Happy Birthday, ZP!

Dearest Beast/Zoo Zoo/Zonks,

It's still over a week away, but this will give your fans a chance to get a jump start to say:

Happy Third Birthday! Now that you have put your twos, and the terribleness that goes with it (right? no more tantrums? no more inappropriate shrieking? no more "I wanna do it mySEEELLLFFF!!! rants? RIGHT?), behind you, let's take a look back at your achievements and milestones, shall we?

Your Second Day of Birth was attended by your new and oh-so-permanent baby sister. You were wary of her arrival, which was accompanied by the arrival of Babu and Nani and thus linked, and decided to condense all of your confusion and worry and jealousy and heap it all onto one person - Nani. You shunned her, you avoided her, and you would studiously avert your eyes from her whenever she happened to be cuddling AP. You also decided to intensify your adoration and need for your father. If he so much as dared to lift AP for a quick smooch or even a cursory inspection, you'd rend your clothes apart, beat your chest, and devise your very first self-made sentence ever: "put! baby! ziza! DOWN!" Thankfully, with LB, KG, Babu, Aunty C, and, when you let her, Nani lavishing affection, presents, and love on you, you eventually calmed down and came to accept this interloper into the family. It helped that she never tried to play with your toys, never really made much noise, and actually was kinda cute. She is now old enough to start encroaching on your territory and although there are some skirmishes that do not go as well as planned, you are generally pretty careful around her and try not to lash out when she scratches or bites or swats at you. For that, I thank you.

You finally graduated out of jarred baby food, but you still never really took a liking to kid or adult food other than a few, select choices: oatmeal or cereal for breakfast, pollo con arroz and some fruta for lunch, and whatever we could force down you for dinner (yogurt with honey, pizza, PB&H sandwich). The closest thing to a vegetable we could get you to eat is potatoes in the version of french fries and those are just tubers anyway.

Despite your desire to be a monkey, a train, or a robot, your personality has established itself quite squarely as "policeman." You are adamant about others following the rules, obeying your directives, and pretty much doing what you say when you say it. On our trip to Georgia, you not only reprimanded some kids who were running down the walkway to the plane, you also warned everyone around you that "we're in the plane; you have to be quiet." You nearly put me in time out when I insisted that a picture of a baby on LB's fridge was you and not your sister ("NO, MOMMY! IT NOT ME!") Your vocabulary has jumped by leaps and bounds and you are a quick study for any words that further your goals, nefarious or otherwise. When you abused your power over viewing countless episodes of whatever on youtube and were told that you could no longer do so because "the computer is broken," you stored the slogan away until bathtime when you regretfully announced that you couldn't take a shampoo shampoo because "the tub is broken." Your writing skills and drawing skills have also gotten better, thanks to countless reams of paper and crayons, chalk and the Magna doodle (which you stood on until it cracked and started oozing some clear liquid and we had to toss it away. . . R.I.P. Magny!)

One day, the day after our return from a trip to Florida (where we watched the historical inauguration and you familiarized yourself with the man named Obama who is always on the cover of Daddy's paper and who is the only one allowed to touch THAT switch on the heater), Tia decided that you were old enough to lose the diapers and go straight for the underwear to get some boot camp potty training. On the one hand, I was happy to have the help, happy to know that it would mean one less baby's butt mooning me several times a day, and happy to see you move to this next level of development. On the other hand, I was terrified that you'd balk at it as you have with pretty much everything else until you are darn well good and ready, terrified that our 40 year old Persian carpet and our brand-spanking-new couches would be stained and destroyed beyond all repair, and terrified that you would burn the house down. I decided to take some half days at work so that I could be on call for the meltdowns, mayhem, and mania that was sure to come. To our astonishment and relief, it all went pretty smoothly. You were already familiar with "the frog," you were excited about your new undies, and you were offered treats as rewards for each successful visit. The first day was tense but successful (it helped that Tia ran you up to the toilet every half hour or so whether you said you had to go or not) and by the second day, not only did you avoid any accidents during the day, you even emerged from your room after a good night's sleep completely dry. We were floored.

We had some sad moments this year when your great-grandfather passed away. When you found me in tears, you patted my knee and ran for a tissue. You asked me, "why you crying like me?" I told you that I missed Nani and Babu and you sympathetically nodded and said, "I miss them too. 'Sokay, 'sokay, they're coming!" When that made me smile, you asked, "you happy? I'm happy." And I was - because of you. During those times when you drive me insane with the silence-killing questions ("Mommy, what are you doing? what are you doing? what are you doing? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?") or the demands (after feeding, bathing, and reading you 27 stories before bedtime, tucking you in, and giving you cuddles, you begin your mantra of "I want Daddy." ) or the boisterousness that comes with a two-year old boy (throwing, hitting, running, falling, yelling, screaming, never sleeping), I remember that. I remember the times that you give me unsolicited hugs and smooches. And the times you help me make bread, sort the laundry, and bring AP a toy when she cries. And the times you make clever observations (such as the time I was reading a book about Peter Rabbit jumping into a watering can. I explained that the watering can was used to water the garden, like you did with Nani last summer. You looked it and said, 'yes, it's for flowers. and for my body' which is what you call your bottom). *dies*

And so, my lovely, loving, lovable boy, we wish you a happy birthday and best wishes and all that jazz. Cue the clip show!


lil b said...

awww i love zoozoo! i spent about 30 minutes last night watching old you tube videos of both of them, but mostly of some oldies of zain - he was such a chubster!!!

baji said...

he loves you! as for his chubbiness -- well, you know the camera puts on 10 pounds and he was wearing about 3 or 4 of them. ;)

wayfarer said...

What a darling. His smile will always light up the world. So pure. Happy birthday ZP!

Abez said...

What a sweet entry, you must keep your blog somewhere safe so your kids can read it when you're older. :)


baji said...

wy - thx! i'A, he'll share more of his smiles and less of his scowls forever more. :)

abz - it's funny - in this ever-increasingly-paperless world, i keep thinking that print outs are the only way to keep things 'permanent'! i'll be sure to print this out and stick it into his baby book. after i dust the cobwebs off of it, that is.

hb said...

Love you baji! He's one cool dude, no longer a cool baby. *MUAH*

baji said...

lub you, khafsa khala! *MUAH*

Anjum (barsaat) said...

awww, this was such a beautiful birthday tribute. kids are truly such a joy in life. *hug* happy birthday to zp!! and to you for surviving ;)

baji said...

"to you for surviving" . . . THANK you! i never understood why birthdays didn't celebrate the mother's bravery as well as the child's entry into the world. :)