Thursday, December 3, 2009

happy birthday baby...

Two. 2, too.

How'd you go from this:

to this:

And in just a few months (it seems).

You're no longer a baby.
"I tod-del-ler" you say when we ask if you're a baby? a horse? a doggie?
"No, I tod-del-ler!"

And you are. You toddle around like a drunken sailor, 3 sheets to the wind, ever on the edge of losing it, yet rarely doing so.

And when you do, the experience is immediately incorporated into the family mythology:
L: "One time I fall down, bump my head.
me: "You head-banger."
L: "No, I tod-del-ler. Thool thlip and I fall down and bump my head."
me: "Yes, you're our toddler."

Oddly, though you pronounce words uniquely, when we repeat your pronunciation, you shake your head and insist we've said it wrong:

us: "You a tod-del-ler?"
L: "No, tod-del-ler."
us: "Tod-del-ler?"
L: "N0! Tod-del-ler!!"
us: "Toddler?"
L: (smiling) "Yeah, I tod-del-ler." Head tilted down against your shoulder in some strange mimic of shyness you don't intend. "I tod-del-ler."

You can occupy yourself with a doll, the Etch-a-Sketch, a sticker book, all the while singing to yourself:


You'll make up words if you don't know them or if you want to get a reaction.
"The boopy on the bus go round and round, round round, the boopy on the bus..." and the other afternoon I heard you:

Are you sleepy?
Are you sleepy?
Brudder Don?
Brudder Don?

You cried most of your first 6 months, but though those long nights are still clear for me, they seem the distant past, and what I have left of them is the memory of carrying you tucked into my sweatshirt, walking circles around the dark basement while singing "I Will" and "Sweet Baby James." Now your tears, when they come, come quickly and disappear just as fast. Squalls passing through a generally sunny area. You come running into the kitchen:

L: "Daddy, thow you thomething. Thow you."
me: "Ok, what?"
L: "Ith out he-yer."
me: "Out he-yer?"
L: "No, out he-yer," leading the way to the living room. "Look." Pointing to dampness on the couch cushion. "I cwy-ing."
me: "Crying? Are those your tears?"
L: "Yeah," laughing. "My tea-yers."

You love laughter, especially laughter you can draw out of us. You're a natural joker, playing for the laughs. Making up words to songs until you get a laugh out of your sister, running, "pinning" (spinning), laughing and pushing and suddenly turning into a sobbing mess if Lucy licks you, needing a kiss where ever her tongue touched.... You push limits, live outside the box, and do it grinning, laughing, dancing along the edge of unacceptable, ignoring "No" and "Sit Down" and "Come here" with so many giggles it's hard to really get angry.... Yet you seem to know where the non-negotiable lines are.

L: "That draw angerouth."
us: "Yes, it's dangerous. It's got the knives."
L: "We no touth it."
"Right. You don't touch it."
L: "It angerouth."

You also love snuggling, more so than your sister ever did, and we like it too. You're a great hugger, a skin-to-skin cuddler ("cud-del-ler"), a tuck in tight and hunker down tod-del-ler.

You're been a challenge and a joy and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy second birthday. We love you.

Oh yes, one more thing. Your favorite flavor of ice cream is "belinda."

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