March 22, 2008

Alex's Second Birthday

So our little boy is now two. We thought he had no ideas what birthdays meant — and I still think that’s true for the most part. But he certainly knows more about them now.

Let me rewind.

Wednesday, March 19th started much like any other day for Alex. We wished him a happy birthday when we woke him up in the morning, but that was about it. We dropped him off at daycare and headed to work. On the way home from work, feeling a little guilty that we’d done essentially nothing for his second birthday, we resolved to buy him some cupcakes and presents at University Village before we brought him home. I picked up Alex and brought him to the nearby playground while Molly did the shopping. The playground idea didn’t work quite as planned — instead of happily running around the slide, Alex instead ran from restaurant to restaurant. I guess he was hungry. So instead of a home-cooked meal on his birthday, we all ate at Atlas foods. Alex had mac & cheese.

When we got home and got Alex ready to eat his cupcake, what did he do? He started singing _Happy Birthday, _all by himself. We guessed, and confirmed later, that they’d sung that song to him at daycare. Apparently, he likes it!

Birthday Cupcake

While he was eating the cupcake, Molly got the phone and called her parents. They sang Happy Birthday to him over the speaker phone, which delighted him. He kept asking, “More Happy Birthday?”

Talking to Nana

We then had him open his present from his great-parents, Diddy and Pop-Pop. They gave him a set of bells. Here’s Alex, opening the present. Note the camera he’s holding — that plays a part in the end of the story.

Opening Diddy's Present

Alex had a good time with the bells.

Playing with the Bells

But by this time, he was starting to get over-tired. He kept trying to take his shirt off, and I was only able to distract him from that by getting him to make funny faces — you can now ask Alex, “Make a funny face!” and this is what he’ll do:

Funny Face with Belly

You can see he’d been trying to get his shirt off.

Alex was in borderline good spirits for one last picture, which I already wrote about here: Do-Over. But that was all he had in him. When we tried to get the camera away from him — the one I talked about three pictures back — it triggered the Great Birthday Meltdown of 2008. Too much excitement in the day.

I had to leave shortly afterwards for piano lessons, and Molly put Alex to bed. So it wasn’t until later that night that I learned how Alex’s day ended. He finally calmed down. She gave him a bath and read him stories. When it was time to go to bed, she took him into his dark bedroom where we often sing him a song. Most nights, he asks, “E-I-O?” and we sing him Old MacDonald. But that night, he asked, “More Happy Birthday?” And that’s what she sang him.

After putting Alex to bed, Molly came downstairs and turned on the baby monitor. She could hear him singing Happy Birthday to himself until he fell asleep.

Written by Brian Dewey.

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