According to that little widget on the side, you are 2 years, 4 months, and 2 weeks old today. It's actually your baptismal birthday. Happy two years of being a baptized child of God.
Not exactly your typical milestone kind of day, I know. However, today was a very typical day in the life of Luke at 2 years of age. One that we all just barely survived.
That's what it feels like to me so many of the days during this phase in your life. That instead of enjoying every moment, I'm staring at the clock, mentally calculating the hours left until 8 PM and your bedtime. Part of it is your burgeoning (strong)will and part of it is just the chaos of having two young children at home full time. I love you and your brother very much, and I made the decision to stay at home with you all and I don't regret it.
But Good Lord, it's hard work.
Your little brother caught some kind of RSV-like bug last week and has had your dad and I very worried. He's required breathing treatments every 4-6 hours and lots of holding and vigorous back patting. In fact, I don't think he's been flat on his back for longer than a diaper change since last Thursday night. It's been a long week for all of us, but I feel it's been especially hard on you. He's finally on the mend, but your acting out has just continued to escalate.
Today alone, you were in time out no less than 15 times. For everything from chucking a sippy cup at my head to having a meltdown over not being allowed to chase the garbage truck down the middle of the street. (Which, by the way, you did wearing only a t-shirt, big boy underwear, and sneakers.)
When your uncle was a little boy, we lived on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. In various grocery store parking lots there are located Home of Grace donation boxes. They are there for people to drop off clothes and shoes for people in need. Kind of like mini-Goodwill stores without any staff. They were little huts with just a hinged door on the top for you to drop your donations into. Your uncle shared the same strong will and tendency towards multiple daily time outs as you do. Well, when he was about your age, it became a family joke that my mom would threaten to drop him off at a Home of Grace box when he was acting out.
Today, I was wishing for a Home of Grace box of my own.
In fact, I'm pretty sure I threatened you with one. To which, if I remember correctly, you just laughed and continued to fling the entire contents of your toy box across the room while I was tethered to your brother's nebulizer.
We are in the midst of potty training and it's the most frustrating thing ever. Which yeah, I know, everyone says. If we leave you completely naked from the waist down, you are like 9 out of 10 on making it to the potty in time. However, if we have left any scrap of material on...a diaper, a pull up, underwear...you will completely forget about the potty. And then I do 2 loads of laundry. Every day.
You eat from (and only from) the four major toddler food groups: Applesauce, Chicken Nuggets, Crackers, and Cookies. Oh and salsa. You love salsa. You can pass the vegetables on your plate to the dog faster than I can stop you, but you'll eat salsa with a spoon. Go figure.
And yet. Yet. You are still completely lovable and adorable. While you've mostly just ignored Sam these past 5 months, all of a sudden you are all about being in his face. You like to pat his head and shake his toys for him to grab. When I ask you if you want to hold him, you smile and immediately lay flat on your back. For some reason, you think that's the way you are supposed to hold him. You want him stacked on top of you like he's a Lego. Even if I prop you up on the couch and place him in your arms, you scoot your butt down until you are horizontal again. It's so funny.
You are finally starting to talk more. You get my attention by yelling, "MA!" and you can ask for a ball or for a cookie. Mostly, the "COOKIE!!"
And dancing! Oh my goodness. I love your dancing. Everything from Elmo's theme song to Veggie Tales to the 80's station on Pandora, as soon as you hear it, you stop whatever you are doing and starting breaking it down. Shoulders heaving, toes tapping, twirling in circles...you've got moves kid.
So as you (finally) lay your sweet head down tonight, I try to let go of the bad and embrace the good of these "terrible two's." Here's to hoping we both survive the next 8 months.
I love you, sweet boy of mine.