Max. Maxalicious. Maximoo. Little guy.
Max has been growing up on this trip. He can walk further. He can play more imaginatively. He has patience for longer books. And (very very happily for me and Carl) he can also sleep later in the mornings. I hesitate to type this for fear the sleeping gods will laugh at our happiness and Max will returns to his 4am ways – I will cry if this happens.
He is also getting more opinionated. He likes Carl (and only Carl) to help him eat, sing him to sleep, and buckle his carseat. This preference for Carl borders on the obsessive: “Daddy? What you doing? Daddy? I’m hungry. Daddy? I’m thirsty. Daddy? What you doing?” Sometimes when I tell him I love him he feels compelled to note, “I love Daddy instead.” But he and I do share an excellent sense of smell. He has a particularly excellent sense of bathroom smell and essentially refuses to use the toilet in the camper van because “I don’t like that smell.” I’m sort of with him on that one.
He likes new clothes and always notices when he’s dressed in a new item. He loves cheese. He is very good at blowing his nose. He likes to climb, mostly on things that aren’t designed for climbing – the security sensors when you leave stores are one of his recent favs; the driver’s seat in the van is another. He likes dragons with large wings. He loves reading about the little yellow digger saving the whale.
While he may now sleep later, he is grumpy in the morning. And at any time of the day he doesn’t especially love to answer questions. When pushed, he will answer questions related to his name and his age with a shout, “I Maxi. I Maxi Freeman.” He usually then stomps away.
He loves Paw Patrol, a children’s show about pups who save the day. This is funny since he is noticeably scared of dogs in real life. However the passion with which he sings the theme song is pretty adorable: “Paw patrol, paw patrol be there on the double!” He also talks a lot about winches, a direct result of repeatedly watching the pups use various machinery to save the day.
And something we’ve learned on this trip is that Max loves the ocean. Even when it’s (absurdly) cold. Appropriately for a little surfer dude in training he often says, “Oh maaaaaaan” when he’s feeling frustrated or disappointed. He frequently informs us, “I don’t like wet things” when we’re wiping his face or when he spills on himself (he seems to manage to spill at least a little water at every single meal). His aversion to water seems limited to not liking wet clothes, hence his preference for nude ocean splashing. My heart sings when he runs in the waves and along the beach, his deep, dark eyes sparkling, his husky giggles carried through the wind.