The other day, I saw this ad. The article with it also has a great point, but I won’t start that debate. (Besides, everyone knows where Ben and I stand, even today with our Snort lover.) But what really resonated with me were the big, bold letters:
Milo has really gotten into playing with LEGO. I read somewhere that at this age, the point is to encourage the act of building, and not necessarily what it is or that it needs to be something. Just like this ad! We’ll say things like “you put the red piece on the blue one” or “you’re making it taller”. And it’s been so much fun. Milo enjoys connecting pieces, looking for more “flat” or “tall” ones to stack, and is genuinely pleased with his work.
At the same time, he has shown a lot of interest in making things, so of course we encourage that. It’s been fascinating to watch his creativity evolve. He makes dogs, snails, buildings, and robots — and we can even see the resemblance. Ben put together something and called it a bird. Milo responded, ‘Bird. Birds fly. Bird needs wings!” And he added on two long pieces and proceeded to run around the room with the bird, yelling “FLAP FLAP FLAP!” To my version of a horse, he responded, “Actually, Mommy, it’s a robot.” I need more round pieces.
I loved LEGO as a kid. I remember spending hours playing town and space with my sisters and cousins; we even made our own gigantic robot transformer. But I also love instructions, a little too much. I color in the lines, have typewriter handwriting, do origami, and got specific LEGO sets. So I really am trying to create an open canvas for Milo. So far he doesn’t seem to have a care in the world nor does he get frustrated, which is great. When he tried to put my helicopter back together, it didn’t look the same, but he felt very important working on it, “Milo’s making a helicopter, Mommy. Milo’s busy.”
Yes, our Milo is very, very busy. More tidbits about our 26-month old:
- Milo is going through a very strong Mommy-only phase. Sure, he’s always favored me, but at some point last summer, we were alternating (for instance, putting him to bed). Now, it’s 90/10: I am the primary caretaker and everyone else is pure entertainment. It’s both sweet and exhausting. To give me a break and Ben some daddy time, every Tuesday he and Milo have a fun boys’ night out while I play tennis. And Ben says he’s an angel when I’m not there. Maybe that’s why he likes me–I’m the softy.
- He continues his running narration of everything that happens. “Uh oh, Milo spilled water on the table. Better wipe it up. Milo’s getting a napkin. Be right back, Daddy. Milo’s getting a napkin from the drawer. Milo’s back, Daddy.” He uses your/his/her/our and you/he/she/we regularly, but as you can see, he still talks in third person. But he’s moved past the minimum requirements to be understood and is using non-essential words, like “the”, “a”, “while”, or”because”. It’s entertaining to hear him apply rules universally, like “felled” instead of “fall”, and he corrects himself: “Milo catched it. Milo CAUGHT it.” And then he just surprises us with original thoughts. One day at school circle time, the question was “What do you know about elephants?” Milo’s response: “Biggest animal at the zoo.” FACT.
- His latest concept is thinking or talking about things. He’ll remember incidents, like when he was scared by a thunderstorm, and say, “Milo’s thinking about it” or “Milo’s talking about it”.
- But most of the time we are in the present, which brings me to toddler time. I read another interesting article about how toddlers live in the moment, and it can be hard to get them do things when you want. We definitely have a staller on our hands and are constantly offering choices. At least I own the bedtime routine.
- Milo’s sleep has always gone through phases. We’re currently going through the call for Mommy at 5am phase. He goes back down pretty easy, but damn does it disturb my sleep. We started bribing him. If he sleeps all night, he can watch a movie (5 minute Pixar short film) in the morning or have flavored yogurt for breakfast. The first few times, he definitely was confused, because he’d wake up (in the daytime, like we requested) but not remember that I had gone in. But the past week or so, he’s been duly rewarded. Hopefully it’ll stick. At least we still have the epic 3-4 hour naps on the weekend.
- Potty training hasn’t quite taken off, but since I change almost all the diapers, I am very motivated. And Milo expressed his own interest. This past Monday, he insisted on wearing underwear to school. Needless to say, there were many, many accidents. But hopefully we’ll be able to catch one beforehand and he’ll be super excited.
- And Milo can climb! Yeah, he’s a toddler and will scramble up just about anything, but he is much more intentional about his hand and foot placement now. And he climbs on his toes. We’re also excited that he goes up the wall multiple times, whereas before, he’d do it once and move over to the slackline and exercise equipment. I need to get video of him lifting up a rolling pin like a dumbbell, but meanwhile, here’s a video of his latest “send”. Interestingly enough, near the top, you can hear him ask, “Mommy say, ‘Milo’s doing a good job’?”