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Theron's a two-year-old. His birthday was almost exactly a month ago. I think, from this point, that I'm going to quit counting his age in months. On the other hand, I should probably start dating these entries, so I can figure out when I wrote them.

I keep expecting to reach a point where most of his development is done, and I can talk about his activities instead of how much closer he is to being a fully-functioning human being. Surely, at some point, we'll reach a time where I can talk about what he's doing rather than how much he's changed.

...But we aren't there yet.

As of today, Theron has started asking questions. Well, one question. He's started asking, "What's that?" He asked it when the obnoxiously loud motorcycle drove past my parents' back yard, when the outside unit for their air conditioner switched on, and again when an airplane went past overhead. (It's the Fourth of July weekend, and I suspect they're running a lot of extra flights: we don't usually see as many planes as we did this afternoon.)

He's also talking a lot more. He asks for particular episodes of Elmo.* He sings along with Elmo. He even repeats sections of the dialogue. This probably means that he's seen waaaaaay more Elmo than is good for him. Or for us, really.

On top of this, he's making a fairly serious effort to learn to swim. Apparently he figured out what a water slide is, at one of the public pools a few days ago. His mother, rather than trying to explain the concept of a height requirement, told him that he couldn't go on the slide until he could swim. This has done wonderful things for his motivation, to the point where he almost won't let us get out of the pool. ("Mo swim!")

The wonders of Genghis Grill
On our way home from my parents' pool, we stopped at the Genghis Grill. For the uninitiated, this is a restaurant where you go through a line and pick out a selection of ingredients, spices, and sauce, then hand over your bowl to the cooks, who fry it up on a big flat stove. The end result is basically stir-fry, except that occasionally ingredients from someone else's meal will wind up in your bowl.

The room arrangement is fairly simple -- it's a restaurant -- but almost all of the tables are set up with chairs on one side, and booth seating on the other. The booth side is, basically, a padded bench that runs, uninterrupted, all the way down one wall. I mention this only because the arrangement plays a part in the day's events...

We arrived a little before four o'clock, which is an odd time for a meal but we were starving. Theron was apparently quite hungry, too. Almost as soon as we were seated, he slipped out of his booster seat and made a run down the booth-bench. (This being the middle of the afternoon, the place was relatively empty.) The Beautiful Woman was sitting on the outside of the table -- the side with actual chairs -- but she didn't move to pursue him. So, after a moment, I did.

By then Theron was all the way to the far end of the bench, where a young (well, twenty-something) couple was just getting up to leave. Before I could reach him, he grabbed a fork and took a bite out of one of their left-over bowls. Fortunately, they were already done eating, and thought it was funny.

I brought him back and got him settled at our table again, this time with some distractions (chopsticks, a straw, and the little holder full of sugar packets). He managed to stay put until our food was ready, and then went to work on his bowl... with the chopsticks. Now, I didn't really learn to use chopsticks until I was, maybe, twelve or fourteen. Theron, on the other hand, has managed to put a chunk of carrot in his mouth, using chopsticks one-handed, one month after his second birthday.

For the sake of my ego, I really hope he won't be able to repeat the trick. He's starting to make me feel stupid.

Once we got home, we put in a movie. This was not what Theron wanted to watch. ("Elmo Fwiends!") So, while we watched the movie, Theron amused himself by running from one end of the house to the other and back, while yelling: "Faster! Faster!"

I have no idea where that one came from. It kept him busy, though, and he didn't have any trouble going to sleep when bedtime rolled around.

The Opposite of the Terrible Twos
Theron has added one other new skill, and this one is strangely encouraging: he can now say, "Yes." I was re-watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon a week or two back -- not the whole thing, just one or two key scenes -- and Theron was playing in the living room. When I was done, I looked down at him and asked, "Okay, are you ready to put in some Elmo?"

He replied, with the sense of complete certainty typical of small children and their hearts' desires: "Yes. Elmo Birthday." So I took the martial arts movie out, and put in the Elmo Birthday episode. He was very, very pleased.

And now, more pictures.

Climbing on the couch.

The Big Boy swing

Watching Elmo

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Climbing skills, improved.

  Very, very excited.

* Usually not by their actual name, though. "Elmo Twiangle!" is his name for the Guess That Shape And Color episode, for example.