You turned two today. You woke up, like any other day, early, wanted to read books and eat oatmeal. When we asked what today was you said, “Happy Birthday!” And when you were asked how old you were today you responded, “Me be Two!” You also sang “Happy Birthday To Me” under your breath for most of the day. You were sung to at music class and on the phone and after dinner with cake- you are one loved boy.
This last year has been a bit of a blur now that I try to think back- this time last year you were just walking… NOW, you jump, run, climb, skip and can pedal a bike- wow. You still love riding on my back and prefer to be carried a majority of the time, just like last year (I think I should be more toned than I am…). Last year you had a few words- now you repeat and can say anything and everything, except Henry, he is still Henny (except when you are shouting, then you pronounce the R). The amount of understandable words that come out of your mouth is drastically increased each day. And, luckily Henry is around, he can usually translate for me when I have having a difficult time.
Your favorites- you love puzzles, puzzles and more puzzles. You talk about doing puzzles when you are falling asleep- which ones you are going to do and then which ones you will allow Henry to do (usually you correct yourself when you first say Henry can help, then you say you will do it yourself). If you aren’t busy with a puzzle, you want to be read to and you also love cars (just like your brother). You enjoy destroying the things that Henry builds with legos- you just do this to get him to react, yes kid, I have figured that one out already. You love talking on the phone, for real or for pretend.
You love oatmeal, plain bread, oranges, apples without the skin, all breakfast meats and pancakes. You also like berries, yogurt and cheese. For your birthday dinner you asked for pancakes, ham and eggs- which was funny because you have refused to try eggs since the beginning of me offering them to you- but thanks, they were tasty. You could eat oatmeal for every meal and pears, you really really like pears. You like fish and chicken and sandwiches make you mad because they fall apart, but you used to lick the mayonaise off of the bread (you don’t do this anymore, but it was cute when you did). You have my sweet tooth, sorry, you are a big fan of dessert.
This year you have traveled to Oregon, Canada, Alaska and Hawaii- you have gotten so, so, so much better in the car. I could not imagine taking you those places your first year of life- they would have been deafening. You and Henry play “My Side” and shout things that you see on each others side of the car. You make Henry mad because a lot of the time you just repeat what he is saying, and when the particular thing (for example, “ocean, my side) is, in fact NOT on your side, this upsets your brother. Then you continue to repeat it, knowing the frustration it is causing you big brother, until something/someone breaks the cycle. Overall though, this is a really fun game. You also continue to remove your shoes and socks almost every car trip, no matter the distance. You have also added throwing those removed items into the back of the car. You are starting to sport mismatched socks-hmmm, must clean out back of car…
You and Henry have become the best playmates. You go to school together, you run away from bears and monsters, you go to work, you pretend to sleep and you park cars together. You ask Henry for help with puzzles, you also tell him to go away when you want to do it yourself. You take things from Henry ALL THE TIME- pay back from earlier in the year, right, but we lately have been able to use our words to work things out, well, sometimes…
You are a boy of routine- you wake up, want vitamins, stories and breakfast. You play, take a nap and wake up. You then cry for about a half hour after you wake up, “I nee you Mama, I nee you” and then have a snack. You snack again, eat dinner, run around with Dada and Henry, hop in the bath, pick out pajamas, read books and go to bed. And tonight, between midnight and 12:30 AM you will head towards my side of the bed, say “Mama, I nee you.” and climb into bed and snuggle down until morning. Benny, we have had our disagreements, you have tested me further than I thought possible- but all is right when you are there, next to Dada and me.
You make me laugh every day with your dance moves (“Me Dancin'”), your love of puzzles (“This piece goes?”) and your devilish glares. I am so excited and not prepared for the next year- I know there will be more tears, more giggles and more dancing (and singing and reading and playing and…). Benny, thank you for being you- for forcing me to be a better Mama, for forcing me to relax and go with the flow more, for reminding me that it is okay if you sit on table while you do a puzzle (it is better from that angle, right?) and for always reminding me to turn on the music (and get your vitamins… can never forget those). Love you Bennett McGinley, Happy Birthday!!!