He was dancing with reckless abondon only moments earlier, before his awareness of the eyes on him. His arms recoiled to his chest and he lowered his chin in an attempt to make himself dissapear and then he froze, like prey avoiding detection by a predator.
My wild and outgoing two year old was gone. In his place stood a still funny yet more self-conscious toddler who is less prone to act out when surrounded by an audience. Well, he still acts out. But if it’s to show off, it will stop as soon as he realizes heads have turned. He no longer performs on command when company comes over, one of the small joys that kids provide their parents that I will miss.
But I’m thankful that this new social awareness hasn’t changed him completely. He’s still all boy at home and among friends, full of silly dance moves and craziness.
What’s he like now that he’s three? He loves to play catch though he only sporadically actually stops the ball between his hands. He’ll play it endlessly and laughs everytime the ball accidentally bops him on the head. (I swear it’s always on accident. wink wink) How is catch different now? I remember when I used to roll the ball to him as a baby and say “Bing!” every time it stopped by him. That was enough to get one of his signature baby belly laughs out of him which were so contageous and made us all erupt into laughter and tears! It’s weird to reminisce about how things used to be with a three year old. That’s still so young, but so much has changed.
Some things that he does remind me he’s still just a baby. Take his fake cry for example. It drives me nuts! I call him out on it all the time, too. As soon as we pulled into the driveway his fake cry started up about something. As I was undoing his buckle I told him straightfaced “Stop fake crying, Pax” and he just smirked at me like, “Aw man. Busted!”
And recent attempts at letting him eat in a regular chair at the table have failed. He still needs to be in lock down to keep him from getting up and roaming the house when he hasn’t finished his lunch. Here he is after being relocated to more appropriate accomodations at the table. Not too happy. Obviously, a tension between the little boy he is and the free man he wants to be.
I also love the way he plays hide and seek. He giggles out of control when I ask where he is. He always gives himself away, the excitement is too much! And he hides in plain sight, thinking there’s no way I’ll be able to find him!
One of the most obvious changes has been how much he talks. Now that Ella has started kindergarten Pax is finding his voice. Erica has noticed this more than me since she spends all day with him, but in the evenings I’ve also noticed it getting increasingly hard to get a word in edgewise. He has so much to say he might even start a blog.
So in some ways the show is over. He no longer acts as silly in public or dances on command (which is probably a good thing). But Pax is also becoming a young boy full of fun and life and really opening up and talking more and in that way, the show has really just begun!