Nils turned 2 today. It's hard to believe he's been with us for two years. And sometimes it feels like it's been a lot longer. One of our many affectionate names for Nils is Stinker Monkey (an offshoot of the Canadian/British Cheeky Monkey). He can be the biggest stinker at times (as evidenced in the picture--I discovered he had gotten into the flour I had left out from kneading dough). Yet, he's extremely cute and (almost) innocent at the same time.
He's our adventurer. He loves to get into things, take things apart, find out what happens when you mix two things, etc. Somehow his only hospitalization thus far has been for the extraction of a chipped tooth. His angels have been on double-duty to keep him safe.
Right now he's very independent. He wants to do everything himself: open doors, get in the car seat, put on his clothes, etc. He's even potty-trained himself in the last few days (sort of--there's a few kinks to work out yet, but he's doing very well). He's not afraid to walk off by himself without either of his parents around. He's also much harder to discipline. It takes a while for bad habits to be broken.
In many ways, he's nothing like his brother. In other ways, he's exactly like him. At night when we do our bedtime routine, Nils asks for a song when he's in bed. Usually "Jesus Loves Me This I Know"; sometimes "Trygarre Kan Ingen Vara." It has to be sung at the right speed so that he can sing along, too (it's cute to hear him try and sing in Swedish)--if I try and rush it, he makes me slow down. Afterwards, he's been responding with "I love you." And it's not just repeating the phrase back. You can tell he means it.
Despite the frustration he can sometimes bring, Nils is a joy. I love him dearly. He helps keep me in check with how I'm acting. I can't wait to see the man he'll grow into some day . . . but not too soon.