The Beaner turned 22 months old yesterday. Honestly, he feels so much like he's two already that by the time his actual birthday rolls around, it'll probably be greeted with a shrug. He's still pointing out cars like he's on a mission, and he's describing them in more detail ("gray Mini, blue Mini. Two Minis!", "wet Lolota, wet Baab, wet Mitsubishi. It's raining!", "oh Mommy, look, anunna VW!"). He asks to "go walking and looking more Baabs, more Jeeps" on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis. He tells us what he wants to eat ("more pee-each [two syllables]"), what he wants to wear ("no blue jekit, unge jekit!"), when his shoes are untied (I've noticed that he checks them regularly, and he reports "tie shoes on!" when a lace becomes loose), and who the people in his family are ("Mommy, Aw-ten, Daddy").
He's still huge, and growing more so; we took him to the pediatrician last Friday before we went apple picking, and he weighed in at 30 lbs. 12 oz. (slightly over the over/under of 30.5 lbs.) and measured 2' 10.37" (almost 34.5"). The doctor reported that this put him in the 75th percentile for height and the 90th for weight, but when I went to the CDC website to verify that she didn't have the numbers flipped, it looked to me like he's in the 50th percentile for height and the 75th for weight. Either way, he's solid for his height. I asked the doctor if we should change what we feed him, and she said no, he's doing great. This makes sense, I guess; he's still within normal limits all the way around, he's healthy, and he's very active. He watches a good deal of Sesame Street, but he's hardly a couch potato—with Hannah as a nanny, how could he be?
Speaking of Hannah, she'll be going part time with us starting this week, and The Beaner will be going to M's house for sharecare two days a week. We'll lose Hannah for good at the end of December, which, although not a surprising development, considering that we assumed when we hired her full-time back in January that she'd want to go back to school in September, is nonetheless a sad one. I'm both sad that The Beaner will be losing Hannah's company, energy, enthusiasm—in short, everything she brings to the door every morning at 9am—and sad that we'll need to find a new nanny. That's never easy to do, and it's especially difficult for someone like me who doesn't have much interest in meeting new people. My first reaction when we learned of Hannah's plans was to think, "oh, no, I'll never be able to find another nanny, and I'll have to quit my job." Then, of course, I realized how stupid I was being. One thing I should be clear about, if nothing else: I can no longer cut it as a stay-at-home mom, so quitting my job to watch The Beaner is simply not an option. (Plus, I love my job.) So we are now officially looking for a new nanny. The good news is that we have until January to find one, with some flexibility to hire someone sooner if the right person comes along; and we also have the option of hiring someone for three days a week (for example, a grad student who only has classes two days a week), since the sharecare arrangement should be available to us through July. I know we're incredibly lucky to be in this position, with an awesome sharecare *and* an awesome nanny, but I'm already mourning the impending loss of Hannah.
OK, I'll stop wallowing and return to the well-baby visit to the doctor. She was suitably impressed by his language development ("it definitely looks like he has at least 8 words!" — and The Beaner was even being rather shy, so she didn't get to hear "painting", "shopping", "apple picking", "football", "running", "stop sign", "funny", or "scone"). The only real questions we had were when we should take him to the dentist (at one year, or whenever he gets teeth, so we're way behind there), and whether he'll need an eye exam (Al had a lazy eye as a child, so he's a little worried about it happening to The Beaner. Beanboy's eyesight seems really strong, though, so I'm less concerned). We'll go back for a flu shot in a couple weeks, and then we won't see the doctor again for about 6 months.
We talked at our last visit about all the ways he's been testing us, so we didn't bring it up again. These days he's doing things he KNOWS he's not supposed to do so often that we're starting to run out of ways to express our disappointment (and to disguise our annoyance). Al calls the stage we've entered the Testing Twos, and I think he's about right . The Beaner's certainly testing the limits of our patience (and probably our love); I'd say he's finding that I have no patience whatsoever, Al has quite a bit more, and that there's almost nothing he can do that will make us stay mad at him for very long. (So far my limit of being angry is about 2 hours.) I think the thing that's most annoying is when we yell "NO!" and "STOP!", and then he mimicks us, yelling "stop!" and laughing. It seems we have very little authority and even less credibility as parents. We are firmly in the "nip it in the bud" camp, though, so we plan to persist. We're going to have a well-behaved child if it kills us. (Hopefully it won't, because we want to live long enough to see this beautiful child grow up.)