Malcolm Lewis is two! My sweet angel is a whole PERSON now.
We’ve always noticed bits of his personality poking through from the second he was born. Parenting is mostly watching your little humans become more themselves every day while you do your best not to interfere and to help the process along.
I feel like I’ll say this with every new year, but this year felt SO transformative. I mean, sure, I suppose from year zero to one is full of so many changes too, but y’all. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED.
In the last year, Malcolm has:
- Learned to walk and run and gallop and skip and hop and shuffle and basically, he’s learned all modes of human transport;
- Learned to talk! He’s gone from a handful of words to gazillions of words (a very factual number for you) and he has sentences and he understands EVERYTHING (to our detriment) and he has conversations and oh my god his voice is so cute;
- Become potty trained! Honestly, I never intended to do it so young, but it became clear the time was upon us and we went for it rather naively. It was, quite simply, AWFUL, but now he’s freaking potty trained (except we’re still working on night and can someone remind me what sleep is again?);
- Become a future NBA star! No really, sometimes I think he’s better at basketball than me;
- Developed interests in things, particularly balls, cars, trains, gorillas, and books about balls, cars, trains, and gorillas;
- Developed a list of dislikes that he is very committed to reminding everyone of over and over whenever necessary.
It’s hard to compare these years to each other, but this last one has been wildly fun. It has, however, been wildly challenging as well.
With all these newfound skills comes newfound independence, which is mostly good and sometimes excruciating. The pulling my hair phase is one I will always look back at with horror and dread. And I’m sure Warren does not appreciate that Malcolm is still in the rip Warren’s glasses off his face phase. Kids really know our weak points, eh?
Toddlers are—pardon my language—no fucking joke.
My mom has always talked to me about toddlerhood by pointing out that at the root of many toddler challenges is that it’s when babies start becoming people, expressing their will and wanting to do what they want to do. I get that Malcolm has no clue why I don’t want him to rip up flowers or pull groceries off shelves and that his perspective is just as important as my perspective. I desperately want to nourish his little brain and spirit. I want him to figure things out on his own even if it takes 14 times as long as when I do it. I want him to tell me what he wants and learn to cope with not getting it always. I reread Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids on the regular and try to fill my brain with mantras from it. I’ve even read Buddhist parenting books?
Despite all this, there are times when parenting a toddler makes you feel like the biggest failure, biggest monster, and most aggrieved human in the world.
And in year two, Warren and I joined the parent club you never want to join—the one where you kid survives a trauma that could have been catastrophic but wasn’t, but that leaves you with nightmares and anxiety. Our sweet boy fell down a flight of stairs (yes we had gates, yes we were with him, yes sometimes no matter how hard you’re watching, things happen) the day after Christmas, but was left with only a massive cheek bruise. To him, it was one fall of many. To me, it was the scariest night of my life.
The challenges in year two were not small and were not easy, but were far outweighed by some of the happiest days of our lives.
Each passing day he becomes more fun. He is sassy and silly, cuddly and curious, stubborn and helpful, independent and clingy, friendly and shy, wild and sweet.
He is so many things, but most importantly he’s himself and he’s happy.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has knowingly said to me, “first child?” I get it, you guys—he’s spoiled, worshiped, and overprotected. But he is loved beyond his wildest imagination. And he loves us all in a way we can’t possibly deserve.
Happy birthday, my sweet baby. I can’t wait to spend another year watching you grow.