Oh Conor, Conor (birthday post four months late)

I wrote this four months ago on the night of Conor's birthday, but I never published it, oops. 

Tonight I listened through the door as Chris put the boys to bed. They love a story almost as much as they love stalling shutting their pouty eyes, and tonight was no exception. Chris was telling the story of Conor's birth, give or take a few details. Little boys don't care about dilation, but they do understand being born during a Notre Dame football game and new baby celebration via ice cream. Eavesdropping on them was one of those moments when I couldn't help but lean in a little closer to the door as I bounced a sleepy Elise, grin widely and add some depth to those crow's feet at my eyes.

Conor is our wild child, our little comedian. He is the first extrovert in our family and, boy, does his charm add a halo to his current contrarian identity.

He loves being the showstopper. I worry sometimes to Chris that Conor could end up down the wrong path easily from being blindly focused on pleasing after I noticed Conor is always looking to entertain and for approval. But come on, Katrina. Don't fret just yet. He didn't even understand that today was his birthday. You have plenty of time to get your prayer on.

He is very decisive about matters with his curt, "Stop it!" "I do it!" "I don't wike it!" "Bad boy, MAMA!" (one of his fave expressions ... hmmm) or indignant, "No!" but my personal favorite is when he says, "Yes," not because it is easier when he agrees with me, but because he hasn't gone down the slippery slope of following down the poor example his mother is setting with the colloquial, "Yeah." He normally lowers his voice when he says, "Yes," and it goes extra low and his pouty face is turned on high when he is feeling emotional which isn't an infrequent occurrence during these toddler times. 

Conor shares the story of Dr. Seuss' Go Dog Go aloud very often and in detail. This is how his narration goes with his precise finger pointing on each canine displayed on each page: "Dog. Dog. Dog. Dog." Turn the page. "Dog. Dog. Dog." You should hear the story when he gets to what the dog's are doing up on that tree! It's a dog party! 

His favorite food is whatever I'm eating when it's not a mealtime. The little bird follows me around or perches next to me cocking his head back chirping, "Some, Mama. Some, Mama! Some, some." which in reality sounds like, "Dumb, Mama. Dumb, Mama! Dumb, dumb." 

If Ryan isn't home, he will go around the apartment calling, "Wyan? Wyaaaaaan!" until I tell him he went somewhere with Dad. Sometimes his disappointment leads him to lean against the door, let his feet slide out from under him, lean his head back with a single tear rolling down his cheek mournfully crying, "Wyaaaan!" He used to called him "Wyee," and I'm sad I don't think I have it on tape. If you are ahead of him, he yelps for you to wait for him, "Wee-me, Mama! Wee-me!!"

His exuberance for tackling on the playground makes many a parent ask me, "So he must be really big, huh?" Well, allow me to share some inside info ... he's in the 99th percentile for weight ... and the 27th for height. He's a compact linebacker who is very confident in his solid build and who likes to have his mom apologize, "I'm sorry. He's only one ..." oh wait! I don't have that excuse any more. 

(Edited to add that I guess now he is 81st percentile for height ... I'm not going to take height measurements as accurate until the kids start standing for their measurements at well-checks rather than the nurse making pencil marks according to how cooperatively a toddler stretches, ha!)

Do you want to see what it's like to live with Conor? Here, let me show you:

^^^ His favorite activity this summer, I'm not kidding. 

^^^ He was just buttering me up. ^^^

^^^ He's still a good egg ^^^ 

Those photos do not include the time he took soft wax from an unlit candle and smeared it deeply into the crevices of the keyboard while I was chitchatting during a play date nor tonight when he crushed leftover banana pancakes into the carpet while I was getting out ingredients for dinner (alright, you got me ... while I was getting out ingredients for dinner in between sneaking bites of apple pie. Dumb, Mama, dumb).

In spite of all of his destruction, I just can't describe his charm and how constant the urge to squeeze him is. Conor gives the best hugs. They are neck and teeth hugs; he throws his arms around your neck with his stubby little arms (maybe he will have TRex arms like Chris ;) ) and then he grits his teeth together to give the hug some emphasis. They are addicting. 

^^^ Cute shirt from my friend, Ellie.

He comforts and gives the best back pats when he sees sadness. "Po' guy," he soothes. He knew every word to the fight song and the alma mater well before this two year anniversary of his birth, and he is also partial to "Let It Go," "Wagonwheel," and "I'll Make a Man Out of You." 

Thank you, Conor, for being the child who taught us how God can love us all so immensely. Happy Birthday, Conor Baby Chunk Monka Boo-Boo Bottom!