gabriel ||| @ twenty two months old
this phase has passed a bit, but a few months ago he was soooo into the cute british nursery rhyme “sleeping bunnies.” he even created his own sign to communicate that he wanted to listen to that song/do the actions – a hand cupped on his cheek with his head tilted to the side. during the sleeping part he always lays on the ground on his belly, very abruptly, with his bum elevated. during the hopping part he jumps up and pumps his fists like crazy.
he’s super into saying family members’ names. when he first mastered them, he’d just say “momo, mama, dada” over and over and over again.
he has just a few other words – he’s taking his sweet time talking. he says “yeah” (in varying tones of voice that are each unique and really darling), “jesus” (most of the time in a whisper, which is so cute), “giraffe” (gahf!), “water” (wawa), and makes pretty much the same sound to say “hot,” “walk,” “hold,” and the sound a sheep makes. haha. by far his most used word is “snack” (nah nah) – he honestly probably says that hundreds of times in a day. all his life this boy has been constantly asking for a snack.
gabriel absolutely loves saying prayers. several times a day he will fold his hands (his prayer position) and look up at us eagerly with his big blue eyes. often he will remind us to say a prayer before a meal by folding his hands and grunting loudly. at bedtime, he often wants to say three or four prayers. he sleeps with three stuffed animals – a doggy (his original comfort item), a bunny (replaced the doggy for a while when we couldn’t find it, and then stuck), and a camel (acquired recently in oman and very, very beloved). i give him his animals at bedtime and he snuggles them right up by his face and then immediately clasps his hands in front of them, excited to pray. he is always very insistent that we say “thank you for momo” first. then “thank you for dada,” then “thank you for mama.”
gabes is very affectionate and will often randomly come and give me or his brother or dad hugs and kisses. he loves to run to us and barrel into us in a hug – particularly daddy when he gets home from work. just recently moses and gabriel have taken to hugging each other a lot and it is so so sweet. gabriel gives big open mouth slobbery kisses still, and when i ask him to close his mouth and pucker, he sticks out his tounge a little and goes in for a french kiss, haha 🙂 sometimes he will just grab either side of my face and passionately kiss me over and over! he also loves to wave goodbye to daddy at the window in the mornings, waving and rubbing his chest (our family sign for “i love you”) over and over.
gabe will noooot sit still or smile for a picture the vast majority of the time. he has gotten a little better at this more recently! he is busy and on the move always!
he has freckles on only one side of his face (???), but dimples on both!
when asked, “how old are you?” he puts up one finger and says, “dah!” often, he then puts up five fingers, just to be silly, because he knows i will say, “you’re five?! how did you get to be five so quickly??” if he ever hears anyone asking anyone how old they are, he runs over with one finger held up. he also often puts up his pointer finger and makes a big sound to say “one more time”!
whenever i tell moses anything about what we are going to do (“today we are going to the park,” or “in a little while we can have a snack,” or “let’s go in the big room to play”), gabriel pats his chest and says “mah, mah!” … “yes, you too gabey!” this happens like ten times a day. gabe always wants to make sure he’s not left out. this mannerism is so distinctly him, and ian and i find it so cute.
for a few weeks, the first thing gabriel would say whenever he woke from a nap or in the early morning was “momo!!” and whenever we say a prayer, gabriel insists that we thank god first for “momo.” he adores his big brother, and is constantly watching and copying moses.
gabriel often just wants to be heard and acknowledged. he will keep saying the same thing over and over and over or showing me the same thing over and over and over until i repeat back what he’s said or verbally acknowledge what he’s showing me. i often have to stop what i am doing or a conversation i am having to say, “yes, gabriel, that’s a book!” there’s one spot on the walk to moses’s school where gabriel one day, probably like four months ago, spotted a dog peeking through a fence. every single time we pass that fence, gabriel is shouting “woof woof! woof woof!” and we spend the rest of the walk to school talking about that dog. haha.
lately, he’s been really into walking everywhere he can, resisting the buggy. he has gotten really quick on his feet and sometimes i’m just amazed at how fast his little legs can move! he’s pretty darling hopping/skipping/walking/running through the city streets. there have been quite a few days that he has walked all the way home from mo’s school, stopping just occasionally when he sees an interesting stick or leaf. that’s not a super short walk, especially for a tiny little man like gabriel!
there was a month-long phase when every time we went outside our front door or approached our front door coming home, gabriel would point at the garden gate and beg to go in. he loooooves being in the garden and especially throwing pebbles in the little pond that’s in there.
gabey loves books but has ripped so many pages out and pulled so many flaps off. for a long time he just wanted to turn the page already when we’ve read books together, but he’s recently gotten better at this. he does really frustrate his brother when he decides he’s done with a book (that moses is not done with) and forces it closed repeatedly. he’s also in a very dedicated “dumping” phase. if there is anything that could possibly be dumped out on the floor, he will dump it. we have baskets full of sorted toys in the cupboards in our living room and sometimes he’ll just get them out one by one and dump everything out – as many baskets as he can get to before i stop him!
our angel gabriel is an empathetic soul. if he sees (or hears) another child getting hurt, he is so so concerned. he does his sign for “bonk,” patting his head, and gets this worried look on his face. he is particularly concerned about moses whenever moses is sad for any reason. “momo, momo,” he says over and over. it’s pretty sweet.
moses ||| @ three years + seven and half months old
mo has really big emotions. when he is excited, he is jumping out of his skin thrilled; when he is happy he is beaming; when he is sad or frustrated or mad there is a lot of drama. i absolutely adore his exuberance and wouldn’t trade an ounce of his zeal for anything! he is learning about and working on recognizing his emotions, “getting his mad/sad out” in a productive safe way, and “talking about it calmly.” we’ve also talked a lot lately about empathy and he is developing skills around watching out for others and helping them when he can see they don’t feel happy.
lately moses has been really into crafting. we got a cheap over-the-door shoe organizer that we use as our “craft cubbies,” and he loves everything from cutting and pasting to taping pipe cleaners in creative ways to painting to tracing letters with glued on pom-poms. he is always excited to stamp, colour, stick stickers, and is fasciated by staplers. it has been fun to try different crafts and see his creativity come out in different ways.
several times every day he tells each family member he loves them. he often yells out the window “i love you!!!!!” as daddy leaves for work, and will just randomly say, “gaboo, i love ya.” before he goes to sleep he has decided it is mandatory that he tells whichever parent is putting him to bed, “i will always love you.” sometimes this turns into “i will always, always, always, always love you!!” i’ll be cooking dinner or packing up the buggy to go out or reading him a book and he’ll say, “mommy? … i love you.”
he continues to be obsessed with stories, but these days he often tells more of the story than listens to it. he often asks me to tell him a story, then stops me one or two sentences in and informs me on what actually happens in this story. sometimes a story is what gets his dinner into his stomach (he gets to hear what happens next – lots of built up anticipation! – with each bite). he usually wants stories about animals, and occasionally about aurora (lingering sleeping beauty obsession).
sometimes moses likes to sing. he’ll make up songs as he rides in the buggy, or sometimes as he scoots on his scooter. a few weeks ago he sang out loud, ” we are the wright family. we have the best family in the woooorld!” ha!
he likes to talk in gibberish – sometimes i have to say, “moses, please talk to me in english and in a normal voice!” he says that his gibberish is called “norway language” (ever since we got back from our trip to norway). he will often inform me on how to say things in norway language.
whenever moses sees a homeless person on the streets of london he says, “mom! stop! that friend doesn’t have a home!” and he shares his snacks with a big smile on his face.
his lion king obsession has subsided (although he still gets really excited by anything lion king related). he is still very into the grinch. we took him to see the film two christmases ago – his first movie theatre experience – and it stuck. he loves it so much and talks about the grinch all the time. i love it when he talks about how the grinch repented and became kind and his heart grew.
moses has always been a very good communicator. he explains things really clearly. we are just working on talking calmly when things haven’t gone the way he wanted or expected 😉 he is full of questions – lots and lots of why?. a few of moses’s most oft-repeated words: “we haven’t done that in ages!” “i made a friend! (maybe i can invite them to my four birthday!)” “gabey, you’re the sweetest.” “can you tell the rest of the story?” “i love that!” “can i have a treat for keeping my underwear dry?”
if you were to ask moses who his best friend is, he would immediately say, “gaber!” he loves his brother a lot, a lot. also, he has figured out loads of sneaky ways to get a reaction out of his brother by teasing him and bothering him… when he plays nicely with him brother (really, quite often), it makes my heart sing. they are the sweetest little buddies.
i think moses has a mind for math. there have been a few times when i’ve been quite taken back at how well he puts numbers together. when we were in oman, we decided together to collect seven new shells one afternoon. when we counted that we had ten, he immediately said, “oh yeah, so we take away three and we have seven!” and i was like, “what???” not a surprise because he is ian’s son, but yes i think he has a mind for math. he’s also really into patterns. he’ll often notice something random and say, “hey mommy! that’s like a pattern!” (repeating colours, a set of friends taking turns in order over and over, stickers he’s put on a paper in a certain way, etc).
i talk with moses every day, at some length, about being kind. before he goes into school each morning i ask him, “mo, what’s the most important thing at school?” and he answers, “to be kind.” there are a lot of reminders from mom and dad to moses to be kind, and he is learning. recently he decided he would let gabriel have a snack first every time i get snacks out for the two of them. feeling the joy of this simple kindness makes him glow (and me too!). the other thing he and i are working on a lot is obeying – doing what mommy asks the first time she asks. mo is strong-willed and can be quite defiant, but he’s growing. right now he’s working to earn a super cool animal sticker book for obedience.
moses decided a few months ago that he has imaginary animal friends. apparently every animal in the entire world follows him around everywhere! occasionally he greets them in different places, mostly he just tells me they’re here 😉
he recently started swimming classes and he absolutely loves them. turns out moses is a total fish! at his third lesson, the teacher had the kids swim underwater through a hoop. i thought for sure mo would be too scared to do it – he abhors getting water on his head in the bath and has never been keep to go under in a pool – but he just went for it unflinchingly! and ever since then he has been wild for water. in oman he was jumping in the pool over and over and over, just thrilled every single time he could get his whole body submerged.
mo’s favourite places in london are: the wonderlab at the science museum, the play base at the army museum, the t-rex at the natural history museum, and the playgrounds at kew gardens. soon it will be warm again and he’ll remember more of his favourite outdoor places!
sometimes i can’t believe how crazy much i love these two precious boys. it is exhausting and exhilarating and excellent to be their mom. they are remarkable souls. <3<3
Question: what do you do specifically to teach Moses about obedience? And obeying the first time? This is something we’re working on with our almost 3 year old. Are there any resources (books?) you would recommend?