Making Time: Daddy, Watch
There’s so much to see when you live with a 2-year-old

“Daddy, watch me!”

I know no 2 children are the same, but Adam is a lot different than Brandon. Sometimes I’m surprised just how different these 2 boys really are. Brandon was cautious, almost always analyzing and thinking first before he would act. I joke that Adam is more like a bowling ball. He thinks he can go through anything, any way he wants.

“Daddy, watch! Daddy, watch me!” is suddenly on repeat in the house. I know there will come a time when I will hope he just acknowledges me, but if only Adam knew how much I am watching him already. I’m watching as he climbs on top of, under, through and between, every surface of this house. I’m watching as he seemingly does everything he can (like 2-year-olds do) to test new and extreme ways to fray my nerves as a parent. But I’m also loving watching as he grows more curious and learns about the world he is exploring.

The other day he climbed onto the bench that we keep shoes under so he could test the family room light switches (this isn’t a rave party child). “No Adam, let’s get down, it’s not safe to stand there and turn the lights on and off,” I said as I took him down. About 30 seconds later, I turned back around and he was up there again, ready to create a strobe light in our family room while looking right at me, this time with a wide grin.

But the best part is that now when he does these things, we don’t have to guess what he is trying to say as much. He’s starting to have more words to use, and he is stringing them together into 2- and 3-word thoughts. Of course, at the moment they consist mostly of things like, “No! Me do.” Yes, Adam, you do it.

Want examples? My wife was halfway between frustrated and hysterically laughing when Adam decided to take off his pants on his own to parade around pantless for an hour. (If we’re being honest, he rarely keeps shoes and socks on anyway.) Then he decided he was “Brrrrr, cold” but didn’t want any help putting his pants back on. He looked up and yelled, “No Mommy. Me do.” He pulled one leg all the way up, but when he tried the other leg, his first leg came out. Then he got frustrated and realized the first pant leg was now inside out. He barely would let Sarah fix it so he could try again. No one, not Sarah, Brandon or me could help. No one could scrunch the legs down for him, show him by example or assist in any way. Nope. No one could help Mr. Independent. In the end, after about 20 minutes of this show, I picked him up and put the pants on because we were actually going out somewhere (or else he could have stayed pantless for all I cared).

After dinner at home one night (and by dinner, I mean dinnertime, not the actual eating of food by the boys that evening), Sarah and I were sitting on the couch watching some TV with Brandon and things got very quiet. Too quiet. Dessert had not been “earned” because dinner had not really been finished. (Actually it was barely even started before Adam got down off his chair to try to play.) We turned our heads and there was Adam, pushing a kitchen chair across the room to the counter next to the sink. We both just stared and watched for a minute to see what he would do. He got the chair just where he wanted it. Then he climbed up, leaned over, and declared, “My M&M’s!” He had found a bowl of leftover M&M’s and started shoving them in his mouth. Resourceful? Very. I took him down and took the chair away. Instead of being upset at getting caught or actually stopping like we suggested, he moved on to the next thing and took his water cup over to the refrigerator saying “ice, ice” and started pushing against the ice machine to make it come out on the floor.

So when Adam says to me “Daddy, watch!” believe me, little man, I am, all the time. And I’m trying to stay calm while also enjoying the front-row seat for the show.

May 2022
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