You are two years old today. I thought of my labour last night, as I wrapped your presents - long and difficult but with the best result I could ever have hoped for.
I have been terrible at keeping note of your milestones - getting our house built and going back to work full-time (not to mention looking after you) have not been conducive to record-keeping. Luckily, your Bumpa loves to take videos, there are soooooo many photos of you from my phone, your nursery home communication diary is full of information and your mummy has a reasonably good memory.
But today, I wanted to put down some stuff to keep - I want to look back and remember . . .
You are hard work sometimes - you have really embraced the idea of the "terrible twos" and have simultaneously developed a terrible case of "only mummy will do". There are days I want to run out of the house, jump in the car and head for the nearest coffee shop to hide for a while. As soon as I got there, of course, I would want to get back to you as quickly as I could!
A year ago, you couldn't walk. Now you run, jump, dance, climb and spin. And, wow - you on your ride-ons! Daddy and I joke about handbrake turns and wonder if you'll scare us silly with your driving.
You love technology - you want to know how things work and you want to get your hands on every item of hardware daddy and I have. Paddy the iPad is your favourite - we still get a surprise when we hear your cousin's voice in the room when he's not here and realise that you've Sk.yped him. Your almost-favourite thing to do on any device, though, is still to watch videos of cows! This is second only to sitting on Bumpa's knee, watching the videos he has made of YOU! It's the best little mutual admiration society there is.
You are the biggest procrastinator in the house. You have turned putting things off into an art form. You will deny dirty nappies, swear blind that toothbrushing has happened when it hasn't, find important things to do when tea is ready and will say "hold on" numerous times, as you nip out of bed during your bedtime story to go and find another that you think we might be persuaded to read.
Speaking of which, books are are a big love of yours. Early in 2012, when you were quite poorly, you once lay on the couch with me from 9am to 2.30pm listening to stories - you just wanted to be read to. I was almost hoarse by the time you let me put the TV on for some respite! Luckily, mummy and daddy love books too and can usually be persuaded to read another (and another and another . . . ). We are so happy that you enjoy stories.
Your speech has come on amazingly in the last 6 months. You talk mostly in sentences now and we understand a lot - though not all - of what you tell us. Your first understandable word was "kangaroo" - this was before you really called daddy anything and WAY before you called mummy anything - which, by the way, was only about 4 months ago!
You are very funny about our names. If you call us, you start off with "mummy" or "daddy", if you don't get a response you'll progress to "MUM" or "DAD" and if that fails, you shout our actual names. You also love to recite the names of your relatives, in their family groups and not forgetting any pets.
Your family is important to you - especially your big cousins, who you adore and who adore you in return. We are so lucky that they are coming to live round the corner - we'll have some fun! "Ganny" and "Bumpa" are very adequate replacements for mummy and daddy and you spent your first overnight with them at the end of December - Granny said it was the best night's sleep she's had in ages!
Sleep - ah, yes. There's still a mattress on your floor and only very recently have mummy and daddy slept in their own bed at the same time as each other. You still take a loooong time to go to sleep sometimes, with frequent chuckings out of the dee-dee (your dummy) and attempts to engage us in conversation. And you still go through phases of waking during the night or getting up at half-past stupid o'clock. But you are much better than you were.
You are not good at sharing and the words "no" and "mine" occasionally accompanied by snatching and hitting are frequently heard during playdates with your friend V (actually, I think the term is "frienemies"). But you are also incredibly empathetic - you notice if people have hurt themselves or are sad and you want to comfort them - I love this about you. The other day, I was feeling tired and rested my head on my hand and you looked at me and said "mummy sad" and gave me a cuddle!
Which reminds me - you give the best cuddles in.the.world and lots of them. You went through a phase in the spring of cuddling all your little friends so tight it looked like you might suffocate them - but it started a trend at nursery ;-). You made your own best friend at nursery - your very own friend who you made before you were one year old and whom you love and are very loyal to. I'm sad that when you move to your new room at nursery this week, he won't be going too just yet.
Your smile is amazing. When you smile at me, everything is good. And it's not just me - I have lost count of the times people have stopped me while we're out and told me what a wonderful smile you have. One little old lady, whom you smiled at in the chemists, followed us to the traffic lights to get another and told me you had made her day!
I love you more than I thought it was possible to love anyone or anything. When I tell you I love you more than life itself, I am not exaggerating. I still can't believe we finally made it - made YOU. You are worth every single moment of the time we waited for you. I am so proud of you.