Dear Per Christian…

First off, let’s get a few things straight.

I understand you’re two years old and in a strange developmental stage of possessiveness. But that ends where mommy’s closet begins. Although it’s quite amusing to come into my bedroom and see you wearing three of my bras and insisting that they are yours….

They are not.

I understand your sleep patterns are changing, but it would be great if you could still go straight to sleep as soon as I put you in bed. And preferably no later than 6 o’clock, thank you very much. Mommy likes to have her first glass of “mommy juice” right around that time, but your later bedtime these past few weeks is beginning to interfere.

It’s all about priorities, you know.

I understand your curiosity is developing about how mommy makes your food, but I’m not sure the counter-top is the best place for you to observe. You seem to have developed an addiction to sniffing our pepper grinder, even though it makes you compulsively sneeze every time. And sneezing makes you giggle (it always has, you’re so odd…), so you end up sneezing and giggling and giggling and sneezing and then I’m laughing so hard watching you that I stop paying attention and whatever I’m making for you gets ruined.

Yeah, so cut that out.

I understand you’re increasingly inquisitive about how things work, especially cars and planes and trains and motorcycles and helicopters. But that does not mean you can vehemently insist that mommy stops watching Masterchef so you can watch race cars and steam trains on YouTube.

I was here first.

I understand that you are learning new words every day, but it would be great if you shared the inside workings of your brain with us slower folk. Three languages in one sentence can take a while to decipher, even though we mask our confusion by nodding and saying “mmm-hmm” to whatever it is you’re spouting.

We’ll catch up with you eventually.

And while we’re on the topic of language, “momma” is not synonymous with or a replacement for any of the following phrases —- “help me,” “give me,” “I want,” “I need,” “I must have ice cream or I will perish immediately.”

Oh, and the songs? The singing? And by “singing” I mean the joyful shouting at the top of your lungs with something that barely resembles language and/or tone?

That can stay.

Despite (or because of…) all the above, Momma and Pappa love you in all your outlandish, mysterious, rambunctious and mischievous glory. Thank you for being two.

Never change,

Mommy

PS – you know that crazy, spontaneous giggle thing you do in the middle of the night, when I know you’re happily, deeply buried in Slumberland? Please, please, please keep doing that. Mommy loves it.

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Love.

Three years ago today…

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For all you busy, overworked and over-stressed parents out there, take a minute to kiss your spouse – your husband, your wife, your better half, your partner-in-crime.

They are special beyond words.

17 Mai, again….

It was the 17th of May yesterday, which means it was time once again for Norwegians everywhere to impersonate an American July 4th celebration. Except with a lot more formal clothes and without all the fireworks, or the tailgating, or the sparklers…. but still fun, yay!

Heia Norge!

Seriously though, this is Per Christian’s third “17 Mai” celebration since he was born – first dressed (somewhat unwillingly) as an intoxicated sailor and last year with no celebration at all besides Cheerios and laundry. But this year he finally was old enough to dress the part and participate in the infamous children’s tog (literally a train, but also a parade).

I’ve been begging Pappa P to show me a 17 Mai tog every year since I first moved to Norway in 2008 – it just seemed like an authentic cultural experience that shouldn’t be missed. But Pappa P, scarred by years of forced tog participation as a child, has always managed to redirect my attention to champagne and brunch instead. Go figure.

So this year we got the full 17 Mai experience – nice clothes, breakfast at the school, the patriotic raising of the Norwegian flag and, yes, finally! The Tog.

And you know what I learned about walking in a 17 Mai parade with my son?

It’s just like going for a walk any other day.

So there’s one thing off my Bucket List. Next year it’s back to champagne.

Happy 17 Mai, everyone!

17 Mai cuteness, Gran Canaria-style

17 Mai cuteness, Gran Canaria-style

Heia Norge!

Heia Norge!

Per Christian's nursery director in her traditional bunad

Per Christian’s nursery director in her traditional bunad

All the Svendsens in one photo - it's a miracle!

The entire Svendsen threesome in one photo – it’s a miracle!

Handsome boys

This is why women everywhere should marry Norwegian men

Mommy and Per Christian

Mommy and Per Christian

Pre-tog chillin' with girlfriend Jamila

Pre-tog chillin’ with girlfriend Jamila

Learning the national anthem with Pappa

Learning the national anthem with Pappa

Is it time for ice cream yet???

Is it time for ice cream yet???

The stroller section of the tog

The stroller section of the tog

Per Christian "walking" in the parade

Per Christian “walking” in the parade (he didn’t last long)

The Norwegians of Gran Canaria all descend on Anfi beach

The Norwegians of Gran Canaria all descend on Anfi beach, 17 May 2013

Mommy sove

Per Christian has developed a new game lately, one that I’m doing my best to encourage.

It happens when we’re snuggled together in bed or on the sofa — it’s our so-called “cozy time” that lasts all of 2.4 seconds before he’s off and running again.

But sometimes, when the stars are aligned and the gods are in my favor, he’ll turn to me and say, “Shhhh…Mommy sove…” (aka – “mommy’s sleeping,” in English). He’ll close my eyelids with his fingertips, curl up next to me and lay there for at least 10 seconds (I’ve counted). He’ll peek up at me to make sure I’m not cheating and that my eyelids are still closed (which they always are because, duh).

I do an excellent rendition of a sleeping Mommy, all in a selfless pursuit of encouraging my son’s developing imagination and fostering his long-term creativity. Sometimes he even moves away and plays quietly on his own because, “Shhhh! Mommy sove…

Mommy’s favorite game.