Two years ago, today, I was huffing and puffing on my way to the hospital where I made some jokes, batted my eyelashes at my newest BFF the anesthesiologist, and tried to catch some shuteye, and then – BAM! – there you were at 3:57 in the morning.
You looked like this:
Now, you look like this:
Last year on your birthday, I couldn’t believe how much you’d changed in so little time (even if some hours/days/weeks felt like an eternity). You seemed like such a big boy when you turned one.
But man. I was wrong.
Because a year ago, you were still a little baby. Now? You’re a walking, talking, running, jumping, climbing, screaming, hilarious, trouble-making, funny little boy. (Note to future self: I realize when he’s three, I’ll be like oh, but he was still such a baby when he was two, and so-forth and so-on).
I don’t know how you’ve gotten so big, because you eat like a bird. Like a sick, lazy, distracted bird. You LOVE apple juice (which I’m sorry to tell you is 75% water. I live in absolute fear of the day you have pure, glorious, undiluted juice) and if I’d let you, you would exist solely on cheese. Not even good cheese! You’d just eat processed American cheese if it were up to you. You’re currently obsessed with pretzels, and if there are potato chips in the house we need to hide them from you. (I swear I routinely offer you fruits and vegetables!)
You adore all animals, and you love going to the zoo and the aquarium. You entertain us and yourself with animal noises. Every morning you enthusiastically greet Daisy and Jake, only to spend the majority of the day disciplining them if they so much as look at your plate of food (that you have no intention of eating).
You have learned so many words and phrases this year, I’ve lost count. You are only quiet when you are sleeping (and most nights you still end up talking in your sleep) or when you are getting into trouble. You ask a lot of questions. You boss everyone around constantly. You’re favorite word/question/demand is, “MEEEEE?!” which can mean anything from come/play/sit/slide/walk/lay/eat/read with me.
You really enjoy counting things, in your own way (“two, three, nine, three, nine, Jake, two, nine!”) Don’t worry though, you’ll be fine. Most grown ups never use math. Hopefully you can get by on your good looks.
You LOVE Curious George, and Elmo. You will read the same book a thousand times, and you always need at least one more story before bed. You love to go for walks, ride your new bike around the neighborhood, and stockpile every rock and leaf you find.
You FINALLY sleep in your own bed (hooray!) but not without your gang of stuffed animals: Duck, George, Cow and Appa (the elephant), your fuzzy yellow blanket, your pillow, and your rainforest lullaby nightlight. You don’t even cry at bedtime – you just lay back with your hands behind your head and say, “bye mommy” like such a big boy.
You are insanely ticklish and (unlike your father) will demand to be tickled again and again. You think farts are hilarious, and you love it when we’re repulsed by your stinky baby feet. A few days ago the letter of the day on Sesame Street was P, and I said, “Look, Gus! It’s P!” to which you replied, “and poop!”
I’ve never been prouder.
You say hello to every woman and child you see. Then you tell them to look at your shoes. Then you tell them who I am. Sometimes we circle back to shoes again.
Your crazy baby tufts have been replaced by a mop of stick-straight hair, which has been professionally cut once (traumatizing), and very unprofessionally cut by me ever since (budget-friendly!). In the last year, you’ve gotten 14 more teeth and boy, let me tell you, growing teeth is serious business. I hope you’re better about flossing than I am.
You’ve stopped calling us Mama and Dada, and for awhile we were just Mom and Dad, which I didn’t really like. I guess it’s better than Mother and Father though, so I got over it. In the last three weeks, you’ve started calling us Mommy and Daddy (so sweet!), which you technically learned from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, so who says cartoons are all bad?
You’re stingy with your kisses, but give great hugs. You are the most empathetic child I’ve ever met, running to one of us, pouting and pointing “he’s sad!” anytime someone in one of your books or shows seems upset.
It’s true what they say: the days are long but the years are short. I can’t believe you’re two. I can’t believe how big you are. I can believe how handsome and smart you are, because, well, you have excellent genes.
Happy Birthday to my favorite little monkey! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in year three (oh god, here we go).
Love, Mom and Dad