I realized it has been awhile since I captured your all-too-rapid progress. Apologies for the joint letter, but better than no letter, right?
Mac – I am OBSESSED with you right now. Everything you do is funny and adorable. Like I give you mixed signals because, even when you are biting me, it is cute for the first five seconds before I freak out and yell. (Biting really isn’t cute. Please stop this nonsense.)
The other day your Dad and I were talking about how different you look from when you were a baby. On closer inspection, your face actually does look the same. I think it is just the context of your face. When you were a baby, you just gave the impression of unbelievably delicious chunk. Roly poly all the time. Now, with your Doc Brown flyway curls and our thinned out physique, you look positively elfin. It matches who you are. A mischievous little imp.
And you are doing all the talking! Like all in the last two months. You went from a couple of words to, naw, I’ve got this. You quickly graduated to sentences like “Where Daddy go?” (still at work, kid, still at work) and “I want _____.” Your pacifier is your “pito.” You LOVE to ask “Why?” I’m not even sure you know what it means, but you know it tickles me and that it gets me to keep talking.
Where did Daddy go?
He’s at work.
Because it is his job. He agreed to work a certain number of hours in exchange for compensation.
Because we need money to buy food and stuff.
Because that is the way the free market economy works.
Because . . . I don’t know why I’m doing this. You aren’t even two. Where is your yellow car?
Lately, you’ve been asking “what is that thing?” And I’m, uh, you mean your brother? (He definitely does.) You’ve even worked up to “jokes” asking “where spoon go” as you dip it into yogurt or “where did boat go” as you dunk it under the bathwater. You are SO pleased with yourself. I can barely remember when you didn’t talk.
I’ll admit that we had a bit of a rough patch at end of December and early January. It didn’t help that you were sick and jet lagged, but you were oh-so-clingy. Knock on wood, we seem to be past that now. You do have moments where you devolve into a whining scream that is like fingernails on the chalkboard of my soul, but things are mostly better.
We’ve talked about sending you to school like your brother. I don’t know why I’m dragging my feet on this. I mean, we’re talking about six hours a week. But, like I said, I am obsessed. I just want to nibble your plump cheeks and talk about you being “hungy” and pretend you are a baby forever. Two is coming up awfully fast . . .
My reluctance could be, in part, because this time in your life is bittersweet for me. Bittersweet because I worry that I don’t remember your brother very well at this age. Between that whole having-another-kid thing and that whole moving-to-a-foreign-country thing, we had some rough moments. I guess all I can do is try to enjoy you the best I can now.
Henry – I am very proud of you. You do have some kind of scary meltdowns that I’m working on handling, but every day you blow me away with your sometimes self control and your ideas and the way you discuss things.
I’ve had quite a few proud oh-my-goodness-my-little-boy-is-grown-up moments lately. I always knew I would be excited for you and proud of you, but I never knew just how much your successes would mean to me as well. The other day you handled our egg transaction at the market completely solo. I handed you three egg cartons and 10 euro. You returned with 30 eggs, change, and a receipt. (I could see you the whole time from where I stood at the produce vendor.) I walked around misty-eyed through the rest of the market.
We finally slayed that toilet training dragon, which provided frustration but also plenty of pride. Seeing you figure it out. Poop in a toilet. Try to pee wearing mittens. I didn’t know I’d get so emotional about all of it.
Boys – the two of you together are getting to be so much fun. My life has definitely changed from six months earlier. I can be in another part of the house for a few minutes, by myself! Sometimes you guys playing together devolves into screaming and fighting, but starting more and more, you both really enjoy each other. Like after meals Henry will hang around to wait for Mac so that you can go play together. (I’d prefer that you help on the clean up while you hang out; we’re working on this.)
Your favorite lately has been taking off ALL the couch cushions and making forts, slides, tunnels, you name it. I do like that this is creative and that you are entertained. I mean, it isn’t even my couch. I don’t like that all the cushions are all up in my exercise space. Burpees have suffered!
Suffice it to say, it is both easier and more fun being at home with you guys. I still like to get out and about, but knowing we will be at home doesn’t send me running to the hills. I think it is a combination of (1) you guys being super fun and funny to hang with and (2) knowing I don’t have to occupy for every waking second. The other day your Dad and I enjoyed coffee for like 20 minutes after breakfast while you did your thang. What??? It’s a brave new world, and I like it.