Two years later, here he is! Two years old, walking, talking, and able to throw a really mean tantrum when he wants to.
This year we did our birthday celebration in stages. First, his birthday outing (above) to our favorite place, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The next day, his birthday dinner of our new favorite - egg rolls! Then last night, peanut butter birthday cake (recipe) and gifts from Grandma and Grandpa - boots and a hat!
As a side note, I must say that I am incredibly thankful that the grandparents gave such a modest birthday gift. I often feel overwhelmed at the thought of so many toys and new possessions every Christmas and birthday, and it was such a joy to celebrate a birthday so modestly. And he loved it! It's oftentimes the expectations we create in children that cause the misery and the insatiable greed. The 2yo was thrilled with his boots and hat, and he desired no more. I hope to chisel down gift-giving in all areas of our household to regain sanity and gain a permanent hold on the clutter-beast.
And so here we are... two years old! The terrible twos are here in force, and it's so interesting to see how differently they manifest in different children. Our eldest went through the terrible twos-threes with standard tantrums. Our current two-year-old has chosen entirely different manifestations, such as hitting, screaming, and throwing things when he's mad. Oh, the joy. I have my work cut out for me!
But he is a little darling, all the same. He is very affectionate and sweet-tempered (when he's not screaming, hitting, or throwing things, that is), and he is a natural neat-freak and an avid helper. He loves to clean up messes (something our eldest has never even remotely considered), help set up tables at church, and gets very fussy if his clothes or hands get dirty. It's hilarious, and I love watching how different he is from his elder brother, who can walk into a room resembling a hurricane disaster area and say, "I don't see anything to clean up!"
I confess that I am intimidated at the thought of going through the two-three years again. With our eldest they were not fun, and I'm putting that mildly. But I'm hoping that I'll do better this time, and I also know now that just because things can look hopeless at various times doesn't mean that they are. There is an end in sight, and things do improve - I just have to keep going.
In the meantime, we had a great time celebrating baby's second birthday, and in thanking the Lord for his life and his presence in our family. I know I'll be relying on the Lord's strength and wisdom every step of the way, but I can't wait to see how things go through coming years.
Happy Birthday to the baby formerly known as MOOSE!