Two years ago on this day, I went into the hospital to be induced with what the nurses were calling a “BIG baby.” When the nurses, who see pregnant women every day, start talking about how big the baby could be, it’s a little startling. Well, the nurses were right, and Dale Jr was a giant baby!
And now, at two, he’s a big boy. He doesn’t really look like a baby anymore – now he looks like a toddler who is really on his way to being a child. The only time Dale Jr looks like a baby now is at night, when I dress him in a sleeper. I do that intentionally, just so I can pretend he’s still little. (We had planned to have pictures made last week or this week, but then the plague crashed the Flashlight household, and all Y-chromosome-owning people were hit very hard. We’re going to try sometime in the next two weeks with the same lady who did our awesome pictures from last year.)
I wrote a comparison piece about the boys when Dale Jr was 3 months old. The differences were startling even then. They are more so now. We see things we have never seen from the J-man. When Dale Jr first picked up a play phone and said “Allo! babble babble babble, OK, bye-bye” I was shocked.
So let me tell you all about this brilliant beautiful boy, who has enough words for several children. Dale Jr wakes up happy almost every day. He likes to wake up and play in his crib with someone popping in every few minutes until he’s ready to get up. He holds his blanket and sucks his thumb, and is peaceful. After I dress him for the day, we go downstairs where he immediately asks for either Rachel (Signing Time!) or Pinky Dinky Doo, although I tell him I get to watch my own show first thing – yay news for old people. He eats something for breakfast, but seems to have some attention deficit issues there – he eats 4 bites of applesauce, then asks for yogurt and has 1/2 of it, then asks for toast and only eats the buttered part… all while asking variously for juice, milk, and/or water. (He doesn’t yet know there are other things to drink in our house!)
When the J-man was little, Tim and I swore we would dance the tango if we ever had to tell a child to be quiet for just a little while. Honey, we need to take some lessons, because Dale Jr can talk and talk and talk. He says his ABCs and counts to 10, and signs a lot of words, and asks for different Signing Time videos by name (NiceDoMeetYou – “Nice to Meet You” – and HappyDayYou – “Happy Birthday to You” – are current favorites). He picks up any handy object and pretends it’s a phone, although he won’t talk into a real phone when he knows someone is on the line. He brings books to us to read, and will point out letters in the words, or will pretend to read the book to us because he has it memorized (OH wonful sounds Misser Brown do). If you sneeze or cough, he says “BessYou” – showing us that he really is listening. The other day I realized I would have to be more careful about my own words when I said something about “stupid people” and while we were in Target he kept saying “stupid people” as we would pass someone. Oops.
The joy that Dale Jr has brought into our lives simply can’t be described. He is the happy-go-lucky child that I don’t think Tim or I ever were. He still takes a nap every day, for which I am so thankful I don’t know what to say. He goes to bed at night with usually nary a peep, and only wakes up during the night if he is sick. People stop me in public to tell me how adorable he is, and all I can say is “Thank you – we think so.”
Every night, before I take Dale Jr up for his bath and bedtime, we do a bedtime routine, where Tim brushes the little guy’s teeth and holds him for a few minutes. We execute the “Family Sandwich” hug we learned from Pinky Dinky Doo. He says “I love Daddy and Mama.” And then he says “Night night Daddy.” And we climb up the stairs for bath and bed… so we can do it all again tomorrow.
Happy second birthday baby. We love you.