You two.

It’s been another year, okay more than a year, since my last post.  If you’re doing the math, you’ll know that means Bingo is now almostfive (the official age she gives anybody who asks) and Powerball is two.

As a second child, Powerball often gets overshadowed.  His introductions to the various vices of childhood (television, refined sugar, communicable disease) come earlier, his milestones don’t always get written down, and instead of dictating our schedules he usually gets pulled along to the places that we’re going anyway.

He is also so loved.  And despite the fact that I’m busy, tired, and didn’t remember the password for this blog, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate all that Powerball is at two.  (I’d write it in his baby book, but he doesn’t have one.)

At two, Powerball loves animals (especially cats), people, food (especially macaroni and cheese), music (especially Baby ‘Bobuba’), drawing, books, a plastic shovel (his comfort object), sweeping (yes, sweeping), and the garbage truck.  Within moments of waking up each day he asks, “Garbage day?” with such hope and anticipation.  If I could, I would make every day garbage day just to see the joy on his face as the truck rumbles by.

At two, Powerball’s love of the garbage truck is surpassed only by his love for his family. He looks at Bingo with a mixture of awe and jealousy, demanding everything she has—especially her attention.  Like any good younger sibling, he also loves pulling her hair. Sea was the first person he told, “I love you.” When I come home from work each day, he runs to the door with his arms outstretched and joy. “Need mummy!” is a frequent demand.  He asks to be rocked at least twice each night, his voice calling for me across the room.  I acquiesce no matter how tired I am, aware that his body is now long enough to drape over both sides of the chair. He won’t fit like this in my arms for much longer.

At two, Powerball hates very little: sleeping in past 5:30am, wearing pajamas with feet (“SEE TOES!”), getting strapped into his stroller, being told no.  This is really what he hates most, being denied what he wants at any given moment. Though what he desires and despises changes frequently, his reaction is always the same: he becomes stubborn and resolute, his mouth sets into a firm line. He throws things, throws himself to the ground, yells and holds on to whatever he need with a grip that already is sometimes stronger than mine.

At two, Powerball can do so much.  He walks, he runs, he sings, he talks, he draws.  We learned that he could climb the stairs just after he turned one, before he could walk, when we found him half way up a flight.  Though some of the words are lost in the magical language of toddlers, he speaks in careful sentences.  He is slowly adding the words I, me, my, mine into his lexicon: becoming aware that he is a person of his own.

At two, Powerball is convinced that he can do even more than this.  That he should be allowed to walk wherever he wants, that holding hands to cross the street is a needless formality, that putting a toy’s small parts in his mouth is a hilarious joke and not a legitimate safety risk. When we drop Bingo off at kindergarten, Powerball often tries to sneak in as well.  He is ready for everything.

At two, Powerball’s smile is everything:  a greeting, an expression of love, a promise of mischief, a way of turning every stranger into a friend.

At two, Powerball is a promise of brightness in every day. A birthday post is not the place for sorrow, but I will say that it’s been a hard year.  Worry and grief have turned days, weeks, even months into a blur.  Through it all, though, Powerball has been my reminder of everything that came before him and everything that his future will bring. His joy, his humour, his woes, his small arms wrapped around my knees, his demands of “need mommy now!” also remind me to stay present. I need him as much as he needs me. He is laughter, joy, feeling, baby softness, toddler stubbornness, and love.

At two, Powerball is our family’s perfect fourth quarter.

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