Two years ago I was in labor with my little Simon. How quickly two years passes, and how much changed in that time! When I remember my life before Simon it seems kind of…selfish, although admittedly fun. But then, having a kid is lots of fun, too, because you do fun things you wouldn’t do otherwise: play with toys, be outside, and go to playgrounds, pools, zoos, and farm parks. Little kids notice everything grown ups start to tune out. Every airplane, bug, or chirping bird is noteworthy and exciting to them. A child’s sense of wonder can help you see the world through a little fresher eyes.
When I think of my tiny swaddled baby compared to the relatively large toddler sprawled in his soon-to-be-relinquished crib, all I can think is miracle. Considering all that has to go right, it’s miraculous every time a baby is born. Then to think they can triple in size in one year just on milk and mush. In that year they can go from helpless, squirmy little bundles to walking around. And in the second year Simon’s become a running, jumping, talking little person with lots of personality. Neil has been asking me to write down some of his cute phrases so bear with me, if you care to, as I unabashedly go on and on about Simon.
Recently he’s started asking questions all day. It can be very redundant but it’s also adorable because he wants to hold a conversation.
“How do you ask?”
“Pleeeeze!” with a big smile.
“What doing Mama?”
“Getting you milk.”
“What doing Mama?”
Other favorite questions include “Where did [insert name of person] go?” “What’s that for?” and the hybrid, which I’m not sure how to answer, “What’s that for go?” His favorite answer to my questions is “helicopter.” He’s responded this way to questions such as “How old are you?”, “What is your name?”, and “What should we name your sister?”
He can repeat basically any word now, including a couple things he shouldn’t have. Luckily he didn’t pick these words up. He repeats “Night night Simon,” sometimes when we put him to bed and has also said “Night night guys,” to us. He calls Target “Targot” with a long second syllable. At the store he wants to sit in a cart and definitely wants to be buckled in (also applies to wagons, riding toys, or anything else with a buckle.) He asks me to buckle his onesies and even some regular t-shirts. He asks for “butter” a.k.a. rash cream but he has a diaper rash, and has picked up the popular “Hold you me” when he wants us to pick him up. He’s finally started saying “love you.”
Simon also seems to be playing pretend more lately. Toys that he didn’t quite know what to do with before, like his little dinosaur land, now hold his attention longer. His favorite is cooking “hot doggies” on his toy grill. He loves to bake; when when he sees me pulling out the ingredients he pushes a chair toward the island and says “I cook, I cook” and asks for a spoon. I think this experience is giving him more to imitate when he uses his grill. He says, “Hot dog’s ready!” and warns me that the grill is hot, most recently with one finger extended as a cautionary sign. He also loves to play “night night” with his blanket which is one of my favorite games.
We started singing the patience song (from his preschool friend) and now if he hears “you have to wait,” “be patient” or “just a minute” he sometimes sings “pa-tient.” When I show him baby girls clothes he says they’re “yute” i.e. cute. He’s learned a few colors, mainly “lellow” and numbers, but he thinks “buckle shoe” comes after two. He calls any printed letters (or numbers) “A.” Whereas a few months ago the idea of him choosing a shirt to wear seemed absurd, he now expresses very clear fashion opinions on which shirts are “not cool, Mama.” (!) It seems the main criteria is whether the shirt has a car or a hot doggie on it.
Last weekend all my siblings were in Ohio, a once- or twice-yearly occurrence, and my great-aunt was in town, so we had a pool party for Simon’s second birthday. Also Neil is gone on his real birthday. Tonight we made cupcakes to share with his friends. As soon as I mentioned making a cake, he kept talking about it until we started. Then I tried to ask if he wanted to make cupcakes or a big cake, pointing to pictures on the box. He just kept answering “eggs!” and pointing to that picture.
One last Simon story. Last week on my birthday Simon was playing at his train table and saw me reading Moby Dick. He thought it was the Bible. I told him it was just a regular book but he wanted to go get his Bible (which we never read to him). We sat on the couch and he looked through it and kept talking about “the baaa’s” (sheep) and the barn (where Jesus was born). After a little while he pointed to Moby Dick and told me to read my book. He kept paging through his Bible and occasionally would point to a page in my book and say “Mommy’s A.” So cute, and the best birthday present ever–sitting there, “reading” his Bible, and telling me to read (and actually letting me read)!
So that’s Simon at the threshold of two. We’ll see what the next year brings.