It’s another late one but let’s pretend it’s me not showing any favouritism okay? I most definitely didn’t plan this well… two birthdays in three weeks is enough to wear anyone out. Well, anyone except you and your brother; you’d do birthdays day after day if you could! I meant to write this on time but in truth, once again I’ve struggled with what to say. Not because I don’t have anything for you but because once I get started I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop.
How on earth are you two already? I’m gonna go full cliche and happily claim that it doesn’t feel like more than a few months since you came into the world. Oh my goodness, what a birth that was. Fourteen days past your due date and an extortionate amount of time waiting around being induced whilst your dad turned my phone off and cut us off from the world. Oh but when you made an appearance, you made an appearance. Your birth was fast and furious – a lot like you are now. And then you were off to the NICU with your Daddy and I think that’s the moment he completely fell in love with you. He sat holding you the entire night, even when they wheeled me off to have a sleep, he stayed and you’ve had him wrapped around your finger ever since!
I was so worried before you were born that I wouldn’t be able to love another child as much as I love your brother but how wrong I was. My heart could burst with the feelings I have for you, that are the same but so different to the way I love him. Your dad thinks it’s because you’re a girl but it isn’t. It’s because you’re utterly and completely you.
You’re passionate (read: stroppy), funny, cuddly, sweet and so switched on it hurts. You love to climb everything; there’s a reason we call you No Fear! You’re fiercely independent, often walking off on your own on our walks or staying behind to pick up rocks or play with puddles; can we rush you? Never! You’ll wave us off with a ‘bye bye Mummy’ and that’s it… gone. It’s pretty terrifying actually, I feel like you’d happily go off on adventures on your own already.
But you counteract that with something that your brother never had. You don’t need us but you want us. You want to climb into our laps, wrap yourself in our arms and sit there. Normally with two fingers firmly in your mouth. You found those pretty quickly and they’ve never left you. I love that you have that comfort. More recently you’ve become attached to all manner of soft toys – most particularly an incredibly scruffy looking monkey which you’ve nicknamed ‘Gucky’. For the record, Gucky is most definitely yucky… but that doesn’t seem to put you off.
So what’s new this year? So much. I forgot how much I love this age. You’re chatty; stringing words together with incredible ease. You’re funny; often laughing your head off for no apparent reason. You play for hours on your own (second child problems), nattering away and playing games that we can’t even imagine. You love anything you can hold tight to you; stuffed animals, pieces of lego… anything inappropriate for your age. We often find you holding tight to tiny stones or toys, almost as though you’re trying to sneak them away from us.
You’ve always been a good eater and after your brother, it’s so refreshing it hurts. That might be changing more recently but put a sausage in front of you and it’s a guaranteed empty plate. You’ve got the shovelling action nailed often using your hands when you can’t work the fork fast enough before making me laugh at your horror of having dirty fingers. Which is exactly you all the way through; you love what the dirt, food and adventure bring you but afterward, you want it clean and tidy. Such a funny little thing.
I’ve had the feeling from the moment we went into hospital to have you that you’d be the one that kept us on our toes and I was right. Just before Christmas you managed to pick up yet another cold only this one seemed to hit you particularly hard. In classic second child syndrome, we thought you’d shake it off but it just didn’t happen. Suddenly we went from a concerned nurses appointment to a nighttime ambulance ride and days and nights in High Dependency after you took a hideous turn for the worst one night. You and I spent a week stuck together on a bed, only apart long enough for me to wee whenever I could get someone to watch you. And it hurt. Sometimes it takes an event like that to make you really realise how important things are to you. I went from never doubting that things would be fine to being eternally grateful that you finally turned a corner and I think that week bonded us in a way that we couldn’t ever have imagined, me and my girl.
It’s not just me that you’re obsessed with. Or your dad. No the key to your heart is someone else; you’re completely in awe of your brother. Oh man, do you love that kid. When he goes to school, you cry. You talk about him all day. He’s your first thought in the morning, in fact, he’s the main one you want to be around and the way he lets you boss him around is incredible. You are a little terrible duo, plotting away, snuggling up together and generally being thick as thieves. These last few months have brought that out even more, with no one else to play with your relationship has blossomed beyond all expectations, it’s magical to watch.
That’s exactly what you are; magic. I can’t imagine a world without you in it, my tiny, cheeky, bossy thing and I have loved every single second of watching you change and grow. There’s no-one else quite like you; don’t ever stop being you.
Happy second birthday my little bird.