Christopher randomly started calling Joey "Joe" on Monday. I don't know why; I guess it's just a mark of development. I've called him "Yo", short for "Yoey", which is what Christopher used to call him, but "Joe" is all Christopher's own.
Christopher has also started making expressions.... really funny ones. He made some before, but the last couple days he's been very expressive. I guess he is growing up, which wouldn't bother me too much, since he is definitely in the toddler stage with a lot of things, and I believe he'll fit in better with the Boy Pack when he isn't quite a toddler. Now, if someone knocks him down or throws dirt on him, he absolutely loses it. Also, he's the ultimate turtle of turtles. He'll grow out of that too, but we're trying to teach him that he doesn't have to walk everywhere at a snail's pace.
We've been working on the rocking back and forth too. I read in the boys' files that they have always done this and that even their big sisters do it, but you know what? Christopher never did it until he heard me telling Joey not too. Now he's caught the bug, so I'm working on both of them. Now Christopher is worse at it that Joey is.
Joey is determined to be a big man. Every comment I make that has a hint of 'little' in it, even if it's just "I'm going to help you with that", he takes offense and tells he how he is a big man. Oh my goodness. :) I tell him that he can be a big boy or a little man, but he isn't a big man yet. He will be, though; he is growing like a weed.
I am just amazed at how these boys have developed. They are both completely potty trained unless Christopher just 'wants' to wet his pants. He decides to do that sometimes. It never ends well. it is getting less and less frequent.
One thing I have noticed that is kind of strange is this: if we have one on two time with either of the boys because the other is in bed, the personality of the child is incredibly changed. Tim says that Joey is like a completely different child if he has one on two time with us. It's true. I've never seen anything like it. I wish there was a way to have one on two time without the other child being stuck in his room, but there just isn't, so since we don't like that kind of discipline, we don't have one on two time very often at all.
We're also trying to (gently) encourage Joey to grow out of sucking his finger at bed or naptime. It has been a slow process, because I don't always remember to remind him, but last night I kind of lost it. I was sitting there minding my own business, when over the baby monitor came this horrendously loud sound of sucking. Oh my, it's like Stella was in there licking herself. It was that bad. I couldn't stand it! I went in there and told him to take his finger out of his mouth and not to put it back in, because he is a big boy and needs to act like one. He tossed and turned a bit, but he was able to sleep without it. This is not (and will not) be a discipline issue. We just want to encourage him to try to grow up and leave that behind, since he is almost five, after all. He's doing really well, and I've been able to tell that he's ready to leave it behind, but he's just a bit reluctant because he just doesn't quite know how to go about it. He told me one day after I asked him to try: "I need to really try, Mommy." Yes, sweetie, but it will be ok either way, if I just turn down the baby monitor. :)
One of the big things we try to teach is courteousness. I think this is a quality sadly lacking in the world and even in the church. We try to teach the boys to be courteous if they wake up before everyone else... they need to be quiet and let everyone else wake up on their own. Also, we don't eat like turtles so everyone else has to wait on us. We don't take forever to get out of the car so that Mommy and Joey have to stand in the street waiting for Christopher to get down from his seat and step out of the car. There are so many different ways we have to be courteous to one another.
We really want the boys to grow up to be enjoyed by people, and no one, I repeat, no one, wants to spend time with someone who only considers himself or who is mean, or who is bossy.
We're really working on bossiness with Joey.... I am surprised, I thought this was a female problem! I was always accused of being bossy, when really I'm sure I was just struggling to use my gift of administration properly. :) But Joey really is bossy. He'll tell Christopher: "I want to play with what you have, you play with your computer." Or "There can only be one Austin." Or any of a million different ways to control with Christopher is doing. It's hard to listen to, because who wants their precious little three year old to be abused by anyone, much less their precious four year old? We give Joey a dose of real life when he acts this way. If he is being nicely bossy, we just correct it, but if he is being mean (which happens more often than not) he gets sent to his room because no one wants to spend time with someone who is mean. If he's mean, I tell him, I'm not going to make Christopher spend time with him, because we love Christopher, and we don't want to spend time with a mean person either. Sounds harsh, but it is real life, and he needs to learn it early so he doesn't make it a habit and never have any friends... or worse, be completely ungodly.
I know I come across as completely a spanking person full time, but I have to admit, I do add in other disciplines, just because they do seem to be effective occasionally and sometimes real life is a very effective teaching tool. I just don't want the lesson to be too hard, so we favor spanking for other various offenses. I'm not going to let my child get burned up, run over, bitten by a dog (not Stella, mind you, but some random dog at PetSmart) just to teach him a lesson. I'd rather spank him to make him listen to me. And he does listen. He really is growing up.
My babies are precious to me, and they have grown and learned so much. They are developing into wonderful children who love the Lord... with some caveats. One of them is definitely more interested in God than the other.
Christopher surprised me on Sunday. You know how kids will answer your question by just rewording what you said? On Sunday I was explaining the Bread and Cup to Christopher (again... we do it every week, and then he follows it up with "Can we pray 'bout that?" :) ) and I asked him what Jesus was doing on the cross. I expected him to say "he was hanging on the cross" or "dying on the cross" but no. He said, "He was paying for our sins." Ahhh. He knows it's true, and he loves God.