Why are you called Fresco? Jen asked me the other day and I couldn’t think of a good reason. There is no good reason.
I’m sorry your internet nickname makes no sense. I’m sorry you’ve eaten more sugar than any child your age who doesn’t have an older sibling obsessed with sugar. I’m sorry I called you a brat last week. I’m sorry all your clothes are pre-worn, except for the two new pairs of shorts that you refuse to put on, probably because they’re not pre-worn. I’m sorry there is a measuring stick and you stand against it and are measured, not against the lines marking inches but against your brother’s lines.
Your brother seemed so much older at two, because you were already around, stealing his babyhood. I still call you baby. You hit your head on the kitchen counter today, I think that means you’re growing up. You’re 34 inches, 30 lbs, totally non-metric and a whopping 24 months old today. Two! Years!
I don’t remember much from this past year. It is almost as if the year didn’t happen. Except there you are, taller and smarter and faster and talking in sentences, so you remind me the year happened. You are also part of the reason I don’t remember it. Way to control the situation! Please sleep more!
It is very hard to make you do things. It is also hard to stop you from doing the things you are most proud of doing. The phrases “stubborn as a bull” and “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,” are the ones that go through my head the most. As well as some other, less polite phrases that I save for your dad.
You wanted to go outside, we didn’t want you to, you dragged a chair across the house, stood on it to reach the screen door latch, opened the door. When we took the chair away your face crumpled. You were anguished. It is hard to see you anguished over what is a triumph, what you feel so strongly we should celebrate with you.
I want to keep you safe without quashing your determination. I want you to pursue every obsession, every fleeting interest, every girl or boy who takes your fancy, with the same steel-minded stubbornosity you use to approach the giant ladder at the playground. Over and over again. Despite me physically removing you from it and putting you down 30 feet away. I turn to check the time and you’re gone, running back to the ladder. I want you to stop doing that. And I want you to keep doing that.
You make a hell of a mess. You don’t care.
I want to be more like you.
I feel like I said it better last year. I always feel like I said it better last year. Next year I will be linking to this post and bemoaning how I said it better last year.
I love it when you laugh. And how you pat my back when you hug me. And your mischievous eyebrows. And how today you were examining each Goldfish cracker before you ate it, saying, “This fish smiling. This fish no cry.”
Happy birthday. No cry, OK?