my dearest ham and cheese—
Last week, you turned two-and-a-half.
In the smoky morning light of your half-birthday morning—
all of us snuggled together under the covers, your hair tousled a thousand directions from the adventures in your dreams—
“Buddy, do you know what today is?“
“What IS it?” you asked.
“It’s your HALF birthday! Today, you’re two-and-a-half years old.“
In response, you grinned that sweet little grin, cheerily replied, “‘tanks! Can I have ‘quare crunchy cereals now?”, and then attempted to catapult yourself off the bed.
This is you at two-and-a-half:
a giant slice of “morning person,”
the very definition of “rise and shine.”
In the twilight of the day, we celebrated you with ice cream—
chocolate, at your request,
the scoop of which you ordered all by yourself, promptly knocked off the cone, then proceeded to use as paint all over the lower quadrant of your face.
This is us, two-and-a-half years into being a family:
messes and adventures,
early mornings and memories.
These days, your brain is up to the very greatest things.
- You’ve casually renamed the “Little Blue Truck’s Springtime” to Little Blue Truck in Summer, and “Mighty, Mighty Construction Site” to Morning Struck-Shun Site, and will ask for both as such.
- (in the bathtub) Nixon: “We need a brench.”
Mama: “Can you tell me what a ‘brench’ is, buddy?”
Nixon: “It is something you like. And something you sit on.”
- This was your morning at toddler work the other day, because chalk is your life now:
- Scene: Two Jehovah’s Witnesses come to the door. Clementine is losing her mind because OMG THERE ARE PEOPLE HERE MAYBE THEY’LL PET ME CAN I GO ASK THEM;
you’re losing losing your tiny mind because the dog is; oh, and you’re also shouting, “Who ‘DOSE? Who ‘DOSE?” as loud as you can.
… it’s at this point I open the door.
Jehovah’s Witness, taken aback: “… is now a good time?”
Mama: “UH NO, THANKS FOR COMING BY” (door closes)
Nixon: “… who ‘dat?”
Me: “They wanted to sell us Jesus.”
Nixon: “We no have ‘dat.”
- (on the way seasons work)
Mama: “… then winter comes after fall!”
Nixon: “‘dat no sound good.”
Mama: “Why not?”
Nixon: “I do not yike dirt.”
- The other day, you asked to hear “the fcking song,” and I began to die a slow, quiet death, wondering WHERE THE EFF DID YOU EVEN HEAR THAT—
only for you to follow up with, “The FCKING song, mama! Where is f*ckin’?” and I realized you were asking about the “Where is Thumbkin” song.
… y’all ever want a moment of reckoning about the adjectives you use in your life, go get yourself a toddler.
- (while getting your diaper changed and staring up at my messy bun) “Mama! Your hair looks like Trolls movie!”
- At uncle Patrick’s graduation last weekend, we were settling into our seats at the end of a row. I leaned over and quietly told daddy, “If buddy gets bored and starts losing his mind, I’ll just take him out in the lobby to walk around.”
Like 30 seconds later, you calmly hopped off of my lap, held out your hand, and announced, “I losin’ my mind. We have to go.”
It’s that perfect part of the day between 6PM and 7PM, and we’re at a BBQ with friends, soaking up those gorgeous, dusky rays of sun that feel like the very epitome of a summer night.
One of the kiddos in attendance announces, “I’m going to do somersaults!”
As she launches toward the grass, you take off toward one of the patio tables—
where you grab an object off the tabletop and triumphantly run with it toward the somersaulter.
I see her confused face as you approach, so I helpfully explain,
“I think he’s bringing you… a salt shaker? Just go with it?“
It’s then, in a glorious moment of realization, that your daddy grabs my arm and goes, “Babe. He heard her say she’s doing ‘somer-SALTS,’ and he went to get her some salt.”
And there you are, beaming so proud because you helped your friend.
… oh, my dude.
I have never been more delighted about the inner workings of your brains.
We’ve been in our house for almost five years now—
the place where, after we’d walked through it with the then-owners for the first time, I ugly-cried in the dining room because I loved it so much.
It was like, somewhere deep in my bones, I already knew it’d be the place we’d bring you home.
I remember sitting in the backyard,
literally barefoot and pregnant,
dreaming about what it’d be like to play in our yard with you.
& now here you are,
constructing a little backyard universe made of sand and water-table splashes,
punctuated with tiny power-Jeep revs and the “plink” of a little metal watering can.
Two-and-a-half years we’ve been doing this thing, sweetness and light.
I’m going to tell you a secret:
I only kind of know what I’m doing.
But to be totally honest?
I think it’s more fun this way.
Where would the magic be if there was nothing new to figure out, right?
All things considered, we’re both still pretty new to this whole gig—
so I say, let’s just keep giving ourselves some grace, do it up big, and figure this all out as we go.
I’m in if you are, sweet boy.