Two years old

He sleeps in a bed, we moved him out of his cot last week. The first two nights he got up after ten minutes and took his sleeping bag off and announced “wape up!”. I put him back in his sleeping bag and said “do you want to sleep in your cot tonight?” – intending to be all gentle and child-led, and give him space to do the move slowly over several nights, etc, and he said emphatically “No! Sdeep big boyyyee bed!” and didn’t get up a second time. He may have interpreted my offer as a threat.

He remembers things for long periods. His Saba visited this weekend, and it’s been seven weeks since we saw him last in Auckland, but the little dude remembered and was immediately comfortable with him.

We went to Tiny Town on the morning of his birthday, yesterday, and he climbed to the top of the slide in the bouncy castle without any assistance. He loved it, and rocketed around saying “djump djump” and “run at da wall! boom!! tash!”. He used the runaround cars by himself. He went into the playhouse and said “put birdday dacte in oben. Wadsh ands unda dap”.

He was so patient waiting for his birthday cake until after dinner. I lit the candles and everyone (father in law, my parents, my brother) started singing while I brought it through to the living room from the kitchen, and he got shy and overwhelmed and buried his face in the couch cushion. But then he sat up and blew at the candles and grinned from ear to ear.

We always read stories on the couch before bed. Tonight the baby started to do some big wriggles and I put the little dude’s hand on my belly and he leaned up against the bump and said “duddle mummy dtummy”.

I love this age. I love seeing him develop his sense of self. I love his little strikes towards independence, his little quirks. I love that he’s so bossy and so definite about what he wants. I know that’s the bit that’s meant to drive people nuts about toddlers. But it’s adorable. Here he is, barely up to my hip, this tiny half pint of person, with absolutely no power, declaring how things should be. He also has no knowledge of the possibilities of the world, so when he announces what he wants it’s something beautifully simple, like a piece of frozen mango, an episode of Elmo’s World, a big push on the swing, and for his daddy to come home from work. Imagine having such modest desires of perfection!

I love it when he does funny silly things because he hasn’t worked out how to do stuff yet. He tries to take his shoes off by bending over and undoing the velcro, but because he’s still standing in them he can’t pull them off. It doesn’t occur to him to lift his feet. I have to remind him to sit down so that there is space to take the shoe away.

I love how he narrates everything. He is such a chatterbox. He talks constantly. The staff at creche all comment on how he just talks and talks and talks. They ask where he gets it from and I’m like “yeah, that’d be me”. He doesn’t do an activity quietly, even if it’s a quiet activity, he gives a running commentary: “dupdo on dere, dtower build it high, yep, moarr dupdo, nudder piece, on dere, moarr dtower up high, nudder piece up dere, yay!!!!!.”

He calls half-deflated balloons “baby bayoons”.

He doesn’t like riding in the supermarket trolley, he wants to push it.

He really really likes reading “torie boodks”. He calls the 2014 photo album the “mummy dadday baby torie boodk”.

He is so pleased to see me when I arrive at creche. He runs up to me straight away for a cuddle, then holds my hand while he shows me to whatever activity he’s been doing. He likes to have his little jobs, like carrying his own backpack to the car. Sometimes we leave the car in town for Mr Daddy and get the bus, and he looks so ridiculous wearing his backpack at the bus stop, like a miniature teenager. He likes to swipe the bus card and he gets really anxious that someone is going to take it away – I have no idea what put this idea in his head or why it’s such a source of stress for him. I spend the whole bus ride trying to reassure him or distract him from his concern that the bus card might be taken. When it’s time to get off, he’s so good, he holds my hand on the footpath and when we have to cross the road he grips extra tight and says “dareful, dareful, dareful, dars on road!”.

When I leave work I often get an almost giddy sense of looking forward to seeing him. And I get such a kick out of how much he loves me. When he says “want mummy” or when he divebombs me for a cuddle, or when he rests his head against me, ahhh, my boy, my big boy, my darling. Two years old! Happy birthday sweetheart.