Dear Elliot

My darling Elliot, you are two now, and though I did not think it possible, we all love you even more than we did on your first Birthday – which is really saying something, because several of us cried that day out of sheer joy.

While I could wax poetic about your many fine qualities, and you are indeed one of the most charming people I have ever met, allow me to state here that you posses a miraculous trait, one we haven’t seen in our family for three generations – you are not picky in any way. You will try almost anything, if you can be reassured that it is safe. You will eat almost any food, if a royal taster eats it first, you will try any game, if someone else looks like they’re having fun before you, and you will go anywhere, if someone is going with you.

This isn’t to say that you don’t have preferences and opinions – you would, for example, rather die than eat mashed potatoes, and this is a position that I can respect. A reasonable amount of suspicion is warranted. You will learn as you grow older that mashed potatoes are a very fickle food often not worth eating, but other than that, you’ll happily give almost anything else a try, and this has led to some wonderful discoveries, like that your favourite vegetable at present is radishes.

You are in fact so adventuresome, such a little keener – so unlike so many other two year olds, we have dubbed you “The Yes Man.” Would you like to read a book? Yes. Would you like to go for a walk? Yes. Would you like to try this dinner? Yes. Would you like to go with Poppy to the store? Yes. Would you like to have a cuddle with Grammy? Yes. Would you like to taste this tofu? Yes. Yes, the answer is almost always yes.  Even when it’s bedtime and you’re decidedly not into that scene, your protests are pretty weak, for a two year old. If the heartless tyrants trying to make you lie down sweeten the pot with a story, you’re in.

You are patient, not just for a two year old, but a human, and you have a wonderful (if somewhat un-evolved) sense of humour. (We are still getting a lot of mileage out of bonking trains together.) You are a very, very good listener, and it boggles my mind that a simple “no thank you” is enough to redirect your mistakes, most of the time. You are sensitive, and very kind, even if you still wake your mother to nurse through the night. (She is very patient too, still – I don’t know how much longer she wants to party through the night with you. Think over your choices, will you? I know she appreciates your success in the potty department, but it might not buy you that much time.)

You are the absolute light of our lives, the best thing that’s happened around here in a long time, and I would do anything for you, even kill a spider, and I don’t think I’d do that for anyone else.

It is all this, my darling boy, that means I can forgive you this week’s one transgression, which was your absolute refusal to put on your Birthday sweater at your party. I’m no fool, I understand that a sweater can’t compete with a train, but note for next year, it’s good form to pretend.

Thanks for modelling it the next day – and thanks to your Mama for the snaps.

Pattern: Dog Star.  Yarn: Alpha B Yarn Bluefaced Leicester DK. Colours: Candygram (grey) Hey , Sailor (the blue) and Two Olives, Please. (The olive.) Size: a slightly shrunken version of the 2-4.

We love you, and I wasn’t serious about the night nursing. You do it as long as you want. Your Mama will miss it someday.

PS. Your hair is coming along nicely. Don’t listen to your grandfather. He’s just jealous.

69 thoughts on “Dear Elliot

  1. When I was a kid my mom use to tease that she thought I’d be coming home from kindergarten asking to nurse. I’m child free but I always love to hear breastfeeding stories. Thanks for the happy memory and happy birthday to Elliot. He sure is starting to look like Meg.

  2. What a handsome young man and you nailed the sweater! Elliot sounds like a very charming child, all those pleasantries to his personality. As to the mashed potatoes ….. they are one of the greatest comfort foods known to man! He just hasn’t met mashed taters done right!

  3. Clearly, Elliot is perfection in a child! He expresses joy so well! Thank you for sharing the light of your life!

  4. Aw, he looks so sweet. I barely had a hair on my head before I was three and I turned out ok (mostly)…don’t you worry, little dude.

    • Me too on the late hair growth, and my youngest had the same trait. When it did come in, we both got fine-textured naturally curly hair.

  5. Happy Birthday Elliot! Never let anyone give you a hard time about not liking mashed potatoes. I don’t like them, and neither does my niece, and she is 36 years old. We’re in it together.

  6. Adorable!! Happy birthday cutie.
    My brother wouldn’t eat mashed potatoes unless my mother dyed them green when he was little. Now that’s just about all he eats.

  7. Happy birthday, Elliot! I had hoped that we could be besties, but your disdain for mashed potatoes makes that iffy now. Here’s to many more train-smashing days for you!

  8. What a cutie! Except for the sweater part, let’s clone him or somehow spread his genes widely about! You go, little boy!

  9. Stunning from start to finish and Elliot is growing into such a lovely human being, I look forward to future stories and photos.

    That sweater is stunning, you knocked it out of the park!

  10. So, Elliot enjoys boldly going where no two-year-old has gone before? No wonder Grammy used a yarn that acts like Captain Kirk’s uniform shirt! (Yes, it may be called “Two Olives, Please” but it photographs gold! Just wait until he learns he can feed mashed potatoes to the tribbles…!)

  11. I’ll be 66 in a couple of weeks and this is the first time I’ve heard of people not liking mashed potatoes! Happy Birthday, Elliot!!

  12. If he isn’t the cutest! What a beautiful smile and his eyes are such a lovely blue. Happy Birthday Elliot, may your year be filled with laughter.

  13. Don’t worry about the hair, little man. At least nobody tapes bows onto your noggin for pictures.

    (Yes, I’m still bitter. Why do you ask?)

  14. Elliot looks so happy in that sweater! I am pretty sure he will get many days of wear and warmth yet this year.

    I love the pattern. I must see if I can figure out how to make a bigger size. Thanks for the photos and a peek at Elliot.

  15. I miss nursing my littles in the night! Nothing can compare to the sweetness and connection – it is the very best thing.

  16. He is such a precious wee little man! I’m so glad to hear of all the joy he is bringing to your family. In the wake of the losses of the recent years, it sounds like he came along at just the right time!

    (Oh, and the sweater is fantastic as well!)

  17. Happy, happy belated birthday Elliot! What a sweet boy you are, and so lucky to have such a wonderful family. Wear that Yarn Harlot sweater with pride!

  18. Happy birthday Elliot! (I’m jealous…my grandson are 10 and almost 8 and while fun in their own way, not as much fun as they used to be… probably because they’d rather hang with friends than grandma unless I bring them by taking them out to lunch..)

  19. Do you ever get tired of compliments on the adorable cuteness and sweetness that is Elliot, or the super impressive fineness of your knitting? I sure hope not because both the boy and his sweater are pretty darn spectacular! I’m super impressed you got that great sweater done in a week while working too!

  20. I adore all your stories about Elliot, and I adore all your open letter birthday greetings to all your clan, what an absolutely brilliant concept.

    Yay to the breastfeeding! Let bubba and mama decide when it’s Time, Please, Gentlemen. When it stops, it will be missed.

  21. Ohmigod, the joy on that face. I’m pretty sure the word No would completely leave my vocabulary around him.

  22. I made my grandson a cardigan for his 2nd birthday in November, it had a fire engine on the back, a train on one front, a tractor on the other, Harold the helicopter at the top of one side and a rescue helicopter the other. He paid me the ultimate compliment of not wanting to wear it because he just wanted to look at all the pictures and he couldn’t do that when it was on. By the next day he was happy to put it on and it’s now looking very loved.

  23. The sweater is beautiful. One day he will truly appreciate hand knits-its in his DNA. His winning personality and wonderful smile will no doubt get him very far in this life. There are few things that are in shorter supply in this world.

  24. Waait a minute. Is that the sweater you swatched and blogged about on April 1? You got it done, ends woven in, washed and wrapped in less than 12 days? You are a wonder.

  25. He sounds like a great little dude.
    My daughter would try anything at that age too. By three, she would only eat four foods, and she’s still the same at almost 18. So enjoy it while it lasts and feed him anything.

  26. What a wonderful post and gift to your family. My wiser, older sister said when my kid were little that you can always tell what kind of adult kids will be by the time they are 3 years old. The qualities of patience, kindness, sense of adventure, or lack thereof, etc, will carryover into their young-adulthood and adulthood. She told me that when her boys were teens and older teens. My kids were toddlers and babes in arms. Now that my babies are in their late teens and early 20’s… I agree.

  27. Can that incredibly tall boy be our Winston Churchill from 2 years ago? What amazing changes!

    Lovely sweater and amazingly fast work. Thanks for the lovely family letter to Elliot on his birthday – he sounds like a delight and not just Grandma’s blinders on!

    Wishing many more very happy birthdays to Elliot.

    PS – don’t worry about the hair. My grandson had only hair on the top for quite awhile, but has a full head of hair now.

  28. I have to admit that I’ve been rather jealous of Elliot’s willingness to eat all sorts of food given the selectiveness of my two littles. However, I feel better that it seems to be uniquely him and not some flaw in my parenting! So glad he is healthy and happy! Blessings on his next year!!

  29. What a very kindly and wise-looking little face. I can easily believe that he is all of the wonderful things his grandmother says he is.

  30. Ah sweet boy! That second birthday feeding bump is intense, but it passes so fast and soon mama will be waking in the night and missing that oxytocin hit to send her back to sleep! Lovely sweater and beautiful sentiments Steph x

  31. This post resonates with me in so many ways, I feel compelled to comment which I have only done one other time. My daughter was born a mere 24 hours before Elliot in exactly the same manner (via midwife in a beautiful water birth, minus the at-home part because we live in the US) and we also happen to have a Border Collie named Penny who looks exactly the same as Meg’s. Fast forward two years, and now me and my little lady are grappling with multiple night wakings to nurse. Weaning a two year old is difficult when they’re not ready, but I am choosing to get my sleep back over “partying through the night” so tonight will be day 3 of weaning. We haven’t made any attempts in the potty department, so kudos to Elliot for advancing in that area! All I can say is that I can feel for Meg and hope that it all goes well when they do decide to take on weaning.

  32. I’ve come late to the party, so sorry, belated happy birthday young man who looks so grown up. And wearing such a fashionable sweater of such high quality workmanship. You are such a lucky boy to be born into such a wonderful family and your family is so incredibly lucky to have you!!

  33. What a cutie! Love, love, love the sweater.

    When my youngest daughter wouldn’t eat mashed potatoes, my husband tried putting food coloring in them. She just LOVED blue tubers. My oldest daughter wouldn’t eat stuffed cabbage, but would eat golumpki (also known as stuffed cabbage). It is not mine to question why, just to get them to try.

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