New Year. Same Old Parents.

The New Year has started much like the old. My son still wakes up early – way too early. He still wants – nay, needs – his milk. It must be the perfect temperature in that green sippy cup or he sends it back. I am the lucky one who prepares this gourmet morning aperitif. It must be Daddy and no one else. My wife, of course, doesn’t argue this point.

The cars must be lined up with Lightning McQueen first and then the police car that is missing its lights and both doors. The fire engine with no ladder and with the tire that keeps coming off because it was broken off several months ago must be at the end of the line.

It still takes 30 minutes to get him into the tub and another 30 to get him out. Imploring and groveling only makes his eyes twinkle more and using force only amplifies the

His favorite teddy bear blanky is still his favorite as the missing eye and multiple gaps in the fabric can attest.

He will not approach an apple or strawberry unless milk and a blender are involved.

He still finds a quiet corner that is out of sight to poop in peace.

Thursday is still his favorite day to go to day care because there is music and dance.

He still calls red meat and tuna fish: “chicken”.

Peek-a-boo still gets him into fits of uncontrollable laughter that lead to the hiccups and even more laughter.

He still furrows his eyebrows and worries when they take Curious George away from the man with the yellow hat.

He still gets angry at the remote control car because he wants to push it himself.

He still insists that Alicia Keys sings “Julia, Julia” instead of “New York, New York”.

Getting him dressed and out of the door in the morning still requires a well thought out strategy that involves deception, make believe, candy trails and many more things that you read about in the original Brothers Grimm stories.

The word “Gelato” still implies ice cream, most liquid dairy, cupcake icing and smoothies.

The arrival of relatives during the holiday still means tossing an entire year of painstaking discipline and schedule building out the window.

“I want it!” still implies urgency.

“I need it!” still implies immediacy.

“No!” still means no. And it is still his favorite phrase.

The only thing different from last year is that my wife and I fell asleep before midnight on December 31st. I am not complaining. I like that there have not been any dramatic “changes”. They are inevitable, but for now I like where we are and hope to enjoy it while it lasts. We’ll see what the New Year brings.

I wish all of you and yours a wonderful 2011.

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