Dio has been out of sorts with a fever the past few days...poor guy. Zari got the same thing a few days ago, but she recovered quickly with lots of movies and juice (the only time we have juice is when someone is sick, so it's a real treat).
Dio is able to say more and more words. Today, for example, he said breast, apple, bread, banana, dirty, mama, papa, dog, meow, baby, juice, cup, pee, poop, burp, bird, and dark among others. His enunciation still has lots of room for improvement, but I can interpret what he's saying. One thing I love is that he pats his diaper and says "pee pee" or "poop" when he needs to go or has just gone. Very helpful. He also announces when any of us are using the bathroom! I guess bodily functions are quite fascinating to a little toddler.
He loves playing outside on the swings and slide and sandbox. Carrying sticks around, digging in the dirt, chasing squirrels, scooting on his vintage Radio Flyer push bike, watching bugs, and kicking walnuts are also favorite activities. I love watching him and Zari playing together. If they're occupied and the weather is nice and I don't have a pressing task like laundry or dinner, I sometimes have time just to sit and do nothing. What a luxury.
Everything is a competition for Zari right now. Is my cup fuller than Dio's? Is my bread bigger than Dio's? Did Dio eat slower than me? Did I run faster than Dio? I usually say "yes" to everything because it avoids meltdowns and temper tantrums. A few times I have held out and said "I don't know if it was bigger/faster/fuller and it doesn't matter." That drives Zari crazy and she won't stop asking until she gets an answer. I use that as a motivating tool for Zari. "Look, Dio is doing ___ faster than you!" That gets her into gear because SHE wants to be the biggest and the fastest right now. I hope that's not a bad strategy...
Dio loves to mimic what we're doing. One of Zari's jobs is unloading the clean silverware from the dishwasher, and Dio always wants to help. If Zari sees him "helping," she quickly takes over because it's HER job--even if two seconds previously she ignored my request to do the silverware. Dio loves to hold the dustpan when I'm sweeping. He even angles it just right and then carries it carefully to the garbage can and dumps it in. I help, of course. Another favorite is getting a cloth wipe, blowing his nose (actually he blows really loud through his mouth), and then putting the wipe in the diaper pail.
He's so much fun to have around. Like me, his default look is serious, almost somber. People often think he's sad or mopey when in fact he's having a blast. I tell people, "If he's not crying, he's happy!"