Aside from the news alerts, its been awhile since I've posted about the little guy, so I guess I've got some catching up to do.
Zack and I survived all of Rob's traveling in the month of March, and we even went on an adventure on one Saturday. He and I took the metro downtown (that is excitement in and of itself) and went to the National Galleries of Art. I thought he might like looking at all of the modern paintings and the huge Calder mobile. He did, but (a) it's very difficult to explain the concept of art and it's corollary "do not touch" to a 3 year old, and (b) he kept asking where the fishies were. He wanted to go inside of the Andrew Goldsworthy installation (he has a point, it would be pretty cool), he walked across what I think might have been a piece of art, but I'm not entirely sure (the problem with modern art), and a few statues may or may not have been touched. He loved all the stairs in the East Wing. Then we headed over to the West wing; he loved the light installation in that tunnel, as well as the fountain. The cafe is between the two Wings, and he asked if we could sit down. So we got a treat, rested for a minute, and he decided he liked donuts.
Then onto the West Wing. The big hit there was the fountains and the sculpture galleries. I let him throw coins in the fountains, which he got a big kick out of and sent him off looking for more fountains. (Later my brother told me that coins in the fountains are the bains of the conservators existence--oops.) He was interested in all of the sculptures in the sculpture gallery. He paused at one of Diana, who was half nude with a drape across her. He commented that she just took a shower and had a towel wrapped around her. I which I could have gotten a picture of him staring at the statue of Mercury but I wasn't quick enough. He commented that the statue was (very obviously) a boy and he was wearing a hat. Then onto the third and final fountain. After he threw a coin in the fountain, knocked over one of the flower pots around the fountain, and then picked a flower, I decided it was time to go before they kicked us out. But not before he touched one more statue. Sigh. Then it was onto Teaism where, thankfully, there is a koi pond on the lower level (so he got to see his fish). After eating (well, I ate. He looked at the fish), we headed home on the metro. We had a great day, and he's a trooper, as he walked the whole day--no stroller for him anymore.
The weekend of Rob's birthday we made an impromptu trip to see our friends Mark and Judy. Aside from just having a great weekend filled with good food and good friends, on Sunday I went with Judy to see the Barnes Foundation before it moves in July, and Rob, Mark, and Zack went to the Camden Aquarium. Zack was in heaven--he kept talking about all the sea life that he saw. He still talks about it now, months later.
We went to New Jersey again over Easter to visit Anita and David and all the rest of the Malootian family for Easter and Mark's birthday. Zack had a great time playing with his cousins and taking part in his first Easter egg hunt. He did a great job of sleeping in the hotel, sleeping in his "Buzz bed" two out of the three nights, and sleeping soundly at that. He was super sweet and gentle with Dave and Anita's dog, Bourbon.
Rob scheduled a meeting in Princeton for the Monday after Easter, so that he wouldn't have to make the drive again later in the week. Zack and I set off on another adventure in the Princeton while Rob was at his meeting. We saw statues, sat in a chair outside of Design Within Reach and took funny pictures of ourselves and got coffee and a treat. All the while he kept saying that he wanted to be on an adventure, while I responded that we were on an adventure. "No, we're not." So I asked him what he needed for it to be an adventure. "Fishies." Uh oh. I had no idea where we were going to find fish. So we went to a yarn store instead. He was doing a great job in the store while I looked, and then the owner showed him a basket of blocks, which kept him perfectly content. I started talking with someone else in the store and she asked if I needed something els to pass the time--she suggested the Public Library, which had a great kid's section, with toys and fish and.......Wait--did she say fish? She did say fish--she said they had a large saltwater tank. Woo hoo!
So off Zack and I went to the Princeton Public library---which, holy schmoly, is absolutely gorgeous! And there were fish. As he was looking at the fish, I asked him if we were now on an adventure, and got a resounding "yes." So now I know that all good adventures need to include fish. It was getting close to the time we had to go retrieve Rob, so I told him that we needed to start saying goodbye to the fish.
"Bye, Nemo. Bye, Dory. I going now. I going to see my Daddy," waving all the while.
Aside from all our adventures, things are going quite well. Zack is excited that it's warm, so that he can go outside and ride his tricycle and dig for bugs. I think the dirt factor is going to increase exponentially this year. He's grown up so much, physically and cognitively. He's doing really well with counting, and when we tell him that he needs to eat 3 (or 4 or 5) more bites of his dinner, he knows how many that is. His vocabulary is increasing as well, with longer and more complex sentences and thoughts coming out of his mouth. He is very interested in emotions, pointing out what different characters in his books are feeling, telling us that he's mad at us or that he's happy, etc.
And his imaginative play has just taken off. He acts things out with his stuffed animals, he pretends that dinosaurs are coming, and that monsters are busy fixing the holes in the roads (and because they're busy doing that, they are too busy to come to our house). He re-enacts scenes from his day with his animals and his trucks, using his toys and other objects in novel ways. I love listening to him. He's a very good Daddy to his animals, and he wants to show us this by saying "I rub him gentle", "Bear-Bear is cold. I keep him warm" (as he hugs his bear to him), "Bear-Bear has a boo-boo. I kiss it better." Of course, all this happens after he's just scrunched Bear-Bear into a ball and thrown him across the room.
Of course, he is also testing limits in new ways--negotiating, talking back to us, etc. But for the most part he continues to be a sweet little boy who loves to have fun.