The now two year old has a belly laugh that’s as loud as the big trucks he likes to watch from his spot in the car. It comes out when he’s doing something a) new and b) really really fun. A couple weeks ago we heard the laugh when he and Sonya were flying their newly-constructed fleet of paper airplanes. This week it was for Easter eggs – who knew that an egg could go into a cup colored brown and come out green, or purple or “dusty rose”? Amazing!

It is hard to believe that such a big laugh could come from such a small boy, but then isn’t “contradiction” supposed to be one of the hallmarks of the two year old? More often I suspect “contradiction” is the code word people use for “the kid isn’t doing what I want anymore,” but I digress. It is true that his newfound passion for Easter egg decorating, or his skill as an Easter egg hunter, is countered by his unease at standing near an Easter Bunny. And it is true that his exuberant personality has a shy side; we notice in pictures from day care that he’s usually standing a bit to the side of the other kids, like he wants to figure out exactly what the game is before diving in to play it. But who among us doesn’t have some kind of contradiction in our lives? I mean, I’m an introvert who speaks to people for a living.

Two year olds want to use all their newly-developed skills and be independent while still being able to run back to Papa or Mama when there’s a person in a large rabbit costume nearby. It’s all part of the script.

And if you keep that in mind, you’ll have a better time of enjoying the funny parts of the script, of which there are many. At an Easter egg roll yesterday the little man got a balloon, one of his favorite things. Balloons, of course, have ribbon, which is one of Rocky the cat’s favorite things. Last night at home the kid was playing with his balloon and Rocky came bounding in expecting to get a chance at chewing the ribbon (and, eventually, barfing the ribbon back up). Two year old was having none of this. He stood up as tall as he could, pointed at Rocky and said “no, no, cat!” Having been given what for, Rocky went back upstairs to sulk.

Aside from cat admonishments and the occasional outbursts, though, the two year old’s two-year-old-ness is a treat – he’s always wanted to do things himself, and now he actually can. He continues to help me in the kitchen, and now he and Sonya are starting the first seeds of the season. They’ve already got a good-sized sunflower plant sprouting in the front of the house! It won’t be long before it puts out a little flower, and I’m pretty sure that’s going to get a big belly laugh.

Also big laugh-worthy? His new sunglasses, which make him look a bit like Charles Nelson Reilly. We need a “Match Game” for two year olds.

Two year old and his new sunglasses