Daniel turns 2 at 6:48 AM on June 2, and I’m amazed. I’m wondering where the last 12 months went. I know, I know–the older you get, the faster time flies, and it is sadly proving true. The last 12 months have been difficult and complicated with family issues, but he has been the bright spot for our entire family.
Daniel is most definitely a little boy now. Nothing baby about him. He’s so tall! I’m not a good judge of age when it comes to children, but I think he looks older than he is. We joke that he doesn’t know how to walk, but it’s true: running is his preferred speed. He is so sure on his feet, much more coordinated and confident at 2 than I am at 33.
Despite the need for speed, I’ve noticed that he has started to slow down and focus on one activity for longer periods of time. He loves the alphabet and can spend 15-20 minutes happily playing with his magnetic letters. He knows them all and at our house, “V”, especially his purple magnetic “V,” is his favorite. When he sees it on his easel, he happily cries, “Vuh!” He also loves his Thomas trains. Santa brought him “Gordon” for Christmas and from that first train, his collection has grown to include James, Thomas, Percy, Emily, Hiro, Whiff (aka “Momma” because he wears glasses) and Victor. Sometimes we’ll build bridges out of blocks for the trains to go under. Happily, he also loves books. While he loves us to read to him, he enjoys looking at the books himself as well.
It’s great seeing him have these little bursts of independence, but it’s a little sad too because it’s a reminder that as time goes on, he is only going to become more and more independent. And we have to be ok with it because that’s what needs to happen, and it’s our job to nurture it.
Daniel truly has a wonderful personality. He is typically in a good mood and calm though the tantrums are coming more often. Lately he has become super affectionate. He’ll hug and kiss us repeatedly, giving us big ol’ bear hugs that truly are the best hugs in the world. At other times he’ll gently caress our arms or hands. He even kisses his toys, books and on rare occasion, a kitty he has managed to catch. He’s also mastered making faces at us-what a comedian!
In the last year he has learned to walk (run), graduated from high chair to booster seat, graduated from booster seat to regular chair, moved from crib in our room to a mattress on the floor in his own room, increased his vocabulary, been to the beach twice and sadly, lost two grandfathers.
It’s been an eventful year, and while it’s bittersweet to pack away all the baby paraphernalia bit by bit, I love the little boy with whom we have been blessed. Watching him discover and explore the world is rejuvinating, and his energy is boundless. It will be interesting to see what changes are in store for my 2-year old. Daniel will start preschool in late summer, and I can feel us taking the first step on the path that leads to elementary school and beyond.
Happy Birthday to our Doodle Bug. May it be a wonderful day full of all the Oreos you can eat and a great year.