Monday, June 15, 2015

24 months of Beast Boy

This Beast is 2 years old! He's been in my life for 2 years, but I hardly can remember a time when he wasn't my boy. Here are some things about him that I think you all should know.

Favorite food: Cafe Rio rice and beans and horchata.
Favorite song for sleeping: Baby Mine
Favorite song for dancing: Geronimo, Sheppard
Favorite church song: I Am a Child of God
Favorite books: The Little Engine that Could, If You Give a Dog a Donut

He loves LOVES dogs. He fell in love with the neighbor dog when we moved in to our house in September. He fell so hard that he committed himself to learning to say his name: Harley. In December he started saying "Ahh-yee." Then it became "Hahh-yee." Then "Harl-dee." And now it's "Hardy." He practiced and practiced until he had it down pat. Every dog he sees is exciting; he exclaims "HARDY!!!" His stuffed dog is naturally called Harley, and his current favorite movie is Disney's Bolt. Harley goes everywhere with him. We often have to brush Harley's teeth when we are getting ready for bed. And sometimes Harley has to take medicine before BB will. Harley prays with us, eats dinner with us, and goes everywhere with us.

Harley, Lightning, another car, and his dirty little secret: Mee, the white rabbit.

Admiring a playground ("wee") at Costco with Harley.

Showing off his new haircut with Harley.

Getting ready for church with Harley and Mee.

Mee is what he calls his white rabbit lovie. The rabbit accompanies Harley everywhere, and has to be washed constantly because he chronically stinks from being sucked on.

He experiences the world through his cars. Lightning McQueen and Mater are favorites. Lightning is a shovel, a race car, a pacifier and a friend. His cars often fly. His second favorite movie is Disney's Cars. The world is his race track. If he sees a surface that looks like it would be good for one of his cars to drive on, he will put out his hand and request "Cars," just as a surgeon would a scalpel. When he says "cars" he means he would like Lightning McQueen. This particular Lightning McQueen. He has a few others, and they are great companions to this Lightning McQueen, but they are no substitute.
Lightning digging in the dirt.

Gardening? Bring Lightning. 

Getting dressed for the day? Lightning must be involved.

Taking a bath? Bring Lightning and all of his friends. They enjoy a good soak.

Out to dinner? Lightning enjoys fine dining too.

Just woke up with excellent bed head? Lightning doesn't mind; he still wants to play.

Worried about your Mom's driving? So's Lightning. Better strap him in.

Playing Soccer? Lightning's a huge fan.

Out with your bestie William? Bring Lightning because the more the merrier!

Chasing a peacock? Lightning is excellent at chasing colorful birds.

This could go on and on, so I will move on.

He loves the YouTube Kids app on my iPhone. He enjoys watching surprise egg videos and toy unboxing videos. This is what he does to unwind.

He loves his morning smoothie. He calls all beverages juice, except for water, which he calls "Wahr," and milk, which he calls "Mnm mnm."

He lives for being outside. He will often request "shuess" so he can play outside. He enjoys hiking around our house, and walking to the park ("wee").

He has discovered trains. He loves watching Thomas the Train, much to my chagrin. (Anyone else find Thomas irritating? No? Yeah, me either. Ahem.) If he sees anything Thomas in a store, he will pick it up and insist we bring it home. Despite how hard it is to resist his cute little face and earnestness in asking for whatever Thomas item he wants, he has been disappointed so many times.

At Costco.

At Target.

We bought him an inexpensive train set from Ikea a few months ago. He loved it so much so immediately that he wanted to play with it in the car on the way home. It's a 25 minute drive people. I tried to jimmy rig something for him out of a flat box so he could put two sections of track together and drive the engine on that. But that didn't work so well because every turn, stop and acceleration made the track slip or come apart or fall. And it was only he and I in the car, so I couldn't keep fixing it for him. So for 25 minutes he was upset. Really upset. And once we got home I set up the track for him, but he'd get upset because he'd have the polarity wrong on the magnets that connect the trains, so they wouldn't stick. It took a few days for him to learn the patience to turn the car around if it didn't stick the first time. Now he's figured it out, and he loves LOVES playing with his trains. He sometimes purposely takes the track apart so the train will derail and he can put it back together. His cars and trains both can ride the rails in his world.

His besties are Lolo and William.

He is tender with little girls, especially Lolo. If he sees a photo of a dark haired, fair skinned little girl he says, "Lolo?" When we drive by the apartment building she lives in, he says, "Lolo!" When he's with her he will share even his most prized possessions (not Lightning or Harley, but Mater, or other cars that he wouldn't allow anyone else to play with). A few times when Lolo has gotten a hold of Harley, BB will come to me, worried and upset, "Harley?" pointing to Lolo. He won't take his beloved dog away from her, but clearly doesn't want her to have it. In my mind and TC's mind, he is betrothed to her and all other suitors will have to live up to her adorable excellence.

He is relentless. He does not give up. When he wants something he cannot be distracted. He cannot be deterred, encouraged in another direction, dissuaded, reasoned with or diverted. So our choices as parents are give in, or prepare for raging.

No means no. Don't ask him again. He will use physical force to show you that he means business. Don't try to get him to eat something he doesn't want to eat; it will end up strewn on the floor and walls.

All of his s sounds are short s'es. As in the s in bus. So cheese isn't cheeze, it's cheess. Keys are keess. He also says juice, cheese, nose, toes, Jesus, water, Harley, yeah, no, Mama, Papa, yes, cool, cold ("coh" while rubbing his arms), hot ("hah" while waving his hand), car, Mater (mee-yer), blocks (bahsss), bus, mouth (moff), cookie, flowers (wowrsss), Jeep (jeess).

In an epic episode of Misheard Lyrics, Max joins me in singing Baby Mine.
The lyrics: "what they'd give for the right to hold you."
What he sings: "dee dee TOO TOO." (too too is his word for train)

The lyrics: "you're not much goodness knows."
What he sings: "la la la NOSE.

Speaking of Baby Mine, any time he lays down to sleep I have to sing it until he falls asleep. Over and over and over again. If I fail to comply, he complains loudly and obnoxiously ("Muh MY") repeatedly until I do his bidding. I think my record for the longest time I was required to sing was 45 minutes. Over and over. 45 minutes people. He's a tyrant.

Another episode of misheard lyrics is with I Am a Child of God.
The lyrics: "and He has sent me here."
What BB sings: "la la la HAIR."

He loves to unwrap straws, water bottles, and anything else with a label or wrapper.
Unwrapping straws? Lightning can help.

He's a good traveler. He finds riding in the car to be so much fun because he can point out all the different vehicles he finds, like busses, and cranes ("so tall"), dump trucks ("yeah?" until I acknowledge it's a dump truck) and cement mixers ("yeah" while twirling his finger until I acknowledge it's a cement mixer). He loves being out and about, at the store, park, wherever, as long as he's not cooped up inside.

He hates hats.
Trying on a fedora was a bad idea.

He folds his arms when we pray, and celebrates with "YAY" when the prayer is over. He also raises his arm to sustain people in sacrament meeting (this probably only makes sense to people who are Mormon).
Leaving church one Sunday.

He loves going to nursery at church, but only if I stay with him the whole time. If I try to slip out quietly, it only takes a few minutes before he realizes I'm gone and insists that I must be there with him. Insists loudly, that is. He has a favorite teacher and one Sunday even cried when he had to say good bye to her.
Picture with his favorite toy in nursery: the parking garage.

He hates being separated from his parents.

He's affectionate. He loves group hugs and gives great hugs and kisses. If he sees TC and I hugging, he will stop what he's doing to run over and join in the hug. He sometimes pats my back, and rubs my arm. He will make some girl very happy someday with all of his affection.

He is a mama's boy. He loves TC as a playmate, but he wants me to comfort him, put him to bed, be at his side every waking moment. I do not use the bathroom unaccompanied anymore. I do not shower alone. But he's a lover boy, so how can I resist?

He does not like to be messy and hates when his clothes get dirty. He will complain until I assure him that it's alright, or wipe it up.

When he gets frustrated and is trying not to freak out, he turns his head to the side, squeezes his eyes shut and says a loud, prolonged, whispery "Oh gossssshhhh."

He licks nearly every rock he finds.

He enjoys building with Duplos or Megablocks. He likes to make things that his cars can drive on or park on.

Still loves anything that spins. He learned to say round and round "wown a wown."

He loves cookies. Every time the oven timer sounds, he runs over excitedly and yells "COOKIES!" It really doesn't matter what I'm making. I'm sorry to burst his bubble when I'm making something other than cookies.

He hates getting his hair cut.  And he happens to have hair that grows very quickly.

He loves watching for the garbage trucks on Monday mornings. When he hears the truck coming up the street, he looks and me and whispers, "Yeah?" and points at the front of the house. So we run up to the windows and open the shades so he can watch. Lucky for him we are at the end of a cul de sac so he gets extra truck time while the trucks do a 7 point turn to turn around. And we get three trucks: the garbage truck, the recycling truck and the yard waste truck. Mondays are exciting.

When he hears a beat, he must dance. His dog and cars must dance with him. If the dog or cars are in another room, I must retrieve them. If we are in the car and the dog or cars are at home, he throws a fit. An epic fit. One for the history books. We don't make the mistake of leaving either the dog or the cars at home anymore. We also don't leave the dog or cars in the car when we go somewhere. They must be accessible to his person at all times.
No time to pose for a picture Ma. I'm dancing.

He is independent. He does not sit in strollers, shopping carts, and does not hold hands. This meant that when we went to Tokyo in April he walked on his own, often veering into oncoming foot traffic, or TC held him. Also, he doesn't sit in high chairs or booster seats.

TC is the only one who can brush BB's teeth. And even then, it's a struggle.

He loves his Papá. He asks about him at least once an hour all day while TC is at work. He listens for the garage door to open in the afternoon. When he hears a noise in the house that he can't explain he assumes it's TC and excitedly yells PAPA! They are best playmates. They play a game called "Besito Time." BB points to his wrist and says, "Yeah?" Then TC says, "Is it besito time?" And BB takes off running while TC chases him. When BB is caught he gets kisses and tickled.

Besito time in action.

Everything he does is with purpose and exuberance. When he's happy, he's HAPPY! When he's angry, he's ANGRY! There's really no in-between, moderate mood for him. Luckily he's happy the majority of the time. He's curious, loves to engage in everything around him, and gets frustrated when he can't communicate effectively. He is a tyrant, and a lover, and our sweetheart. TC and I hardly remember a time that BB wasn't part of our family.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A year and a half

Since the last time I wrote, we moved out of our apartment of 10 years, lived in a hotel for 6 weeks, and moved into our new home. It was kind of hell. Also, while we were adjusting to living in a hotel, Beast Boy was teething: two molars. Why?!? And when we moved into the house and we were still adjusting to a new place, two more molars popped in. Double why?!? Yep, hell. But all that explains my absence.

In the meantime, the Beast learned to walk, says all kinds of new words, and has all kinds of new expert skills. We've got some catching up to do interwebs.


Scooter riding

Level: expert

We bought him this scooter for his birthday in May and from that time until he learned to walk, it was glued to his behind. He would ask to get on it, and (rarely) ask to get off. He never did figure out how to get on and off by himself, but all the better.


Level: intermediate

In July he took his first steps solo. He practiced for about an hour walking back and forth between TC and me. And after that he decided that he wasn't interested for at least another month. In August while we were living in a hotel he started practicing again, walking between the two queen beds in our room, walking from a bed to me or TC, or walking from TC to me. And then, on Labor Day weekend he decided that walking was his thing. 

Although he's been walking for a few months now I peg him at intermediate because he still hasn't figured out how to pull himself up, and can't do stairs. Having never crawled, he's no good on his belly. 

Confidence on the stairs? It's all an act for the camera.

Walking in socks on a slippery wood floor is no problem for this guy. Kind of.


Level: super expert

Take a look for yourself (upside down for some reason).

He's got the booty shaking, arm moving and shoulder shimmying down. Whenever and wherever he hears a beat, he gets down. Church hymns? No problem; there's dancing to be had (gogo arms, usually). Elevator music in the store? Let's do this.

Spinning stuff

Level: expert

This kid loves anything that spins. While we were homeless we spent a lot of time at Home Depot, because where else do you go when you're desperate for your home to be finished. I handed the kid a caster while we were there to entertain him, and quickly learned my mistake when I realized we wouldn't be able to leave without it. So, I stood in line to buy it. But it wouldn't scan, and the cashier was impatient so she told us to take it, free of charge. Did she aid and abet us in shoplifting? Perhaps. But the kid was in hog heaven. The caster was his favorite toy for months and months.

He sniffs out all things that spin or have the potential for spinning. 

First day with his caster.

A new use of the scooter: spinning the wheels. Hours of entertainment.

Watching the washing machine, cuz it spins.

TC taught BB to spin balls, and now everything spherical he sees he has to spin. 

Waiting for a tire change at Costco he found that spinning the wheels on the flatbeds was his thing.

Steering wheel cart at Lowes? Umm... YES!

In October he was obsessed with pumpkins. In December it was ornaments. All because they are spherical. My produce drawer is no longer mine. No fruit is safe from his grasp. No balloon is left un-pointed out and un-begged for.

Posing for the camera

Level: expert

Beast Boy has discovered the art of posing. If you point a camera at him, he will most likely pose.

Cleaning & Organizing

level: beginner with the passion of an expert

This child loves "cleaning." I have a hard time sweeping when he's around because he demands to use the broom. I give him a smaller broom that we have, and he uses that for 35 seconds before he demands the one I'm using. So I give him the one I'm using and he demands the smaller one that I am now using. Fickle, this one.

If I mop, he wants to use the mop. If I'm wiping down the cabinets, he wants to wipe them down too. If I'm vacuuming he wants to "vacuum" too using his toy lawn mower. 

He also loves to put things away in drawers. It's fairly often that I find a ball or a toy car in my underwear drawer. Or a book in the drawer with my pots. He's organized. If only I understood his organization.

Using a sign as a broom.

Organizing our belongings in the hotel.

Helping us pack and organize before the move.

Riding escalators

Level: intermediate



Level: borderline psychosis

This kid is obsessed with all things "ball." The third or fourth word he learned to say, he points out every ball he sees. AT&T logo: ball. Globe: ball. Pumpkin: ball. Orange: edible ball. He loves walking into Target thanks to their giant red balls. 

(sidenote: I am actually an 11 year old in an adult body and every time I use the word "balls" in a sentence I chuckle; because I'm a child.)

Now that's he's figured out that at Harmon's and Sprouts he can get a balloon, he asks for every balloon he sees. 

Mom Tip: (this is probably the only good mothering idea I'll ever have, so I've got to share it) I keep balloons in my purse, so when he really REALLY needs a balloon and I'm not willing to spend a few dollars on one, I can inflate one on the spot. 

I have a photo, which I will not post because I'm saving it to embarrass him with later, of the Beast Boy in the tub surrounded by no less than 10 balls, a full sized basketball and a beach ball among them. 

A pumpkin ball.


Level: psychosis

BB loves dogs. LOVES them. If he sees a dog, he excited says/yells "Yeah" and points and whimpers until I acknowledge that I also see the dog. In his world, dogs do not bark; they whimper. Sometimes they pant. 

Our neighbors have a dog that BB is over the moon for. Complete and utter love. And they are nice enough to stop to let our little Beast pet and pat and pant at the dog. Their dog, luckily, is patient and tolerant of Max's squeals of delight and "gentle" pats. 

He has a plush dog we picked up at Ikea, and is obsessed with it. He asks us to wrap the dog in his blanket and offers his dog food, his lovey to suck on, and drinks. He is soft and loving with his dog, and even seems remorseful when he throws the dog in a tantrum. 

It was love at first sight for these two.

Wherever Beast Boy is, Dogatello Verpoochie is not far behind.


Hi [hī]: a greeting of arrival
Bye [bahy]: a greeting of departure
Yeah [yah]: affirmative; also a call for attention or help
Papá [paBAH]: father, progenitor
Mamá [baBAH]: mother
Ball [Bah]: any object which is spherical in nature
Car [Cah]: a vehicle
Cookie [gooGEE]: a sweet treat made with butter, flour and sugar
Coke [CōCAH]: a carbonated drink made with high fructose corn syrup
Lolo [wōwō]: his friend Harlow
No [nah]: a negative used to express dissent or refusal
Don't [dah]: a negative used to express extreme dissent or refusal
Auto [ah u to]: a vehicle
Upa [boopBAH]: please pick me up
Down [dahn]: please put me down
Boo [doo]: an exclamation meant to surprise or startle someone 
Wee [wee]: an exclamation denoting delight, especially in the car when TC takes sharp turns
Whoa [woh]: an interjection used to express interest
Wow [wow]: an exclamation of wonder or pleasure, especially used around Christmas lights
Ooh [oo]: used to express amazement; frequently used
Uhoh [uhoh]: used to indicate concern or chagrin, especially when something falls to the floor; used several times per hour


Gives kisses: always accompanied by "MWAH"
Blows kisses: "MWAH" accompanied by a hand at his mouth
Waves bye
Wags his finger to indicate displeasure
Gives bones/knuckles
Gives high fives
Plays peek a boo/doo by covering at least one eye and then uncovering it while exclaiming "DOO!"
Checks his wrist to see what time it is (it's always "besito" time in our house, meaning it's time for a kiss attack)
Folds his arms for prayer (for three seconds before he is playing with something)