Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ode to Two-Year-Olds (a.k.a. Isn't my son, Jack, great?)

I know my thousands of loyal followers all thought "wtf??" when I didn't post yesterday.  But don't worry Momma File fans, I am making up for it today.  Yesterday, unbeknownst to me, was no-nap Monday.  Jack neglected to inform me ahead of time, so I spent almost an hour in his room pretending to be asleep while he be-bopped around his bed.  "Eyes... nose..," he exclaimed while pointing to (and in some cases mushing) my facial features with nary a yawn in sight.  At 2:15, we gave up and left his room to play trains and have a snack.  I love my son, but I do really look forward to that hour nap, in which I get a few things done or just lie on my bed and read a book.  On no-nap days, it's a long stretch until 7:00, when Jason gets home.
I have to say, despite their nefarious reputation, I do love two-year-olds.  I love that Jack can actually ask for a snack and even tell me what he'd like to eat, instead of my trying to guess what his point-and-grunt strategy means.  I love that he can do things for himself, and I even love that he tries to do things himself that are well beyond his ability, like carry a full watering can across the porch.  I love that he doesn't mind spending some time playing by himself.  I really can't say I miss the shriek-every-time-Momma-leaves-the-room-for-two-seconds phase.  I love watching him immersed in his play.  He talks to his "guys" and cars completely unselfconsciously, describing what he's doing.
One of the greatest things about this stage is the explosion of language.  Jack overheard me telling a story to Jason last night, and the phrase he latched onto was "not paying attention" (my reference to another mother and her unsupervised hellion child at the playground.)  Jack happily marched around declaring, "pay tenten" for the rest of the evening.  Another funny language thing Jack does is refer to himself as "I-you,"  or sometimes just "you."  He also calls Jason and me, "me" at times.  You can see how this might happen.  It can be quite confusing for adults not privy to Jack's code.  If he wants to do something himself, he will yell loudly, "I-you!  I-you!"  at which point other adults will look at me quizzically.  I explain, "he wants to do it himself."  The other adults say, "oh," but still remain quizzical looking.
It's true Jack, like most two-year-olds, can be willful, frustrating and maddeningly stubborn.  It's hard not to lose my cool when I ask him to take his dinner plate to the kitchen, and instead he grins devilishly and takes off running and giggling towards the living room.  And I do tire of the routine in which Jack chooses to totally ignore a question I've asked him.  Here's how that ones goes:

Me:  Jack, do you want cheese or peanut butter for lunch?
Jack continues playing with his cars, as if I have not spoken.
Me:  Hellooo??  Cheese or peanut butter?
Jack:  Stares at me but says nothing.
Me:  Fine, peanut butter it is.
Jack (wailing):  No, no, no!  Cheese, cheese, CHEESE!!

Yes, it gets old.  But all in all, I love the little person he's turning into.  I love his blossoming imagination, and I love how the simplest things, like the garbage truck picking up our trash, are the highlights of his life.  I know this has turned into a bit of (as Simon Cowell would say) self-indulgent nonsense, as I babble on about how great my kid is.  Really though, two is one of my favorite ages in all children.  I try to soak up the little great moments, because as cliche as it is to say, it's true:  it all goes by so so fast.

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