This morning, you, daddy and Emily were sleeping, so I got up at 5:30 to write. (You know mummy, she’s got this ambitious idea that one day her blog will be extremely successful, and for that she has to work hard. You see, things don’t just happen, you have to make them happen).
At 6am, I had barely opened my laptop and replied to a few emails, when you woke up. At that moment, I knew that my effort of getting up early was all wasted; not only didn’t I have time to work, but I’d have to stay up late at night.
But you snuggled up on my lap and hugged me so tight that I couldn’t care less how exhausted I’d be. We read a book together (four times!). When you saw black clouds and palm trees dancing in the wind, you had to go feel the cold on the balcony—I sometimes forget you’re a curious monkey!—and ran back quickly into my arms to get warm. We even had time to make some art together before daddy and Emily woke up.
I loved our time together!
You’re changing so much! Sometimes you seem so big that I wonder where my little Oliver has gone. And then you cry out of frustration because your backpack won’t come off the hook by pulling it downwards… and there he is again, my little baby!
Oh boy, you drive me nuts sometimes! When you cry because you don’t want me to close the bathroom door—if only you could understand mummy can’t pee with the door open when the cleaner is in the house! When I tell you to put your shoes on and you throw them to the other side of the room, and run away. When you don’t eat anything of what we make for you—for weeks. When you cry for no apparent reason (your cry can push all my buttons simultaneously!). When I ask you to be quiet because Emily’s sleeping, and you start singing out loud; or every time you do the exact opposite of what I ask you (not to mention when I try reverse psychology, and you don’t fall for it!)
Truth is, in those moments I wish I could remind myself what an incredibly amazing little person you are!
You see, your dad and I talk a lot about you, and often we tell each other all the things we love about you. We love that you’re so well behaved, sweet, kind, caring and funny. We love, love, love your empathy—we’ll do whatever it takes to nurture it. And then,
we love the way you…
…are quiet and reserved in crowded environments, but turn into a private clown for the people you love.
…say “oh noooo!” when you see something dirty or out of place.
…ask for permission holding your index finger next to your mouth, and saying “Si?”—it does make it a lot harder to say no to you.
…walk towards mommy with heart-shaped lips ready to kiss her goodbye when you leave to school.
…lighten up and yell “Kiiiii”, when zia Cri FaceTimes. That’s love!
…say giraffe in Italian: “Kau-fau-(breathe in)-ffa”—oh, how disappointed you’ll be when you learn that’s not an actual word in any language!
…drop whatever you’re doing if I tell you we’re going to see Bella. What an amazing friendship you’re building there!
…hold and kiss Emily whenever you have the chance. The way you look at each other is really something!
…insist on wearing non-matching socks.
…hand us a plate by holding it high above your head and standing on your tippy toes when we empty the dishwasher.
…say the name of all your friends so daddy includes them in the goodnight song.
…put Lola in literally every sentence—”what did you have for lunch?” “Siso (rice), pan, Lola!”. You two are so sweet together!
…never get tired of helping daddy make breakfast.
…bring a huge stack of books for us to read together.
…talk to us for ages, gesticulating and pausing as to find the words in your head. We’re so sorry we can’t make up 90% of what you’re saying, we know how frustrating it is for you, but don’t worry, you’ll get there!
I know it’s hard for you to understand how much we love you—one day, you’ll look into the eyes of your own kids, and then you’ll know! Until then, let’s just say it’s almost as much as what you feel when you grab our cheeks with your hands, give us a huge kiss on the mouth, and then laugh out loud. Yes, that much!
Happy birthday, our curious monkey!