Thursday, December 06, 2007

Two years.

Originally uploaded by buffpuff

Today you turn two years old. That's 24 months, 104 weeks, 728 days that I've known you, and I still can't understand most of what you do.

This has been a year of huge, careening leaps in odd directions. Your mother got fired and consequently off the deep end went, and you went along for the ride as pleasant as could be. The months when I was unemployed are marked forever in my mind as some of the loveliest, most cherished months of my life because I spent them with you. Waking up in the morning with no agenda, no plan but to eat breakfast with you and play with you and snuggle up with you for a nap later was refreshing, and only confirmed my life-long wishes that I could stay home with my child instead of sending him to daycare.

Things being as they are, we sent you to daycare in March when I found another job. The first few weeks nearly crushed my bones with their intensity- besides what it felt like to leave my child with a bunch of people who weren't ME, it was AWFUL to walk away from you when you were reaching out to me, sobbing and begging for me to take you back. There is no way to be in that situation and feel justified, no way to feel like you are doing the right thing. I cried a lot then, and you did too.

Since then you've taken to daycare like a duck to water. The activities and the structure and the friendships all suit you. Let's face it- by Friday you're sick of it and ready for Ma's house, but aren't we all?

Shortly after starting daycare you suddenly were very very interested in potty training. We sort of shrugged and said, why not? Because Reed, as you've grown, your poops have grown, and I am starting to feel like I'm in charge of cleaning out the elephants' quarters at the zoo. And just as quickly as you jumped right in to the potty training, you sort of drifted back out into pull-up land. I've been telling your father that he'll have to start having the "pee races" that he used to have with Kane and Jude.

This year, after being introduced to the smorgasboard of germs that daycare has to offer, you got really terribly sick a few times in a row. One of those times, thanks to the wonders of inconsistent and impersonal medical care, I nearly overdosed you on Tylenol. That couple of weeks I'm nearly positive that we had the flu, and we were bumbling around together every day snotting and coughing and fevering and wasting away all over the place. Your fever was constant and steady, and when we took you to the emergency room the people there sort of chuckled and said no wonder you had a fever, your mother wasn't giving you enough medicine. And then I nearly killed you with all the Tylenol. And then I nearly killed every doctor and nurse I had ever laid eyes on, because the idea that I could have been without you, that I almost had to look at the world through the eyes of a person who was no longer your mother, it nearly put me completely over the edge. Luckily I only made it to the sofa, or else those doctors and nurses would have been FOR IT.

These past couple of months you've been in a STAGE, or a PHASE, or some other word that implies that this is only a period of time, that it will end, that the rest of our lives won't be this way. Because Reedy, you buck and writhe and scream and more than a few times a week I say "Dear God, strike me deaf!" because it gets very hard to feel like a failure as a mother for that large a percentage of the day.

But then, something will break away and something else will shift and suddenly you'll be sitting in my lap, telling me what a dog says or singing Jingle Bells or asking me if we can watch the bunnies. And it's in those moments that every Hallmark commercial, silly sitcom, and uplifting chick flick come true, because when you look at me that way I know that I am alive, that I have a purpose, and that I'm doing something good.

This year you learned to converse, and to use the word "yes" quite a bit. It's really lovely to say "Do you want some beans?" and have you reply, simply, "Yes." "Do you want to go outside?" "Yes." "I love you, punkin." "Love you."

I love you,



Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Happy, happy birthday, Reedy. You da man.

Lindsey said...

Happy birthday, Reedykinds, on reaching the terrible twos. And definitely -- maybe even more -- congrats to you, Mama, for surviving what can sometimes be considered a two foot tall weapon of mass destruction (don't tell Dubya!). I love you both.

steph said...

happy birthday indeed and here's to all the excitement to come!