Monday, August 13, 2012

Michael, Who Is the Boss

My sweet little Michael was less than six pounds when he was born.  Now, he's 40.25 inches and 35 pounds.  He loves to take his clothes off and declare "I'm naked."  Thankfully, he has limited this nudity to our home for the present.
At a year old, he was so sweet and cute.  I'm not sure when his stint as toy terrorist began, but recently, he has gotten much better at sharing and playing together with his brothers.  He does still like to deliver instructions to any and all comers.  He is very adept at repeating my instructions to his brothers.  He likes to be in charge and direct what's going on, and occasionally, he actually will get his two cohorts to comply.  Although he is baby B, he's definitely our alpha dog.
Michael is a more cautious person than most.  He likes to be prepared before jumping in.  For the first part of the summer, he wouldn't get into the pool without a five minute warm up period, but now that he's comfortable with it, he jumps in immediately.  When attempting something new, it's best to let him go last so that he can see what is going on and prepare himself.  When my mom came in May, she accidentally drug him behind her in the waves at the beach.  The next time we went to the beach, he was very hesitant, but after many assurances and some one on one beach time, it's one of his favorite places to go.  He is a good library listener (although he can be persuaded to follow his brothers into mischief), and he loves to read.
Michael is the world's second slowest eater (Aunt Faith holds the record for most annoy consumption of sustenance).  He will sit for hours eating one strawberry after the other, chewing it fully, and then moving on to the next one.  He is willing to sit on the potty and will stay there for a long time if necessary.  He has pooped on the potty, but usually he has spent a minimum of 15 minutes waiting before he will fill the frog potty and make his tinkle music.  He does have some of his mother's strange OCD tendencies such as eating only one item at a time on his plate (why mix food groups, no need to get those tastebuds confused) and needing random things to be orderly - he lines up all kinds of toys for hours on end.
My sly fox loves to sing.  He can whip out a theme song, umizoomi song, even a song from Yo Gabba Gabba that he hasn't seen in months.  He can recite his ABCs, recognize almost all of his letters, and count to at least fourteen.  He is amazing in what he picks up and retains.  In order to hold a meaningful conversation with Michael, you must be familiar with the lexicon of Umizoomi.  He will recite entire plots, pepper his car rides with references to various Umi streets, and demand access to his "super shapes."  I'd expound on all of this for those of you unfamiliar with the joys of the trio of tiny heroes, but I'm sure that Michael would do a much better job.
Michael is so used to being the child in trouble, that he often apologizes to his brothers when they are supposed to be apologizing to him.  In the last few weeks, though, he has been much better.  You can see that when he gets frustrated or angry, his first instinct is to bite, but he refrains and instead does an odd version of the Tarzan gorilla sniff.  I guess whatever works.  I wish that Ryan would take a page from Michael's book.  We had gone several months free of bite marks, and now, poor Michael and James are often decorated with the circular wound associated with Ryan's new phase.  I guess my laid back kid decided to get aggressive and my aggressive kid decided to relax a little.
Of all the fighting that is done between the boys (which is not as often as it sometimes seems), Michael and James throw down the most.  The two of them will go at it until there is a clear winner or both of them have been redirected.  I know that boys fight, but I do wish they weren't so violent about it.  They do manage to work together as a team very well, despite a little fighting.
Recently, we have started leaving the crib tents unzipped in an effort to transition into a more grown up way of life (for me, this just means that our bed is invaded at least an hour earlier than before and a lot of toys have moved from the playroom to their room to encourage them to stay inside).  At nap time, we often have to zip the kids in as the daylight provides them with adequate light to wreak havoc on their room.  The second day of our zipless experiment, Bob and I heard a strange clinking noise and a very polite exchange which involved the boys taking turns without any encouragement from us.  Bob got up to check it out, and the three of them had found a curtain rod I had "hidden" in the closet and were using it to hit the fan like a piñata.  One broken light fixture, a cut lip, and three zips in a crib tent later, both James and Ryan were blaming Michael for being the mastermind with no objections from the accused.
I love this picture of Michael.  It is a face a mother loves to kiss.  He is a great cuddler.  He will sit next to you and watch a movie or take over my mahjong game, flash this smile and get whatever he wants.  He is constantly referring to himself in third person.  I think that "me" just doesn't give him the individuality he craves.  He is my mimic.  He praises himself, says things, and does things a lot like I do.  When we pick up toys, he is careful to sort things into the proper baskets, and when I was so bold as to put the Toy Story hot wheels with the Cars toys, he promptly removed them because they didn't belong in the Cars box.  What can I say, when he's right, he's right.  
In public without the familiarity of his brothers, he is painfully shy.  Bob took him to a baseball game, and said that he wouldn't even look at the nice ladies trying to visit with him and such.  At home, he is in his element and very friendly.  An artist Bob works with stopped by the other day, and Michael latched on to his daughter.  The two of them played for hours, held hands, he called her Dora, she called him Boots (I'm sure this just fanned the flame of his desire to watch Dora the Explorer, but that show is not allowed in this house - the long pauses waiting for the kids to respond to the TV drives me crazy), and surprisingly, he seemed eager to follow her lead.  I guess he doesn't mind giving up a little power for the ladies.
I think that Michael is a wonderful kid with a sweet heart.  He likes to learn, play puzzles, he can entertain himself for hours (his biggest fights with his brothers occur over them trying to play with toys that he has been dominating for longer than they would prefer).  He is usually the last out of the bed in the morning and will admit that he is scared to climb out of his bed even though he can do it 99 times out of 100 without hurting himself.  If you catch him in the right mood, he will follow along with the gang or lead it into horse broom races, reckless jumping on the bed, and swimming/bathing for literally hours.  I love it when he comes up and holds my hand.  He is always quick to tell me that he loves me accompanied by a great hug and kiss and declare me a princess.  I'm a lucky Mommy.

No comments:

Post a Comment