First of all, he is potty training himself. I couldn't make this stuff up. I have always said I would wait until he is ready, and then do it cold turkey. I didn't want to be in the throes (and woes) of potty training for a year, the way so many little boys are. As usual, my children delight in proving me wrong - or maybe he's proving me right. It's too soon to tell, but all at once he wants to use the potty. As in, takes off his shorts and diaper on his own and then yells, "I have to go tee-tee!" Once he even went to the bathroom on his own and then came to tell us, "I already WENT tee-tee!" And, if, for example, a mother assumes his pronouncement is just her child trying to get out of his bed prematurely at naptime, and chooses to ignore such a directive, he will then cry, "I'm starting to go tee-tee!" followed by "I'm going tee-tee right now!" and pee out of the side of his crib. Such a GUY, I swear. Most of the time when we're home he's nude, because he won't wear a diaper, and won't wear shorts without a diaper (my little rule-following first child). So he wears nothing. But he's gone tee-tee (and pooped!) in the potty for a few days now, and has only had one accident (Play Doh was way more interesting in the moment). So it looks like he's on his way to potty training, in spite of me. I'm using no external motivation, really - I did tell him that when he got good at going tee-tee in the potty, I would buy him Diego underwear. That, and being a Big Boy, and the implication that operating construction equipment is next, seems to be all the motivation he needs, for now. Who knew. Now I have to decide what to do in public - nudity may work well at home, but it doesn't transfer well to the park. I'll let you know how it goes.
Also, he is increasingly kinder to his brother. Silas has toys in his room now (no longer just a nursery, which - let's be honest - is mostly a well-decorated storage closet for the first year anyway), and they like to play in each other's room, without the other present. Asher is also spontaneously announcing, "Look at my baby brother! Isn't he cute? I love my brother! I want to love him!" and then will hug him or blow him a kiss. It's not that they never get irritated at each other any more, but honoring each child's need for space and time to play alone has lowered the frustration in the house all the way around. I know that is going to come and go for the rest of their lives, really, but I'll just be glad for peace whenever it happens on us.
The older he gets, the more aware of the world he is - showing embarrassment and a sense of silliness, understanding when he's getting away with something, trying to talk his way out of time-out. He's morphing into a little boy, losing that baby look in his little face, talking back, wanting to tell Jesus whenever something important happens.
Two and a half is a lot better than I thought it would be. It's water hoses and big boy bites. Needing both independence and reassurance, running away from me in one moment, toward me in the next.
It's going to be a fun summer.