OMG, you’re two years old! You are speaking so much. You sing. You copy. You lead. It just amazes us. Thank goodness for videos, so we can capture your cute voice, words, and actions that way. Keeping track here on the blog with words and photos has become impossible. Your first year, I blogged weekly. Your second year, I blogged monthly. Your third year, I plan to blog quarterly. Still, I’m taking photos and videos of you daily.
Your Dutch oma visited you in the beginning of your 24th month, but for most of it we were in Japan spending time with your Japanese oma and opa. Our time in Japan was great, but getting there was anything but. You were already sick and running a fever before we left (we even visited the doctor on the day we left for Japan) and we all had the worst flight experience getting there. It has really put us off flying anywhere anymore. I was most afraid of your jet lag, which was so difficult to deal with last year, but it only bothered us for one night and then you were fine.
We all (yes, you included) ate lots of good Japanese food. We had a lot of fun doing kiddy things, purikura, karaoke, and much more. Your favorite superhero Anpanman is everywhere in Japan. You got to see a few Anpanman live shows, and on your birthday we even got to meet the man and take a photo with him.
The cherry blossoms were in full bloom so we enjoyed a nice hanami picnic under the sakura. Papa got to take you to see a live baseball game, which you really enjoyed and the whole experience was like a dream come true for Papa. We saw lots of animals in Japan. We went to the zoo, two aquariums, a farm and some play parks which had all kinds of animals. You go a little wild and squeal excitedly when you see animals and you love petting them.
Opa and Oma have a car, so we drove to quite a lot of places, putting you and keeping you in a car seat is not easy though. You had a few heartbreaking freak-outs in the back of the car, without us being able to stop and comfort you. Just like the buggy, you’re not a fan of the car seat. You love the bicycle seat though! Here it was the opposite, you would freak out when we arrived at our destination and when we tried to take you out of the seat. You absolutely loved biking around. I wish England was safe enough to bike around with you.
You love to sing Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’, Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’, and the ‘Happy Birthday’ song. The latter is always combined with you blowing out imaginary candles. You clearly remember blowing out the candles on your birthday cake. You are really good at blowing out candles, and you love doing it. You also love cheering and clapping with us after the flames are out, and after singing the song. On your actual birthday in Japan, after we went to bed you started singing the Happy Birthday song by yourself for the first time. I’m happy that it’s so clearly a happy memory for you.
We love it when you give the thumbs up. You don’t really stick up your thumb, instead you let it rest on your fingers and so your thumb is only pointing up a little. You combine it with a long “goooood”, so it’s still clear what you mean. You have perfected the cupped hand trumpet. You will stand straight up, cup your hands around your mouth and yell really loudly “Papaaaaaaah” or whoever it is you are looking for.
You do not like dirty hands and fingers, just like your dad. Every time you touch food, you almost instantly ask for us to clean your hands. You know how to clean your own hands and mouth with a wipe.
We went to the dentist again and you did fine, this time on my lap. I think you have all the toddler teeth and molars you’re supposed to have now. Last time, the dentist said your teething was a bit delayed, since then you’ve caught up.
You also like to pet someone’s hair/forehead while saying “awazhu”, which is supposed to be ‘I love you’. For a while, you stopped calling me ‘Mama’ and called me ‘awazhu’, with a petting gesture, instead. Now we’re back to ‘Mama’. You love pointing at people and/or touching their noses (including yourself) while saying their names, you like to go around the room and include everyone. And you know everyone’s names and you pronounce them almost perfectly.
You are a true monkey! You love climbing, and you’ve gotten so good at it. We went to several playgrounds in Japan and you amazed us all by climbing high up all kinds of installations everyone thought you were too young for. You climb up and down stairs without holding on to the sides, and often you’re carrying things in your hands.
You love jumping, off of everything. High and low. Sometimes holding someone’s hands, more often not. You like to jump down each step of the stairs, we don’t like that very much so we need to keep a close eye on you constantly.
Still, you’re not oblivious to danger. When you deem something too high, you ask for our hands to hold while you jump off. Recently, we were on a play installation with a plexiglass floor which you would not walk on, even though your friend just wandered on it, turning circles while looking down.
You have discovered a fun game. You do something and the adults copy you. Oh my gosh, do you enjoy this. You manage to make up such a huge variety of movements and gestures that we’re all supposed to copy. If someone doesn’t do it right, you quickly notice, point at them and grunt in a way that clearly means “get with it, man!”
You’re still my little nursling, so mama’s got herself some diamond boobies. I’m really proud we made it to the WHO and NHS recommended minimum of two years of breastfeeding. I’ve fed you in so many interesting places over the past two years, this last month I even got to feed you in Hogsmeade with a nice view of Hogwarts castle (at Universal Studios Japan).
When you want to nurse, you used to say “this this” and poke my boobs. Then it evolved to “mel mel” when I taught you ‘melk’, the Dutch word for milk. Then last month, you’ve been calling it “ulk ulk”, and now it’s “elk elk”. I reply with “mmmelk?” Then you say: “Mmmmmmmm. Elk.”
I want to have some breastmilk jewelry made to celebrate our achievement. I like the idea of a ring with a bezel set with some of my milk and a lock of your hair. So just before we left for Japan, I cut some of your hair for the very first time. You did not like it, the sensation and sound of cutting hair seemed to scare you. A small piece of your mullet is currently in an envelope waiting to be made into jewelry.
While we were in Japan, you had your first proper haircut at the very cool Anpanman hairsalon. You got to choose between an Anpanman, Baikinman and Dokinchan seat. You ended up in Baikinman and you really enjoyed the environment, the toys and the Anpanman videos on the screen. As soon they tried to put the gown on you, the fun was over though. You freaked out. The people there are really good with children and really patient.
You ended up on my lap (in a boring chair) and while everyone distracted you with your new Anpanman duplos, the hairdresser secretly cut your hair. You ended up covered in hair, of course. Under lots of protest, we got your clothes off and they lint-rolled all the pesky hairs off. Your head got washed in one of those typical hairdresser sinks, which was another new unpleasant experience for you. I really hope we didn’t traumatize you forever with your first haircut.
We had such a hard time choosing a style for you, we had no idea what would look good. The hairdresser did a great job on your hair. You look so handsome with your new hairdo. Our little baby is gone, you’re really a little man now.