Dear Balthazar and Lysander,
You are on the cusp of two. You are smart and bold, wilful and infuriating. You are oh, so loving. You offer so many kisses and cuddles and you always, always want to engage with us, to show us your toys and to share your games. You ask for us to read with you many times each day and you point out the animals and tell me their noises, show us the cars and the planes and the trains and the buses and bikes. Speaking of planes, you call them ‘up there’s because that’s what your mummy always tells you, isn’t it, that they are ‘up there’. You are so bright and so funny and we love to hear your sweet little voices and the amusing things that you say. You are so helpful.
The other day, we took you to the Big Draw. All of the other children, most of whom were admittedly a little older than you, were immersed in the arts experience – they were drawing and colouring, decorating balloons, painting on big sheets of paper with sticks and with their fingers. You? “CAR!” You found the orange van that had brought the supplies, and that was your favourite thing that day. That is so typical of you. You make us laugh so hard, every single day.
Your second year in the world has been a big one, for us and for you. You have embraced moving home and welcoming two new siblings, you have learned to climb (no surface is safe!), to run, you have learned the meaning of ‘hot’ (“Ouch? Ouch!”) and yet you still persist in emptying the freezer and putting the contents, plastic and all, into the oven which you have now learned to turn on. It is a good thing that you are so tiny and endearing because otherwise we would probably have given you away this year – but have no fear, we would surely have asked for you back once we had caught up on sleep, enjoyed some adult conversation and eaten our fill of baked goods without you inching closer saying “Cake!!! Mmmm…”!
You walk up and down stairs in my stilettos better than I do – in fact, I have not dared so much as wear them in years! Dressing up is one of your new obsessions and nothing and no-one is safe; bags are confiscated at the door, shoes are tested, washing is yanked out of the machine and brought to us with plaintive requests of “More! More!” which means ‘pull this on over my head, Mummy, such that I may trip about the house in your favourite Joules dress’.
We love you very much. You bring so much levity to our days, you brighten every room that you run into wearing your welly boots or my high heels. Everybody who meets you seems captivated by you; it gets tiring to share you so much sometimes but people bring you so much joy, from your nannies whom you ask after often to perfect strangers, who often seem surprised at first to be greeted with such enthusiasm by two small people. We are so proud of your confidence, of your innocence, of the joy that you take from the simplest of things and share with everybody around you.
Thank you for being our firstborns. We love you so very much.