Dear Love Bug,

Yesterday you encountered your first “piñatya,” as you call it, at Anthony’s fourth (!) birthday party. In typical you fashion, you jostled to be at the front of the line, walked right up to the papier-mâché dinosaur, and with one hand whacked it hard with a little wooden bat. No fear. Some of the other kids hung back or couldn’t quite figure out what to do. Not you. Whack whack whack. And as soon as your turn was up, you wanted to go again. On your second turn, we convinced you to put down your goodie bag and use two hands on the bat. You have some swing. 

When the piñata broke open, you were immediately down on all fours, scurrying to collect candy you don’t even eat. But you were so happy to be in the midst of the hubbub, scrambling about with the other kids and watching them to figure out what you should be doing. 

Back at home, after pizza and snacks and the most giant piece of birthday cake ever (you were the only kid still sitting at the table, carefully shoveling forkfuls into your mouth and licking the plate clean), you were in the bathtub having a conversation with Das Quack. DQ is a rubber duckie dressed in lederhosen and other traditional Bavarian accessories that we’d picked up during our layover in Germany when we went to Italy. He’s since been a constant companion. You play with him in the tub and have recently started conversing with him. 

Yesterday, you felt the need to debrief him on your entire day, which is adorable. He responds to you in a German accent, and you just babble on, sparing no detail. You talked about all you did at the Science Center that morning and then regaled him with stories about the party, especially its highlight: when A opened a remote control truck, one of his birthday gifts, and let you play with it. You also pronounced that you, too, would like a piñatya at your birthday party, as long as it’s a Paw Patrol one. 

Today, Nonna and Opa came to play and to celebrate Daddy’s birthday. It turned out to be a nice day, so we all spent a lot of time outside, working with you on your trike-riding skills (you’re not yet a whiz at this) and trying to explain the concept of gliding on a scooter. You’re too distracted by the mechanics of the vehicles to focus very long on your technique for making them go. After a while, you were done with the trikes, and Nonna pulled out the little wooden handmade crossbow and arrows she and Opa had bought for you in Transylvania. This keeps you occupied. 

You quickly learned how to slide the little rubber-tipped arrows into the groove and pull the trigger, although you still need help priming the string on the bow. You love watching those arrows soar over the open area next door and over the tree stump to drop into the grass. Then you go retrieve them and start all over. 

And while seeing a 2-year-old with a crossbow may be a little unnerving, I feel very well protected!

Love you like crazy, Kiddo,