Friday, February 14, 2014

The Curl at Two

Dear Caroline,
We're in that interim space between your technical birthday and the actual invite-some-people-over-to-the-house birthday party.  So yeah, we take advantage of the fact that you have no working knowledge of the Gregorian calendar.

You are two years old.  Now that is all kinds of crazy, man.  It makes me feel a little panicky.  Or that I should know more and be more wise and be more patient and be more all kinds of junk in order to have a shot at raising you right.  Time is running quickly, and I'm afraid you're going to be stuck with whatever kind of dad and mom you have this very minute.  Lucky you!

I read yesterday where someone observed that you only have something like 6 or 8,000 days with your kids until they are just about grown.  When I think that I've already burned up maybe a tenth of that time, I just try to relax and breathe calmly.  Into a nice brown paper bag.

Anyway, I'm told there's not much I can do about this whole birthday growing up thing except play along and pretend to like it.

Actually it's not so bad.  I love to see you doing big girl things and saying crazy big girl stuff that you picked up on the fly from your big brother.  "Caroline, you want me to peel you an orange?"  "NO TAA TOO,  AH FINE."  No, thank you, I'm fine?!  You are freaking me out, dude.  I mean, you were gurgling your answers like, last week.

Where Jack was very go along, get along in many ways, you are the most stubborn, opinionated, ornery little soul that God ever created.  You are so, so sweet... until you want this deal done another way, pronto.  You reject books you don't care for me to read, and you stop me in the middle of songs you don't want sung (SERIOUSLY, WHO DOESN'T LIKE JESUS LOVES ME?!).  You stop everything and order your blanket to be put about the royal shoulders.  You demand not this babydoll, but that babydoll.  Oh, it's the one downstairs?  Well, tough Nutterbutters, Daddy.

You're like a little cute, pink Ghengis Khan, that smells really nice and doesn't (to my knowledge) drink blood mixed with mare's milk while sacking entire regions.  But it's 100% okay.  Your almost constant sweet overcomes your occasional sour, which is about all anyone can hope for.

Although you apparently hold a nasty grudge against Legos.  No one knows why.  Like Godzilla waltzing through Tokyo, buildings on fire and people screaming all around you, you have shown zero mercy for the Lego Fire Station, Lego Gas Station and Car Wash, Lego X-Wing, Lego Land Speeder, Lego Tow Truck, Lego Coast Guard Rescue Team (complete with Zodiac and trailer), and Lego Avengers 4x4 Assault Truck that have crossed your path.  You leave only the rubble of stray piles of blocks behind you, littered here and there with bits of dismembered Lego people.

Watching you patter (without shoes) after Jack at 85 mph is hilarious.  And when you crash down the stairs because you took on way too much way too fast,  it's jarring.  Like all little siblings and siblingettes, you attempt to do what Jack does,  go where he goes, say what he says (even after we tell him not to, because you emulate everything and we're nipping that in the bud right now, Mister).

But we're so glad that you two play with each other.  It's a bit of an odd match though, like when you see the weird news story about a orangutan befriending a dolphin.  You two live in nearly separate universes, occasionally colliding to exchange a superhero cape or to angrily yell at each other.  It's pretty decent comedy, but it's even more valuable because we're left by ourselves to clean up the junk you both just destroyed in the other room.

Oh yeah, I was wishing you a happy birthday.  I'll do that now.  Happy birthday, my girl.  I love you tremendously.  Many happy returns.

- Your Daddy.