You are almost two years old and I can hardly believe it. You’re a much pickier eater than you used to be and it can be a little frustrating. Sometimes we offer you five different options and you aren’t happy with any of them. Fake chicken nuggets are your favorite. You sometimes eat peanut butter sandwiches, various fruits, raw carrots, organic yogurt only if it’s frozen, goldfish crackers and organic veggie and fruit pouches. You think cow’s milk is a treat because you only have almond or coconut milk at home. I know your picky phase won’t last forever so we’re wading through it as patiently as possible. We ordered Indian food the other night and once again you were thrilled to eat rice and curry. It’s the funniest thing to me that curry is your one consistent food love since you were six months old.
People ask me how you are all the time and I say, “He’s busy!” You love to run and jump and dance and climb. You’ve been to every playground within a mile of our house (which probably amounts to 6 or 7) and you know your way to the one closest to us. Your father will let you lead the way and he says you have a little routine. You walk the few houses down to the elementary school, play on the toddler playground, walk past the community garden and play with the metal flowers, head on over to the “big kid” playground and then never want to leave. We have to bribe you when it’s time to come home.
You say so many words I couldn’t possible list them all and you’re starting to say phrases too which is amazing. Just as I was typing this you pointed to baby birds on a cartoon and said, “Ohhhh…. cute!” You have a funny habit of shortening words which always cracks me up. You say “coz” instead of cozy and sometimes demand “COZ!” which means you want us to tuck you in with a blankie. You also say “Thank” instead of thank you. “Water” is one of your funniest words. It sounds like, “WOOODERRRR” with a long ‘o’. We also love when you say “help” which was one of your first words and “stuck” which is a new, hilarious addition. Your knee got stuck in the slats of your crib recently and you started hollering, “STUCKKKKK!” I ran into your room to find you standing there with your bent knee jammed between two rungs. I couldn’t shimmy you out so I jumped into your crib with you to straighten your knee and gently tug. Poor guy! You weren’t happy about the whole thing but I couldn’t stop laughing because normally you would have said “help” if you needed help. Instead you practiced your newest word.
You’re still friendly with everyone and there’s not a shy bone in your body. You make friends quickly and you like everyone you love to be together. If anyone leaves you’ll scream, “NOOOOO!” It makes family get-togethers interesting. Everyone has to sneak out so they don’t upset you. This past weekend you stayed over with your nanny and we came to get you the next afternoon. You hadn’t seen either of us in a full day so you came up between where your dad and I were sitting and stood there with one hand on each of us.
You love animals and cute things and often say, “AHHHH!” and put your head on your object of affection. It could be us or a baby you meet or a stuffed animal. Recently you started noticing ants outside and you think they’re adorable. You’ll follow them around and try to get them to crawl on you. It reminds me of me when I was younger. I loved animals so much and wanted to bring them all home.
I could tell stories about you all day because you’re constantly making us all laugh and saying or doing new things. You’re the happiest, funniest, smartest little guy I’ve ever known and we just can’t get over how lucky we are to have you in our world. You make everything brighter and lighter. Things are often busy for us right now because your dad and I are both in school full-time.
Your dad started his program over a month ago and quit his job to focus entirely on getting his doctorate. I work part-time and we split taking care of you with the help of family once a week or so. It’s getting tougher to juggle everything so we’re going to have someone watch you one or two days a week to help us out. It’s been really special these past two years getting to be with you as much as we have and we never lose sight of the fact that most people don’t get that opportunity. You’ve made us certain we want another baby and if it was up to me I would be pregnant now but the time isn’t right yet. We’ll wait until school is finished for both of us before we add to our family.
Speaking of family – your father proposed to me last month (which actually deserves a blog post of it’s own). We’re getting married on May 8th of next year in the Greek Gardens. It’ll be a simple ceremony with family only and a nice meal after to celebrate and then we’re heading to Europe for a week. I can’t wait and I spend a lot of time thinking about how special it will be to finally become part of the Nelson family who I love more than words. They’ve been so kind to me from the very beginning and treated me like a daughter. Your Grandma Nelson used to joke that she would just adopt me if Mat didn’t propose.
In all my days I never thought I could have in-laws as amazing as the Nelsons. It makes me tear up to think of it. They’ve taught me so much about love by how they raised their 3 boys and how they love their daughter-in-laws and grandkids. They’re humble, generous and kind and you are so blessed to have them in your life. We all are.
This morning I was laying on the couch because you wake up around 6 every morning and say “UP!” which actually means “downstairs”. You crawled up next to me, laid your head on the pillow and asked, “Coz?” I pulled the blanket up and told you, “I love you”. You looked me in the eye, put your arm over me and quietly said, “Hug”.
And there you have it. The sweetest 23 month old around.