This weekend we went to Chicago to visit Jennifer and Will (Aaron's sister). We had a fantastic time. Maddox got to see just about every type of travel there is and experienced several for the first time... always exciting for him. He had his first rides in a train, a trolley, and a cab. And he saw lots of boats, planes, and even a horse buggy. We took the train and trolley to the Shedd Auquarium. It was about a 2 hour commute, but Maddox seemed to enjoy it. The aquarium was a lot of fun and Maddox sat through his first 4D movie... although it was only 15 minutes long. He didn't like the glasses or the air/bubbles/shaking that made it the 4D... so I guess it was a 2D movie for him. Later he napped in the stroller while we walked rather aimlessly around downtown... well it wasn't aimless... we just missed our train. By the time we made a train after dinner it was around 9pm. The fantastic cubbie fans were also on the train. Maddox made fast friends with 2 totally trashed men behind us. They thought he was the coolest kid ever and he throught they were idiots... perfect fun for a 2 year old! At one point he signed to one "bye-bye" "you" and "sleep"... basically, he told the guy "Hey dude, you are done! You need to go to bed!". He had the entire train car cracking up a few times. It was a good ending to the fun day.
So, you know those silly machines at the entrances of grocery stores... where you pay to use a ridiculously small claw to try to pick up tightly packed stuffed animals? No one ever wins these things, right? Well, of course Maddox wanted to play. When it is just the two of us, I always insist that they are a waste of money because no one ever wins. Yesterday, Daddy was with us and we all know what a softy he can be. So, out came a dollar for 2 rounds of the CLAW. The first round Aaron set the claw and then he let Maddox push that magic little red button. As you can guess... they didn't win. After seeing the ridiculousness of this thing, Aaron stepped back to let Maddox have at it. With the precision of a wrecking ball, he maneuvered the claw about and again hit that magic red button. We watched as the claw dropped and slid one of the prongs against the plastic chute where the prizes go down. The words, "Aw, you were so close" were rolling off my tongue just as the claw closed and began to pull back up... WITH A TOY!! I couldn't believe it. I can't count the number of times I have stood at a machine just like this and maneuvered that little claw just right, looking at each possible angle and waiting until just the last moment to push the button... all to no avail. And here stood my giggling 2 year old with a stuffed Univ of Virginia mascot falling down the chute for his little arms to grab. The two older women in the entrance found the whole scene to be just as amazing and amusing as I did. I tell you, the kid has luck like you wouldn't believe. So, now that he won this lovely toy that looks as though it will only last a day, he decided to hug it, kiss it, and name it Bobby. That's right, this thing is the closest we have come to him having a lovey... it has a name!! If you ask where Bobby is, he will sign car since that is where he stays (my attempt to make him last as long as possible). So, if you ever need a crane operator, just give my toddler a call!! Maddox 1 Claw 0
Maddox has started the phase of taking everything very literally. This weekend we were playing in the yard and I told him to "knock daddy over". He ran up to daddy, stopped and knocked on his knee. It took a few seconds to figure out what he was doing. The next day we went to Don Pablos for dinner. I looked at Maddox shoveling mexican rice in his mouth and said "Is that yummy in your tummy?" He immediately took a handful of rice and lifted his shirt and proceeded to try to put the rice IN his tummy. I am sure this new phase of development will lead to many interesting, confusing, and hilarious moments as mommy puts her foot in her mouth... oops, better watch what I say!!
We went to pick up Maddox at my mom's the other day and found that his vocabulary grew in one day to include baby, Bebbie, nigh-night, and peepee. He now will try to mimick almost anything. And his signing is still growing. The other day he signed bike, dirty, and cracker. He was telling me that the bike trailer was dirty with cracker crumbs. It was an actual sentence!! He has added turtle, clean, trailer, and banana to his signs too!
Maddox's new favorite literature topic... Christmas. He insists that we read him his holiday books over and over... especially ones that have carols. There is a special place in paradise waiting for a father that sings 17 verses of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"... in a row... with a smile... in August. :-)