This was The Boy two years ago, when we first started this blog, on Christmas day.
This is this Christmas, a few weeks ago.
You expect babies to change drastically in their first year. They go from being lumps to being almost human in 12 months. It's amazing. As much as I anticipated that change -- in both my boys -- it still was fascinating and miraculous to watch.
What I never thought about before I had kids was how much they would change and grow after their first birthday. Somehow, it seemed I would have a baby and then, suddenly, I would have an elementary school-aged kid. After The Boy turned 1, he did seem to stall a little bit. His weight leveled off. I stopped having to buy him clothes every week (that kid was wearing 2T clothes on his first birthday) and, though his language exploded, the tantrums and willfulness that gave me fits leading up to his birthday stopped. I had it figured out, I thought.
And then one day I looked up and realized, Holy crap! This baby isn't even a toddler any more. He's walking steady. He's speaking in full, complex sentences. He's able to handle simple chores. He's eating like a person. He's asking questions about the world.
The Boy keeps sneaking up on me. Just last week I looked up and realized his head was above my countertops. When did that happen? He raised his arms up above his head the other night before bath and, for the first time ever in this child's life, I saw his ribs.
"Boy!" I said, "you have ribs."
"What are ribs?"
I read once that your oldest child always will seem just as old as he can be. That's how I feel about The Boy. Sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's bad. I have to be careful to temper my expectations to what is actually possible for his age.
He's such a sweet, smart boy. He wakes us up most mornings -- "Momma, the sun's up." -- and yells, "Hugs and kisses time, Daddyman!" when I put him to bed. He tells dramatic stories that go on and on and on. I put him to bed talking the other night. He makes up words. He named his triceratop pillow pet Chanker, whatever that means. He's whiny sometimes, timid sometimes. I called him intent as a baby; he still is. He thinks about things, asks endless questions and generally follows the rules. He's tricksy and funny and cuddly.
He's my favorite little monkey.