Matthew

On Your 2nd Birthday

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http://matthewsmomma.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/on-your-2nd-birthday/

Shoes

2013Dear Son,

Happy 2nd Birthday. You are two years old now, and that’s almost unbelievable to me sometimes.

So much has been accomplished this year for all of us, and among the many changes and milestones we’ve reached as a family, you’ve scored your fair share of victories well on your own.

I look at you now and see a full-blown running and talking toddler.

Your dad and I enjoyed watching you get your walking act together in Stockholm when we were there in January. You were running all around the airbnb apartment that we rented – following your father in the kitchen, and me as I unpacked and packed in the bedroom. You were especially cute all bundled up in winter wear. Our little cub.

A few months later, we finally moved into our own home. And mummy will forever remember fondly those few months when it was just you and me in our new home. Just you and me. I was pregnant with Emma and you were just the sweetest thing to take care of. There were times you had to wait while I cleaned, and you did that most patiently, and then climbed into my lap the moment I sat down. There were many days when you played in the kitchen as I cooked our meals… and you ate everything I cooked, regardless of how bland it tasted.

I loved those months. I loved the days when it was truly just you and me. Putting you down for a nap and looking into your eyes as you looked into mine. Holding you as you snuggle up to me. You don’t nap anymore these days so that leaves only the nights to still cuddle you…

And then the sandpit downstairs was finally completed. Happy days. The first time we went downstairs, you refused to step into the sand without shoes. I thought that was a little too … delicate, for a boy. And so I made you walk barefooted everyday to the sandpit so you had no choice but to play without shoes. Soon enough, you were running into the sandpit and playing with the other children there. These were the times I missed the most when I was in the hospital after delivering Emma.

Returning to the sandpit with you after I got home from the hospital was one of those poignant moments when you realise that it is sometimes the simplest and most mundane affairs of life that actually mean the most in astonishingly epic ways.

And then your sister was born and till now, you have just been the most adorable and sweetest little big brother. I love the way you pucker up your lips from a distance and then go to kiss her. I love how you say “Good night M-ma!” at nights before we sleep. I love how you remember to include her when you say your “Love Daddy! Love Mummy! Love M-ma!” You welcomed her into the family just like that. I love all these especially because I know you prefer to have me all to yourself, especially when you run to her rocker and tell me, “Put down!”

You are quite the little talker now. Your dad and I enjoy our little dialogues with you, even though you’re also quite the little dictator: “Mummy, sit down floor”, “Mummy, read book”, “Daddy come out play”, “Go sandpit! … dowan twuck! … green shovel!”, “Maya, Inca, NO!”, “Maya, come down”…

Or when you express your preference: “Dowan (state colour) car”, “Go away”, “Put on table”, “Throw away (state toy)”, “Dowan milk” …

Not forgetting your Ps and Qs: “Tank-koo (thank you)”, “Kwayon pease! (crayons please)”, “harro uncle/auntie/cheh cheh/korkor”…

And especially your cheekiness: “Where’s Maya?” I asked before and he replied, “Outside!” while giving me that cheeky grin. Or when he eats one grape and then hands me the whole bowl, saying: “Finish!”

There have been times when it actually feels like we’re having a conversation – I am amazed at how well you speak and how you manage to express your preference – and those times make me look forward to when we can have a proper, decent conversation.

But it will be a while more. Right now, you are well into your Terrible Twos – “no” being your favourite word, finding new ways to irritate me being your newfound pastime, doing all you can to be difficult being your utmost pursuit. Well, it seems that way. Somedays, I look at you and I think, “It must be true that all parents love their children despite them being little monsters.” Because when I look at you objectively, somedays there is almost nothing lovable about you at all!

And yet I still do.

Because I still see the baby you are in my heart. The one who entered our lives by force and fury, the one who convinced me of the Chinese saying “人之出,性本善”. I am convinced by my experience with you, that every single soul is by nature, beautiful, innocent, unspoilt and good. There is nothing bad about you at all.

Through you, I see that life is beautiful. So much so that your dad and I could think of having another baby, whereas we were baby-phobic before you came along.

You teach me to see the better side of things and give me hope of how beautiful life can be… you let me see how far and wide my heart can stretch through the times when I’m totally exasperated with you and want to smack your face and one second later, want to hug you forever because you come falling into my arms. You teach me to feel passionately for things – to want what you want – and fight and scream and cry if you need to … and then to let go with no grudges held if you still end up not getting what you want.

I know life is difficult for you at this stage when you’re discovering new things about the world everyday and being denied many things you crave but are not allowed to have. It’s tough when the people you love the most don’t seem to understand and probably from your perspective, sometimes, don’t seem to care…

It’s not easy for us either, sweetheart, but we will be patient with you as we hope you will be patient with us too. Keep trying to get your way. Keep searching for new adventures and tricks. Mummy and Daddy want you to have a firm grasp of your zest for life and never let that go.

And most of all, be happy. Be good, be happy, and be the person you are meant to be. Have a blast of your Terrific Twos.

We love you with everything we have,

mmj

 

[The Birthday Plan: Take you on the HIPPO topless bus since you love buses and “The Big Wheel” which we pass by on the way to drop Daddy at work. You threw a tantrum halfway through the ride, one which lasted for an hour. We had to get off the bus halfway and take a cab back to Suntec to retrieve our car. You only cheered up after having a bite of the cake. Things to remember. 🙂 ]
In AnticipationThe Bus Ride

Cake CeremonyHappy After Cake

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