You are two, sweet baby, that magical place between babyhood and little-boyhood. I say it's my favourite age, but truly they all are, each in their own way. Your twos so far have been marvelous, full of laughter and sunshine and those precious two-year-old conversations. It is amazing to watch your personality continue to emerge.
Today you were running around bare-bottomed, us working together on the last stages of your potty learning, and you looked like such a big boy without your usual diaper. ("Watch out for the robins!", your Opa would warn you with a wink.) But, thank you, you still have that sweet baby look to you, with your round face and your perfect nose and your tiny lips and your big wide eyes and your soft downy hair and your chubby baby hands and oh, that round baby belly of yours. It's so precious I could just eat it up.
And then there's your perfectly adorable pout. Your brother has perfected the Pleading Puppy Dog look, and you, my dear, have mastered the Pouty Lip. If you two combined forces, there isn't anything you couldn't get out of anyone. Except your parents. Sorry, darling, we might melt, but we're still mostly immune to both the Pleading Puppy Dog look and the Pouty Lip. Mostly.
You are our crazy boy, our wild daredevil, the one who could climb stairs and scale chairs long before you could walk. Nothing keeps you down for long, wild child. I love watching you race around the house, a frenetic ping-pong ball ricocheting off the walls, your little legs unable to make the turns in time. Your laughter completes the picture and I can't help but grin at you a thousand times a day.
It is your big brother who receives most of your grins, though. You desire his undivided attention far more often than not. You're big enough now that the two of you wrestle on the floor, climbing over each other and falling and laughing and roaring and sometimes, yes, crying.
But at some point each day, you get caught up in your own play. I look up and find you absorbed in a book, oh-so-precisely building your Duplo, or ripping all the heads off your brother's Lego people (should I be worried, precious one?). Your brother escapes to his room when he wants to be alone, but you prefer to stay closer to everyone else. It falls to me to protect your solitude from your brother, who is suddenly jealous of your lost attention. It never lasts long, though, and the two of you are soon partners in crime again, your giggles filling the previous too-short moment of silence.
You have, child, the most stereotypical-boy sense of humour. If it involves poop or pee or bums or smelliness, you're falling over in wild laughter. (Your brother was never like this.) Your very first joke was to tease your daddy, as you were laying on the bed mid-diaper change, that you were going to "pee on the bed!" It's been your private joke with him ever since. I'd tsk at the both of you, but secretly I find it just as funny as you two do.
You're going to have to temper that humour with just a wee bit of reverence, son. Tonight you and your brother were laying side-by-side on your bellies, flipping through the pages of your storybook Bible, when you said, "God smelly!" and rolled over in laughter. Your brother was quick to correct you, though: "God is not smelly. Not even once." (I managed, somehow, to hold my chuckle in.) He then continued to tell you each of the Bible stories as you paged through the book. You listened, enthralled, and I quietly listened as well. He knows that book well and it warms my heart to hear him passing those stories on to you.
Soon you'll be a big brother too. I wonder what you'll think of that role. Will you embrace it as wholeheartedly as your own big brother did? Will you resent it? Will you feel lost in the middle? You'll never be the oldest child, never again the baby of the family. Already we struggle to keep your birthday separate from the excitement and commotion of the Christmas holidays; will you one day come to feel lost, lost in Christmas, lost in your birth order, struggling to find a place that is all your own? An Oldest myself, I somehow feel fiercely protective of you, wanting to shelter you from the mysterious-to-me role of the Middle. I suppose, as with all things, we'll just have to muddle through this together. And start saving for your inevitable future therapy.
Oh, child. I am so entirely enraptured with your joyful little self. I could go on forever, writing down every perfect phrase you utter, every silly game you play, your love for animals, the way you yell "safe!!" when you're feeling scared, every tiny thing that makes you so utterly and magically You. But for now, I'll just say this: I love you, I love you, I love you. Always and forever, with all of my heart.