Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pete becomes a toddler

I haven't written much about Pete lately, so as the Super Bowl winds down, I'll try to capture some of what it's been like to watch him pass his second birthday and careen into full-fledged toddlerhood.

We've been struck by how Pete develops in streaks and bursts. For example, he was a little slow to pick up his numbers; he had gotten pretty good at identifying two of something, and he had become fond of five ("Pie!") as a word for more than two. He had said three only sporadically and almost never four. Furthermore, he had never counted, even to two. Last Sunday, we all came downstairs in the morning, and Pete was standing in the kitchen as Carolyn prepared the coffee that would fuel the day. Pete looked around, then, as Carolyn put the scoops of coffee in the filter, said with complete authority, "One! Two! Three! Four! Five!" Or, phonetically, "One! Choo! Fwee! Fo-or! Pie!" And he squealed and clapped and laughed until he fell on his butt.

He's still shaky with three and four, and he still likes shooting balls at his hoop more than counting them--these developments have been complicated and cyclical, but the initial gains can be flashes of lighting. Just as he passed that tipping point from not counting to counting in a night, he later did a somersault out of the blue and began without warning to catch thrown balls; the kid who wouldn't leave our grasp in a swimming pool eight months ago wanted immediately to climb the ladder and jump in by himself this winter. In the last few weeks, Pete has gone from identifying no letters to naming about half the capitals most of the time.

I say these things not to brag about Pete but to wonder at toddlerhood: this is the stuff kids learn at Pete's age, but I find myself endlessly amazed by the way the process plays out, and my favorite part is how--as in the counting breakthrough--Pete takes such joy in the new things he can do.

Oh, a random bit of fun from the last week: Pete continues to love music--playing it as he can (mostly drums and kazoo), listening, watching videos, whatever. Becuase Carolyn's dad plays banjo, that is one of Pete's favorite instruments, so I found him this vidoe of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. As we watched it together after breakfast a few days ago, Pete started holding his nose and saying, "oooo." Over and over. After watching this for a minute I realized what was happening: Pete was playing harmonica! So we learned that word and looked for other harmonica videos. Excellent.

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