Trains, Tigers, and Toilets

Eamon is starting to mature faster and faster, it's really quite amazing.  Just when I think he can't possibly get any more like a little boy, he surprises me again.  The biggest change lately has been his emotional maturation.  He's always been a mature child, but seeing the difference in his behavior now versus a month ago is startling.  He is reasonable and compassionate.  He still has meltdowns, but they are much shorter in duration, and he recovers very quickly, and can often be talked down from a tantrum.  He is also starting to show a little bit of impulse control.  He's kind and gentle (mostly) with his friends, and even enjoys playing with littler friends.

He is nearly completely toilet learned, and I couldn't be prouder of his accomplishments, considering the fact that he has taken the lead lately, and will now tell us whenever he needs to go.  We still carry a change of clothes with us, but other than the occasional "skid mark" underpants change, we haven't used our extra clothes in weeks.

Yesterday I took Eamon to Toys 'R Us to buy "new wood Thomas."  He did so well all day, and I gave him a schedule at lunch (pee in the toilet, drive a little, go to the baby store, drive some more, go to the TOY STORE).  He was very patient with me, and when we got to the toy store, he didn't go ape shit like I expected.  He walked calmly and held my hand.  We found the train table, and he played with the other children for about ten minutes while I did my "over-researching mama" thing - I had to make sure the wooden Thomas fits our track (he does), and would attach to our generic trains (of course he does), and that we can get more of our generic track if we need it (as it turns out, all the major wooden trains, except the Ikea brand, are compatible).  I pulled the Thomas off the shelf and handed it to Eamon, and he immediately asked me to open it.  I told him, "We can't open it until we pay for it."  With no complaining, he got up from the train table, took my hand, and started off to find the cashier.  When we got to the check out, he put the train up on the counter, and pushed it as far over to the cashier as he could manage.  She scanned it, and he put his hand out to get it back, then turned to me and said, "Open it now?"  We opened it, and he looked at it and said, "Hi, Thomas!"  It was the most adorable thing.  And he and "new wood Thomas" have been inseparable ever since.
Eamon on Halloween - he was a station master.

Eamon's imagination is really starting to take off now that he is approaching two years old.  For several weeks, he's been telling us he hears a tiger.  He'll wake up in the morning and say, "Mama.  Heard tiger."  Now he reports, "saw tiger!"  We are curious about the tiger, but don't bring it up unless he does.  When he mentions it, we just affirm him - "You heard/saw a tiger?  Wow!"  The past few days, he has been seeing a moose in our house as well.  This morning he was playing happily on the floor, and suddenly jumped up and ran to my lap, exclaiming, "Mama!  Sceered of moose!"  In addition, we see lots of role playing now.  He loves to cook while I'm cooking, and he takes his trains and stuffed animals to pee in the toilet, makes sure they get drinks of water, and sometimes offers them a bite to eat.  Last night Thomas had a big slurp of Frappuccino at Starbucks.

The other place we are seeing maturation is in routine and tidying.  Though we still don't do a firm bed time, Eamon always takes a shower or gets his jammies on around 8:30.  Then I offer a bedtime snack, and he eats and plays until he starts to feel tired.  Sometimes he asks, sometimes I remind him to go brush his teeth.  Then he will play quietly for a while, and he'll finally turn to me and say, "Mama, nurse.  Upstairs.  Go sleep."  He is learning the order in which his clothes go on in the morning, and will do a great job (usually) of tidying his toys when we ask.  He cleans up spills and puts things in their proper place.

It's amazing and a little overwhelming to think our little baby is going to be two in less than seven weeks.  So much has changed in the past two years, but it's hard to remember the before-Eamon time.  He's truly a gift, and a wonderful little person I'm so lucky to know!


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