Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dear Charlie.

There is no special milestone in your life happening right now. You are exactly 21 months and 4 days old, and I figured it was high time that I write something for you and only you. I can't promise you that this will be a regular, every-six-months thing. In fact, I can promise exactly the opposite: I will probably fail to record moments of your life with any regularity, try as I might. Such is the life of the second-born, kid. Get over it. But while I have a few minutes to jot down a few things about your spectacular self, I will take advantage of it.

Oh, Charlie. You are simultaneously hilarious (to the point that I laugh at you so hard sometimes that I cannot breathe) and frustrating (to the point that it is not uncommon for me to consider both drinking and full-time day care within a ten minute span of time). You are very much a two year old already..."NO" and "MINE" are among your favorite words these days, and they are said with such force that it nearly knocks me backwards when you shout them. But oh! That brings me to one of my most favorite things about this age: short-term memory loss. You are a pro at laying in the floor, swatting at whoever dares get within two feet of you, while screaming and crying and kicking. And then BAM. Over. Done. Happy, smiling Charlie, curled up in my lap giving me a hug. This comes in handy because EVERYthing seems to set you off these days....we ran out of waffles this morning, you don't want the ceiling fan blowing on you, your tv show ended and the tv got turned off, you are beyond frustrated that the plug to the vacuum will not plug into the outlet cover I installed, Ella looked at you or breathed near you, or thought about breathing near you. I am learning to sit tight, ride out the storm, and wait for your smiley self to come bring me a book, saying "I wead, I wead dis book." You give excellent hugs, along with some fantastically sloppy french kisses, and you are learning the meaning of "gentle" as you very slowly walk up to Ella and pat her leg. The look on your face tells me that you are using every single ounce of self restraint in your tiny body not to smack her or bite her ankle, but still you are learning it. I can already tell that you will be something amazing when you grow up. I can almost see you aching to be the center of attention all the time, and the best thing in your little world is when everyone laughs at something funny you say or do, which guarantees that we all get to see or hear you do it ninety-five more times. You can make me smile like no one else can, just by walking in the room and saying, "Hi, Mom! Hi, Mom, I Charlie!" or grabbing my leg and saying "I up you". You are completely and utterly fascinated by anything mechanical, and could sit in our cars all day long pushing buttons and honking the horn. Every single thing with wheels, be it a car or truck or motorcycle, is a "Vroom" to you. And, ohmygod, you LOVE your vrooms. You love anything with wheels, including our rolling suitcases and the vacuum, and everything with wheels makes the "vroom" sound.

By far my favorite thing about this age is the sheer amazement you get while seeing everyday things. A few weeks ago, I hung up some framed art in the play room, stood back to make sure that the frames were all in a straight line, and there you were right next to me, clasping your hands in front of you and yelling, "AMAZING! I excited!" It is not uncommon to hear these words from you about any number of mundane things...you managed to get a baby bottle into a baby doll's mouth, and it's AMAZING! You see a butterfly that got into our screened in porch and is flying right in front of the window, right in front of your eyes, and it is AMAZING! You get buckled into your car seat and I say that we are going to the gas station or to the library, and I hear "I EXCITED!".

While I may not have the time these days to sit for hours composing love letters to you or to Ella, know that I feel them, those letters, every day that you are here with me. I am "that bad mom", whose kids' baby books sit waiting for me to catch up on them "when I have an hour or two (ha!)", but know that we love you, baby book or not. We love all of you, every bit of you, screaming, vrooming, sloppy kisses and all.