My favorite thing you did this year happened on a city bus. Daddy splurged & let you out of the stroller because Mama is mean & never does. He stood you up & you reached right out across the aisle for a sweet old-lady-stranger to hold you. You snuggled down into her lap & rode sweetly on her knee for the rest of our journey. We had just spent a few months with your real life, blood related Grannies & I like to think you stretched your arms to her for homestyle warmth. She readily obliged. She wasn’t your family but for just those few minutes, you made her such.
You made your way into our family with the squishiest forehead that I’ve since kissed a million times over. I loved you so wildly that it opened a to-the-quick bravery in me. I was so unsure as a first time mother just a couple years before, but I felt so resolute in mothering you. You were content, all quiet, undisturbed. You nursed, you played, you slept. You couldn’t even be bothered to cry. Not even whimper. Never.
But then you entered toddlerhood. You made up for all lost ground & were quick to let the world know you had opinions. You basically cut all your teeth at once & it made you angry for about 6 months straight. If we could have talked about it like adults, I imagine the conversations would have gone something like this…
Me: I need to get groceries.
You: That’s cute. But what about MY needs?
Me: It’s nap time.
You: Ask nicely.
Me: Smile for the picture, buddy!
You: Screw you!
Me: Time for dinner! I made your favorite!
You: My FAVORITE? You don’t know me.
Me: Come this way, pal.
You: Nobody puts baby in a corner.
Me, after I finally lost it: WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS HATE YELLING? I’M SO TIRED & I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! STOP SCREAMING AT ME! YOU DON’T HAVE TO WHINE TO GET MY ATTENTION! WHY???????
You: Only God can judge me.
I quickly went from courageous mother to exasperated self-doubter. It was not my finest time, but we made it through. You started asking “peas?” for things instead of freaking out to get your way. You started giving loads of kisses, solicited & otherwise. You kept on sucking your thumb & snuggling down in the crook of my left arm. You started asking me to sing The Wheels on the Bus before bed (“busss”). You desperately want to sleep in the bed with your big brother & yell “Shepah! Are you?” when you can’t find him. You know all of the animals & the sounds they make. You watch the panda episode of Go Diego Go on repeat. You love your monster PJs & yell “ouch” as you pretend that the monster bites. You think it’s funny to eat gross things. And you pee in the bathtub every. single. time.
It was touch & go there for a while, but I’ve loved you desperately the whole time though. Forgive me for being 3 days late on your letter this year, but what kind of second child would you be if I did everything on time?