As we prepare to welcome a new member to our family in (hopefully) three weeks or less, I figured now was a good time to write down some of the things that make Stephen such an awesome little guy before my brain turns into even more of a bowl full of mush.  He’s such an amazing little person, with hilarious quirks and definite preferences.  I didn’t do a tribute to him on here when he turned two back in March, although I meant to.  He deserves fanfare and pageantry to celebrate who he is, but unfortunately for him he has a mother who is unlikely to remember to organize such things in advance.

Stephen is in love with kitchen appliances.  All of them.  He can identify all three of the different beater attachments for the mixer by name, as well as the grain mill and food grinder attachments.  He can name the various parts of the mixer, the food processor, and the blender, and makes us read him the user manuals for the aforementioned items whenever he can.  His happiest days are the ones in which we use at least one of the blessed trinity of appliances, particularly if we use more than one attachment for the mixer.  He also loves our pots and pans, which unfortunately leads to tears when he tries to steal them, especially if they happen to be on the stove at the time.  He has his own complete set of pots and pans, but they only really suffice as long as he’s convinced he can’t find some way to get to ours.

He’s starting to be spontaneously affectionate, which is really amazing when it happens.  We make him give us hugs and kisses all the time, but every once in a while he offers up a hug or kiss without prompting.  He’s never been overly snuggly, but he loves to sit in our laps to read books and would do that for hours every day if we sat still long enough.  He’s shy around strangers and doesn’t really like crowds, but warmed up quickly to his grandparents when they came to visit (after an absence of over six months).

He’s gentle (for a two year-old) and has amazing volume control (again, for a two year-old).  If we whisper to him, he’ll whisper back, and he can sit still for an hour at a time if need be without making much noise, especially if we draw letters or numbers for him to identify.  He’s very tender-hearted, and gets his feelings hurt easily if we snap at him or chastise him, but he bounces back quickly.  Most of the time he can calm himself down if given a few minutes and some space.

He’s potty trained, and has been since he turned 2.  He still has accidents sometimes (last week for some reason he had a lot for the first time in over a month), but the vast majority of the time he’s dry all day long.  (He still wears a diaper for naps and nights.)  We’re so proud of him for how quickly he picked it up considering how young he is, but the best thing for me is seeing how proud he is of himself.

A few of Stephen’s favorite things:

Favorite meal: Breakfast

Favorite books: Pancakes, Pancakes!; Icky Bug Numbers; Schnitzel von Krumm, Dogs Never Climb Trees (and most other books by Lynley Dodd); Hickory Mouse; 1,2 3 (by Sandra Boynton); Dr. Seuss’ ABC; The Bird with the Word Visits Stephen Elijah (written and illustrated by his Granny)

Favorite shoes: “flu-pops” (flip-flops), Crocs

Favorite movies: Toy Story, 101 Dalmations, Bolt

Favorite foods: cherries, apricots, pasta, peas, popcorn, shrimp, olives, eggs, raisins, roasted chickpeas (leblebe), berries, ham, butter, polenta

Favorite toys: pots and pans, kitchen appliances, his play kitchen, blocks, coins, trains, Melissa & Doug food cutting set