I have to knock out a 28-month post for John tonight, since he'll be 29 months a week from now! John's 28th month was extremely hectic because of his Daddy's arrival and our ensuing car trips to Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota. If I had to sum it up in one line, I'd say it was one of those "best of times and the worst of times" kind of experiences, both for John and for his (very tired) parents.
Of course the highlight of the month for John was getting to see his Daddy again. After months of hearing that "Daddy's at work," he welcomed home his Daddy on the afternoon April 13th. I had told John before I laid down for his nap that Daddy would be home by the time he woke up, but I think John was still really surprised to see him walk through his bedroom door to get him out of his crib. Just as he had in October, John played shy with Daddy when he first saw him -- he smiled but didn't talk very much. I videotaped the reaction in two parts (see below).
Once Daddy was home, John wasn't nearly as interested in Mommy anymore. In fact, that afternoon John told Mommy to "go inside" so he could play alone with Daddy on the back deck. Mommy was happy to oblige. They played with his new basketball and hoop and chased each other around the tree.
Other highlights of the month for John were getting to see all of his extended family in Minnesota and North Dakota again, making some new friends in North Dakota, and attending his very first wedding. If you ask John about who got married at the wedding, he'll say, "I got married!" If you ask him whom he got married to, he'll give you a different answer every time (but my two favorite answers are "Mommy!" and "Uncle Jesse!")
So you might be wondering what the lowpoint of the month was. No big surprise here -- it was taking John househunting in Wisconsin. Our first mistake was thinking it was a good idea to leave for Wisconsin on a Tuesday afternoon after John's Parent's Day Out program ended. We assumed John would be so tired that he'd fall asleep in the car as soon as we got on the interstate. When that didn't happen, we started to get worried. Thank goodness there was a 15-mile construction site on I-94 as we approached the Milwaukee area. Those cranes and bulldozers kept us all sane.
Our second mistake was thinking John would understand the concept of "going to Wisconsin" and "going to Milwaukee." Apparently, crossing over the border of Illinois into Wisconsin wasn't interesting enough for John to actually think we were "there." We told him over and over again that we already were in Wisconsin and to look out the window, but he just kept saying, "I go Mis-consin! I go Mis-consin!" We eventually realized that John thought "Mis-consin" was a person ("Miss Consin"). It got even worse when, as we passed by Milwaukee and pointed out all the buildings to him, he started saying, "I go Mis-waukee! I go Mis-waukee!" He didn't want to see the buildings, he wanted to see "Miss Waukee." So we were dealing with a nap-deprived 2-year-old who was asking to see two people who didn't exist!
Once we had checked into our hotel in Brookfield (a suburb just outside Milwaukee) and brought up all our bags to the room, John had finally settled down and wasn't asking to see "Miss Consin" or "Miss Waukee" anymore. But when we started leaving the hotel to go get some dinner, John started getting upset again, shouting, "No! No! I go Mis-consin! I go Mis-waukee!" Somehow he had begun associating the names "Wisconsin" and "Milwaukee" with the hotel itself, and he didn't want to leave the hotel!
I wish that I could say the rest of the trip went more smoothly, but it didn't. In addition to the "Miss Consin"/"Miss Waukee" confusion, John just didn't understand the concept of "looking at houses." At this point in our search, we were still thinking we were going to rent, so we were driving around neighborhoods in different towns to get a feel for the areas we liked. We did go in one house that we found for rent on Craigslist, and after we did that, John assumed we would be going inside every other house we looked at from the outside -- yikes! For him, "looking at houses" necessarily meant "going inside houses," which is something John absolutely LOVES to do. Anyway, that trip to Wisconsin ended up being far, far worse than all of the driving we did a week later to go to Minnesota and North Dakota!
To end the post on a more positive note, I'll mention that during his 28th month, our little social butterfly really "spread his wings." At the playground across the street from Grandma Bonnie and Grandpa Jeff's house, John started going up to much older kids (boys AND girls, sometimes three or four or five times his age!) and, using what I call his "deep big boy" voice, asking them their names. He'd respond with, "I John," and then he'd proceed to run around and play with these kids as if he were just one of the gang. Hahaha! Now he does this all the time, and I never get tired of seeing the look on kids' faces when they realize that a 2-year-old is trying to make friends with them! Too, too cute.