One of the first things I heard the midwife say as she lifted up our newest boy was , “hey Cheeks!” And that hasn’t really changed about our little midget man. He is plump from head to toe and struts around like Napoleon. His short, bowled legs do not prevent him from climbing to the height he desires nor does his pigeon-toed walk deter him from tailing his four older siblings. As long as he has his boots on his feet and his snuggle blanket in his hand, he considers himself invincible.
Recently we have begun to catch glimpses of what his busy brain is thinking through his growing vocabulary. He likes to be asked questions about himself to which he either answers with a vigorous head shake and an emphatic “no!” or a grin with a lilting, “noooo.” We are drilling him in all those important polite words like “please” and “thank you,” and every. so. often. he gives that impish grin of his and says one without prompting, waiting for all the cheers that will come in response. He sings silly songs of his own composing and then laughs hysterically when he is finished. It’s a riot and soon he has all of us laughing right along with him. But my favorite word routine of his comes when I tuck him into bed at night. I always say, “I love you more, Simi” and he replies, “I love you more-ee, Mama.”
The last few months and weeks leading up to his birthday have been trying. He is pushing all of the boundaries and testing every limit. He takes pleasure in chasing Shilo around with a stick in hand; he bites anyone who offends him; he throws the food he doesn’t want; he screams when the boundaries don’t move; he vents his big feelings by raging through the house and tearing down whatever stands in his way. At the end of the hardest days with him, I like to tiptoe into his room and peek at him sleeping sweetly in his bed. I need to see him in his calmest state and feel my heart swell with love for him without any prompting. One of the greatest responsibilities of parenting is to grip onto love when anyone else would let go.
Year two is a milestone year for little people. In our home, potty-training begins (and lasts all year) and about halfway through little chores are assigned. When school begins in the fall, Simeon will have more activities to do including recognizing his letters. But most of all, his personality his personality will blossom even more. I can’t wait to hear his thoughts about life as his vocabulary explodes, watch him play with his baby brother as they both grow and mature, and see him gain more self-control over his very big emotions.
My heartfelt prayer for this roly-poly boy is that he will “grow in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”