baby big boy,
Yesterday, I took you for your two-year physical, and I had a bit of a surprise: I can officially no longer call you my Chub-Chub. I had a feeling this day was coming, just by looking at you, but you are now officially at about the 50th percentile for height and the 35th percentile for weight. You’re stretching out to be long and lean. I tried to tell your brother that, and he got all huffy and insisted that you’re still cute and chubby. You’re still cute, anyway. I guess, technically speaking, you’re kind of a little dude, but you are definitely getting bigger. You don’t feel so small when you hog up a large percentage of the bed and kick me in the kidneys. You’re getting to be a great sleeper, so I bet it won’t be long before your brother’s dream of sharing a bunk bed can come true. I told you that you were becoming a big boy, and you said, “I’m not big. Miles big. I’m LITTLE.”
The doctor called you “Mr. Vocabulary,” which is a fitting nickname. You continue to surprise people, family included, with your articulate nature. You have a good memory, too. You can finish sentences in stories that you can’t have heard more than a couple of times. The other day, we were looking at a puzzle-map of the U.S., and you correctly identified Mount Rushmore, the Alamo (where you think Beanie lives), and Iowa. I asked you to find Nebraska, where Uncle Tyler and Aunt Oxana live. You guessed Nevada, which may have been pure luck, but may also have been because you found the NE in the beginning of the word. People reading this who don’t know you probably think I’m flattering myself and you…but they don’t know you, do they?
We had a fun, low-key family birthday party last night, complete with your windmill cake, presents, balloons, and candles. You got to spend time with Mubby, Skitter, Aunt Suzy, and Uncle Joe and have some birthday fun with them, too. You loved your birthday presents, many of which were John Deere themed, along with a really cool Strider bike from Nana and Papa. You liked your cake, especially the marzipan, but your favorite part was ice cream “with black stripes” (aka chocolate syrup).
Photo by Beth Clarke
Your favorite pastimes right now are playing tee-ball in the back yard, digging up carrots from the garden, throwing and catching balls, and making Jenga block towers (then knocking them over and yelling, “I’m so mad!” in mock-rage). You like to watch Curious George videos and read Curious George stories. You love to bring assorted household objects with you in the car. It would be hard to explain to anyone who asked why there’s a doll, a plastic zebra, a toothbrush, a water bottle, and a Magna-doodle under your seat in the car, but you always want to bring whatever you happen to be holding, and you always forget about it three minutes into the trip.
You are tough and resilient. You have so many bonks and bruises, mostly from flinging yourself all over the place, but you usually either don’t cry at all or only cry for a minute. All it takes is a hug and a kiss to send you on your way, most of the time. You desperately want to go to school like your brother, and something tells me that when that day arrives in a year or so, the only tears shed will be mine.
We took a mini-vacation to Chicago earlier this month, and you had so much fun. You loved playing in fountains, jumping on hotel beds, eating pizza, and visiting museums. You even offered to share your pretzels with Sue the T-Rex at the Field Museum, holding one up and saying, “Here, Sue.” We took the El (though our route was entirely underground) a few times, and when the train was approaching but still out of sight, you listened hard and said, “It sounds like a storm.” You keep asking to go back, so I bet we’ll be making that three-hour drive a few more times while you guys are young. It’s such a great city, and close enough that we’d be foolish not to take advantage of it.
I was looking through old pictures to make a mosaic of your first two years, and it was so easy to find ones of you smiling. Since the day you were born, you’ve been so good-natured and delightful. I won’t lie and say you don’t get upset and frustrated sometimes—you don’t have a clear concept yet of taking turns, and you frequently misuse the phrase, “I had it first.” Still, those episodes are brief and pretty infrequent. Even when you’re tired and I’ve been hauling you around doing non-toddler-specific tasks, you just chat and smile right through it. You often tell me you like my dress (even when I’m not wearing a dress). The other day, I had just towel-dried my hair so it was sticking up all crazy, and you said, “Your hair looking nice, Mommy.”
You do this funny face when you’re asking for something you know you might not get, like a popsicle or YET ANOTHER pinch of marzipan. You look up with this big, closed-mouth smile and your eyes half shut and say, “I have a pop-see-cull?” Even your pronunciation gets affected. You make me laugh so much that you usually end up with the treat. Luckily, you like fruits and vegetables a lot too. I had to share a good portion of my salad with you yesterday.
You terrify me when you want to jump off the arms of the couch. You make your daddy smile when you jump and squeal and yell “Daddy!” when he comes home from work. You annoy your brother, but you get a lot of unsolicited hugs from him, too. He’s so proud to show you off to his school friends.
I’m pretty proud of you too, little heart. The sound of your little feet padding down the hall is the sweetest thing I hear most days. Without you, our family would run desperately short on smiles and laughter. I’m so glad you joined us.
Trying to explain why I couldn’t hold you and push a grocery cart at the same time, I said, “You’re enormous.” You replied, “I’m not enormous. I’m Tobin.”
Yes, you’re Tobin, one hundred percent. You ooze Tobinity with your words, your smile, your laugh, your creativity, your joy. You’re Tobin and you’re mine.