Two and three-quarters to three was so, so, so much better than two-and-a-half. We still have issues with jumping on/kicking/pushing Leo, but it's more often because Leo made a point of getting in Peter's way and not just due to Peter being malicious. He's made a huge leap since Christmas in his speech and new forms of play. I forget that a year ago, he didn't put two words together but now he says long sentences and they're even getting decipherable to others. He drops or substitutes some consonants (sled is sly, red is why, Leo is yeo, fish is bish, his own name is still Pepe unless we sound it out with him), but he's gotten noticably clearer just in the past couple weeks. Kai morphed into tuh-wain and then twain and kuck went to tuh-wuck and then twuck. One day he started saying wah-tay instead of wawa. Some words throw us off -- we were talking about the zoo and Peter kept mentioning the big bah-day. After asking him to repeat it over and over and trying all sorts of translations I finally realized he meant spider.
His well-child check-up was March 13th -- he was 36 lbs, 39 inches. He got the mumps shot the next week, finally completing his MMR series 2 years after we started it. We've skipped chicken pox and prevnar but he's otherwise caught up with his vaccinations.
The day of board games has arrived. Both sets of grandparents have Candyland and after seeing his older cousins play, he got the hang of taking turns and moving to the appropriate spots. Now his favorite thing is getting stuck on licorice spots. We have an Orchard game where the players all play against the raven, although the raven pieces are a puzzle to assemble, so Peter doesn't mind the raven winning either. I have lots of fond memories of board games growing up, so I'm really glad he's enjoying them too.
The Christmas to birthday months were very puzzle-filled. If I flip the pieces over and spread them out, Peter can do many 60 piece puzzles by himself. For 75 piece ones, I'll often help group similar pieces together and he'll do all the assembling. Puzzles are my favorite activity of his--I love watching him concentrate and think through them. He has an order for any puzzle he's done before, starting in the same area and working his way out.
Since his birthday, he's become Lego boy. He got a set of 600+ real Legos (one puzzle at Christmas came with a 30 piece Lego fire chief car and he could assemble that alone so we figured he was ready for them) and would assemble Legos all day long if we let him. He's so methodical -- "we start with number one". Usually I dig the pieces out of the box one instruction step at a time and for structures he's built before, he can do most of the assembling. If it's something new, I do a lot of the building and have him make half of matching sides and the easier parts.
His eating seems to ebb and flow like some bizarre tide. One day he'll barely touch anything, then the next day he eats everything it sight (particularly breads, cereal, and yogurt). He likes to help me bake -- he dumps in ingredients and gets special Peter spoons to help mix. When I make bread, I give him cups of flour and water and let him make his own dough (mmm, pasty goo).
On his birthday, my parents and aunt came over in the afternoon and we had this cake. "Peepee iz bee!" We got him a http://rollirider.com pedalless bike, which he's beginning to get the hang of. That weekend, we had a massive party in a park building with two other families from playgroup who each have two March babies also. We put all six kids' names on the cake, gave them cupcakes with a candle to blow out, and all invited our families plus mutual friends. Leo hadn't napped and slept the first hour in the sling, but kids had a blast playing with balloons, running and screaming, and playing with riding toys while aunts and grandmas sat at tables to chat. It was great to avoid having 6 separate little parties to attend in a two week period, but I think next year I'll push to have it be friends-only to avoid feeling split between relatives and friends.
Pottying is going pretty well. This week he's having more accidents for some reason, but we went a full week without any recently. I only ask him to use the potty when we're leaving the house -- he does the vast majority of initiating himself now. He wakes up wet enough to change the sheets 2-3 times a week and is slightly damp another day or two, so nighttime isn't perfect yet, but I'd rather change the sheets half the time than keep him in diapers overnight. He even tells us that he needs to poop now. He doesn't care if he's on his little white potty or a toilet.
We've been encouraging him to dress himself and it turns into a major power struggle a lot of the time. Peter just can't be bothered with paying attention to where his feet are going and would rather keep reading a book. I'm starting to put his clothes on wrong body parts in hopes of him fixing it and putting them on correctly himself.
Since the weather has become toddler-friendly, Peter and I are both much happier. Dan tore out an old stump and that quickly turned into Peter's favorite spot in the yard. He tells us he's building towers out of the woodchips. He's more independent at the park and is paying attention to what other kids are doing for the first time. Yesterday he ganged up with some kids with remote control planes and chased all over the ball fields with them. He doesn't really talk to the other kids, but he is joining them. Road construction resumed near our house this week so we've enjoyed going out to watch the road-eating machine and waving to the dump truck drivers.
I've made a lot of trips to local yarn stores this week, and I can trust Peter to meander through the stores now. He finds some fun yarns to show me and checks out all the knitted samples, usually without terrorizing the place. He's back in the grocery stores carts after a couple running-down-to-the-dairy-aisle incidences, though.
During Dan's spring break, we went to a new indoor waterpark/hotel and stayed one night, courtesy of a Christmas gift card from my sister. When we got to our room, Peter freaked and screamed for 20 minutes before realizing how fun it was to climb up to the build-in bunk beds. We tried to let him sleep in the upper bunk, but two hours later, was still telling us he couldn't sleep and he ended up falling asleep on Dan while they watched NASCAR on the high-def TV. Leo initially fell asleep in the bottom bunk and after Dan woke up, we moved Peter to the other end of that bed and the two of them shared it for awhile until Leo woke up and came into the king-sized bed. We don't play musical beds at home but everybody slept eventually. Peter loved the waterpark, although he was scared of the giant bucket splashing water over the kids' playground every few minutes and preferred the giant slides, wave pool, and river. That would have been great except Leo was restricted to the playground area because he was wearing a swim diaper, so we had to take turns holding him.
Peter's world of numbers recently expanded past twenty. During his manic times, he'll run skipping around the house yelling out numbers. He used to skip sixteen (just like Alexander), but now goes through to twenty, then randomly picks numbers between twenty-one and twenty-nine. He loves a learn-to-read site and does the letter-sounding games there.
Peter seems like a very different kid than he was a few months ago. He can be trusted to give both true and understandable details of what he did over the day when Dan gets home. He wants to see if Leo's okay (although gentleness still needs to be worked on) and has hints of empathy. He's definitely moved out of toddler-land into preschool-age and just feels like such a bigger kid now. If he's alone with an adult, he can play well for hours, essentially by himself. If Leo's around, the constant struggle is keeping the baby-unfriendly toys somewhere playable to Peter but out of Leo's reach, which leads to Peter shoving Leo off chairs.