Happy 2nd Birthday to our baby boy Emil! The one who came in peace and only rocked the boat a bit during his first year of life has blossomed into quite the daredevil. An impish young thing half the size of other kids his age, he delights in taking people off guard, especially at the playground, where he proudly jumps, climbs, runs, and kicks a soccer ball like that of a four-year-old. As a good friend recently put it, “He’s the man!”
But inside all of that physical prowess lies a person who is already very aware of where things belong, to whom they belong, and where they should be. In his crib he has a very specific set-up: a stuffed bunny lying down on one side (which must, at all times, be lying this way), an upright bunny in the corner (which must be tilted just so against the crib bars), a tiny stuffed sting ray in front of that, and his Henry baby - his cherished gift from his first birthday- lying beside him (whom he tucks in next to him and says, “nigh, nigh, bay-bee” every night and nap time). He adjusts these items just so until they are right… a quirk I find so interesting and just the slightest bit worrisome. But the benefit is that Emil seems to know and care where everything goes, and will often put things away without being asked.
He carries his plate to the kitchen and tries to put it in the sink when he is finished eating. He brings diapers if he has soiled his (but we are currently working on some light potty training, which is going quite well after this obviously didn’t last). He feeds the dog all by himself, which is more than I can say for certain other children around here…
Emil is very aware of his place in this family- that he is part of a team that works best when all contribute. Because of this, Emil likes to bring his big brothers shirts and shorts from their drawers to wear, offers them his apple juice, and shares snacks and toys quite readily. He seems to understand that the world is not his. I wonder if this is a younger sibling thing. It is interesting to observe him with other children his age at the playground. He is at once rough and gentle with them. He is a jack of all trades.
with the slop brew the beer
He is starting to talk more and more, mainly phrases he hears around here, like “Milo! STOP!” when Milo runs/bikes/scoots too far ahead on the sidewalk, or “Get down, Proudie!” when our dog jumps up to try to grab a bite of food out of his hand. He says things like, “Nigh, nigh, Papa!” and “Wawa, pees” (water, please) and most often lately, “NOOOOOOO!” even when he wants something. For instance, “Emil, would you like to sit on Mama’s lap?” “NOOOOOO!” (while climbing up onto my lap). Two. He is definitely two.
Emil still has a very special bond with Milo. This is absolutely nothing against Oliver. The two play well together and are gentle and tender, but Milo and Emil can crack each other up and love on each other like nothing I’ve ever seen. It is heartwarming, the bond they share.
Today, Emil, we celebrate you. Our family is a bazillion times better with you in it, and all of us love you to pieces!
P.s.- This is the first time in 6 years that I’m not giving birth to someone in August/early September*. At the rate we were going, I would be having number 4 right around this time. How crazy is that???
*Correction: the first time in 6 years I am not giving birth or breastfeeding someone!