To my tiny tomato,

Today, you are two years old!

Two years ago, you and I were still occupying the same space, your little body making my belly round, the excitement and fear of motherhood on high alert at all times.  Your arrival was a little bit early but exactly on time.  And when you got out and gave me a snuggle and a burp, my love for you was written in permanent ink across the calendar pages of the rest of my life.

You are quick to slap on a pair of sunglasses (and oven mitts) and announce yourself as a “Hey, cool dude!”  You call me “Mommy-O” and your father is “Daddy-O,” and these monikers are especially charming when you’re either just waking up (“Good morning, Mommy-O!”) or if you have just done something that warrants an apology (“Sorry, Daddy-O.”).  And you’re such a sweet, kind boy.  You are quick to laugh and even quicker to give hugs; the joy you’ve brought to our family is only rivaled by the love we have for you.

Things you like?  There are plenty.  Eating apples in their entirety, leaving nothing (not even a stem) in your wake.  You love when friends come over and you celebrate their arrival by making them mushroom and puzzle piece soup in your play kitchen.  You seem to like hanging out in the bathroom and making a “pssssssssssh” noise with your mouth, pretending to be peeing.  “I pee.”  Pause.  “Psssssssssssssh!”

You also really like taking a bowl of Cheerios and pouring it into another bowl, then taking that new bowl of (old) Cheerios and pouring it back into the first bowl and back and forth and back and forth until the Cheerios become decidedly less cheery and more oblong-ish O’s.  You love to eat.  You love pomegranate and cheese, peanut butter, corn, bananas, and you eat so many damn blueberries that you’re thisclose to becoming Violet Beauregarde.

The joy you find in a bowl of peas is frankly a little weird.

Things you don’t like?  A couple of specific items.  Like being asked to “sit.”  You don’t like being contained in a high chair and have apparently gone free-range in terms of eating, which makes places like restaurants and Earth a little tough to manage.  And when you aren’t able to wrangle and control the Apple TV remote, you open your mouth into this giant O and yell “Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!”  (This hasn’t ever inspired your parents to return the remote to you, you know.  It will never, ever happen.  You think you’re stubborn?  Remember that you inherited that trait from Mommy-O.)  And man oh man do you hate being told you can’t jump face first off the couch.

Your three favorite things to do are to play “chase” with your sister (usually resulting either in a collapsed heap of giggling children or a pissed off Loopy), to read a bunch of books, and to listen to music.  Currently, you could read I Will Never, Not Ever Eat a Tomato or Put it on the List all day long, still occasionally checking in with Love You Forever and The Little Blue Truck.  Music runs your world, though, and the Dan in Real Life soundtrack (“Pancake song!!!”) dominates, with hip hop polka by James Last coming in second, and Wall of Glass a close third.  You aren’t much for TV but you’re pretty much ready for your own Spotify account.

Yesterday, on your last day of being one, you woke up, took off all your clothes, and climbed out of your crib.  This morning, a newly-minted two year old, you woke up and sang happy birthday very loudly, then promptly asked for cake.

You make sense to me, kid.

And when I think back to a time before you arrived, it seems fake because haven’t you always been here?  You’ve always been here.

Happy second birthday, my little love.  You are my sunshine.