Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Birthday Eli - TWO

Dear Eli,

It's hard to believe you're two years old already.   It feels just like yesterday you came into our lives.... :-(

We are so proud of the big boy you have grown into.   You are such a spectacularly wonderful human being.   ...Too much pressure?   :-)

2014 was a rough year for you in comparison to the super fun 1st year that you had.  On 1st Jan Mummy found out she was pregnant and soon became quite sick and very very tired.   I had grand plans for your 1st birthday party, but spend the week beforehand utterly miserable.   Fortunately it all came together with a little help from our friends!    But things got worse as time went on.   I even vomited on the street one day after picking you up from daycare, you were so terrified about what was happening, and a stranger had to carry you to the car for me.   We stopped swimming as much or doing as many fun things.  From May onwards you refused to sleep in your cot in your own room, and insisted on sleeping in Mummy's bed, in Mummy's arms - nothing else would do.  I spent my pregnancy with one baby inside and one sleeping on top of me!   Your 18mnth old teething was very painful for you.    We all got bronchitis.   Both mummy and daddy got very busy and stressed at work.  It was a long, long winter.  And then your sister came along and suddenly you got a lot less attention.  But you are a resilient little man!   Most of the time you didn't even notice that Mummy was sitting in her chair sick.  You just wanted lots of love, and you have always had lots of that.

As soon as you learnt to walk I started letting you walk anywhere you wanted.  Around the department store, around the park.   You're such an independent little man.    You loved the short walk from the carpark to daycare, so many "bike!" and "bus!" to see on the way.  

At 13 months I took you to NZ to visit your cousins.  You adored cousin Basty and had the most fun time.   I really enjoyed travelling with you.    Around 15 months of age you became obsessed with books.  You would carefully go through your bookcase selecting the next book, and bring it in to us excited.    I kept telling Daddy you'd get through that phase soon - but in the meantime  we read literally dozens of books each day, and most of them several times each!    I would whisper "It's Daddy's turn!" and send you trotting off into the study to get him to read to you.    But around 18mnths Daddy introduced you to a new love - toy cars!   You still love books but you're down to a much more reasonable 1-3 per different books per day now.

You are really, really smart.    Around 18mnths I realised we hadn't really done numbers with you, so I started counting, and we continued singing the alphabet together.   Pretty soon you could count to 10, skipping the odd number.  For awhile "seven" was the number you always skipped and never said!  When Ziva was 3 days old we drove to pick Nan up from the airport.  As I drove up into the multi-level carpark I heard you call out "Five!" as we drove past the level 5 pillar.  That was the moment I realised you didn't just know things by rote, you actually recognised them individually.   By the time Aunty Ju came to visit in November you knew all of your numbers and letters perfectly.  And within a few days of her arrival you had suddenly mastered your colours too!   You also became extremely articulate all of a sudden, with your vocabulary expanding to the point I really believe there is nothing you can't say.   You certainly like to repeat everything we say!   Recently you've been causing a bit of a sensation when we are out in public.  You and I still have our cafe dates (just with a baby in the pram!) and little old ladies stop to admire you and ask how old you are.  Being short makes you seem even more brilliant than you are!   I admit I encourage it a little, I asked you to count Ziva's toes on the bus and you confidently counted each one to ten.  "He's counting to TEN!" the little old ladies practically shrieked.    I love having conversations with you.   Recently you've been a huge fan of "I Spy".   Late last year we used to play it with me picking the letter and telling you the item, and you would point to it.   Now you often know the item just from the letter - "T" for "Truck" or "Tree" is a favourite.  "More I spy with little eye?" you will ask me.  

The adoration you have for your little sister is beautiful.   You are genuinely helpful to me - fetching nappies, putting dirty nappies in the bin, playing games with her to distract her, giving her toys and dummies.  Even checking to see if she's awake for me!   She dotes on you, nobody can make her laugh the way you can.  In the mornings whether you wake up in our bed or climb in, you always lean over and say "Oh! Baby! Hello Baby!" in a delighted tone of voice.  I hope you continue to be close as you grow up together.   

Daddy is so immensely proud of you.   When I was pregnant you often went out together on the weekends - going to bike shops or to Wildlife World!    It was such a nice break for me and you always had fun with your Dad.  Daddy also became the one getting up to you at night and taking care of you - he was still fetching you middle of the night bottles until I put a stop to that in March!    You spent two nights just with Daddy while I was in the hospital with new baby Ziva.    You got your special big boy bed in October and Daddy would sometimes lie in your room with you for 1-3 hours to get you to go to sleep.   Lately Ziva sleeps more so I'm spending more time at night with you again.  You still love your middle of the night cuddles!    You seemed to realise that we needed more of a break as Nov to Dec you started earlier nights and sleeping in your own bed, it was heaven.   You're back in our bed again now though - I wonder how long until you leave it for good!   Recently you said at bedtime "I NEED to sleep in Mama's bed!"  how could we ignore that plea? 

We also moved house in November.   You still call this house "New house" so I wonder if you will realise soon that we're not going back to the old one.  You love it here though.   

As you grow older and smarter and more aware I'm more terrified that we will do something to scar you.   You remember everything and have become so smart and slightly cautious.  Gone is that baby who would fling himself down the slide without a second thought.   Now you frown and say "Too big! Mama help!"  I think it's a sign of your intelligence, you are thinking through consequences.  Perhaps you worry too much, just like your mother.      

I'm starting to understand why they call it "the terrible twos".   Not because you're terrible, but because you're testing out your new skills constantly.   And that can be terribly frustrating at times!   You definitely keep us on our toes.   I love that about you!  

You are very, very funny.   You make little jokes all the time, and love to play pranks.   My friends love hearing stories about things you say and do.   Even when you're at your worst you are truly delightful.   I often say that's the compensation we get for your lack of napping and staying up so late - at least you're fun while you do it!    So daddy and I will be collapsed on the sofa exhausted while you party all around us.   Very, very common occurrence sadly!

And now a cute story:  the day of your 2nd birthday party, Jan 31st, I put Ziva on the bed for a moment while I popped into the bathroom.  I heard you climb up next to her (as usual!) and thought how nice, you would distract her.  Then I hear you cooing "Helllooo!  Helllooo!" again, quite usual.   Then it turned into "Hello munch-kin!  Hello munch-kin!"   awwwwww!  You are such a cutie pie.   

I really couldn't be more delighted with you.   Everyday you have something new and wonderful to share with us.   I love you son.

Love always


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