I can't believe you are already two. You have been telling people who ask your age that you are "ahmost two" for months now, but now you are a different age. You are just "two." I have to admit that I'm going to miss the "almost two" comment since it is so cute, and so reflective of just how smart you are--we never taught you to say that, you just heard us telling people and decided you could speak for yourself. But I have no doubt you will come up with something else to wow us. You always do.
You are so. stinking. smart. Before you were born, your dad and I read a research article that said you shouldn't tell your kids they are smart, but to tell them that they worked really hard for whatever they accomplish because then they will be better adjusted for hard things. But you make that hard to apply because you are so smart! I'll gush now, assuming you won't read this until you are already well-adjusted and then you can find out that we knew you were smart all along! You know every capital letter of the alphabet, and most of the lower-case letters. You know every letter's sound. You count to 25 like nobody's business, and you can actually count things--you tell us how many airplanes, or turtles, or fingers there are. You can add 1+1, 2+1, and 1+2 using your fingers. You can change the show, adjust the volume, and turn off the subtitles (Dad needs them) on Netflix on my laptop without any help at all (I think we can thank the baby for that skill, since you've had much more time to develop it lately!). Speaking of the laptop, you can also open I-photo to pull up pictures of yourself and our old family vacations, which you then scroll through using the arrow keys. You put together 6-7 word sentences all day long, which is great except for the fact that you are now sophisticated enough to express what you want but not old enough to understand that sometimes people don't get what they want. You surprise every day with new words you know and the way you express yourself.
"Mommy, come sit wight heewa to pway animahs."
"Oh, sowwy buddy." (When you bump into anyone or anything.)
"I'm coughing. I fink I'm sick."
"Daddy, I want to watch Pooh on the pooter, okay?" (the "pooter" is the computer, don't worry)
"Dap, do you want some pizza and some appoh juice in a sippy?" (your passive-aggressive way of getting your Grandpa to ask you if you want to some pizza and apple juice)
(When getting ready for bed) "Oh, I need one piyyow. I be wight back, okay?"
(After getting the pillow) "Oh, I need my gween bwanket. It's in mommy's room. I be wight back."
(And then you lay down on the pillow, and I pull the blanket up around you and you try your darnedest to fall asleep... even if you're not tired at all, because you are awesome and such a sweet heart.)
You will eat almost anything, and I am pretty sure I am the luckiest mom alive. You ask for carrots more often than you ask for "ice cream" (which, by the way, is actually jello). You can pound down a whole can of vegetable soup by yourself. You'll drink spinach smoothies with me for breakfast. You ask the guy at Subway for "more 'matoes" and "more peppers" because you don't think he put enough on your sandwich. You think you've gone to heaven when sample lady at Costco is giving away pineapple or strawberries. You'll happily munch on a celery stick with your dad, have a handful of almonds while you watch a show, or share a vegetable enchilada with your mom. And by the look on your face, you were genuinely upset that I hadn't introduced you to olives before last week. Sure, you love a piece of candy as much as the next kid, but you love your carrot stick just as much. Which blows my mind--because, Jonathan, chocolate is way better... but you're never going to hear it from me.
You like most of the things little boys your age seem to like. You ride your bike around the kitchen island like a race course. You throw and kick any ball you can get your hand on. You love trains, and airplanes, and dump trucks, and helicopters. But you love airplanes the very most. You make airplanes out of your blocks, you ask random people at church to draw airplanes for you, you talk about them, watch them fly by our window, and often choose to sleep with one of your plastic airplanes. You throw rocks, pick up sticks and examine them carefully. You also love your stuffed monkey, and sometimes I catch you feeding him, putting him in time-out, or changing his diapers (which you had obviously done several times before I got to your room because there were diapers and wipes everywhere); this is the same monkey that is launched from the arm of the couch at light-speed and swung like a lasso over your head, so he's earned some love. It's sweet to play with your rough-and-tumble side all day, and then to sometimes (just sometimes) stumble on a tender, caring side of you as well.
You still love, love, love music. You heard Fun.'s hit song, Carry On, on the radio and fell in love. It is without contest, your favorite song. From hearing that one time, you asked to "Wisten to Tarry On, Mommy?" I pulled it up on YouTube, and you picked up your ukelele to play along. You wander the house singing "Paff be the sound... feet on gwound. Tarry Ohh-oh-oh-oh-on. Tarry on, tarry on!" and "OOOOOOH head is on fi-uh. Wegs ah fine... they ah mine." You do this as you play your little piano, or strum your ukelele (which looks like a guitar on you), pausing to tell us that you are "working." We aren't really sure where you got the idea that playing the guitar and singing is "working," but we hope you aren't too disappointed when you actually start going to work.
Other favorite songs we hear from:
"Head, shoulders, knees, and toes" (usually sung and acted out from the hearth on the fire place)
"When you feel so mad that you want to roar. Take a deep breath, and count to four. One, two, three, four." (Thank you, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.)
"Wing awound the Wosy"
"When we do something new, let's talk about what we'll do!" (More from Daniel Tiger)
"Hello Song" (from nursery)
And the list goes on. You are our little Juke Box.
And speaking of Daniel Tiger, you have a general aversion to changing clothes. Whatever you are wearing is your FAVORITE CLOTHES OF ALL TIME and you simply CANNOT take them off. Sometimes, I can convince you that they are dirty and then we take them off and put them right in the washer to wash them (now that you can read, I can tell you that I don't turn on the washer--I just let your clothes build up until there's enough to do a load, because now that you aren't wearing them they aren't your favorite clothes anymore and really I could throw them away and you wouldn't care.) EXCEPT for your red jacket. Daniel Tiger always wears a red jacket, and I think this is where your love of your red zip-up hoodie comes from. But wherever it's from, it is one intense love. You wear it to bed, you wear it to swimming lessons, you wear it to church, you wear it to play with your friends--and wash day is usually a hard day because I have to hold you down to take it off, and you are really sad for a long time. But, hygiene is hygiene and we watch an acoustic cover of Carry On on YouTube to try to forget our woes. And it so cute to see how excited you are when that little jacket comes out of the dryer. You really are two--you love big, you cry big, you get mad big, and you celebrate big.
And I love it.
For your birthday this year, we put up a set of banners we picked up in Cambodia. We strung them over the stairs for you to walk under when you woke up. You were so excited when you saw it! You said, "Mommy, wook at our bwidge!" I told you it was your birthday bridge and you loved it even more. Then we sang "Happy Birthday" to you, you beamed, and then asked for birthday cake. (My birthday is a week before yours, and you are a fast learner.)
Then you came downstairs to the Thomas train track set you picked out at the toy store the day before and were so thrilled that it was actually yours! We opened it, set it up, and you happily sat in the middle of the track with Thomas circling around you for basically the rest of the day. You shared marshmallows with your nursery friends, and they sang. That night we pulled you away from your train just long enough to enjoy some birthday cake and to open a few more presents. You are such a grateful little boy--once again, something you do big. With every present we handed you, you exclaimed, "Oh thank you SO much!"
I love you, little boy. I could go on forever and ever about this stage of your little life, but just know that you are perfect, and smart, and kind, and happy. This morning you put down your toys, looked up at me and asked, "Mommy, you want to snuggle?" I said yes, and you ran to me, threw your arms around me, rested your little head on my shoulder, and we snuggled for a few minutes until you decided your monkey needed to be thrown down the stairs. Thanks for loving me big, buddy.
No matter how big or grown up you become, you will always be my Baby Bear. And I will always insist that your red jacket be washed at least once a week, even if it means holding you down to get it off.
Lots of love,