Among the new words this month are shadow, flying, dancing, bump, egg, bacon, animals, bike, tools, tunnel, the end, fire, storm, lightning, tools, bike, knock-knock, crane, draw. HRH got him to call Thomas ‘Tom’ instead of ‘Ati’ the other day. It hasn’t stuck yet, though. ‘Noddles’ have now properly become ‘noodles’. Numbers are really sinking in as a concept, although sequence hasn’t. When we ask him to count the wheels on a toy, he touches each of them in turn saying, “Wheel, wheel, wheel, wheel.” If we begin counting with “One”, he’ll often say “Two”, but then the next number is usually nine. Yesterday after I had put him to bed I heard him counting: “Two, two, two, two, two…”.
He’s really passionate about drawing (which, like his love for books, comes as no surprise, I’m sure). He has a thick little copybook in which he draws with his markers, and I love that we’ll be able to keep this book and look back at it. It has a photo of Sesame Street characters on the front, so when he wants to draw he runs to the shelf and says, “Ernie, Ernie, Ernie.” These days he’s very excited about trees: he draws them on his own, and asks HRH and I to draw tree outlines for him to colour in. Naming the colours is coming along too. Cool colours tend to default to ‘green’, though, and warm colours default to ‘yellow’, although just to keep things fresh he throws ‘purple’ and ‘blue’ and ‘brown’ in at random times. We tried to bring the crayons out again, but with his need to gnaw on things to ease the pressure of his molars it was still a no-go. That’s fine; the markers are great, so long as he doesn’t bite the thick tips off, and he likes taking breaks every ten minutes or so to wash his hands clean of the ink.
He can voluntarily point out and correctly name the letter B. Why that letter and not another, we do not know.
Last week on a sunny day Liam discovered shadows. He now chases his own shadow, and moves his arms and head so that he can see his shadow copy the motion. This is hilarious to him, and entertainment for us as well, I must admit.
The fact that we have multiple friends called Marc/Mark makes him very suspicious.
His current book obsession is the collection of the first three Mog the Forgetful Cat stories I have. He is also very fond of Moonbeam on a Cat’s Ear by Marie-Louise Gay. My copy is signed so I try to be careful with it, but in the end, it’s a children’s book, with all that implies. After reading a story a couple of times in a row he’ll often take my index finger and touch it to various items on the page, waiting for me to identify them. I love how he devours books so completely. He also likes to read a lovely little book called I Love You Sun, I Love You Moon: We say, “I love you…” and he fills in whatever the child on the page is looking at. “Sun! Moon! Wolf! Water! Bird! Tree!” He’s working on saying “I love you” instead of just “love”, too, but at the moment it’s more exciting to say the name of whatever is in the picture.
This month also saw the longest sentence he’s said so far: “No Dada, please down.” Remarkably coherent and cogent, particularly since it was said through a flood of tears and great distress at being buckled back into the carseat.
The snow vanished rather quickly (thank goodness), and we have rediscovered how good Liam is on his feet. Last fall we weren’t comfortable with letting him run around in the driveway or sidewalk, but now suddenly he’s a little boy walking along while holding our hands, or climbing the front stairs on his own, or pushing the stroller with us. HRH likes to take him out into the backyard and let him run around like a mad thing. (Thank goodness for the backyard.)
He gallops through the house chanting his name over and over, throwing “Me!” into the mix every now and again. When he looks in the mirror after a bath he says, “Me! Liam!” and sounds very satisfied about it. And he’s already developing an amusing method of deflection. “Liam, are you dong [insert questionable activity in which he’s not supposed to engage here, such as climbing on the couch or touching the earth in the plants]?” we’ll say. “No,” he’ll say casually, and turn to look at a cat.
His current favourite toys are the MegaBloks. He loves to make towers and “nunnels” for his cars and trains to drive through. He’s remarkably good at stacking them, and at choosing colours and sizes. On top of a structure the other day he built a stack of single unit blocks about five high, and put a two-unit block on the top. He looked at HRH and said, “Flag.” “Uh, yes,” said HRH, and freaked out quietly as Liam turned to do something else.
Peanut butter has been introduced to Liam’s diet. It’s very okay. Not I-won’t-eat-anything-else brilliant, but acceptable.
When he was fractious last week we sat him down to watch the beginning of the first Harry Potter film to take his mind off his teeth, and while the owls were interesting and the Hogwarts Express was thrilling, they were nowhere near as exciting as Madam Hooch’s class. “Broom!” he said, very excited. “Yes,” we said, “brooms.” And he ran off to get his little broom, brought it back into the living room, and went right up to the television and held it up across the screen. “Broom! Up!” he said, very pleased. And then his eyes nearly fell out of his head when those broomsticks flew. “Broom! Fly! Sky!” he said, racing back to me on the chesterfield, turning to lean his back against me and breathlessly take it all in. We caught him trying to walk with his broom between his legs later. The only show he watches with regularity now is Zoboomafoo, which he loves. (The TV is now turned off after Zoboo and before Thomas because of the new morning schedule, which is just fine with me as I have seen enough of the island of Sodor to last me a good long time.)
We took him out to see the Easter farm at the mall last weekend. He was very squirmy, partially because of all the people, partially because of his teeth, partially because he wants to walk everywhere now. He saw donkeys, and all sorts of fancy chickens, rabbits, rambunctious piglets, ducklings, and goats. In the goat pen there were two relatively newborn kids curled up together in the shelter of a set of steps, and I pointed them out to Liam, telling him that they were babies and they were sleeping. “Goats! Night-night goats!” he said while waving, then insisted that we back away and leave the animals so that they could sleep in peace. I’m sure the goats appreciated the thought, as the act itself was lost in the sea of people and associated people-noises.
Originally, we were supposed to travel to Oakville for the holiday weekend, but with my full-time two-week contract and only one day off for the holiday, it wasn’t going to happen: a day of travel, one day there, and another day of travel home is a recipe for family-wide disaster. So that trip has been postponed to later in the month, post-contract, and we spent Easter Sunday with the locals instead. Liam was thoroughly gifted there with clothes, little books, a stuffed turtle and a small Lightning McQueen toy that he hasn’t let go of except in sleep. And when he ran into his bedroom there, he found what he delightedly called “a bike!“, a plastic three-wheeled ride-on toy with a trailer attached. Once he’d figured out how to drive it by pushing it along with his feet and steering, he gave his toys rides for the rest of the day.
I miss him while I’m working on this contract. And yet, it gives me the opportunity to see him in a completely different light now that I’m away from him all day, and come home in time to share dinner with him and the evening ritual of bath, pyjamas, and snuggling with books before bedtime. It reinforces how much of a little boy he is, how well he uses language to communicate what he’s done all day, what a cheerful nature he has, and how much I love his personality.