I feel like up until now, I could still get away with thinking of you as my baby. You're so small for your age, and it makes it easier to see you as a baby! You still have those baby cheeks, squishy baby thighs, soft baby hands and adorable baby voice.
But sweet Brandon... you're a half a year away from turning three. And though I've said it so many times since becoming a mommy... I seriously don't know where the time has gone.
It's true that since you're the baby of the family, I've held you a little tighter a little bit longer. I have let you remain attached to your binky WAY past when we allowed Jaden to. I haven't been attacking potty training too hard... although we are making attempts every day. Just not real seriously. I still call you Baby. I'm not ready for you to outgrow my lap. I'm not ready for you to be too big for me to carry. I'm not ready for your voice to sound older. Your brother and I will always have a special bond because he was my first, and we had two whole years together just me and him before you came along. But you will always be special to me, too... because you're my youngest. Pregnancy with you was tougher than pregnancy with Jaden. Delivery with you was in no way natural or normal and was a little bit scary. Your first year was tough due to horrible ear infections and constant teething. You have been worth every bit and more. Though you and Jaden have such opposite personalities in so many ways... you fit together perfectly as brothers.
God got it right.
I apologize now... for the years ahead. I will be one of those emotional moms at every big milestone. It's just because I love you both so much.
Who you are at 2 1/2...
...you are FUNNY. You make us laugh every single day. From your mischevious personality, to your contagious laugh to your sweet sounding voice and the cute way you say things. You are such a unique little person and an absolute joy to be around.
...you are a cuddle bug. Though you are rowdy and wild, you give the best hugs and kisses. You love to show love, and I am so glad that you are still so tiny and still fit so easily on my lap.
...you are independent and determined. That is the understatement of the century. I don't know if it's because you have an older brother to look up to... or if it's just the way God made you... but you have always been entirely your own person, and you have always known exactly what you want. Even when you were a tiny baby, you were not content to just lie on the floor. You were bound and determined you were going somewhere... even if you didn't know just where it was you wanted to go. You will not accept any help getting in and out of your car seat, and you were able to feed yourself with a spoon and a fork much earlier than most kids. You don't like to let anyone else pick out your clothes in the mornings, and I often find you digging through your clothes hamper in your closet - trying to find your favorite shirt or shorts so that you can change clothes half way through the day.
...you are not a good eater most of the time. You don't ever want to sit still long enough, and you're not a big fan of meat. Unless it's hamburger. Just plain hamburger. You also like mostly anything with noodles... and cake and cookies. Of course. You have never been a good milk drinker - unless it's chocolate milk.
...you love your big brother. When he's not with us, you look for him and ask for him. If he naps longer than you do, you usually try to wake him up. You want to do everything with him, and it makes me so happy to see you two as best friends. You also are not afraid to stick up for yourself when Jaden tries to pull the "I'm-older-and-bigger-than-you-card." And you definitely don't let him boss you around. Whenever Jaden does get a little too harsh with you or snaps at you for some reason, you often times end up in tears. You just look up to him so much.
...you are a dare devil. It is terrifying. You will climb and jump off of anything. You love parks and try to climb things that no two year old should be attempting. You love to go as high as possible in the swings and the faster and taller the slide, the better. However, you weren't willing go on any rides at Adventureland... which shocked all of us. But you were fascinated with watching the big, tall Space Shot ride and have said multiple times that you want to try a roller coaster the next time we go. Brandon, when it comes to you... we never know what we're going to get. You keep us on our toes.
...you go potty on the big potty whenever we make you sit on it. You still won't tell us before you wet your diaper, but you usually tell us after you poop in your diaper. You think it's fun to flush the toilet.
...you are very sensitive. You do not like when we have to put you in time out, and you usually collapse into tears if we have to scold you for anything. You definitely know how to use the water works to your advantage. It's very hard to discipline you but becoming increasingly important that we do so consistently. You try to get away with everything.
...your favorite shows right now are Higglytown Heroes and Sesame Street. You also think the squirrel on the Ice Age movies is really funny, and you are fascinated by Dancing With the Stars. I also think you would watch your special Christmas movies year-round if we let you.
...while your brother loves video and computer games and playing with music toys, you love to build things with blocks, Lincoln Logs and Legos and play with cars. You are also obsessed with lining things up in a perfect row and hate it if there's a wrinkle in the blanket when it's spread out on the floor. You are a perfectionist. You get a little of this from both your daddy and I.
...you like the girls. You notice the pretty ones and even talk about them having "pretty hair" or pretty dresses. You tell me all the time, "You're a pretty girl!" You always seem to pull that one out when you know you've done something wrong.
...nap time and bed time have become challenging with you. You try as hard as you can to not nap even though you still need to. You go to sleep just fine at daycare but fight us at home and with the grandmas if they are watching you for the day. At bed time, you have a few nights a week that you refuse to settle down in bed and end up having to sit with your daddy and me and watch TV. I'm not sure what got you started on this road... you used to go to bed so nice and peacefully - even as a little baby. Like I said... independent. And stubborn.
...you can tell us what your name is and how old you are. You love to tell people that you're TWO, and you do a perfect job of holding up just two fingers. You haven't even come close to being able to count yet. But we're working on it a lot. You can point out all of your colors and say their names. You have been able to point out all of your body parts for a very long time. You love it when I sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
...you don't like to take baths anymore. We have to rush you into the tub, wash you as fast as we can and then get you out right away. The only way we can keep you in there is if Daddy will take a bath with you. I tried to get you to take a shower the other night, but you were too scared and tried to climb out of the tub before I even turned the water on.
...you are adorable. From the way you lie face to face with me in your bed, stroking my cheek - to the way you say "I wuv you." The way you prounounce Jaden's name and just how cute your giggle is. You're like this perfectly blended mix of boyish toddler trouble and mama's little sweetheart. We love you so much Brandon Louis, and though it's hard watching you grow so fast - the pleasure of it is all mine - every single day.
xoxo -- always,