Everyone keeps asking me how you're doing and my response is usually, Well, he's two. This gets a knowing nod. We all know what TWO means.
You can certainly be obstinate and assholish. (Which, I have to say, I now understand as the inevitable consequence of your wee human ego, budding and flourishing as it must, and not the result of bad parenting) You like to run away when it's time to put on your socks and shoes, you like to shuffle your feet and flop on the couch when it's time to clean up. You are loathe to interrupt any activity, especially if it means having to come inside, having to eat, having to go potty, or having to take a nap. You like getting what you want, exactly when you want it. If I take too long getting your milk or if I attempt to linger over the newspaper at breakfast, you will let me know. You issue constant and varied cries of MOMMY, to the point where I'm starting to suspect you of using a highly sophisticated kind of toddler Morse code: mommy mommy MOMMY MOOOOOMMMMMY mami-mami-mami MAHHHHH MEEEEE. Mah. ME. Mommy.
(Sometimes 'mommy' doesn't have enough syllables, so you yell MOMMMIE-AHHHHHH)
If I could decipher the meaning of it, perhaps it would not threaten to unravel my sanity on a daily basis. No, that's not true. Obviously, I understand all too well: you need attention, my love. You need a running commentary on your important attention-worthy actions: Are you driving your dump truck? That's a big dump truck! What goes in the dump truck? Rocks? Where are your rocks? Wow, that's a lot of rocks. You are strong!
You especially need attention when I am dressing Isla or nursing Isla or holding Isla or paying attention to Isla.
There are many many more moments of the delightful variety, when you impress me with tenderness toward another child, or use a word I didn't know you knew, like 'fixing'.
Or when you lift your shirt to nurse your giraffe, or when you deliberately fall off your push-car and ask yourself, "Are you okay? Are you okay?"
You are totally potty trained, which, even though I was present for all the messy work that entailed, seems like it happened magically and all of the sudden. It's awesome. I'm disproportionately proud of you for wearing underwear, especially since a two-year-old in tighty-whities is among the cutest things in the world.
For a while, Papa and I kept a list of all the new words you were saying. But now it seems like your vocabulary increases exponentially every day and involves whole phrases and imperatives and plurals -- as in, "one bus! two buses!" You are SMART, kid. You count to fourteen. You know the whole alphabet. We can't keep up.
You keep up with us just fine, though. Maybe a little too well. As I rummaged in the fridge one day, I bemoaned the lack of anything to have for lunch, groaning arrghhhhh.
"Dammit!" you chirped, helpfully.
Today we were reading a book and in it was a person wearing a mask. "Mask," I said. "Mak," you said. "Mask," I repeated. "Hard one!" you said. Yes, sweet boy. That's a hard one to say. But it doesn't slow you down AT ALL. You talk about everything, nonstop, and each expression gives me another peek into the kaleidoscope of you.
Kid, I knew you liked trucks, but now that you have entire truck books memorized and are talking about jack-hammers and I-beams, I can appreciate just how intense that passion is.
I want to always make room for the spark in you, whether it's rascal or genius. You are an amazing puzzle. You are two. Happy Birthday.