Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Big Boy Style

Alden has style.  He has particular ways of moving and funny faces that he makes when he is trying to catch our eye.  But his walk, in particular, makes me laugh.  As our friend Aaron pointed out, you don't see it often because he is almost always running.  But, when he walks, he has a very distinctive walk.  He sticks out his belly, trails his arms behind himself, and sort of kicks out each leg in this very intentional way.  Eric says it's his Archie Bunker walk.  I am not really familiar with All in the Family, but I think I know exactly how that character gets around. 

Alden, like his sister before him at this age, has also decided that he is not a mere 22 months.  He has taken note of all the things that are different for him as compared to others -- sitting in a high chair, using plastic dishes, having people help to feed him, sitting in shorter chairs, having to wait for others to fetch things for him.  He's noticed - and he isn't having it anymore.  He insists on sitting in a regular chair at dinner (or in one of our laps).  No more high chairs for him.  He likes to eat off the real dishes with the real utensils.  He likes to drink out of real glasses.  He likes to climb on the stool and attempt to get things himself.  He opens drawers and rifles around until he finds something interesting, which he then attempts to use or - more often - lose.  Our stuff is scattered everywhere.

About 2 months ago -- when he was just 20 months (exactly as Kai was), Alden realized that cribs were essentially little jails and that his mad climbing skills meant that he no longer had to be confined.  He escaped.  So, no more cribs for him.  Alden has been in a toddler bed for the last couple of months, requiring us to spend a lot more time at night making sure all gates, doors and drawers are closed so that he cannot hurt himself in the middle of the night as he attempts to make his way from his room (he and Kailey are sharing a room at the moment) to our room.  My kids are the only ones I've met who were out of the crib before 2.  Those rock climbing genes of Eric's really could have waited a couple of more years to kick in.  It's hard not being able to really contain him for even a moment. 

Alden's insistence that he is no longer a baby is sometimes awesome. He'll clean up after himself, happily picking up the things he's thrown on the floor and trotting over to the trash can to throw them away.  He loves helping -- after, of course, he makes the mess. 

And I love watching him try out his newfound independence.  That is, I love it unless I'm feeling inpatient, tired, or hurried.  So, 10% of the time I love it.  90% of the time I am trying to convince him that the highchair, plastic utensils, baby gates, cribs, sippy cups and other baby devices are for his own good.  But, he's not having it. 

And, he'll win.  He'll grow up.  He's doing it before our very eyes. 

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