Today you are twenty-two months old. You’re kind of advanced though; you’ve been in your “terrible twos” for quite some time. And I LOVE IT. Mostly.
You want to do everything yourself and drop to the ground, kicking and screaming, when you don’t get what you want. You get frustrated when you can’t master a skill in 2.5 seconds, but you’ve definitely mastered the fake cry.
Thankfully, you spend most of the time being your awesome self: loud, determined, entertaining, and curious. You fill a room with your personality.
When I give you a PB&J sandwich, you carefully peel it apart for maximum mess potential. You like to smear it in your hair. You usually sleep with a car (or a book about trucks) in each hand. Every car, picture of a car, or car noise must be acknowledged. You use our car as your personal playpen and are so very pleased with yourself when you’re in there alone, turning knobs, pushing buttons and eating Chapstick. Every truck is “Daddy guk” and every motorcycle is “Daddy bike.”
Your favorite phrase is “No, Mama GO!” while you’re waving me away with your hands. Did I mention you want to do everything yourself?
It’s fun to hear you string words together to form sentences. While your dad was on his motorcycle trip, (which you will eventually get to join because you have a penis!) we went to visit Boo and The Heeeeed in Stanwood. Boo is a Speech Nerd so she counted how many words you know and at that point it was 75-80, and you’ve probably learned at least 15 more. You’re a verbal little monkey! Every day you bust out with at least one new word that surprises me.
You had a blast visiting with Boo and I’m very proud that we trained you to refer to Jeff as The Heeeed. Because the dude has a giant head. GIANT. I think it weighs more than you. You loved following Jeff around, being spoiled by Becky and joyously making out with Max The Dog.
When you’re tired but fighting it, you stick your binky in your ear. Or a little car, or the magnet from the fridge. Orange is your favorite color. In fact, it’s the only color you acknowledge. You will find the tiniest bit of orange in any object. When I ask you what color the (blue) shirt is, you’ll point to a microscopic piece of orange lint and say “orange” emphatically. In a similar run of obsessive stubbornness, you refuse to acknowledge your name. This isn’t frustrating to your mom AT ALL.
Little Bear, you are a total water baby. You LOVE swimming and had so much fun playing in the pool with your Cooper cousins over the last two weeks. You jump into my arms from the side of the pool and kick and shriek with delight. Watching your cousins jump in, or better yet, be thrown in, earns a deep belly laugh from you. You never wanted to leave the pool so we’d have to force you out of the pool when your teeth started chattering from cold.
We went to Slidewaters with the Cooper cousins, grandparents and the Hildenbrands. We started on the baby slides and you’d sit it my lap, head held high with a stoic look on your face. Once we landed, you’d give a little kick of approval and unsmilingly demand to go again. By the time we were on the big slides you’d chortle the whole way down, do a happy dance at the end and frantically sign “more” with your hands while repeating “Go. More. Up. Go. MORE!” I think you enjoyed it.
It’s possible that your parents expect too much from you. When your dad was in charge of you at the pool he let you almost drown three times within as many minutes (Editor’s Note: your dad would have said “swim” not “almost drown” so it was probably something in between the two). You took it in stride. At Slidewaters, not only did your mama flash innocent children – twice – but I also made Grandma send you down the smallest slide by yourself. BECAUSE I’M FUN. I was waiting at the bottom to catch you and things were going PERFECTLY for the first three seconds. Then you toppled over and torpedoed at me, head first and on your back. Alas, I did not have my catching mitt with me so my catch was…the words frantic, clumsy and seemingly painful come to mind. You cried for about two seconds and then demanded more.
Yesterday, I received a bunch of paintings by your Great-grandma Bee. Two were of me at about your age. I know the Steeres love to claim you as theirs, saying you look just like a Steere (you do) and you have the personality of a Steere Boy (you do). But I think they sometimes forget that your mama has always been more of a risk taker than your daddy, and you look SUSPICIOUSLY like a Cooper here. At least 50%.
So you’re a hilarious mix of your dad and mama. The best part is that both of us love you from the top of that crazy natural mohawk to the tips of your sweaty little toes. And guess what? You have two sets of grandparents that love you just as much! You now ask for your Papa, Nanny, Oma and Opa by name. Usually when you’re not getting what you want from your parents.
Little Bear, you are growing up way too fast for me (I know, I say that every time. And it’s STILL TRUE). When I see you trotting across the property with your short little steps and your Carhart cap on your head, you look far more like a little boy than a baby. And that squeezes my heart just a bit. You’ve become such a wild, hilarious, sweet little man and I am so proud of you. I’m grateful for every second of chaos you provide (sometimes it takes a few hours and a stiff drink before I appreciate that day’s chaos, but it eventually happens). I love you to the moon and back!
PS. Here’s a VIDEO of you acting like a wild man and jumping on your mama while she was trying to rest her injured neck. And I wonder why I never heal…. ;)