When I found out we were pregnant with you, I was so excited! Things had been going so well with your big brother, D, and we couldn’t wait to add to our family. All in all my pregnancy was pretty easy. The hypertension that scared my doctors near the end of my pregnancy with D was nowhere to be seen. I traveled A LOT for work which was surprisingly easy because, as I learned, this pregnant woman can sleep anywhere and eat at any time, regardless of the time zone.
One trip was a bit of a challenge. I was in Fresno for a Juneteenth event. It was 114 degrees and we were outside for hours. I drank as much water as I could but I just didn’t feel well. My friend and colleague John used his US Air miles to upgrade me to first class for my red eye flight back home. But by Monday morning, three and a half months before my due date, I was having contractions. I spent the day in the hospital and with some rest and fluids they stopped and I was set free. My boss, a very understanding dad of three, barred me from any more travel.
Your birth was fairly uneventful as well. I had a scheduled C-section since I’d already been through one with D. Though it was easier for me, the anticipation of sitting in an operating room unnerved your dad. He brought his iPod along with him and watched Dave Chapelle’s most recent stand up special while they were delivering you. I was totally awake (just had a spinal block) so quite enjoyed teasing him and rolling my eyes at his weak stomach. At one point, after your dad reported seeing spots, my anesthesiologist asked whether he was going to need some drugs and warned that having to turn his attention away from the woman giving birth because your dad passed out would not be a good thing. Thankfully he kept himself well composed though he left the room as soon as he heard you crying. When he followed you to be checked out by the neonatologist, the doctors and nurses continued to poke fun at him.
You took to nursing beautifully. It was clear to me that I had learned plenty from my first go ’round. I stayed in the hospital with you as long as I could. Once we got home, I let you run the show. Well, you and the realtor. Because, yes, we put our house on the market while I was in the hospital. At a moment’s notice we were ordered out of the house, sometimes just to sit in the townhouse complex’s parking lot while you nursed. But it was always pretty easy. You didn’t fuss much.
We wanted to move back to California so you and D could be close to your family. Your impending arrival served as the catalyst we needed to find a way home. Luckily I was offered a job from one of the consulting firms I had worked closely with. (Our consultants were awfully nice to us when you were born. Your “’lankey” was from one of them. You still sleep with it every day.)On December 7th, just over two months after you were born, we packed up our car, signed over ownership to our house, and took off for California.
You were awesome. We stopped every couple of hours so you could nurse and made it from Lexington, Kentucky to Anaheim, California in three days. What less-than-three-month-old gets to take a trip to Disneyland?!? Maybe it’s the second kid in you, but you’re such a roll with the punches type of guy. You’re a great traveling companion, whether down the street for a quick errand or across the country for a major move.
By the age of 6 months, you were demonstrating your athletic proclivities. In a fairly scary fashion. You’ve been a basketball player from the get go. Your first word was “battebol” (aka basketball). No joke. Even before “mommy” and “daddy”. Before you turned two you were regularly making shots from 10 feet away from your 5 foot basket. This past year you’ve also taken to soccer and baseball. You can hit a ball that is pitched at quite a clip with a power I didn’t know a two-year-old could produce. You love to hang out on the sidelines of your brother’s soccer game passing the ball back and forth with me.
When you were about nine months old-ish, you were playing with a toy at your daycare that, as legend has it, no one else wanted to play with. The toy played music of some kind and was named Bee Bop something-or-other. (Don’t you love how I’m so clear on these details?) Your teacher started calling you B-Bop. Despite the cardinal rule that you NEVER nickname someone else’s baby, we happily adopted it and the name stuck. You now introduce yourself as B-Bop. You may get plenty of funny looks but you’re proud of the name.
You started walking right around the time of your 1st birthday party which was awesome since the entire family was in town to see some of your first steps.
Your speech was a bit delayed because you had some fairly nasty ear infections. Just before your second birthday you had a set of tubes put in. Within 24 hours of your surgery you were saying dozens of words we had never noticed you saying before.
Perhaps because of this you never spoke in words, just sentences. I can’t really explain it but it’s true. You were never a one word kind of guy. (It’s ok, mommy’s not really a one sentence kind of gal. Guess you come by it naturally.)
The only individual words I can recall you saying were numbers, which was also pretty wild. See, you had been making these sounds for a while. On your dad’s and my anniversary, when you were 21 months old, you and I went to the grocery store. “Bie,” you said as we walked down the spice aisle. “Bun-ay,” you said as we were in the produce section. It took me a few minutes but I finally realized you were reading the aisle numbers from the signs high above. We walked past every aisle with you saying the number. I was floored. At your 2-year doctor’s appointment, the doctor said kids should be able to count to ten by age three and asked if you were on your way. I told her you could count to 10 in English and in Spanish. Sorry, I had to brag.
**An awesome video is supposed to go here but I can’t figure out how to upload it and your birthday is almost over so I’ll have to do that part later.**
You’ve got a knack for quoting movie lines. (Trust me, kid, this will come in handy some day.) We often have to stop you from telling people that you “killed a man with *this* thumb.” (Ratatouille) We’ve had plenty of people scratch their heads when you’ve yelled at us, “Jetson, you’re fired!” (The Jetsons) And when we’re down, you remind us that “The impossible *can* become possible, IF. YOU’RE. AWESOME!” (Bolt)
This past year, though, the one between your second and third birthday, has been nothing short of magical. You’ve come into your own. When we went to DisneyWorld just after your second birthday, we expected you to be like your brother, afraid of the big stuffed characters that are all over the parks. Instead, when you set your sights on Mickey Mouse, the first character you saw, you threw yourself out of my arms and ran up to hug him like he was an old friend you hadn’t seen in ages. You became fast friends with every character, and most of the people, you met there.
You’ve got a hard head. When you’re determined, you’re determined. I’ll admit there has been a time or two (or twenty) where I’ve intentionally made you cry so you’d cry yourself to sleep after SWEARING that you’re not tired. But all in all, you’re a sweet, caring, affectionate guy with a healthy dose of goofiness and a full on admiration of all things D. Every day you amaze me with the thoughts and emotions that go through your little head. I’m glad you had a happy birthday today. May there be many many more happy birthdays to come. I love you, Bop.