Thursday, August 29, 2013

Trains, Trucks, Cars, and All Things Boy

My boys are all boy. No doubt. But what I love is seeing my identical twins grow into very different personalities. They are so much alike and yet so different at the same time.

Peter tends to be more obsessive compulsive. Case in point, this is his favorite activity:
Peter, proud of his work; Ethan just happy that he was allowed to help this time
Peter's favorite activity is to line up all the toys. Either in one long straight line or several lines that are lined up next to each other. Sometimes I'm not sure of his order, but he's very particular. And the concentration on his face is priceless. Unfortunately for Ethan, Peter doesn't like for any of the toys to go AWOL. Peter will throw a fit if Ethan tries to take any one of the toys for himself.
Another view of the train of toys
The nice thing is that Ethan is usually happy with just one toy. The problem is finding that one toy that he's happy with and that Peter doesn't want. It can turn into quite the battle at times. But then, after much crying and pleading from Peter, Ethan will turn around and give him the toy back.

Ethan's just too nice sometimes. Poor thing is always going to be bending to his brother's will.

One day the boys were pushing around some of the larger toys on wheels. Probably the school bus and the plane. They had gotten into a pattern of going around the furniture in the family room, into the hallway, around the kitchen, and back. I was sitting in the family room while Hubby was in the kitchen. At one point, Ethan decided to change his route. He turned his toy around and headed back to the kitchen. Peter noticed immediately! He stopped what he was doing and ran after Ethan, obviously upset.

Hubby didn't witness what had happened, all he saw was Peter trying to grab the toy out of Ethan's hands in the kitchen. He started trying to tell Peter to leave Ethan alone and not take toys away from him. I sat in the family room listening to the exchange and finally had to intervene. Peter didn't want Ethan's toy, he wanted Ethan to stay on the same track he was on. How dare Ethan diverge from the established route!

Peter likes everything a certain way. Everything. Every. Time.

The boys both love trucks. Big or small, doesn't matter. Really, anything big we see on the road: buses, trucks, vans of various sizes, firetrucks, and other emergency vehicles. When outside they recognize the sounds of airplanes or helicopters and start looking for them in the sky and often wave "bye-bye" to them as they fly over.

So we thought they would have a great time this past Sunday at an event in town called "Touch a Truck." And I think they did, but they wanted nothing to do with getting close to them and sitting inside any sort of truck was a definite no.

Watching the firefighter up on the ladder while having some ice cream
I think the boys would have preferred to just sit here and watch the trucks (particular the firefighter who was up on the end of a very long ladder). There was a Schwann's truck giving out free ice cream to children under 12, so we got two ice cream sandwiches. Turns out my kids weren't interested in the ice cream. Hubby managed to get Peter to take a couple small bites, but he wasn't really interested in eating much else. Ethan completely refused. As a result, Hubby and I enjoyed our free ice cream.

Firefighter up on the ladder
This was about as close as we could get the boys to an actual truck
Other kids enjoyed getting to sit in this trash truck and beep the horn. My kids wanted nothing to do with it.
Checking out a police helicopter
This truck was of interest to the boys, briefly.
The truck above held their attention briefly. We knew, by this time, that they wouldn't want to sit in it, but we thought maybe they would at least go up and touch it. But no!! You would have thought we were trying to put their hands into a burning fire.

Hot Air Balloon at Touch a Truck
This Hot Air Balloon was also on display. They had cold air being blown into it to keep it inflated and they allowed everyone to go inside to check it out. So we removed our shoes and carried two screaming boys inside. We didn't stay long.

Touch a Truck seemed a bit of a bust for our boys. But honestly, I think they did enjoy it, they just didn't want to get near anything. There was a city bus there that I took them into, with a bit of hesitation, of course. The event was held at Keeneland, the large local horse race track in town. Keeneland happens to be across the street from the airport and the runway points towards the Keene barn area where we were. So throughout our time there we also watched many small airplanes come in for a landing.

Airplane heading to the Lexington airport
Despite the boys not wanting to get near anything, we took a couple of pictures of things we found of interest.

Here's hubby inside slot 9 of the Keeneland start gate. This thing is HUGE!
Had to get a picture of the DeLorean. Back to the Future!
Me next to the tractor that pulls the Keeneland start gate. Yes, the wheel is taller than I am!
More on the boys:

They are still mostly just saying one word at a time. They have expanded their vocabulary quite a bit, but they stick to one word. I also now understand how a parent can understand what a child is saying when it sounds like complete nonsense to someone else. I get it now!! I can interpret a lot of their words that are missing syllables or certain sounds and I'm positive that most people (even Hubby) wouldn't know what they are saying. As an example: the word "red" sounds like "eh." Also, bread, bath, and several other "b" words all sound the same on the surface. There is a slight difference in inflection that I usually can catch. Plus context helps a lot.

We think one of the boys is left-handed and the other is right-handed. Makes me wonder if they might be mirror twins. But so far this is the only thing I've noticed that is a true opposite between them. And it's still too early to know if they are really left- or right-handed.

I think Ethan knows some of his primary colors. I knew they sort of knew the colors blue and yellow, but I hadn't seen them identify them consistently enough to be sure. The other day, Ethan was playing with the Mega Blocks (four total colors among all the blocks). I was sitting on a nearby chair but couldn't see the blocks on the floor. I asked him to show me a blue block and he reached down, pulled one out, and showed it to me. And it was blue! So I asked for a yellow one and got it. This was cool to see, but I knew he was more aware of those two colors. So I decided to test whether he knew the other two colors in the mix. So I asked for him to show me a red one and he did!! Finally a green one and again he pulled out the right one. I'm so impressed that he could do this. I tried it with Peter and he's not as consistent. But that's okay, they are only two.

One word they know is "pray." Peter especially likes to ask about praying when we sit down to eat and before bed and occasionally at other random times. Both boys are slowly getting the hang of the Sign of the Cross, which is cute to watch. They insist on using both hands. Two hands to their forehead, two to the chest, one each on their shoulders, and then hands together. Just this week Peter has been much more consistent in actually doing the Sign of the Cross and keeping his hands folded while Hubby and I pray. He also spends prayer time looking at Ethan and saying "pray" over and over again. Ethan completely ignores him which just frustrates Peter even more. I have to work hard to concentrate on praying and not laughing at the boys.

The boys love Elmo. I don't know how they learned about Elmo since we don't usually watch any TV with them except for Wheel of Fortune and occasional shows on Animal Planet on the weekend. At day care I've seen some Elmo stuffed animals, so I am guessing that's where they learned who Elmo is (no TV at daycare either). I think I need to get some DVDs of Elmo and a few books. I love the way they both say "Elmo" as well, kind of like "Me-mo." Very cute!

They also have two songs that they love. One is The Itsy Bitsy Spider. We figured this out about 4 or 5 months ago. They kept making the various hand signs that go with the song, but we didn't know what they were doing. One night at dinner it dawned on one of us and as soon as we started singing the song the boys got sooooooo excited.

More recently they started looking at us inquisitively and asking "ro, ro, ro?" This took us a little time to figure out as well, but not nearly as long as Itsy Bitsy Spider. We started singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat and got an interesting reaction. At the end of the song they put the palms of their hands up to their cheeks and opened up their mouths real wide and then started clapping and saying "Hooray." I could figure out why they were making the funny face with the hands up to the cheeks. Finally one morning, I remembered to ask their teacher and she explained the different lyrics she was using:

Row, row, row your boat,
gently down the stream.
If you meet an alligator,
don't forget to scream!

It was the "scream" face they were making!! This version of the lyrics is much more enjoyable to the boys. I had never heard the song sung this way. But it's very cute. You can also make a big alligator motion with your arms during the third line of that stanza.

They are certainly growing fast and learning tons very quickly. I'm starting to see signs that they are ready to start putting some words together, but we're not there quite yet. Any day now. They are finally getting some teeth in to fill in the gaps that have been in their mouths forever (it seems). They are still little guys (at 27 months old they are still mostly in 18 or 18-24 month sizes). And they are just such sweet boys!! All their teachers love them.

Hope you enjoyed this somewhat lengthy update on them. I know it's been a while since I wrote about these two precious boys. Hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, Peter is such a "first child"! LOL To this day, Brendan still has a lot of those behaviors, and poor Benjamin (a free spirit) still drives him bonkers. I'm not sure whether it helps or hinders to have that annoying brother from day 1, or two years down the road. :) Either way, it's so interesting to observe! I loved hearing all of the details. Can't wait to see them in a few days!