Finny is his own person, make no mistake. (Not that you ever could, if you've met the boy.) He is stubborn--not for stubborn's sake, but because he really, truly KNOWS what he wants, and convincing him to accept substitutes is getting tougher by the day. This made nap time, coinciding with emerging molars, a particularly difficult part of our day for about a month there, and we're only just (and barely) recovering.
Finn also has a big brother, and so all that (mostly) charming behavior is offered up to Will as well. I present a few anecdotes from the last couple of weeks as evidence:
Leaving Will at preschool: "I want see Will." [Then again, with a mournful tone]: "I want see Willllllllll!"
Picking Will up at preschool: "I so happy see you, Will!"
After stubbing his foot while wrestling with his brother: "Kiss it, Will!" [extends foot to Will and points] "Right there!"
(For the record, Will did kiss it, and then asked "Does that feel better, Finny?")
Finn is extremely curious these days. He wants to know "Where you going, Daddy?" and "What you doing?" The other day he asked me about a woman reading her book at the bagel store: "What that doing?" Thankfully nobody gets too offended when a little kid refers to a person as "that."
Before I became a parent, there was no way I could understand that some things are just ingrained in a kid. I'm always extremely hesitant to label my kids or pronounce them "this way" or "that kind," because God knows a toddler's traits, talents and preferences can turn out to mean absolutely nothing.
Despite that caveat, I have to say I'll be REALLY surprised if Finn doesn't end up enjoying sports. It's not something we've even particularly encouraged in him--it's more like, if he sees a ball, he goes...are you going to tar and feather me if I use the word "ballistic"? Okay, then, he goes nuts. He also has extremely good aim, and pulls back his arm before throwing quite naturally. Again, I'm not saying he's the next fifth-round-NFL-draft-pick-gone-Superbowl-champ-QB, but that intersection of ability and interest is so prominent, I'd have to go out of my way to ignore it.
Finn is also remarkably unself-conscious. He wants what he wants, when he wants it, and he's not (AT ALL) afraid to say "No!" or just run laughing in the opposite direction. Most of the time, Finn seems to look at life as one huge, hilarious game. And then there are his staredown moments--he looks witheringly at you (especially if you're a stranger) and waits until you've proven yourself to him before giving you a glimpse of that mini-dimple or a burst of throaty laughter with his head thrown back. If you're one of Finn's inner circle, though, he's happy to maul you--lovingly--and hug your neck tightly, tackling you with kisses.
Today he got the hang of this birthday thing after waking up from his nap. "Mo' presents?" he'd ask after each was unwrapped.
Will handled the role of Big Brother on a Birthday--and this was the first time Finn was actually getting stuff that Will wanted, no less--with admirable aplomb. He "helped" Finny open presents
and truly helped him finish his dinner.
He picks up on everything--one night Dave asked him what he did at his toddler program and he talked about playing with his friends. Dave said, "Daddy didn't do any playing at work today." And Finn replied: "Yeah. Check email." He also recites "Phone, wallet, keys" and checks his pockets before we head out the door in the morning--just like Daddy! And he is bent on doing things all by himself ("I DO IT!"), including of course those things he's not quite ready for...like loading the dishwasher, complete with knives. Which brings us to...
...A new habit Finn's developed is to go into a full pout when we say no--especially if it's a loud, sharp "NO." The lower lip extends and the hazel eyes go misty, and although we have no problem sticking to our guns, Dave and I talk behind Finn's back about how sweet it is. It's also a good opportunity for us to encourage him to use his words, and as Dave points out, as soon as he gets out an "I'm sad!" the pout tends to dissipate. But sometimes he still needs to cuddle with his head on my shoulder (and I love that).
He's a rough-and-tumble goofball, and he's the perfect fourth piece to our family.
I can't believe we ever lived without him.
Happy second birthday, Finny Finn! We love you immeasurably.