“The baby grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was two years old, and he ran all around the house. He pulled all the books off the shelves. He pulled all the food out of the refrigerator and he took his mother’s watch and flushed it down the toilet. Sometimes his mother would would say, “This kid is driving me CRAZY!” But at night time, when that two-year-old was quiet, she opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor, looked up over the side of his bed; and if he was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked him she sang:
I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”
-Robert Munsch, Love You Forever
My baby turned two today and I have been feeling sentimental. We can no longer count his age in months; he is just two. He can no longer fly for free on airplanes or get free admission to the zoo and museum. My weekly developmental emails changed from saying “Your toddler this week” to “Your preschooler this week.” How did two years go by so fast? Despite the things we are losing from Blake’s 1st and 2nd years of life, we feel that with each passing day we get to know him a little better. We love watching his personality develop and seeing the attributes that define him. We look forward to the things that he will learn this next year. So that I don’t get too nostalgic about Blake’s baby years, here are ten things that define Blake on his second birthday.
- He is very polite. He always says please and thank you without prompting from us. He says bye-bye to all strangers and reverently folds his arms during prayers. He says bless you when anyone sneezes or coughs. Recently, after I put him down for his nap and he had been silent for at least 15 minutes, I sneezed in the room next to him and he sweetly called out “bless you” from his crib.
- His favorite books right now are the “I Spy” books. He points out the things that he knows on each page; balls, airplanes, trucks, buttons, babies, frogs, horses, blocks, and on and on. We “read” his I Spy books at least 3 times a day and he knows when we try to skip pages. His favorite song is “Popcorn Popping.” We have to sing it every time we put him to bed, complete with hand motions. If we ever try to sing another song, Blake loudly repeats “OH!” over and over while frantically opening and closing his fingers to signal that he wants us to sing the Popcorn Song.
- Blake can be full of drama. Whenever he gets hurt and produces a few tears, he dramatically asks for a “tis-sue” as if he is dying. He also started calling me “mom” recently instead of “mama.” I have no idea where he picked that one up, but I don’t think I like it. I feel like he is a teenager defiantly expressing “MOM!” every time he needs something.
- He just cut his 12th tooth this week. He has been slow in getting all of his teeth, but I’ve heard that teeth grow in stronger and are less cavity-prone the later they come. It must be true because I got all of my teeth really late and I’ve never had a cavity. The only downside is that most children are done teething by age two and we still have 8 more to go!
- He is incredibly observant and has a good memory. For example, every time we pass the pool that we swam in over the summer, which is practically every day, he exclaims “pool!” and I have to remind him that it is closed. When I tell him that it is a church day, he replies, “balls!” because he plays with balls in the nursery. He always notices the apple on the Applebees signs on the freeway. When we get to the exit ramp for Grandma and Grandpa’s house, he starts repeating “ball!” over and over because he knows that when we eventually get to the corner light, there is a cement ball on the welcome post. Once, when we pulled into the parking lot of a store that we hadn’t been to in months, he began shouting, “dee-dee” (candy), because he remembered that there was a quarter candy dispenser inside the store. He also points out the car wash, the library, and the streets that are leading us home every day.
- He loves to take bubble baths. He thinks that the character on the front of the bubble bath bottle is Elmo (it’s really just a red monster), so when I inform him that it is time to take a bath, he starts chanting, “Elmo! Bubbles! Elmo! Bubbles!” When he is finished with his bath he watches the bubbles drain and says, “bye-bye bubbles.” Unfortunately, his whole body broke out in a rash recently from the bubbles even though I used the hypoallergenic kind. He has really sensitive skin.
- Blake learned how to open door knobs this week so places that used to be off-limits now invite free reign.
- He thinks that his dad’s belly button lint is the most hilarious thing in the world.
- He loves to help me get the mail every day, set the table, and stand on a chair to toss laundry into the washing machine. He especially loves it when there is mail for him, which his grandma often sends to appease him. He carries his “mail” around for days at a time.
- He loves to be tucked in under a blanket in his crib. When we ask him each night after song, prayers, and kisses if he wants to be tucked in, he exclaims “YEAH!” about two octaves higher than his normal voice and promptly plops his little body flat on the mattress.
Blake is such a sweet boy. I have mentioned before that he tends to be cautious and hesitant, but we love that his cautious personality brings out his genuine sweetness. He has his difficult moments as all toddlers do, but I am happy to say that they are rare (so far). We feel so blessed to have this little boy in our lives. Love you forever, Blakers!