I usually get the birthday letters up on the correct day, but by the time I was done shepherding you through your special birthday dinner… and cake… and presents… and balloons… and then the over-excited bedtime meltdown you had when you couldn’t take all your new toys (and cake and balloons) to bed with you… well.
But! Here we are, it’s a brand-new day, and you are two years old. Already. You are the only one of my kids to be home with Mama for your whole life – no daycare, no dayhome, no maternity leave. And yet I still feel like some of it slipped away, unnoticed. It feels like you weren’t a little baby for very long at all.
You were my easiest baby, by far, although I think that was a function of being the third child. Hey, it’s bedtime! But it’s also bedtime for these other kids over here. I’ll swaddle you and tuck you into this bassinette for just a minute, OK? And boom! you were putting yourself to sleep with no fuss at all very early on. Hungry, are you? Let’s nurse. I’ll just settle myself here in the playroom with three other little kids crowded around yelling. You were not ever distracted while nursing. Nothing rattled you.
You’re not as even-keeled now, little buddy. You have a temper and don’t hesitate to unleash it when things are not going your way – most often when another kid has a toy you want, or when your (very patient) older brothers finally close their bedroom door for a while.
But equally enthusiastic are your smiles, your hugs, your completely infectious laugh. You love slapstick and goofball humour. “Dat’s SIWWY!!” you’ll cackle, when you can finally catch your breath after an especially prolonged spell of hilarity.
You love music. All kinds of music. It amazes me your memory for lyrics. You like it when we sing silly kid songs, but you are equally at home to Imagine Dragons or Serena Ryder. Your all-time favourite song is Great Big Sea’s Donkey Ridin’, and if you had your way that would play on a continuous loop all day, every day. Before every nap and at bedtime I have to sing How Much Is That Doggie in the Window and Rock-a-bye Baby (two times, always).
As for books, you really like Horton Hears a Who and Scrambled Eggs Super – and yet you’ll also ask for the silliest little baby books imaginable when the mood strikes you.
Like all third children everywhere, you watch more TV than your brothers did… especially at 5AM, which you think is a fine time to wake up for the day. We’ll curl up on the couch under a blanket and I’ll doze while you watch your beloved Bubble Guppies until it’s a slightly more civilized time.
If someone is eating something you want, you’ll say “I have an idea, I could have a TASTE!” You are particularly good at figuring out when I’ve tried to sneak a chocolate. You’ve got a pretty adventurous palate for a two year old and you’ve been (frequently) known to eat more at a sitting than Ron.
You love Lego even though you don’t have the fine motor skills yet to do anything but take the helmets on and off the minifigs. Your brothers’ action figures are also fair game, as are the Skylanders figures and all the toy trains. Your Nanny got you a dinosaur hoodie for your birthday and you insist on wearing it with the hood up so you can yell “RAWR I AM A DINOSAUR!” over and over again.
You’re almost fully toilet-trained, which you did all by yourself. Everything – EVERYTHING – is about being “a big boy”. You’ve spurned your booster seat, your potty, sippy cups, and plastic cutlery in favour of the grown-up versions (and usual do pretty well, too). Strangely you don’t care that you’re still sleeping in a crib – not yet, anyway – and I’m glad for that, because I can just imagine what time of day you’d get up if you weren’t contained.
You are endlessly curious, noisy, cuddly, super-smart, sometimes a pest, always talking. You have completed our family and we can’t imagine life without you.
Happy birthday, darling boy.