Today you are 29 months old.
I know. I know. I skipped a month or two (or three), but really, who's counting?
April came and went in a flash. You got your first blister and your first skinned knee. Blah, blah, blah.
We celebrated Easter and gave you your first Easter basket. We hadn't given you one in years past because you were sorta clueless, but this year we went all out.
I struggled as a parent to find the balance between teaching you the true meaning of Easter and enjoying your excitement over the basket and all the festivities. This is something I'm sure all Christian parents deal with at each Christian holy day.
Turns out, you got it. During your bath that night I asked you what Easter means and you said, "Jesus is alive."
It really is that simple, isn't it?
At the end of April I went to the beach for a girls weekend, leaving you and your daddy to hold down the fort.
You guys had a great time together! What, with all the playing outside, going to the zoo, shopping at "Pluck-Its" (Publix), eating at "Chik-a-Lay", and fixing stuff with "skroof-divers" (screw drivers).
But, when I returned home, you welcomed me with "I missed you, Mommy!" and "I luff you!"
I luff you too, Foster. You have no idea.
In May we celebrated my 33rd birthday, then vacation, then your last day of school (Mother's Day Out), and finally, your daddy's 34th birthday. (He's getting old, eh?)
Vacation was awesome this year! Not just because we were at the beach, but because you loved everything about it - the surf, the sand, the pool, your own room, your own bathroom, and boiled peanuts. You are my child after all.
Perhaps my favorite part of those harried months, though, was our lazy mornings in mine and your daddy's bed.
Lazy may not be the most appropriate adjective, seeing as how our mornings start somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30, but being able to snuggle in bed - all three of us - and snooze off and on while you watch cartoons, has felt indulgent. We linger there as long as possible until you decide you've had enough and are ready for breakfast.
"Wake up Mommy! Wake up Daddy! Put your robe on. Put your slippers on. I want a fruit cup, peeeeez!"
Those mornings make up for the rest of the day when all I hear is, "No! I no want to obey!"
I had no idea that two year olds knew how to talk back. In fact, I was starting to panic and trying to figure out where we had gone wrong in our parenting when I got an email from a weekly parenting newsletter that I subscribe to, and guess what the topic was for this particular week?
TWO YEAR OLDS WHO TALK BACK!
Thank goodness! I'm not crazy. You're not crazy. I'm not a bad parent and you're not a bad kid. We're normal and every little thing gonna be all right.
In between your episodes of not wanting to obey and talking back, is a lot of cuteness, for realz.
One day at your grandparents' house, as we were all sitting down to lunch, we asked if you wanted to say the blessing. This is something you like to do because you get to thank God for whatever you want. Thunder, hamburgers, blankets, etc...
So, you began, "Dear God, sank (thank) you...
And then there was a moment of silence.
Grandpa finally said, "For?" And you replied, "five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten."
At night, as we're putting you to bed, you give me the to-do list: "Put a blanket on me and say me a prayer."
Then you tell me: "Take my milk downstairs and put it in the fridge."
Of course. Anything else I can do for you?
Last month we joined the YMCA, or as you call it, the YNCK.
At one point in your development you knew the letter A, but you have since forgotten and we've stopped correcting you.
We figure we only have a little while longer to enjoy your baby talk, so from now on, you may say whatever you want, however you want.
Already, "truck" has evolved from GOO-WA to KOO-WA to KOO-WAK and now to FRUCK. What the fruck?
(You know I couldn't pass that one up!)
Lately you and I have had a lot of errands to run during the day, and since you're starting to ask questions, I've had to explain what "running errands" means.
Yeah - not easy, and I must not have done a very good job because one day after your nap, when we were scheduled to "run some errands", you said to me, "I no want to walk errands."
Well, if it's any consolation Foster, I don't want to walk errands either. I'd rather drive.
Or would I? I mean, the whole time we're in the car you're
"What's dis song bout? What's love means? What's dat, Mommy? What's dat for? What you doin, Mommy? Why we stop? Where's Daddy? Why he at work?"
Foster, you're only two. You aren't supposed to start asking "wh" questions until you're three or four!
The worst is when you see someone different and incessantly ask questions about him or her.
Like last weekend at the YNCK, you saw a paraplegic woman in a wheelchair and immediately started asking a question for every answer I gave you, "What's she got, Mommy? Why she got a wheelchair? Why her legs don't work? What her legs broke for?"
This week your Uncle Rob, Aunt Pam and cousins from Taiwan are visiting. You've had a ball playing with Caleb, Anna & Rebekah. They're leaving tomorrow and I'm so sad for you. I know you're going to miss them.
Anna & Rebekah are three and you speak just as well as they do. I like to take credit for your speech and language skills, but I know that I had very little to do with it.
You are your own person, and we've been teaching you about God and how He made you and put you in my belly. Thankfully you don't ask questions about that yet.
We've always pointed out the hospital where you were born, and now you talk about it every time we pass because it's the same hospital where a doctor "cut Grandma's neck open." (Your words, not mine.)
As I write about the hospital, I am reminded of little children, your age, who are there because they are sick. There are two specific children I have been praying for these past few weeks, Scout & Sadie.
Scout's family are local folks. They are Christians and I feel a connection to them, even though I don't know them.
Sadie is a distant relative of yours...her mom is your Grandma's first cousin once removed. I'm not sure what that makes you, but her family are also Christians, so we are all related in Christ.
These girls are fighting for their lives. Both need healing, Scout's heart and Sadie's brain. Reading about their daily struggles brings tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. I simply do not have words to express my gratitude to Our Father for your health.
May the LORD bless you and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.
~Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT)