Oh, my boys. As I write this, you are both fighting sleep, exhausted, and filled so completely with the desire to play and learn and absorb that you CAN. NOT. STOP. My babies, my two little squish-boys, are growing up before me, and I am astounded at how quickly it has happened.
I feel the need to record something. To try to capture this brief moment in time and tuck it way so my brain won't loose it. I want you to know that I think of you constantly, and that I see you. I know you, Squishies. And I love you so much I can hardly breathe sometimes. You boys make me happy every day. You make me smile and laugh in a way I never knew I could. You make life make sense. You also make me crazy sometimes, but that's the sign of true love.
Thank you for completing our family, boys. Thank you for being such loving, amazing, hilarious little people. Thank you for allowing us to love you and play with you and laugh with you.
* * *
Dear Big One,
We measured you the other day, and in just over a month, you had grown a full inch. You are sprouting right in front of us, and some days when you wake up, I think I can actually tell that you're bigger. You're changing. You are 110% 3 year old. It's your way, or the screaming, yelling highway. You're pulling away, but still holding on so tight.
You've had a hard time with my return to work, and I'm so sorry for that. It was sudden and it was confusing and suddenly the mommy you had had by your side 24 hours a day, 7 days a week... was gone. A lot. And you were frightened and sad and angry. So was I. You have been fighting me and arguing with me and yelling at me. You've been like a different kid. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry you lost your mama for a little while. I'm sorry you lost your family time. I'm sorry it didn't make sense to you and I'm sorry we had to put you through all of it. That first job, "that store," wasn't worth it. It was not worth the stress I put you through. But tutoring is different and it's astounding how you seem to understand that it's important to me and important for our family. You still miss me when I'm gone, but it doesn't seem to break your heart in the same way. So now, I'm okay with it. Happy even. And you seem to be coming around, too. You hug me and kiss me again, instead of clinging to me with fear in your little eyes. I'm so happy to see you happy.
You've started to work on your relationship with your little brother, and it is amazing to see. You still have an incomprehensible desire to sit on his head, but you also want to play with him now (instead of on him... yeesh). You've been voluntarily giving up toys when you see that your brother wants them. You've been excited to show him things and you protect him fiercely. And sweet boy, I am so proud of you.
You have also started drawing like crazy- your daddy's talent is leaking out of your every pore. You create recognizable people with features now, and I cannot get enough of them. And you still have a very serious interest in music. You want to listen to songs over and over- get the words right- so that you can sing them and play along on your instruments. You assign each family member a job, "Daddy, you play drums. Mommy, you're piano. Wren, here's a tambourine," and then you lead our little family band. You want to listen to music all the time, and you have clear opinions on what is and is not good music. And frankly, you have awesome taste.
You are all kinds of things, my big boy. You are headstrong, timid, silly, frightfully observant, beautiful, and kind and loving beyond your capacity. I have been told that you have an old soul, and I think that's the perfect explanation for the way you approach the world. It's as if you already know what's coming sometimes. You are a perceptive little man. People tell me that you look just like me, and it pleases me to the core. But I hope you won't be exactly like me. I hope you will be braver than me, more independent than me. I hope you will learn from my mistakes and be happier for it. Most of all, I hope that you will always be proud of the person you are and will always feel how incredibly loved you are. You are my original Squishy. I love you, Monkey Moo.
All my love,
* * *
Dear Little One,
Holy spitfire, Batman. You are all black and white, my friend. No grey area. You are either jolly, or incensed. Laughing, or screaming. Dancing, or throwing yourself on the floor. You are a balls to the wall, full-throttle, no-holds-bar kind of kid. And it is both thrilling and terrifying to behold.
Your entry into toddlerhood is everything I expected. You do everything big. (Except pooping... you are a silent, ninja pooper. It's astounding.) You are a climber, a thrower, a chortler, a kid who is into EVERYTHING. I literally cannot blink in your presence lest you climb on top of a table or rip something off of one.
But then, you are a lover. You adore your lovies with every fiber of your little being. You hug regularly of your own accord and grip your Daddy and I with such passion that it is hard to let you go. Despite the fact that he sometimes takes your toys and often sits on your head, you love your big brother so completely, it oozes out of you. You light up when you hear him wake up and call for me in the morning and you run, RUN, to him as fast as your chubby little legs will take you. You greet your Daddy and me with such joy, such unbridled happiness, when we return from an absence and it is literally impossible not return the glee that ebbs from your little soul.
You recently started to dance and, MAN do you take that business seriously. You bob your head and shimmy your little shoulders as though it is necessary- vital!- to get your groove on. Now. Shhh... I am jamming. You feel music down to your little bones and you smile whenever we turn on a song you know, just before the serious face and the bobbing begins.
You are a man of opinions, and usually those opinions are some version of, "NO!!!!" Whether we're trying to help you eat, or change your diaper, or show you how to use a new toy, if it was not your idea, you are NOT. HAVING. IT. Fits ensue, screaming starts, and you now bang your head on the nearest hard surface. Because that will show us. (By the way? It doesn't show us. It just hurts your noggin.) Luckily, you are also pretty easily distracted and usually can be brought around from enraged to delighted in seconds flat. Seriously, no grey area.
Little Squish, you are a sweet, goofy, wildly stubborn, daring, fearless and awesome little dude. You look exactly like your Daddy and you are cute as the dickens. You have the most hilariously low voice for a baby. You are walking trouble, but you are absolutely irresistible. You were the perfect addition to our family- the perfect combination to shake us up in all the right ways- and we cannot imagine life without you. You, my Squish-face, are a love. Thank you for the laughter you bring us and the love that emanates from your core. I hope you will always love with such wild abandon and that it doesn't get you in too much trouble. I hope you feel the love that is returned to you and I hope you will always know how incredible you are. I love you, Monkey Two.
All my love,