dark it is. He also likes the Marr race levels with scary ghosts and monsters. Sometimes he will give me a hug when we play these levels because I get scared. He also fearlessly attacks the cats to let them know who runs the house, and has no second thoughts about racing down a mountain on a rocket, even all by himself.

Finally, I am of course a proud parent but I sincerely think Will is a smarter than average little boy. In addition to all the songs he knows and sings, he knows all the letters of the alphabet and can (usually) identify and recite them all. He also knows all the numbers up to twenty (even if he can't quite consistently count in order). Erin tells a story about when he was with her at Story Time at our library and they were reading "Ten in the Bed", where the story counts backward from ten as the little one rolls over or something. Somehow he always knew the next number and would shout it out as all the other kids his age and the other mothers could only look at him in awed silence. For another example, last weekend Erin and I were at Mike & Kristin's wedding and Will got to stay with Grandma & Grandpa Mueller in Madison. One night Will went with Grandma Brenda to wert at the hospital and as always, got to push the buttons on the elevator. Brenda told him to push the button for floor 3, and he had no problem identifying the number amongst all the buttons and pressed it. A nurse who was sharing the elevator with them was very surprised to see him do this and asked him a few questions about how old he was and I guess he responded to all of her questions. I can only assume the whole hospital staff knows about Brenda's brilliant grandson by now.

10881 visits to Will's page as of this post.

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