Happy Second Birthday, Dear Asher

(started Jan 28, 2009, and finished Jan 31, 2009)


Dear Asher,


It’s now only two days until your second birthday. I am rather dumfounded that it is already time for you to turn two, because although I’ve been with you nearly every day of your life, somehow it doesn’t seem like two whole years! You appear every day less like a baby and more like a small boy, which might seem obvious (or perhaps will seem obvious to you someday when you read this), but truly, it’s a remarkable transformation. I am humbled to be able to witness it and live it alongside you. I feel honored to be your guide.


What are you up to these days? Well, I see you reaching and growing in every direction, not the least of which is your developing language. You’re learning to talk! Just yesterday you said your name for the very first time! I said, “Who are you?” and you replied “Acha Baby.” Just a day previous you only said “Baby” or “Me!”


You now say “up,” “me,” “mama/mom,” “dada/dad,” “more,” “milk,” “wheel,” “big,” “ow,” “no,” “yeah,” “please,” “go,” “water,” “Papa,” “Syd,” “DeeDee,” “Uncle,” “Boo,” “VoVo,” “Lucas (Cah) ,” “G.G. ,” “Mimi,” “meow,” “eat,” “meat,” “whoa,” “whee!,” “noise,” “book,” “ew!,” “hot,” “hat,” “me,” “dirt” and “poop” … there are more. I’m just not remembering them all. So now, communicating with you is fun and funny, since it’s a mix of words and signs, and yes or no answers to questions we ask you. Three-word sentences are becoming fairly common. You also babble with great precision, enunciating carefully and using your hands for emphasis, like a little old man. Then you look at us like, “What the hell is the matter with you people? Don’t you understand English?!”


They other day you decided to go poop in the potty! Yay!


Physically, you’re getting strong. I’ve seen you step down single steps without holding onto anything, but when faced with two or more, you usually turn around and crawl down backward. You can kick a ball! You like to run the other way when we call you or ask you to come along. You’re pretty good at holding hands when we’re in the street or near traffic or in a parking lot. My heart melts whenever you ask to hold Lucas’s hand when we’re walking along. Seeing my boys walk hand-in-hand is wonderful.


You like to dig in the sand and dirt. You sometimes freak out when your hands are dirty, though. And it’s kind of funny. You urgently ask to me to wash them.


You like to play alongside Lucas, especially in his big-boy Legos, but sometimes you’re a terror to him, breaking his creations or scattering Legos all over the house. You watch Lucas so carefully, and then try to do whatever he does. If Lucas crawls on the floor pretending to be an animal, you drop down to your knees and try to make the same noises. If he is outside running around, you do the same. If he picks up a stick and points it, making a “pew, pew” noise, you do the same. In fact, despite my best efforts to keep gun play out of your life, you seem to have picked up on it first thing. Now you do it with anything at all—a stick, a rock, a Lego—aim and make a “pppbt” sound.


~~~Jan 31


You love to stack blocks, and also to play in the fresh laundry, especially if it’s warm or is full of socks. Socks are your favorites, and you throw handfuls of them over yourself. It’s a good thing that our house is the Haven of Matchless Socks; you are the only one who appreciates their worth.


Papa gave you a wonderful indoor push-wagon and you pile it full of things and push it around the house. You still like to push your alligator “lawn mower” that VoVo bought you, too. You enjoy chase-me games; we squeal as we run through the house after one another. You like to march around the kitchen island, especially if Lucas does it with you. You are learning to dance, and have your own special moves! Our after-dinner discos are a great ending to our busy days. We all boogie while your dad and I clear the table and do the dishes. These are joyful, boisterous moments that make us all laugh and enjoy each other. I like it when we all take hands and dance in a circle together.


Nighttime is still challenging for us. You are sleeping in your room in your big-boy bed, but you require my presence several times a night. We’ve only recently started trying to wean you, tapering off nursing times, and you don’t like the writing on the wall. At night, though, you still get Mama milk in bed. If I’m asleep in my room, you intrepidly march through the dark house to find me. I rise, take your hand, and you lead me back to your bed. This happens between two and four times every night. Many times, I just fall asleep with you and wake in your room in the morning.


The other night, you did something kind of atypical. When it was time to go to sleep, you kissed your Daddy, said “Bye, Dad,” and we went to your room, as usual. But you were holding a Dr. Seuss book (Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? if you must know), and you wanted me to read it to you. I said, “Time for sleeping,” and gently took it away from you. You cried and got angry, but settled down to nursing soon enough. Later on, in the middle of the night, I woke to the sound of you shrieking and crying. You weren’t coming to find me, as you usually do. Instead, I found you kneeling in front of your bookshelf in the dark, shrieking “Book! Mama! No, Mama! Book! Boooooook.” It was like you woke up 3 hours later, still mad at me for taking that book away from you!


So, we can see your stubborn side coming through, hints of the “terrible twos.” Your “will forces” are in evidence. The little struggles we have with you are over eating, diapering, changing activities when you don’t want to change, etc. These episodes are amusing and darling to us, even if they make the simplest tasks take twice as long.


Mostly, though, you are a cuddle bug, preferring my lap to anyone else’s. You are a boob man for sure, and would keep your hand permanently attached to my breast if I would let you. Which wouldn’t be so bad, really, except you occasionally pinch me really hard! You are quick to laugh, to smile. Nobody gets you giggling like Lucas can. You love your family members, asking after them when they aren’t home or haven’t visited. You are charming and playful. You act coy. People fall in love with you easily, just as we have.

We’ve just had a very full day, including a birthday party for you. All of your grandparents came, Ro, Nana, Kellie. It was a wonderful time although you shouted "No!" quite a lot. When people asked if you are now two years old, you resolutely said "No! Eight!" I baked you a special cake frosted with whipped cream and decorated with heart-shaped strawberries. You even liked it this year! (Last year you cried when we offered you birthday cake and ice-cream.)


It’s the end of the day. You’re in bed asleep and I am beat. And so I come to the mushy part: Asher, we are so delighted to have you. So thrilled you came into our family. You are a beam of sunshine. My little golden cub. We love you, we adore you, we cherish you. Happy second birthday, my dear son. Happy birthday!


Love always,


3 Responses to “Happy Second Birthday, Dear Asher”

  • dakini_grl
    February 1, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    It’s true, he’s a marvelous flirt. There are few things that will make me smile quicker than his coy smile when I come through the front door, or the sound of his beautiful laughter.


  • kittiliscious
    February 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    The image of your family dancing around in the kitchen is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever heard.


  • sarabellae
    February 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Those after-dinner discos are marvelous. They remind me that I love these boys and love my life, even if I’ve had a challenging day.

    Oh, I wish you could have seen the booty dance Lucas performed when I gave him a new scarf I knitted. He danced naked with it like it was a boa! Hilarious!


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