My precocious, flirtatious, witty little man has surged into his third year of life with more gusto and charm than a mother can handle sometimes. I sang him happy birthday from the edge of his crib the morning he turned two, after which he proceeded to command that I sing happy birthday to his giraffe as well (which continues to be the favorite of his stuffed toys).
I swear, despite the frequency with which the word “no” comes out of his mouth, he’s even funnier and cuter than ever. With four days of experience behind me, I would argue there is absolutely nothing terrible about two (although I hear the riotous “just you wait” chants from other mothers brewing). His pediatrician appointment today confirmed what I’ve already known for quite some time that a) my kid is a sinewy giant and b) he’s exceptionally bright. At 37 1/2 inches and 30 pounds he’s over 99th percentile in height and 73rd for weight. He also whipped out a string of thoughts for the pediatrician (like his comment on the wall mural in her office: “there’s a white police helicopter flying up in the blue sky”) which then caused her to suggest that we must read a lot of books together, given his conversational command. His knowledge and recognition of numbers, letters, colors and words were just the icing.
With over a month of action-packed blog backlog, I have plenty of two-year-old fodder to share. Jack has recently decided that first person was sooo last month. Instead, Jack prefers to discuss his conquests in third person. When I ask him what he’s doing, he’ll respond, “he’s hiding in the tent with Lightning McQueen” or “he popped a HUGE bubble in the bathtub.” If I ask him during our drive home what he did at school today, Jack will respond “he played with his friends” or “he rode the buggy with Nicholas.”
Jack also, like most two-year-olds I presume, likes to be in charge of his own decision making. He might preface a response to my question with a simple ‘no’ in front of the statement (Q: “Jack, would you like some oatmeal?” A: ”No oatmeal.”). Or, better still, he has also grown fond of presenting us with choices (Q: “Jack, are you ready to go in Daddy’s car?” A: “How ’bout…Mommy’s car?” Or “Jack, what book would you like to read?” A: “How ’bout…watch Super Why on the TV?”)
Speaking of conversation, Jack no longer just repeats every single phrase that comes out of our mouths verbatim (which has me on extra-sensitive alert when he regurgitates things like “Daddy’s dumb” that I’m hardly conscious I’ve uttered in jest); he actually holds full question/response conversations with us for extended periods of time. I can ask him about what he’s seen or done in the past and he’ll reply with a clear description of a vivid memory. He informed his teacher today that “Daddy’s name is Kent and Mommy’s name is Jessica” (something I taught him once two days ago). It’s been three weeks since we dropped my parents off at the airport following an extended holiday visit and he continues to remind me every time he sees an airplane that “Nana and Dampa are going on the red airplane up in the sky.” Why he determined their airplane was red, I’m not certain, but that’s his story and he’s sticking to it.
You may notice an ‘up in the sky’ theme commencing here, which merely reflects Jack’s penchant for all things mechanically airborne. If I have to read his “Fighter Jets” library loaner one more time, I might just… Actually, after reading the book five times the first day we brought it home, he basically just reads it to me now, so my tolerance has been pacified. But the pages of the book now have tiny tears on the inner creases simply from the number of times they’ve been turned by Jack alone. He’s also fond of helicopters, rocket launches and jet aircraft. And if machinery can’t fly, then it had better be able to dig, transport or race. Motorcycles and garbage trucks are cool, but bulldozers, diggers and tractors top the list. In particular, he is extremely drawn to the John Deere brand of farming equipment and if we allowed it, he’d spend hours in front of the streaming John Deere propaganda video that he selected himself from the library.
Another thing that is certain to pique Jack’s interest is the stockpiling of change. In fact, after placing a few coins in his loon-shaped piggy bank today, Jack stated boldly, “he has SO much money!” And if he’s not satisfied with the few quarters that Mommy empties from her wallet to invest in her son’s early capital ventures, he then saunters into Daddy’s office and fishes in his pockets for “more monies for Jack.” However, as much as he enjoys saving for his future, he also derives relatively equal pleasure from store purchases. After handing the checkout clerk at Target a $10 bill for his box of Hot Wheels cars, he spent more time discussing the “pay the man for the cars” transaction than the cars themselves.
Business education begins at two
For an incredibly lively little guy who, although intensely focused on whatever activity in which he’s participating at the time, Jack outright refuses to sit still. Strollers and high chairs are no longer options. He is in perpetual motion while he eats meals at his table (I use the word ‘at’ very loosely) and he bounces, jogs and saunters his way through malls, theme parks and museums with more energy than any adult. It’s exhausting to keep up, but thoroughly fulfilling when he lifts his warm fingers to grip mine and gallop beside me hand-in-hand.
The last time we bothered bringing out the stroller
As our solo mother-son time draws to a close, I cherish and breathe in each moment of our alone time like a savory glass of vintage wine. On Saturday evening this past weekend we walked home from a neighborhood child’s birthday party together holding hands and discussing the lights on the airplanes flying overhead, nightime animals and the shape of the moon. The imprint of his soft fingerprints during those five minutes of adoring conversation are forever engraved on my knuckles. The last two years have been the most fulfilling and joyous of my life and the best is yet to come.
Jack cuddles with Mommy and the baby going "bump bump"
Happy Birthday to the sweetest boy I’ve been blessed to know.