Today is the first day that we have a 2 year old in our home and this mamma is not pregnant or cradling a new baba. Does that make me deliriously happy? Not at all. Desperately sad? Not really. Bittersweet? Definitely.
But, at the same time, I’m enjoying enjoying my youngest. His funny quirks and cute sayings; his chubby little body that he likes to expose, nekid, to the world, even in the dead of winter; his cheeky grin … he is the sweetest little boy and …
…my feistiest 2-year old yet. Yes, that would be my angelic-blonde-curls, blue-eyed boy … Micah. Don’t let those cute curls deceive you (actually, they shouldn’t these days, since I gave them a bit of a chop yesterday!). Behind that delighted grin and the chortling giggles lurks a mini monster! It usually comes out when it hears the, otherwise innocuous, words: "No, Micah!"
Mini Micah Monster accomplishes some pretty impressive feats, including turning beet red in under 1 second flat, and puce in 2 (seconds). Usually, the shades of purple are accompanied by fist biting (his own), hair pulling (his sisters’) and body slapping (anyone within range, including himself) and whole body tremors as he clenches his fists and holds himself tight in an attempt to channel his anger somewhere. It would be kind of scary if it weren’t so funny. Especially when he sneaks a peek at us from under his furrowed eyebrows to check the audience reaction.
Thankfully, little Micah is not endlessly stubborn and once he’s established that he’s not going to get his own way, he usually complies readily. This is helpful when having to dress him, feed him or put him down for an unwanted nap. It’s been an interesting discovery, as my other kids at this age showed decidedly more perseverance with the tantrums in the face of reprimand than Micah does. Especially when their initial outbursts were as impressive as Micah’s run of the mill ones. Full of fireworks; explosive and sometimes self-destructive – but seldom does it last too long and always his sweet grin returns untainted by his former display.
And that little grin is in a class of its own. If we’ve been apart for any length of time, his little face lights up with delight when he sees me return. I should bottle it and sell it as a Self Image Booster. His ear-to-ear open-mouthed beam melds into giggles and chortles. Little arms pump up and down with excitement. It’s too cute. No one can walk away from a Micah Reception without feeling on top of the world.
His gorgeous grin is the same as his cheeky face. That’s the face I get to see every time he casts a glance over his shoulder while running away from me. Usually, he’s stark nekid and escaping the after bath/get changed routine. I also get to see Mr Cheeky Grin when he’s horsing around with his siblings or being caught doing something he shouldn’t do – like plastering mommy’s make up all over his face. That’s a fairly regular occurrence. Hmmm, should I be worried?
Mostly, he is just a sweetheart, who loves to cuddle (and will actually stay still, cuddling with us in the early mornings, unlike the other lot who all wriggled within 5 seconds of crawling under the covers) … loves to do what his big siblings are doing ("do skool, mommy! do skool!") … loves to sing… loves to tease… loves to play… loves to allow his big sisters to dress him up (as a girl… there goes the worry factor again) and loves to hug and kiss and cuddle.
He has a few special people in his life. One of those is Johanna, our very reliable and most wonderful domestic worker. Johanna agreed to speak only Afrikaans to him, since he was little. And so she does. Mikes has learnt a whole load of Afrikaans from her. He understands most of what she is saying and even answers back in Afrikaans from time to time. It’s very cute hearing his little voice pipe up with "Daar’s hy" or "dankie!" in unexpected moments. Johanna gets the same excited reception he reserves for those he loves. Usually she is bowled over before she even has time to step past the front door. And Johanna loves Micah. I love coming home from an extra mural, or Lunch Bunch with the bigger kids to find Johanna and Micah outside, playing soccer or improvised hockey with old squash rackets and plastic beach balls. Johanna gives Micah just as much love as we do – and he loves her to bits too.
His Afrikaans and English mix hasn’t seemed to hinder him too much in the language department. He doesn’t talk nearly as the others did at this age, but he makes up for it with his earnest babbling which sounds so very much like real words with deep meaning! When he does articulate himself, it’s too cute. "Yook" for look and "moofies" for music/movies, to name but two. And, where he lacks in verbal maturity, he makes up for in physical maturity. He’s our tallest kid yet and has no qualms about taking on his big brother. Too many times the squabbles between them end in wails… from Sam, howling, "Mommy, Micah just (fill in the blank)-ed me!"
But, even if he grows into a huge hulking adult male, he’ll still always be my baby. And, I will always look fondly back at videos like this one below, where my cherub is bouncing around, grinning and singing and enjoying being 2.
(can’t view the video? click here: Micah Sings. You’ll notice some background noise – that would be Sam and Katie arguing, again! Oh, and turn down your volume! This is quite loud!)
Happy Birthday, my Micah Moo (aka Mickey Micah Moo, Mikes, Mikey Mike and more)! We love you so very much and we keep praying that you’ll grow into your verse sake as you grow into manhood. Micah 6:8.