To my kiddo on his second birthday

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Dear Leo,

It’s your birthday — you’re TWO. I know you’re still mastering that whole “counting” thing, and that’s fine, we love it when you count to Elmo. Anyway, two probably feels kind of like one and not all that different from three, so no worries if you’d rather think about trucks than the meaning of your 730 days on this planet.

I used to think two was so “old,” but now I know that you still need your Mommy, your giant stuffed bear, and your private chats with Elmo. Whew. I would probably go back to bed and never get out again if you were already trying to get an internship at Pinterest or something. It feels like you were just born! And yet you are already “phrasing,” as Mommy calls it (that means my kid strings two words together and I’m disproportionately proud, so I made a verb out of it), saying stuff like “crazy MUNI!”, “Elmo hat!”, “Wait for Mommy”, and “Owl plate!” You also have some very specific requests when it comes to footwear. Today, for example, you requested that you wear your frog slippers, but then you spied your Crocs and made some sort of mental calculation that resulted in the frogs getting ditched for the plastic shoe-sandals. It’s not the choice I would have necessarily made, but I respected it.

On Saturday, we took you to your very first football game at Mommy and Daddy’s alma mater, Stanford. You loved the Stanford mascot, which is a giant tree that dances around and is probably inebriated. You kept pointing at it and shouting, “Tree! Tree!” But then, later, when Daddy took you to meet the tree, you were shocked to find a Stanford student inside the tree costume (probably because you were wondering why a Stanford student would want that job). Anyway, you took one look at the man inside the costume and shook your head, declaring “No no tree. No no tree.” We thought you were afraid of the tree, until we later realized that you weren’t frightened by it, you were just clarifying. It wasn’t a tree at all — it was a person. Naturally, your new favorite phrase is “person tree.”

Leo, you have taught us so many things in your two inaugural years. That trains are ridiculously awesome for obvious reasons. That any food that anyone else is eating is automatically yummy. That bath-story-bedtime is an endless source of joy. And that the world, through a 2-year-old’s eyes really is infinitely fantastic. Oh, what you will teach us in 2 (or 20!) more. We can’t wait to find out.