Friday, January 24, 2014

MJ at 2

Dear MJ,

It is amazing that you now weigh six times what you did on the day you were born, just over two years ago.  You are no longer my little preemie; you are a big boy.

You are confident, loud and exuberant.  A couple of months ago, as you were happily running around yelling at one of our weekly Lit.tle Gym sessions, one of the dads turned to us and said "Can't you just picture him acting just like that in 20 years at a party wearing a Hawaiian shirt?"  We laughed, and I thought then that was a very funny, and apt, description of your personality.

You love meeting other children and seem to make friends readily.  Often times when we are out at a public play area, like a park or a mall, you will gravitate toward one slightly older child--boy or girl--and follow him around, wanting to do everything he can.

Although we have done nothing to foster this interest, you are obsessed with vehicles of all types.  You still call every vehicle a "car," though nowadays larger vehicles receive the appellation "big car."

You love to learn things and to show off what you know.  You like to know the routine and what's coming next, and once you know, you like to let us know that you know.

For the past few months, you have been like a parrot, repeating much of what we say.  (Fortunately, that has not gotten us into any trouble. . . yet.)  One of the funnier things you have repeated--and memorized--was your father's full name (yelled by me in a loud, annoyed voice).

You love the song "What Does the Fox Say," and when I play the video for you, you try to sing along, just singing out the words you know ("eyes," "nose," "ow-ow-ow").  You have ways of requesting your preferred shows and videos by name.

Although you are only two years of age, you have already begun to discard some early babyish expressions.  For a while, any time you said goodbye, you said "Bye, guys!", even if you were addressing only one person, because that's what everyone says to you and your brother.  You have now learned just in the past couple of weeks to simply say "Bye."  You used to say "Isht?" to mean "Where is it?" when looking for a lost object, and you still say "Are you?" to mean "Where are you?" when you are looking for someone.

You are generally impatient with affection and often will run away if your father asks you for a hug or a kiss.  As your mother, I receive slightly more liberal treatment, but most attempts to kiss you on the mouth end up with my kissing you on your teeth because you are laughing.

You do like to cuddle sometimes, but usually only if you are tired or if you aren't feeling well.  Even then, you only want to be held a certain way, and you will place the hands of whoever is holding you where you want them.  I find this particularly funny because your father also likes to be shown physical affection only on his own terms; guess this trait is genetic.

The one exception to the rule when it comes to affection is that you will suddenly decide you need to be held if you notice I am holding your brother.

You like to help with things.  If you find a piece of dead grass that the dog has tracked in, or a piece of paper, on the carpet, you will bring it to me and say "garbage," hoping that I will direct you to put it in the trash can.  You will then carefully carry it to the kitchen trash can and throw it away, smiling proudly.

Earlier this week, I let you help me put away groceries while your brother was napping, and you were so proud of yourself.  You neatly lined up all the bottled drinks in the pantry on the correct shelf and put all the refrigerated and frozen items where directed.

You are funny and often do things for a laugh.  You laugh readily and seem to really enjoy life.

You seek out your brother AJ more often than vice versa.  It is a frequent occurrence for you to push or pull him, or to sit on or tackle him.  I am sometimes unsure if you do these thiings out of affection or aggression.  Either way, it is clear that you want to interact with him.  He finds your antics very amusing; much of his laughter is prompted by something you have done.

You can become easily frustrated but then are just as easily redirected or comforted.  You are passionate; your emotions spring forth easily and strongly.  You remind me of myself in this way.

You are strong-willed but a joy, and I look forward to many more years of being your mother.

I love you,

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