Today you are 2. When I look at you I can no longer persuade myself that there is a baby looking back at me. You are a boy. I can no longer refer to your age in months. You are my two-year old.
I watched you walking in front of me last week, actually stomping would be a more appropriate word. You were striding confidently forwards, taking in everything you could see and hear. There was no wobble, in fact you are are more likely to be found running than walking. It occurred to me that on your first birthday you hadn’t even begun to walk.
You hoover up the world around you with such relish. New words and phrases spill from you every day. You love to talk and treat me to a running commentary of our lives each day. We can have conversations now and the more you understand things, the more comfortable you are with them. You ask ” What’s that?” and “Who’s that?”. You tell me that cake “tastes delicious”, that sparkling water is “very fizzy” and that your bath is “nice and warm”.
Your imagination is exploding as you serve me ‘party food’ that only we can see and use different voices for you plastic figures. You wander around the garden before telling me that “You’re BAAAACK” and that you’ve been to school to teach the children reading, just like Daddy does.
You still resist sleep. You are too busy. Too busy to sleep, too busy to eat sometimes, too busy to get dressed or have your nappy changed and too busy to stop and put you shoes on before you run into the garden, enjoying the feel of the shingle between your toes. Who can blame you? If we were honest who wouldn’t want to carry on spraying water from a hose, rather than go for a boring nap.
Even though you have changed almost beyond recognition, in many ways I see things in you that have been there all along. You have always had strong opinions and have always expressed them. When you were tiny they were simply about how you liked to be held or where you wanted to sleep. Now, your opinions are more about gaining some control over your world and stamping your mark on it, carving your personality as you go. Sometimes this strong will you have is frustrating to deal with day to day, but secretly I admire it and I hope that you keep some of it forever, but if you could let me put your shoes on without saying “NO” that’d be a great help. I hope you keep you sense of fun, love of laughing and of making others laugh too, that will help you just as much as your stubborn will.
We are moving into a new phase, you and I. Soon we will be joined by another, someone who will be so utterly dependent on me and I know this will sometimes be hard for you, but I am sure your good nature will make you a wonderful big brother.
You won’t remember a time when it was just you and in many ways I am relieved. Nevertheless, I feel a little sad that you won’t recall this special, joyful two years we have had with you and you alone. You may not remember it, but I will treasure it forever and I promise you, it has been a blast.