Why is there a deflated balloon in the refrigerator?
Why is there a metal spoon in the couch cushions?
Why is the veggie steamer on my nightstand?
Henry. The answer is always Henry.
Oh, Henry. It feels not long ago that you turned two and now you are two and a quarter. You are a force of life. You are always on the go. “Mas running” is still one of your favorite games. Lately, you want to climb everything in sight. I do the best I can to spot you while wearing a baby. Thankfully no damage too serious yet, but we do call you Head-Injury-Henry for a reason.
You still love balls. Kicking is your jam and you always get comments on your skillz, but you have picked up your throwing and catching game as well. You love trains and motos and planes. Especially planes. You pore over your Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, each page exclaiming “Airplane! Airplane! Look at that airplane!” We read a lot too, which I love because reading is awesome and it is one of the only times you let me cuddle.
I can’t believe how much you talk. You can tell me what colors the airplanes are and that they are landing in the water or zooming in the sky. We really do have somewhat legitimate conversations. Very recently you started putting your “please” sentences together and can say things like “can I have my sticker book please?” Color me impressed.
You are very social. You have a circle of friends here that you seem delighted to see. Sometimes it takes you a little bit to warm up, but I’m always amazed how eager you are to seek out new playmates. You fearlessly stalked some kids at the market in Munich, and after I translated for you, you and your new buds ran around terrorizing the patrons at the gluhbier stand. (More on gluhbier later; shocking to no one, hot beer is NOT as delicious as hot wine.) You’ve been approaching Italian kids at the playgrounds too. We are working on getting you into daycare for a morning or two each week. This is less about giving me a break and more about giving you some more peeps to run around with. (Particularly until you turn three and we have to decide if we want to go the pricey private preschool route.)
I’d say you are generally mild-mannered, for a toddler, but you do have your share of meltdowns. I’m always blown away by how food-motivated you are. I can flash one M&M and you will happily climb obediently into your stroller. I don’t love bribing you and try to avoid it, but sometimes one M&M or cracker is a pretty reasonable price to pay for compliance.
I think you’ve been growing. I haven’t measured you lately, but you can reach more elevator buttons than when we got here. You certainly feel a bit heavier. And you have so much hair! I love that you have enough hair that it can get messed up. We’ll do a haircut someday. But not yet.
Things are never boring with you around. I have honed negotiation skills that I never dreamed I would need. (Seriously, I think “getting toddlers to do things” should be a legitimate resume bullet.) For example, in between when I started writing this and now, you had an EPIC meltdown that was solved when I eventually got you to eat and sang a spur-of-the-moment-creation “I’m a pizza monster.” (To be released next year. See you at the Grammies, suckas! That’s the awards one for music again, right?) You kept cracking up and your giggles were so sweet that it almost made up for the previous half hour of screaming and hating everything. (Haha, not even close. But it was a welcome, joyful sound.)
Life with you can be tiring, but it is very fun. It is certainly never dull.