It is my son, Edward’s, birthday tomorrow and no longer will my wife and I be able to tell to the random playground parents that we have two under two. The speed of our family creation was a badge given for bravery (and a touch of foolishness).
Instead the birthday marks the transition towards toddler. The age is not referred to as the terrific twos. His disposition is changing from one of needs, such as food and sleep, to one of wants like doors being open or iPads to be held. This past week he has developed a new great want - Elmo.
When I greet him in the morning his first word is Elmo, which has taken over his vocabulary like ‘Aloha’ in Hawaiian. After I clean his diaper, he says ‘Elmo’. After I give him the milk he says once again ‘Elmo’
He has a small Elmo doll but prefers the world of Elmo literature. If I am to blame for his constant running around, I like to think that his mom gave him his love of books.
In one tale, there are little flaps to be lifted so you can help Elmo find his blanket. In another the flaps are for numbers, letters, shapes, and colors. My son checks each page several times.
My wife and I are a bit worried about traveling some place where we didn’t have a handy Elmo. Her idea was to buy several like the way we bought three shirts for my wedding in case I sweated too much.
I started to look at videos and audiobooks for my son, but I prefer the red headed monster silent.
I know that a year from now he will have new wants, and I think about how much he has changed in the last. A year ago to the day was the first time he started to walk in a way that resembled rugby players after a night at the Tonga Room. He doesn’t stumble as much any more.
Halfway through the year, his brother arrived whom he greeted with tears. He now hugs him every morning and brings him bottles or toys to make him happy. I asked Edward if he wanted to give David the Elmo doll, and Edward replied with his other favorite word ‘mine.’
I think that turning two means that you have so many more flaps in life to look under, so many words and letters to learn, and so many more pages to turn. There are monsters in the world, but some can turn out to be friendly. That streets can be busy, but are safe if we hold hands.
I know that there are green eyed monsters of brotherhood, and for that matter this year will have tantrums with epic choruses. And I hope we weather these well by counting to ten with numbers we have learned from the streets of Sesame.