My brain is taken over by thoughts of "Ethan is almost two" and "must. prepare. party!" One of the birthday traditions that I'm working on implementing is a yearly birthday interview. I'll ask the same questions each year until Ethan is a teenager and tells me he hates me and I'm ruining his life as a token response to each question and it (with the inevitable teenage angst included) will be a sweet collection to look back on when he's all grown up. Today I asked Ethan what his favorite memory from the past year was and he stared at me blankly. "What was your favorite thing that you did or saw this year," I clarified. His face lit up, he threw his arms up in the air and exclaimed "tot school!" It was kind of a proud mommy moment (okay, not going to lie, I was beaming) but that's all you get right now. Ethan's epic two-year interview in it's entirety cannot be spoiled before it's unveiling at his birthday party.
Ethan has been asking to visit the pet store every afternoon. He calls it "the zoo" and passerby laugh and think he's being naively adorable, but I'm totally guilty of referring to the pet store as "the free zoo" and that's where he gets it from. Yesterday afternoon we held hands into the pet store and as the electronic doors opened he yelled "THE ZOO!" A woman also walking in with her small dog began to giggle, tousled his hair and said "bless his heart." I wince each time with the fear he's going to call it "the free zoo" and it's going to go from something sweet and endearing to Ethan becoming a quick source of pity.
The other day I was changing Ethan's diaper and applying his diaper balm. "More butt cream," he said and I laughed just because it was hilarious and I was unaware the term "butt cream" was in his vocabulary.
The other day Green Day's "Time Of Your Life" came on the radio and Ethan squealed and said "Bibby Joe! Bibby Joe noise!" Cue another thing I had no idea he knew (both the song and Billie Joe Armstrong's name. These kids are like sponges, I tell you).
Ethan has begun asking for pasta at every meal. I finally asked him why all he wanted to eat was pasta and he said "Ethan make mess. Ethan like mess. More pasta!" And it appears this is all true, the love of mess, which is a little bit reassuring because for a while he was channeling his daddy in the sense nothing could possibly be dirty. (This made outings at the park generally unpleasant, especially after a big rain. Now, he jumps in the puddles while shouting "MORE MESS!" as mud flies onto his clothing.)
"Night night" time has generally been a breeze and while I don't want to jinx it, I feel like twenty months of poor sleeping habits that have seemed to magically fix themselves has earned me a little bit of a right to boast. It's scary how easy bedtime and naptime are both these days and my favorite part of them both is scooping Ethan up when he wakes up, all snuggly and warm, and listening to him describe his dreams -- which almost always involve ice-cream cones.
Since I moved back home after college, my dad and I had the morning tradition of an 8:00 a.m. Starbucks date. Having Ethan suddenly discover he loves sleeping, I've had to miss more of these days lately than I've liked (and when I need them the most -- oh, the irony!). The past few mornings, my dad has hand-delivered me my latte while Ethan and I are outside feeding the ducks (his new favorite morning ritual). This morning Ethan pointed to my latte and said "mommy coffee. 'Bucks. Mommy, grandpa coffee, 'Bucks."
We have been working hard at please, thank you and I'm sorry. Yesterday during Ethan's haircut, he was an absolute terror. We had practiced over and over with him being polite and patient during his haircut and at first he was, until we sat in the chair. (This is all an onset of turning two, as Ethan was the former Haircut Pro up until now.) Once we got into the car and told him I wasn't very happy with how he wasn't being nice to Mark during his haircut, he sat quietly for a few minutes and then said, "Sorry, Mark. Ethan cookie?" It's, like, impossible to stay mad at this little guy.