I'm terrible about keeping a record of your early years. Other moms are great at it, but I'm not one of them. (Things I'm great at: napping, crossword puzzles, making people laugh. Things I am not great at: laundry, keeping my temper, and the flute.) Myndi just posted a really beautiful letter about life with her little girl, and I was once again reminded that these years are fleeting and somebody needs to record the batshit crazy stuff you say and do. So please excuse my blantant rip-off of another mother's touching tribute, but nobody slept really well around here last night because you woke up at 2 a.m. and decided to just yell at us. Just yelling. About nothing, really. I heard bits and pieces of "sleep Mommy Daddy floor" and some other demands, but you weren't holding anybody hostage and my bed was warm. So I left.
Life with two-and-a-half year-old you is insane, Henry. I tell people that it's like you're shot out of a cannon every morning. You must run a mile before 9 a.m. as you chase Gracie while simultaneously running away from anyone approaching with a pair of clean pants. Hot Wheels cars trail in a constant stream behind your fast little legs, clink clink clink on the hardwood floors. I find at least five of them in my bed every night, which means you have 79 somewhere in the rest of the house.
You want to watch Super Why and Cars 2 all the time. We watched Cars 2 twice yesterday and I swear to god, it felt like I was in some crazy time warp where I was doing the exact same things over and over and over. It was deja vu without that dreamy, otherwordly feeling that tickles the base of your brain while you try to figure out where you've seen this before. I know where I saw it before, dude: right here, six hours ago.
This happened last week:
It was only a matter of time until you had to be stitched shut. I distinctly remember telling your father to up our healthcare flex spending account for the year because I knew you'd be in the emergency room sometime soon. I was calm when it happened (at Mrs. Jenny's house, where you got into a one-sided fight with a wooden toy stove), calm when I drove you to urgent care ("Are you tired? Stay awake! Stay awake!"), and still holding it together when they sent us to the ER ("Let's go meet some more nice people!").
Then they held you down and put the needle into your forehead and you screamed (from the pressure, not the pain. You were numb, but you're too little to know the difference between pressure and pain. You were numb you were numb you were numb. I tell myself this when the image of your tear-stained face floats in front of my eyes late at night.) I sang your night-night song in my froggy, sick-for-weeks voice and you immediately stilled and started breathing deeply. I made it through the third stitch, saw there wasn't room for anymore, then promptly stumbled to a chair and started sobbing while trying not to throw up. I ended up on the floor right as you popped into a sitting position with a grin on your face. You seemed so far away on that elevated bed, sipping your apple juice and wrggling around and laughing at the nurses, and my heart just hurt. Then you said, "Puppy see Mommy," and they let you down and you flopped on top of me and snuggled your little face into the crook of my neck. And I could breathe again because you were safe.
And then you stole my Sprite and demanded that I take you to eat french fries and hamburgers with Daddy.
You were not what I expected, Henry M. You are loud and stubborn and a terrible listener. You are a trial on the best of days and completing exhausting on the worst. But you're also smart and silly and terribly snuggly. You are observant and reckless and incessantly curious. Sometimes I forget just how much I love you. Then I see your little face in the front window as I'm backing the car out of the driveway and my heart just lurches. You're a heartbreaker, kid. The very best kind.