He chooses a book for our evening ritual of night time reading.
The edges are chewed, there are creases, the cover is worn. This was his brother's beloved bed time book, now overlooked for books with paper pages and action figures.
I recline beside him on our bed and begin to read.
I read it twice and still he asks "again?"
He leans his head on my chest and my heart flops. And flips with contentedness.
He turns his head away halfway through the book and says in his 2 year old sweet way, "I sleepy."
He's starting to speak in sentences. At once it amazes me to notice how much, just over the holidays, his speech has improved.
And yet...a small part of me always whispers quietly at these stages...."Already?"
I ask him, "Time to go night-night in your crib buddy?"
He scoots away from me and climbs down the foot of the bed.
Toddles out the room.
He doesn't toddle anymore.
This child? He marches. With clear intent.
And those sturdy legs marched right into his room and over to the rocking chair that sits inches from his crib.
The blanket that once lay nicely folded there instantly becomes a colourful heap of material on the floor and up, up, up he ascends.
Hands on the edge of the crib, one foot placed on the seat of the chair, the other on the arm.
Then both of those feet on the arm of the rocking chair.
Ever so carefully.
I refrain from grabbing him, I stand mere inches away.
Instead I watch with breath held.
In awe, with amusement and admiration. Though my hands and arms stutter to hold him steady, I contain them and watch as he perfectly and adeptly places one foot on the edge of the crib as the other swings over and touches down.
Like a teenaged boy effortlessly hopping a fence.
He lands safely on his mattress, curls up on his side and snuggles right into his pillow, asking for some water.
It took me a while to figure that one out.
What goes 'wibby'?
Why a frog of course.
Tad the Frog.
I place 'wibby' next to him, pull up his covers, turn on his Twilight Turtle and walk to leave his bedroom.
But not before telling him I love him with a kiss.
Never before that.