Just like that, he's two. Two years and five days, in fact, as I type this.
On the day of his birthday, we had plans for an excursion to somewhere fun – a park, a museum, the beach perhaps? But, an ear infection sprang, and most of the day was spent soothing an upset toddler.
The best part of his birthday was probably playing with toy trains at our evening clinic visit, and having the doctor use a stethoscope, ear magnifier thingy, thermometer and other implements on him. No protest at having a nasal spray up his nostrils too – something that was not to be repeated once said nasal spray was wielded by mama/papa ("NOTT doctor!")
Two, contrary to terribly popular associations, has been, for now anyway (oh all my anxious qualifiers!) a really lovely age. He's talking so much more and being able to glimpse more and more of what's going on in his head and heart, has been quite mind-blowing.
At every stage of his young life, his father has expressed the wish for time to stop. I've never really had that same feeling – always impatient for a little more mobility, a little more understanding from, a little more independence for my little baby boy.
These days though, I wish I could capture every fleeting moment, every thought he verbalises, every funny face he pulls, the wonderful "doors, choochoo trains, towers, beds" and other things he builds with his beloved blocks, the sudden kindness he shows. Basically, I wish the crew from Return of Superman would set up shop in my home, loan me a GoPro for when I go out with the toddler lah.. oh and also sign privacy agreements to make sure all video footage is never made public, of course! Something like that… oh how I wish!
So, here's what I tapped on the WordPress app to record.
It was bedtime and after a bout of his usual procrastination (make turtle puzzles mama, make hedgehog one, make tractor one, make Choo Choo train one, prepare dinner, buy coconut ice-cream… etc)… he finally seemed ready for bed.
He asks that I turn the night-light on. It has a patterned bulb, that scatters the light quite softly and prettily. He climbs up onto the bed, and sits by the edge, swinging his legs. I sit next to him, amused: "Are you just admiring the light?" He smiles at me "ya", then looks back at the lamp, and then at the floor, then up to the ceiling – all serious.
"Mama, there there there…" He repeats a word a lot when thinking of how best to say something, so there I am, formulating in my head several possible sentences to complete his sentence with…
"Hole." Me: huh? I thought we were talking lights! "Hole?"
"Yaaa mama! Hole, there." (Points to the floor, continues to swing legs)
"Hole there, there, hole, and, big…. big fountain go up!" (Wow, wasn't expecting that..) He's waving his hands around, eyes fixed on the big fountain that has just sprung forth from our bedroom floor.
"Big fountain big fountain big fountain go up tall. Spyash yifs face. Wet wet!"
Me, laughing "Did it, did water splash onto your face?"
"Spyash mama face too!" (Squinty eyes demo how I ought to squeeze my eyes shut too, when the water splashes…)
And so it went, with him describing the fountain, the water flowing into the bathroom where papa was, etc. etc. Before he decided to plonk down on the bed to gaze at "green stars" on our ceiling.
He's been playing make believe for some while now, pretend taps and kitchen at different corners of the bedroom, pretend ice-cream shops, pretend picnics…. but this still felt like a first.
It felt like I was watching him take in beauty (the night light) remembering beauty (his favourite water fountains) and then bringing that memory to life, in words and with joy written all over his face – joy in his imagined fountain and joy at having found the words to share his thought with someone else.
I feel keenly how precious a gift I've been given: to be his mother, to learn what it means to be a parent alongside my dear husband…. to be able to watch this boy grow, see him rejoice in imagination, see his heart swell, see his mind mature.
It really, really makes my heart sing.