Our baby turned 2 today and i swear he grew by leaps and bounds as we all doted over him all day. He woke up a one year old and went to bed two.
We had a perfect day. Peter was totally himself all day, only happier and more charming (if that’s even possible). He is not a very verbal little guy so it’s hard to know sometimes how much he is getting of what's going on around him, but today there was no doubt that he know what was going on. You could tell that he felt special. That he has watched all of his siblings have special days over the past four months and he felt pleased as punch that it was finally his turn. He soaked all that attention in and it came beaming out of him in smiles shouts of glee all day.
We woke the birthday boy up at 7:15 because the big kids couldn’t bare to leave to school without bidding him a happy birthday. He was a little confused at getting woken up with so many happy excited faces handing him birthday balloons, but his coy little smile that the kept bashfully hiding away into the pillow soon turned to a happy grin and he snapped up and into Hazel’s arms to be toted down to breakfast.
After the morning hustle Em and i and the birthday boy did some puzzles and got ready for the day and then headed off to the lovely (read very ghetto) square one mall for a trip to build a bear. We’re not really a ‘build a bear’ family but I couldn’t think of anything else to do when it was so cold outside to pass his birthday morning. So we went and picked out a dog, stuffed him, put a heart and a bark in him and peter was delighted.
We had a fancy birthday lunch at Taco Bell and saw the Easter Bunny before heading to drop Em at school and tuck Peter in for a nap.
Once the kids got home was all loaded up (including Jeff who came home early) and headed for Monkey Joes (a jumpy house place). Again, not my first choice of activity, but Peter was utterly delighted by all the craziness, all the big kids, all the physical challenges, the fast slides. All the kids were in heaven, and as much as I hate contrived, fake, crowded, loud kids places like that, you couldn’t help but smile as you watched that little guy tear through the place like he was 7.
We had a nice and easy birthday dinner at Bertucci’s then and home for cupcakes and presents.
When I sat the cupcakes on the table with two candles in them in front of Peter his face lit up, he looked at them and raised both hands in the air and screeched “ME!!!!” while clenching his fists down to his sides. I’m pretty sure that translated to, “FINALLY! Now it’s my turn to be a big kid and have a birthday party!” I think all day he had kind of hoped this was where everything was leading, and those two candles right in his spot confirmed that his hope was not in vain.
Sure enough, he knew exactly what to do with those presents and those lit up candles. Not one second of confusion or hesitation in that boys head.
He opened everything with delight, and much to all of our surprise said lots of thank yous on demand (this is new for him). It was the birthday of books (mostly recycled hand me downs from the big kids) and underpants and he couldn’t have been more pleased. Hazel also made him some adorable little balls stuffed with rice and a hand sewn little teddy bear. I’ve got to take pictures of those, they were seriously cute little presents.
One of my favorite parts about today was watching the big kids get all stoked up for Peter and work hard to help him have fun to be happy. They have such kind hearts and they love him so completely. I found Emmeline hugging Peter and telling him she loved him quite a few times throughout the day and both Hazel and Charlie, at different times, came up to me and told me what a cool guy they thought Peter was.
As we ate our cupcakes we talked about Peter’s birth. Oh my, that was a beautiful day. Sure, he made us wait a little for his arrival, but he came so perfectly when he did. I remember on that day feeling so sure that the perfection of his birth and the joy that trailed him from the start was indicative of what was to come. I was spot on.
Our little golden boy. Clearly he is adored. He is and always will be the adored baby of the family. I’m learning that it’s not such a bad thing to completely dote over the last one. It breed jealousy, because you all do it together and it binds you all up in love. United by a common love for the last one.
After putting him to bed Jeff and I came down and talked and talked about how much we love this boy. He is just a cool kid. He just came that way.
I spent way too long looking through the blog, looking back to his birth and his first few months. Reading all those entries, like this one and this and this made me realize how much I have learned and felt through mothering Peter.
And reading back through made me realize that I really have cherished this baby, and I’m so glad I have because his babyhood has gone in a blink. I love this quote that someone put on this post a while back (It’s from Barbara Kingsolver):
"A mother's body remembers her babies--the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred scalp against her nose. Each child has its own entreaties to body and soul. It's the last one, though, that overtakes you. I can't dare say I loved the others less, but my first three were all babies at once, and motherhood dismayed me entirely. . . .
But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after--oh, that's love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she's gone to sleep. If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away. So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams. Your heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She's the one you can't put down."
I put Peter my baby down for his nap today and he woke up a two year old. He is now, quite suddenly a big kid. He started saying Thank You on his own today, for petes sake (and lots of other new words). He is an undie wearing, potty going, fully communicating (though not really with word yet), totally responsive big kid.
But, like I said. He’ll always be our baby.
More on Peter tomorrow. And I’m bound and determined to take some non-iphone-birthday photos sometime this weekend. These fuzzy, dopey looking, taken by a little kid pictures just can’t quite capture the essence of Peter (I guess nothing really can).