Two

27 09 2014

We have three kids, at least on the tide-swell days of this family, summer weekdays, school-year weekends, and a shifting schedule of holidays and extra weekends, but thus far, only two months in, we haven’t really had that math sink in. Most of the time, they exist in one pair or another: I have the girls while Matt’s at work and Caleb is up north, or Caleb is coaxing out baby smiles while Evanny naps, or Matt’s playing with the big two while I nurse a baby; we’ve got two birthday parties this fall (Tabitha’s, at the end of summer, will become the new start of holiday season next year), two sharers of an Alto Cinco quesadilla, two diaper sizes to keep straight (“uh,” Evanny says, practicing her teenage intonation, when I reach by habit for the closer, smaller stack, “that’s Tabby’s”), two sizes of onesies to mix up in the wash, two pairs of kid-shoes to sort out before we can walk out the door, and, today, our second second birthday (Caleb’s was the last real event of his first life, but I was there, wrangling him while his mom saw to the food and presents and Matt entertained the adult friends).

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Two: Caleb and Tabitha, our bookends

Evanny, my first tiny baby, turned two yesterday. “I not a baby,” she insists, when I take her little footie-pajamaed self back to bed, snuggling her into my chest and calling her that. “I big girl.” And it’s true–except for the diaper part, which is a shift we’re not going to see any time soon after all, because she’s too enamoured of her sister and all things baby right now to make the switch. My big girl makes jokes and silly sentences, imagines things that aren’t true, asks “why” all the time, asserts herself against her brother, reminds me when I’m forgetting her bag on the way to nursery school, checks to see if I’m hurt or sick when I’m grumpy in the morning after a too-long baby night and just want to hide under the covers; she runs and jumps and “flies” with her arms held out behind her, sings songs with words and a recognizeable tune, covets the big kids’ bicycles, climbs everything on the playground, brings the binky and puts it helpfully into her sister’s mouth, and tells me she loves me.

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Two: Caleb and Evanny, on a double-decker zoo excursion.

Yesterday, on her birthday, I took cupcakes to her school to share with her class, marvelling with one of the other moms at the big-kid nature of the act; I sang “happy birthday” as a lullaby to her a half-a-hundred times at naptime; she got a tea-set of her own from Grandma and spent half the day pouring water to share tea with her, and me, and a stuffed zebra, and Baby Doll, and her brother; she ate all the icing off a cupcake after dinner, and at least one bite of the cake; she opened a magnetic drawing board and a pair of lady bug boots–her second pair–two pairs, of two boots, for two feet!–and a book with her name in it after dinner, and drew, and looked at her cards, and was read to, all with the boots on her feet; she stalled with me at bedtime for at least an hour. In toddler-land, it was a lovely day. And today there will be a party, with her brother and her friends and more family, more cupcakes, this time with ice cream, playground time, and likely more presents–two is working out very well for her so far.

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Two: Evanny and Tabitha, exploring the very hands-on nature of toddler-baby love.

My favourite part of her birthday, though, was when her dad looked at me over the chatter of the dinner table and our foil-packets of take-out and bade ME “happy birthday.” Because it was, and is–that too. It’s my happy birthday–I’m the one who gave birth, after all. I’m the one who’s managed, with no prep and no idea how it’s done, two years of motherhood. It’s no bigger miracle than any other Mummy enacts, but it was no other Mummy, it was me, and it’s my milestone too, and I’m charmed and warmed that somebody noticed. I’m getting this–I’ve made a person and kept it alive and grown it sweet and fun and happy, and now I’ve made another, and I’ll have that extra cupcake, thank you, because happy birth-day to Mummy: two batches of cupcakes, two years, two beautiful babies. Two.

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Two: a cheating-the-timeline picture of the birthday girl from this afternoon’s party

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