2 years. 2 months. 4 days.
That's exactly how old my nephew, Riley was when he died.
Today, Baby Gage is 2 years, 2 months, & 4 days old.
I prayed that today would come, because the alternative is that it wouldn't & that means that I would have less than 2 years, 2months & 4 days with Gage...and that's a horrible thought. I knew it would be hard, and I knew that it would weigh on my mind, and for some reason I've been counting the days until today.
So, of course, this brain of mine goes to places that I don't want to think about. My imagination sets today as some sort of morbid frame of reference. What if today was all I had? What if I had all of my memories of Gage, all of our experiences up until this point & no more? What would it be like to have half a day with him today & no more? What would I miss the most (besides....everything)? Today I'm sure he'll be able to get away with murder b/c somehow in my mind---today's the day. Today's the day he can do no wrong. Today's the day he can eat M&Ms for breakfast if he wants.
So, I marvel at his little mind & vocabulary. Today he said the word, "kitchen". He's said it before, I'm sure. But today, I noticed. I noticed how he the "tch" sounds like "sh", and I asked him to say it again, again, again.
His imagination is taking flight. Night before last he was pretending to be a bird in the living room. Flapping his wings, pretending to fly & making bird noises.
He loves to brush his teeth. He has a little Elmo stepstool in the bathroom. He loves to climb up there & brush his teeth, and wash his hands. And, he's really good now to open his mouth & let Mommy do the brushing when he's all done himself.
He loves to play outside. All the time. He loves soccer, and we play "soccer" in the backyard at least 4 times a week! He doesn't like to share the ball, so basically he's the soccer star, and I'm just some other team who runs around in the grass. If he thinks you're getting too close to his ball, he just lays down on top of it. He doesn't like to kick it if it is too close to the fence, so he bends down & swats it with his hand until it is a little further away from the fence...then he is right back to kicking it!
He's so weird about food. He likes macaroni & cheese now, but you can't call it macaroni. You have to call it "noodles". HE can call it macaroni, and you can call it macaroni after he uses that word...but not before he uses it, or he won't eat it.
He loves hot dogs & calls them "weinie dogs". He loves ketchup, and asks for it all the time. Like his daddy, he loves to eat bread. Like me, he loves to eat grated cheese. He loves corn on the cob, and sausage for breakfast.
He likes chapstick, but you have to watch him. He puts it aaaaalllllll over his face. And on the rare occasion, you can apply it for him. For the most part, you just have to take it away from him when he's covered his lips & before he moves on to his cheeks & forehead.
He loves to go to the store. He is forever asking to go to the store. He loves "donts" (donuts) & night before last he begged me to take him to the store to buy "donts and tape". (Scotch Tape is his new favorite toy. Just tear an inch off & stick it to his fingers....he'll be content for about 10-15 minutes.) He claims to love "coffee & donts", but I'm not sure he's ever really even tasted coffee.
He's a greedy-gut. He's not very good at sharing yet, and I'm not sure if it's just his age, or his nature...or maybe the fact that he's an only child. I'm sure that all of those things factor into it. But, he's greedy. Over the weekend, he was at my mom's house, playing with my 5yo nephew, Trystan. They were playing with paper shopping bags. They were running loops through the house chasing each other & fighting over paper bags. Truly you had to be there to appreciate how cute it was...but Gage would wait until he thought Trystan was not watching, and he would stash his bags behind a Ficus tree or underneath a chair in the living room...as if they were completely hidden. Then he'd chase after Trystan to steal some more bags. Greedy-gut,I tell ya.
He likes all kinds of cartoon shows....Scooby-Doo, Dora, Diego, Handy Manny, Teletubbies, Curious George, Johnny & The Sprites, Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Caillou, JoJo's Circus, SpongeBob, Wonderpets, The Wiggles....oh, the list could go on. [and no, he does not watch TV all day long....he just likes a lot of different stuff, and seems to recognize all of these different characters....]
When you take off his shoes, he wants you to smell his socks & feet. When he gets out of the bath, he wants you to smell his feet.
He wipes his mouth on his sleeve, although where he learned this, I don't know. Daddy says it's just little boy instinct. It very well may be.
He is fascinated with his own nose. He is constantly exploring that nostril space with his fingers or just about anything he can put up there. You have to watch him like a hawk these days....
He loves his "blankies", although the position of current favorite seems to rotate. Right now, the current favorite is a light blue fleece blanket with cars on it. A gift from either Melissa or her mom...I can't remember which one now. He loves the blankets that my mother in law & a few friends crocheted when I was pregnant. He fiddles with the yarn & hole patterns as he drifts off to sleep.
Around here, he often likes to snuggle or sleep in "daddy's bed"....but when we are away from home, he refers to our home as "mommy's house." Daddy gets a bed; I get a whole house. Clearly he knows who is in charge around here, right???
He loves, loves, loves to go to the park. The swings used to be his favorite. Now, it's the slide. And, he's not going to do it alone. No sir. You have to climb up there too. You can either slide with him, or after him. But you bet your buns that you are getting a workout if you go to the park with Little Mr.Get-My-Way.
His favorite playmate is his distant cousin, Nora. (Nora is MY 2nd cousin, so how is she related to Gage??3rd cousin??? I don't know). He often asks for her, even though they've only played together a couple of times in their whole life. She's about a week older than Gage. And he calls her "Noh-wa".
He still loves the mobile in his room. It used to be attached to his bed, but he's too big for that now. We tried just putting it away, but every night he wants "Song". So, I ended up suspending it from the ceiling out of his reach (and almost out of mine)! Every night, he still listens to "song" as he twiddles the blanket & falls asleep.
The boy loves to dance. He has since he was soooooooooo little. He rarely does it on demand anymore. When he was younger, he'd dance all the time. All the time. Now, the mood has to hit him...but when it does, clear the dance floor & watch him in action. He's so cute.
Kissy-boy. He's kissed his little cousin, Nora....and it was so cute. And of course he's kissed family members. But....as we were watching "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry", he was at the TV trying to kiss Jessica Biel. I guess that's his crush. (he's got good taste. She's a total cutie!)
He does not like crowds or large groups. It really takes him a little bit of time to warm up to people in general, but crowds or big family gatherings----do not expect him to be on his best behavior, and do not expect him to be independent. He just wants to be left the hell alone....except he wants to be in Mommy's lap or on Mommy's hip when everyone else leaves him alone.
He's kind of moody. He gets that from me. I admit it.
He's allergic to something that gives him hives. We still don't know what.
He's got eczema, but it only seems to flare up about 3-4 times a year.
He does not like diaper cream of any kind. But, he likes powder. "spwinkles feel better." So cute.
When he was born, he had "old man hands". It took quite some time for them to plump up & become fat little dented at the knuckle baby hands.
His favorite songs: Born In the USA, Glory Days (both by Bruce Springstein), and #1 Favorite that he knows 99% of the words to: Ice, Ice, Baby by Vanilla Ice. Yes, it's very random, and kind of embarrassing, but I got the tape a while back at Half Price Books for less than a dollar. I thought it would be fun for a random blast to the past. He took a liking to it, and it's become his favorite. Period.
He hates trick or treating, and won't eat turkey unless it's a smoked turkey at my mom's house. He likes to sip "BabyMosas" (sprite & orange juice).
He loves Dr.Seuss, and every time he sees a picture of the character: the cat in the hat, he calls him Dr.Seuss.
He loves going up & down stairs all day long.
He loves playing cars & "twucks". He often lines them up end to end with such precision & determination.
He loves snuggling on the couch with Mommy. He likes to go to the mall & play in the kids area.
He's being groomed by extended family to love the Texas Longhorns. He has orange & white longhorn everything! Let's see....we've got UT: piggy bank, house shoes, hats (mulitple!), gloves, shorts, shirts, sweats, tricycle, dolls, footballs, baseballs, baseball bats, & basketballs.
He likes to watch football on TV. He's 2, and he LIKES to watch football. That's so crazy to me!!!! I can't stand watching football on TV....mega-boring to me. My husband cannot get me to sit there & watch football...even if it's the super bowl. Somehow, I will sit there & watch it with Gage. The other day, we watched part of the OU/OSU game as he was snuggling & getting ready for a nap. Everyone knows that I didn't give a flip about that game....but Gage, that's what he wanted to watch for a little bit....so we did.
He's just so sweet, and fun, and energetic, and complex. He's a moody little son of a gun, who makes my every day worth getting out of bed.
I have no idea what I did with all of my time before his arrival.
I can't imagine living a single day without his little smile, or mischevious hiding, or night-night kisses. I can't imagine what life would be like if this adventure ended. I'm so lucky to have him. I'm so lucky for all of his little personality traits....his sweetness....his smile, his excitement & energy. I'm so lucky to know him, and watch him grow & learn new things. I'm sometimes frustrated by being "the one" that he goes to ALL OF THE TIME....but, in reality, it's heart warming & I wouldn't have it any other way. When he's scared, I'm the one he comes running to. When he's in his bed, It's "Mommy" that he yells for. It's me. I'm his "one". And it won't be that way forever. So, I enjoy the times that he wants to snuggle with me. He wants to slide with me. He wants me to change his diapers. He wants me to play soccer with him. He wants me to get his milk. It's a lot of work being his "one"...but when I'm exhausted at the end of the day, I look over the day & love it.
It's just amazing how much love you can fit into 2 years, 2 months, & 4 days.