I don't know when or how this happened, but you've gone from a barnacle to a buddy. Tonight we laid in "mama bed" and listened to songs for about an hour because I just wasn't ready to put you to bed--a stark contrast to other, harrier nights when I start the mental countdown to bedtime at 4:30 in the afternoon. (You'll understand the bedtime countdown when you have toddlers.) You were a heaping bowl of laughter and smiles and cuteness tonight.
Yours is my favorite giggle in the world. I wish I could bottle it up to save for when you're big and burly and I want a sip of Little Hennie with a slice of Henry Pie. Every time a new song started you'd exclaim with delight, "Oh! I hear it, song! I luf dis song, mommy!" And then you'd lay your head against my chest, find the fuzzy side of your blankie to rub your pointer finger over, and we'd listen to the song and the sound of your piglet-nose breath, while you sucked your right thumb.
Some days I curse your curiousity and wish away this stubborn phase, and others I find myself literally crying at the prospect of its end. Friday morning when I told you we were going to playgroup, you erupted into squeals and giggles, pranced around for a few minutes, and then walked up to me with a concerned look on your face and asked, "Pay uff mama at paygroup?" It was your little way of making sure that I'd be there with you at playgroup so you could play with me if you wanted to. With all of your fun, Henry-sized friends there, you never choose to play with me, which is just fine because I quickly immerse myself in very cathartic mommy-chatter on the sidelines, but I love the way you ask to make sure that the PlayWithMama option will be available. It will be, Henry. It always will be. The reason I get so shmaltzy and sentimental about preserving your little phases is because I know there's going to come a time when you won't want to play with mama, when you won't "need-a hewp you," (need help) to get up to the sink to "wash mine hands," when the tortilla chip bag won't be as big as you are, when you won't want to read Chrysanthemum every night before bed. Speaking of Chrysanthemum, you continually astonish me with the brightness of your mind, and most recently you did it while we were reading that story. There's a page of the book that has pictures of all the little mice in Chrysanthemum's class with their names written underneath, and a few nights ago, you pointed to each picture and said every one of the mice's names.
"Mrs. Chud, Don, Eve, Lois, Al, Les, Kay, Max, Sue, Bill, Pat, Tom, Sam, Ken, Jo, (slowing down...) Rita...Victoria... and Chrysanthemum!"
Then I closed the book and you did it again. In order. Without the pictures. Even if we have read Chrysanthemum two hundred times, (which we undoubtedly have,) it is still incredible to me that you have fifteen random names memorized. You list all of the names off very robotically, but when you get to Chrysanthemum's, you throw your arms up over your head and shout her name like a touchdown cheer. I still can't get over the cuteness of it; I make you do it so often that I've got the list memorized now, too. I love it.
I love you. I love you more than the cherry yogurt I've been so obsessed with the past few days. I love how the last thing you said to me tonight in my bed, on the verge of sleep, was, "I wanna want some peanut butter, mommy," to which I replied, "you can have some peanut butter in the morning, Henry," and you said, "ok." And then you said, around your thumb, which was obstructing your pronunciation and making you lisp, "I nuggow mama bed. It's cozy," and fell asleep about two minutes later. Seriously. Does it get any sweeter than that? My heart has never known joy like you, Henry.