You know what is the very best part of every dessert? The middle.
Whether it is the cream filling in an Oreo, the ice cream in an ice cream sandwich….or just the gooey center of a pan of brownies, everyone knows the middle is where it’s at.
Today my “gooey center” turned two and a half years old and he really couldn’t be sweeter.
Alright…that is actually a lie.
Dexter most certainly could be sweeter.
Have you ever heard the nursery rhyme about the little girl who had the little curl?
Remind you of anyone?
Dexter can throw a tantrum that makes other tantrums look like good manners. He will not hesitate to use his fists…or teeth….or fingernails…to get a point across if you don’t seem to be willing to comply with his every whim.
Of course, we would never say Dexter is “horrid.”
These are all more socially acceptable adjectives to describe our precious son. The truth is, this kid has been true to himself since the day he was born and toddlerhood simply fits his personality like a glove.
Oh, but when he is sweet, this boy will steal your heart. He loves BIG and laughs BIG and embraces life with arms wide open. He runs fast and screams loud and hugs tight and always knows exactly when to flash those dimples of his, blue eyes wide with delight, to wrap you so tightly around his finger you have no idea what hit you.
He loves his boots and his bike and his train set. He loves pizza and puppies and riding in Papa’s car. He is an awesome dancer. He is determined to never, never stop nursing. He helps me with all my chores. He loves to cook and draw. He is firmly attached to his “blue paci.”
Although, Dexter has never struggled to express himself, his verbal language is finally beginning to emerge and I feel like I am really getting to know him. He tells jokes and stories. He repeats his favorite parts of books and television shows. He knows letters and numbers and colors which is bewildering to me since I have not put a single second into teaching them to him. He does not mind having to repeat himself constantly when we have no idea what he is saying. He is patient with us, saying things slowly and emphatically to get his point across. “Mah,” he will say with a firm nod and a smile when we finally get it right.
They say middle children are natural diplomats. Perhaps that skill is aquired with age but I would not say it is part of our Dexter’s personality now. He doesn’t get a long very well with anyone for very long. At play dates, friends can be heard grumbling about Dexter, his older brother is genuinely afraid of him, if you hear a scream from down the hall, you can almost be sure Dexter is involved.
He will often get into moods where he just needs to throw everything he can get his hands on, and will walk around calmly picking up items and pitching them at your head. If he manages to get a hold of a pen or marker, you will be sure to find his art work all over the wall or couch. If there is a way to destroy something, Dexter will discover it. He runs away in crowded places and laughs. “That is not funny or cute.” I tell him firmly, to which he replies, ” I nunny an toot!”
I am grateful he is our second child because had he been the first I am fairly certain I would have gone crazy worrying that we were doing something very, very wrong…but, as it is, I find myself just watching him a lot, trying to figure things out from his perspective, trying to understand what makes him tick. His personality is so different than Liam’s and I feel like I am starting motherhood again from scratch. At least, I am never bored.
And I love him so much it takes my breath away.
2.5 years old, Dexter Keats.
You are a wonder.