This year Charlie has grown in his social skills and has really grasped the concept of having friends. He went from a very shy two-year-old with a lot of anxiety about people outside our family to a three-year-old that prays for his friends, talks about them, hugs them, and gets so excited to play! When we are out he will often run up to a group of kids and shout, "Hi friends! What are you doing?" Last night we went out for birthday ice cream and he said "Hi Guys!" to everyone passing by... until one man jokingly asked for Charlie's ice cream, then he resorted to his typical defense mechanism and pretended he was asleep (also used when he has done something wrong and Mom tries to talk to him about it-- seriously, he lays on the floor, closes his eyes, and starts snoring). Tonight he didn't want to get out of the bath, so he layed down in the tub, pretended to sleep and started snoring. Where does he get this stuff?
Charlie is excited about life. He runs instead of walking, shouts instead of talking, doesn't like to take no for an answer, and loves a good laugh. When he is ready to get up in the morning he runs out of his room, bursts through our door, and snuggles with mom while I feed Haylie. He quotes movies with dad (mostly Veggie Tales and Cars) and entire books like Are You My Mother? and Go Dog Go. Baking with mom, painting, riding his bike, watering the garden, swimming, fixing things with tools, racing his cars, looking for airplanes in the sky, being chased, and running around like a wild man are things that Charlie loves to do. His clever little mind thinks of funny things to say, like this week he decided to start calling popsicles "Piston Cups" instead of popsicles!?
It has been so encouraging to see him use manners spontaneously...and so cute! His cars even use good manners with one another. When one falls off the table, another says, "Are you OK?" "Yes, I'm OK. Thanks." He is quick to say bless you when he hears a sneeze, and apologizes when he has hurt someone. Despite his frequent impulsive, wild behavior (I can picture his "sneaky face" as I type this), one thing I love about my son is his kind, soft heart. Yesterday when we were walking back to the car after ice cream, he stopped, looked back at our table and said, "Mom, where's sissy?" I pointed to Rob who was holding her and he said, "Oh OK, got her." Already protecting his baby sister.
This year has had its two-year-old challenges, but Charlie James continues to be a joy to our family!
And finally... a year in pictures, one (or two) for every month starting last October: