Just when I feel like I'm getting the hang of this parenting thing, you hit another stage and I hit the success reset button.
You are a walking, talking, running, jumping, defiant, jubilant two-year-old.
You like to have long-winded, mumbly conversations -- not unlike me.
When I get up in the morning, you tell me about how your day should be. You insert multiple names and actions in your sentences, such as "Mommy go to zoo, Daddy go to zoo, Matteo go to zoo. See elephant, see tiger, see seals. No see monkeys." You got it. When I get home from work (you still think I work on an airplane), you talk about your day and I quiz you about what happened at pre-school. Instead of recounting your day, you request watching "Moana" or "Sing" or at least listening to those soundtracks.
A lot of our conversations are about trading, especially at mealtime.
"Will you eat one more bite?" I ask. You turn your head away with a pout.
"Do you want to watch a movie tonight?" I rebut. You lean forward with mouth open and gladly start chewing.
Your motor skills are improving. We practiced sign language from your Mom's second grade instruction book and you loved it. You can now start to isolate fingers to make signs, and you have an easier time mimicking gestures. We got you a large rubber ball and when we play catch you can really catch it. You still have a heck of a throwing arm, like your Mom.
You got your first haircut! Your hair was growing really long in the back, so we needed to even things out and keep your look on point. We went to Rudy's in Proctor. To keep the peace, we took advantage of your passion for "Elmo's World" and let you hold Mom's phone to watch the show the entire haircut. You didn't complain at all or cry, and your hair turned out great. I only cried once.
Halloween was a couple weeks ago, and you went trick or treating for the first time dressed as a beautiful butterfly, matching your Mom. Matteo and I dressed as chefs. We went over to Bridger and Bennett's neighborhood where the Halloween scene was insane with hundreds of kids out in costume. It was the American Dream. You were initially scared by all those people and some intense houses, but managed to find the courage, and a hand to hold, to walk up and ask for candy. You went to about a dozen houses and with each one found that it was worth the fear to get the prize. That dynamic can be applied to life in general kiddo.
Out in the big wide world there's something more scary and disturbing happening. In the media, a lot of women are saying that famous, powerful men took advantage of them. This is serious stuff.
You might first encounter kids at school who aren't nice to you when they actually really like you. Maybe a boy will chase you at recess and you won't like it. Or maybe you will. Young kids are constantly learning how to express themselves and their feelings appropriately, and that takes years to get right. We already see kids -- yourself included -- at pre-school acting funny as you learn how to interact. Some people become adults without figuring it out, or are wired in a way where they can't, or they make big-deal mistakes that hurt people. It will be important that we -- you, me and your Mom -- have really open conversation about when people around you make you feel uncomfortable and we talk about that right away. In most cases, it will be OK. You'll have those relationships where you don't like people as much as they like you, and vice-versa, but we'll want to make sure it's not more intense than that. Your brother won't be immune to those scenarios, and you'll have a big sister role in being a support for him, too.
Thank God this parenting thing is one big, constant progression. I'm enjoying getting better at our multi-character conversations and horse-trading and the relatively simplicity of that. Let's go watch "Moana" for the 16th time this month.