(Written at Angus's second birthday -- 9/22/2009)
Angus is singing his first songs. He started with Itsy Bitsy Spider. The most exciting part of the song is when the rain comes to "wash the spider out". Angus likes making an emphatic hand gesture to show the washing. It's even more fun when Angus is in the bathtub and can do it in the water. His favorite song is inexplicably Baa, Baa Black Sheep. He can sing all of the words, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't know what most of them mean. My best theory is that he likes the song because it starts with the phrase "Baa Baa" which is the word that he and Amelia use for binky. Angus also sings Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and he does it while swaying back and forth.
Angus likes to talk, but there are really only a few topics which interest him enough to have a conversation. So we have the same conversations over and over. Angus likes to talk about Amelia, Uncle Owen and Grandma and Grandpa. He likes to talk about cooking. Mostly Angus cooks pancakes, though occasionally he cooks soup. Angus loves construction vehicles and fire trucks. Anything that involves 'flashing lights' is a good story. Angus likes to talk about our point out anything that is in one of his books. One of his favorite books over the past two years has been a book about Pike Place Market. He loves talking about the cheese shop and how the tanker truck brings milk. He also loves talking about horses -- petting them, feeding them (hay or apples), and getting horse poop on his shoe. He got to pet and feed horses in Iceland, and Jan took him to see a horse show over the summer.
Angus plays lots of different games right now. His favorite continues to be cooking. He makes pancakes and soup a lot, but lately he's also been interested in anything that he can cook with the fake whole chicken. Angus is really into physical feats. He loves jumping like a frog. He loves climbing everything -- playground equipment, rocks, furniture. Angus likes playing "I'm going to get you". He'll come up to someone and yell "I'M-GOING-GET-Y0UUUUUUU" then he will bolt down the hallway waiting for someone to chase him. Angus also likes doing skateboard tricks (on his no-wheeled skateboard). He likes riding his trike and digging in his sandbox or in the garden. He likes playing with his wooden train set (almost as much as his dad does). He likes driving our cars -- opening and closing things, turning on lights and playing with the radio. He likes counting, though it usually comes out as... "1, 2, 6, 7, 8". He's just getting into Play Doh and his favorite thing is when either Alex or I make 'fire trucks' for him using Play Doh. We usually supply the rectangle block and some wheels. Angus adds the flashing lights!
Angus is building unique relationships with all of the special people in his life. Angus has been spending one day a week with his grandparents, and he's spent a few three or four day weekends at their house without mom and dad. With Grandpa, he gets up early in the morning, makes pancakes, goes on adventures in Seattle and visits the 'airport park' in Anacortes. Angus loves to talk to grandma. He follows her around the house looking at photos and art. He likes to watch her grind coffee, and then he loves to smell it. He also likes hanging out with her in the kitchen while she bakes.
Angus loves seeing Uncle Owen. When he's about to see Owen or when he's just seen him, Owen is all that he can talk about. He and Owen build overambitious sandcastles and Lego structures. Angus has a Viking ship with a Viking family. We've nicknamed one of the Vikings "Viking Uncle Owen" and Angus likes to carry him around.
Angus is really good friends with Amelia. He talks about her all the time. They also hug and kiss (especially when they say goodbye). When they're walking around outside, they hold hands to make sure they stick together. Just recently they've started to get rough with each other. Sometimes they hit or push, usually when they both want attention from Chelsie at the same time. But they also like to chase each other, squealing with glee, and to tickle each other when they finally catch up. It's really interesting to see Angus and Amelia together. Even though they're buddies, they are so different. Amelia likes to charm adults and Angus likes to climb things. When our two families went to the circus, Amelia liked dancing to the pop music and jumping up and down. Angus sat and focused on all the activity while sitting in rapt attention. Both Angus and Amelia love our nanny Chelsie. She's spending lots of time with them at the park, helping them learn how to share and taking them on field trips to the library, zoo and children's museum.
Angus loves visiting Mamie and Terry in LA. He hangs out in their lush, warm garden. Mamie taught him how to water plants using a little watering can. He loves watching helicopters and airplanes in LA, and Mamie and Terry take him to LAX to watch the big planes land. He loves the sound when Mamie speaks to him in French, and he goes nuts whenever she bounces him on her knee and sings the French song about the farting horse.
Angus also has little dates with his Auntie Jan. She's teaching him family traditions like Shabbat, Hanukkah and Yom Kippur. Angus loves being surrounded by family, and Jan always does songs that are fun for little guys. She takes him to visit Granny. Angus loves seeing all of Jan's kids, especially Roxy (Rocky), Jake and Lynn, who have all been living in Seattle for the past year.
Angus loves being part of a big family. He loves being surrounded by family at Jan's house, and he loved living in a big compound with the Hav Family during our vacation to Iceland. He visited with everyone and showed off by sweeping with a big broom. He loved spending time with Zoe. Three months later, he's still talking about hanging out with Zoe in the hot tub every time he takes a bath.
Angus has been a really great buddy for me during my pregnancy. Angus likes to pretend that he's pregnant. He'll stick his baby doll 'Bob', under his shirt and then pat his tummy walking around the house, and saying 'hi' until Bob falls out of his shirt. We've had lots of snuggling and reading and singing. Angus also likes standing on kitchen chairs at the counter while I cook. And he loves it when I chase him. We'll play "I'm gonna get you" or "1,2,3 race" together and he laughs and giggles.
Angus also has special time with his dad. On weekends, they have special one-on-one time going out for pancakes in Ballard or Snoqualmie. They are engaged in some pretty epic train building. They also do Angus's bath together every night. They splash and kick and inexplicably say "Oh My Gosh!" over and over to each other.
Angus loves reading books. Until a couple of months ago, his favorite by far was Goodnight Moon. Now he likes books by Sara Anderson -- Vegetables, Fruits, and A Day at the Market. He loves Each Peach, Pear, Plum and he likes to look for all of the little things happening in the pictures. He's just starting to like books that have longer narratives like Going on a Bear Hunt, Mr. Brown Can Moo, and Curious George. When he and Chelsie go to story time at the library, he can sit through the full story. There are a lot of old favorites that Angus still loves like the Taro Gomi books Spring is Here and My Friends, and the Hungry Caterpillar.
Angus is still liking music. Mostly he likes to sing and dance. His musical tastes are expanding. He likes rock music (including his first rock show... Death Cab for Cutie). He really likes They Might Be Giants because it's good for jumping around.
Angus likes attention. He's figured out a whole bunch of party tricks. He blows kisses, high-fives and fist bumps. He answers the question 'How old are you?' with an enthusiastic "TWO!". Angus is very affectionate. He gives hugs and kisses to people that he knows well. He also spins and dances when he's excited about someone new who has arrived. And he shows off by showing how high he can jump with both feet.
Angus has a pretty normal bath routine. He picks out bath toys (trucks and frying pans are most popular). He takes a bath with dad. They sing songs and repeat catch phrases like "Oh My". Then we put on his jammies, and read two books. We tuck him in with his blue blankie, stuffed horsie, and pillow. Then either Alex or I sit next to him with the lights off for a minute or two. In the morning, sometimes he comes over to our bed for snuggle time, dragging all of his bedding with him.
Angus is an eater. He still loves pancakes and pizza. he loves to help cook dinner. He stands on a char at the counter to watch us chop things. He likes watching bubbling pots and will play in the sink while watching his hands for half an hour. When he gets tired of being up at the counter, he'll go cook a parallel dish in his own kitchen using scraps from dinner (like carrot tops). Angus discovered corn on the cob this summer, and he loves really good tomatoes. He tries new things all the time, including soup, chili, olives and capers. He asks for juice (which we water down), applesauce, raisin bran and graham crackers.
Angus is starting to test his boundaries. He'll try to leave through the front door, prolonging the moment of leaving by having one foot in and one foot out. He puts small toys in his mouth repeatedly. He'll put two feet up on his push wagon 'lawn mower' and risk falling down. He hits walls with toys, and goes in forbidden zones like the library and basement. But he only does these things once he makes sure that we're looking. He's definitely trying to understand exactly where the limit is. He throws some tantrums like crying under the kitchen table with the binky and his blue blanket, and hitting his hands together so hard that it hurts him. But overall, he's a sweet cooperative little guy who's just trying to figure out how the world works.
We can really see Angus's personality emerging. Angus is cautious but brave. When he's in a familiar setting, he's chatty, but when everything is new, he sits back and watches while he figures things out. He'll make friends with other kids at the park or place space, but his approach is quiet and cautious. Angus isn't bossy (except with Mom, Dad and Grandpa who he tells "MOVE!"). He likes connecting with people by giving high fives for new people and hugs and kisses to old buddies. He talks about other people when they aren't there. He's very affectionate. He likes hugging, kissing, and roughhousing. Angus loves to laugh -- socially when other people laugh, at his own jokes, and after tickling.
Angus likes vehicles -- the louder and more powerful the better. Angus likes having things put away or cleaned up. He's excited to share experiences with others. He likes to watch sports on TV with grandpa and Owen -- the more repetitive the better. Golf and Baseball are the best. They just swing the same way over and over again. He can't sit still for very long. Multi-course meals and extra long stories are hard for Angus.