My Sweet Boy,
Today you complete your first trip around the sun. Your bright and gentle spirit has brought more joy to our family than we know what to do with. Most days we deal with it by squeezing your face and kissing it ’til you tell us to stop. And sometimes until way after you tell us to stop.
We’ve taught you some pretty cool things like how to high-five and bop your head to hip hop music, but you’ve taught us to smile more and have more fun, find beauty and wonder in all the little things, and have loads of patience.
It’s a pretty big treat when we get to see your quirky sense of humor. Like when we call your name and you smirk, but don’t turn to look at us. You mostly smile and chat, sometimes ponder and reflect. On the rare occasion you’re cranky and start whining that annoying whine (when you make your tongue vibrate against your top two teeth), it’s nothing a walk outside or a swing on the swings can’t fix. You wave hello and goodbye to the other babies in the park and you love to make friends. You’re not walking yet and you’re ok with that. But you can if you hold on to things along the way.
Cars are your favorite. You like to ride in them and you say “brooom brooom” when you spin the wheels on your toy car. You love One Fish Two Red Fish Blue Fish and Dinosaur Roar. You practically shriek when you see them. We read them so much I’ve learned them by heart and they’re magic too, you know. I recite them when you try to crawl away from diaper changes and the words stop you in your tracks and you comply. You love Dear Zoo too. You carefully turn each page, open the flap, then look at me to tell you the animal and the sound it makes. When we get to the monkey you say, “Ah ah ah.”
When you play by yourself, you try to stack a couple blocks or throw around your soccer ball, but mostly I find all your toys thrown out of the pen and you flipping through your books. You’ve made an exception for your new maracas though. You shake those a lot and yell/sing. Your favorite game is Where’s Linky? You squat below the top of your play pen and even though you know we can see you, we pretend to look for you under couch cushions and furniture while saying, “Where’s Linky? I don’t see him.” You wait and wait, giggling. Then you pop up, eyes and mouth wide with anticipation and we say, “There’s Linky!” Laughter of sheer delight follows. It’s our favorite game too.
Other than board book corners your favorite foods are beet hash, oatmeal, and sarmale (much to your daddy’s chagrin). Up until a couple weeks ago you wanted nothing to do with yogurt, but the face you made when we gave it to you was so hilarious, that we just kept giving it to you. And now it probably ranks up there with the top three. You eat most everything else with a good appetite too. Except hummus. We need to work on that. Maybe we’ll try the yogurt method. Despite the amount of food you eat, you’re in the lower percentiles for weight so we make fun of how small you are and affectionately call you Little. When you want more you clap your hands and show off your 5.5 teeth, which I interpret to be your version of the ASL sign I’ve been teaching you since 8 months. You decided to finally start signing back last week. I almost gave up on you.
When it’s time for bed, we put on your Spiderman pjs and you brush your teeth with daddy. He makes your banana toothbrush say “bzzz bzzz” just like his grown up electric toothbrush. And you get a kick out of it. Then we read one of your favorite books and say the Lord’s Prayer in Romanian like mommy did when she was little. Then mommy sings you a lullaby. Your recent picks (based on how quickly you surrender to sleep) include Grassy Grass Grass and Do a Deer. Then you put your arm around Mr. Crocs, start sucking your two fingers, stick your butt up in the air, and drift off to dream and hopefully sleep from 6:30 to 6:30. That’s our time to relax, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t miss you a little bit.
Pickle, you’re pretty cool and we love you. We pray you’ll grow up to be kind, honest, brave, and true. Happy Happy Birthday!
A love bigger than you could ever imagine,