Where Did the Baby Go?
Looking back at Ryan's baby pictures brings out an overabundance of emotions in me, the foremost being gratitude that we were given such a precious little miracle to love and devote ourselves to. Just look at this tiny bundle.
But, at the same time, my heart breaks a little tiny bit when I see these pictures.
I dearly miss the days that were filled with newborn coos and gurgles, tummy time, baths in the sink, toothless gummy smiles, and wrapping our baby up like a burrito. Yes, I even miss this pointy little head with the patchy bald spots.
It reminds me of one of my favorite childhood books that I used to read with my mom, called Where Did the Baby Go? by Sheila Hayes.
I used to get such a kick out of listening to the story about the toddler girl searching everywhere for the baby in the picture that she finds, and then realizing that she was the baby. Only she wasn't anymore. I now realize how bittersweet that book actually was.
Ryan is at the age where he understands that he used to be a baby and now he is a "big boy" and that one day he will get even bigger, like daddy.
Ryan has taught us so much during the past (almost) two-and-a-half years, and he has actually disproved many of the beliefs that I had previously held as a new mommy, such as:
I used to think that it was my responsibility to teach my child everything, but I now see that he learns most things on his own, just by exploring and living life.
I used to worry that I didn't know enough about raising boys. Now, I realize that it doesn't matter, because boys are wired to be boys and even the most "girly" of moms will be effective with their sons.
I always assumed that bribery was bad, but now I believe that there is nothing wrong with a little bit of positive reinforcement once in a while.
I used to think that potty-training would be the biggest challenge. Instead, I have found that our biggest issue is getting Ryan to put on enough weight to stay on the growth charts. Eating is something that we struggle with every single day, as we attempt to find foods that are nutritious, fattening, and delicious to Ryan at the same time.
Ryan continues to make our world spin with endless excitement and spontaneity. He keeps us laughing because we never know what he will think of or say next. He has picked up on many of our expressions and he somehow knows exactly how to correctly apply them to situations. For example, he regularly says to me: “Thank you for telling me that,” “Sure, mommy,” “Let’s save that for later, okay?” and “Don’t do that, mommy.”
For the sake of record-keeping (and the fact that this blog doubles as R's baby book) here is what else he has been up to lately:
At 28 months old, Ryan...
Uses the word “actually” when he changes his mind about something.
Knows that he can always get my attention and that I will drop anything and everything I am doing when he says “I love you, mommy” or “I need a hug.”
Makes it his job to let us know whether or not Lucky is being a “good boy.”
When he gets hurt, but not too bad, he says “I’m fine.”
When he is bored, he says, “I want to do activity!”
Begs me to do laundry. Loves jumping into the pile of clothes, helping to sort, and handing me each individual piece to put into the washing machine.
Climbs in and out of his car seat by himself, pulls his own pants up/down when using the potty, and helps to clean up whenever he finds “crummies” (crumbs) on the floor.
If you try to get in the way of his independence by doing something for him, he will narrow his eyes at you and say, “RA RA DO IT!”
Doesn’t need rewards anymore for going to the potty, but gives me imaginary treats every time that I use it. (“Cookie for mommy.”)
He has creative conversations between his cars and trucks. (“Help me. I need a tow. I have a flat tire. I need an oil change. Wait for me.")
Memorizes many of his books and randomly talks about them throughout the day.
Makes up his own story as he flips through the pages of a new book, pretending to read it. ("These friends play with toys. These friends say woof woof.”)
Thinks almost every thought aloud. ("What is this string for?" Points to his sweatshirt. Answers himself, "For putting in the mouth." Proceeds to bite the string.)
Bounces his elbows up and down when he gets excited.
Flips all of the handles on our furniture up and then laughs.
Asks "What does that do?" about anything unfamiliar.
Is passionate about all of the different types of vehicles and has a remarkable memory for learning them.
Knows exactly what he wants and does not hesitate to tell us!
Ryan's 2 Year Old Interview
So I decided that it would be fun to interview Ryan every year, asking him the same list of questions and seeing how his answers change throughout the years. This is our first year of starting the tradition.
Here are the questions and his answers as a two year old:
1. How old are you? 2
2. Who is your best friend? Mater and Lightning McQueen
3. What is your favorite color? Red (like Lightning McQueen)
4. What is your favorite book? Race Team by Dennis R. Shealy
5. Describe your perfect day. Police car, Digger, Dump Truck, all of the cars in there.
6. What is your favorite place and why? Pool. It's so nice.
7. What would you never do as an adult? Need a cake.
8. Where do you want to work when you grow up? At a bank and eat pizza there.
9. What is your favorite thing to do for fun? Play at school. Share with Gavin and Miles.
10. Tell me a joke. (Pretends to laugh and does a funny movement).
Random Video from iPhone
Okay, this one is super random, but I like that he shows his silly side and how he can be very weird sometimes.
I still can't believe that our baby boy will be starting preschool next fall. The other day, I put a Sesame Street book into the cart, and he told me that he doesn't like Elmo and Big Bird because they are for babies and Ryan is a big boy. For the first time (of what is sure to be many throughout his life) I totally felt like an uncool mom. haha!