Well. It has finally happened. You’ve officially entered the last month of your second year of life. Month number 23 was an exciting month for all of us. You got to meet a cousin you had never met before and spend some time with your Aunt Erin and Uncle Grant. We celebrated Easter with our good friends Helen, Matt, and Annabel. You, Papa, and I spent a romantic night in Skokie together.
Late in March, your cousin Sean came to stay with us for a few days over his Spring Break. I was really excited for you to meet him. When I was growing up I spent a few summers with Sean and his family in Ohio and always had a great time. It was weird for me to see him all grown up and you so little. Around the same time, Aunt Erin and Uncle Grant came to visit! You were overwhelmed with excitement and spent most of their visit screeching with joy! We took Aunt Erin and Uncle Grant to the Lincoln Park Zoo one afternoon (actually-they took us!) and to Be By Baby another day. You had fun looking at the lions and tigers and monkeys at the zoo, and had fun playing with the baby dolls at Be By Baby.
Aunt Erin and Uncle Grant gifted you an awesome wooden sushi set to go with your new wooden kitchen. You love cutting up the wooden bell pepper, tofu, and baby bok choy and making stir-fry for you and I to share. Speaking of foodie-type things, this month you also started drinking from a regular cup with some consistency. I started giving you your own glass of green smoothie to enjoy, and as the days went by, you decided you wanted your water in a cup as well. You still miss your mouth and spill your water at least 40% of the time, but overall you’re overcoming this new challenge.
Every day you wake up with a new word on your tongue. Early in the month you woke up asking for a “hug!” Just yesterday you yelled “Fuck!” Fuck!” at me over and over. And when I responded by handing you one of your play forks, you were excited to see you had gotten your point across. These days you often tell us you want to “play” at the “park” and that you want to “kick” your “ball.” You’ve started saying your own name and you consistently ask for “Ennn” (Aunt Erin) and as of yesterday, “Mark.”
In the mornings, after Papa goes to work, I usually give Grandma Rose a call. She likes to hear how you’re doing and chat about all the exciting things that have occurred in the previous 24 hours. Just recently you began demanding to talk to Grandma on the phone. It has gotten to the point where I just let you roam the house, cell phone in hand, while I do dishes or clean up from breakfast. Grandma loves talking to you, and you love talking to her.
Next month, you, Papa, and I are going to take a plane ride back to Pennsylvania to visit with Grandma Rose and Grandpa Mike, Great Grandpa, and all our friends. We’re staying with Aunt Demi, Uncle Scott, and the boys and already have a play date set up with your friend Nadia! I just talked to Aunt Helen last night, and from what she tells me, Ebby is quite excited to play princess dress-up with you! I’m really looking forward to this trip, Jude. I can’t wait to go to Abe’s for breakfast and Zummo’s for coffee. I can’t wait to see all of our Peacemeal friends; Dr. Jennifer; Aunt Becky and Uncles Paul and Rob; and Aunt Michelle and Uncle DJ! I can’t wait to take you back to South Abington and Nay Aug Park to play. I really looking forward to seeing how you interact with Crosby, Nolan, Eli, Luke, Ebby, and Nadia… I’m really excited, Monkey. Can you tell?
So, let’s enjoy these last days before you turn 2. Let’s enjoy the nice weather Chicago has been (sporadically) experiencing, and let’s enjoy learning about the world together. As sad as it makes me to see you getting bigger and bigger as each day goes by, I’m truthful when I say I’m looking forward to your second birthday and to watching you grow up.