ares is two
Ares turned two today. How did that even happen?! TWO! Like, the age where most people stop counting their kid’s age in months (unless you’re me), and their clothes are no longer categorized as baby clothing because hey, they’re obviously toddlers now and not little babies!
While we do celebrate birthdays, our celebrations are generally low-key. And birthdays for babies where they’re not turning one? Even more low-key. We didn’t get baby Raspberry her first birthday gift until she turned three (it was a much beloved meerkat, by the way), because babies don’t really care that much for presents. Likewise, we were planning to do the same for Ares. Except that we replaced the birthday banana bread that marked Raspberry’s first two birthdays (and half-birthdays) with cupcakes. Birthday (and half-birthday) cupcakes became a tradition for us when Raspberry turned three (quite evidently, the age when they know that much more?). There were two banana bread loaves that marked Ares’ first birthday, because Lucas messed up the first one (and somewhat, the second), and because we’re of the belief that too much sugar in a proper cake isn’t great for a baby. The unspoken plan for Ares’ second birthday was more banana bread. But when you have an older child who inadvertently introduces the idea of birthday cupcakes to her younger sibling, and the younger sibling instantly latches on to the aforementioned idea, then well, birthday banana bread doesn’t seem quite as exciting as birthday cupcakes, even when you don’t really know any better. So birthday cupcakes it was then!
In the days leading up to Ares’ birthday, we’d tell him that it would be his birthday in x days, to which he’d reply, “cupcakes!” It was like watching Pavlov’s dog. We’d be cruel to deny the child of cupcakes now. We taught him that he was turning two, which is the only number he can successfully count to, but can’t hold up the appropriate number of fingers for. He was evidently rather excited about his birthday, although I’m certain he doesn’t really know what it means beyond the fact that there are cupcakes. Raspberry, as you might expect, was infinitely more excited about his birthday. Yesterday, she worked hard at making him a tiny book with drawings of construction vehicles (his current obsession) and re-wrote a story she made up for her creative writing workshop into a little book for him. She gave him the books this morning and he loved them, requesting that she read them over and over to him.
As that was happening, I was lying in bed, unable to lift my weighted eyelids, as Ares has decided that 4am was a really good time to wake up and ask for food. Like, actual solid food and not breastmilk. The 4am feast didn’t happen, even though he did try to climb out of bed, only to fall asleep on top of the comforter at the foot of the bed, making it uncomfortable for long-legged Lucas to move his legs.
The middle-of-the night waking naturally translated to middle-of-the-day grumpiness, beginning with a fit in the charity shop, where I was attempting to sort of an issue with a refund. Let it be known that Ares is typically a laid-back kid, who really only throws tantrums when he’s really tired. These drawn-out moments have been few and far between, at this point. In the manner that toddlers are bipolar, he had cheered up by the time I’d popped into Aldi to get mushrooms and was gleefully maneuvering the steering wheel in the Batman car outside the grocery store. Impromptu puddle jumping also helped his mood.
As per his request a few days ago, we went to Big Art at the Walker Art Gallery. The university was holding an event on medicine at the museum, which Lucas had taken Raspberry to, but he opted for the kid-friendly space in the gallery instead. There wasn’t a lot of toys out today though. While he made a beeline for his favourite tea set and scribbled a picture that involved three broken light bulbs, he got bored rather quickly. When he noticed I was texting Lucas (who was letting me know that Raspberry was rather distracted at the event), he decided that he wanted to leave Big Art to meet Raspberry and Lucas because Lucas was the one who’d picked up the cupcakes.
Ares wanted Lucas to carry him in the Boba on the way home during which he fell asleep, which was entirely expected. Except that he must’ve fallen asleep on his hand because two seconds after we stepped in the door, he woke up crying inconsolably about his hand. And that more or less set the tone for the rest of afternoon. I thought giving him some food would alleviate his mood, but alas, it just sent him on an emotional roller coaster. Later came multiple hysterics about wanting cupcakes immediately, not washing his hands before eating, wanting me to feed him, wanting larger pieces of his sandwich, not wanting to come out of the cold bath (after apparently having drunk the bathwater not once, but twice), not wanting to put his clothes on, wanting and not wanting Maroon 5’s Sugar video, wanting a monster truck video, and I’m certain there was probably more in there that I’ve blocked out. For the record, Raspberry had a huge tantrum on her second birthday, and I believe that involved attempting to put the jigsaw pieces on her Madeline puzzle in a certain way. Lucas reminded me that many of her birthdays have involved meltdowns or some degree of tantrum, in line with much of her winter behaviour. Sigh. Kid birthdays aren’t thoroughly joyful events for us, it seems.
Anyway, the newly-minted two-year-old is thankfully asleep now. Here’s to year three, and here’s to hoping he doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night asking for a meal again.Advertisements