Happy birthday sweet boy!
We got you your own scooter and tied it up with a big shiny balloon; together I saw them stamp out every ounce of babyhood that was lingering behind.
You’ve changed so much these last few months. You talk so much more, maybe slightly less than other kids your age but we don’t care about that. Your pronunciation is rubbish which I LOVE. You say ‘buuubrees’ (blueberries) ‘bapple’ (apple) ‘bthuses’ (buses) ‘beebuts’ (buttons) and ‘duddles’ (cuddles) and these versions will stay around a lot longer than they might if I didn’t keep reinforcing them, especially the duddles, always the duddles.
At two you are a fractious, defiant little ball of energy but a loving one who is a total mummy’s boy. You’re a bruiser, you wade in pushing and shoving and stand up to your brother and laugh as he throws footballer fake falls. I can tell I’m going to have to keep tabs on you.
Playing with you is a daunting experience, one minute you are laughing and the next you are shaking with anger that the train you are pushing won’t fit through a much smaller tunnel. It’s too small lovely, it’s just too small. The laws of physics are a tough lesson to learn I know.
When my oldest son dropped all daytime sleeps before his second birthday I assumed that such a gross injustice could only be explained as a blip in the great scheme of fair nap distribution. This time around I realise there is no such scheme.
Over the last week we have had a 2/7 success rate with the toddlers naps which can only mean one thing – they are on their way out *sobs into gin*
I just don’t get it! If only I could ask him what the hell is going on in his head…
Me: So um, I was wondering… why don’t you want to nap any more?
Toddler: Things to do, people to see. You know how it is when you’re 21 months old. The world is so fresh and EXCITING!
Me: Most other kids your age nap you know…
Toddler: Most other kids my age are pansies.
Me: Napping is not a sign of weakness, a nice post lunch snooze is very normal.
Toddler: F*ck normal.
Me: The baby books suggest most kids…
Toddler: F*ck the baby books.
Me… continue napping until around 3!
Toddler: What don’t you get here? NAPS ARE FOR CHUMPS!
Me: You’d feel a lot better if you napped you know…
Toddler: You’d feel a lot better if you stopped being so bloody anal about napping!
Last week J and I took our biggest boy up to London for a day trip. We hadn’t done anything particularly out of the ordinary over half-term apart from douse our heads in nit lotion (twice) so it seemed like a nice idea.
We decided to hit the museums which is something I’ve been wanting to do with him for a while; with the littlest in nursery it was also the perfect opportunity to give him some undivided attention and maybe even expand his mind away from Lightning McQueen for a wee bit.
From previous trips away, particularly ones organised with effort and expense I have learnt it’s important to keep expectations low on both sides.
Firstly your own – Never make the mistake of looking forward to seeing a delighted face. It doesn’t matter how much you ‘think’ your kid will love it – in some way, shape or form they will piss all over it. In fact I would wager there is a strong correlation between the degree you expect they will enjoy it and the level of disinterest they actually show.
Second and most importantly, theirs – It’s wise to have a conversation along the lines of…
‘Just so you know… you won’t actually get to ride a rocket to the moon in the Science Museum and there is no magic time travel clock in the Natural History Museum. Ditto to ice-cream fountains, helter-skelters, talking penguins or whatever other random bullshit you conjured up in your head. It’s. Just. Boring. Museums. Ok?’
Luckily I did quite well with this resulting in F being largely nonplussed about the whole trip. So much so that he wasn’t even bothered about going #winning.
Dear lovely thing,
Firstly you are not even 18 months, more like 20 but such is the plight of the second child that I find it pretty hard to keep tabs. But it’s your fault really, you seem to do all of your growing pretty fast. Please stop that.
I sometimes feel you don’t get much of a look in on here, as compared to your brother who mouths off and argues back and provides much of the fuel for this here fire. You’re the one who bumbles around like a happy little drunk and the one that can be strapped into a pushchair and carted around. As such we don’t really have much to complain about, although there is obviously still so much to say.
These are some of the things that we love about you, right here and right now.
You bypassed every baby toy we own, chucked the stacking cups aside, glared at the shape sorter and gave the musical, brightly coloured battery thingy majigs all of 30 seconds attention. You play with cars and figures, not the baby ones but the ones your brother only recently discarded and now rather conveniently wants back.
The first song you sang? Postman frickin Pat. #FML (*remember to delete this bit when reading happens).
You can say Ka-chow just like McQueen which is the one skill you big bro admires.
You adore your cat, she hates you.
At the minute I have precisely 13 items on my ‘needs doing now’ to-do list, which is on top of the 22 items on my ‘to do as soon as you can’ to-do list which doesn’t include the many, many things on the ‘will probably never happen so I don’t really know why you even exist’ to-do list.
A lot of these items are related to the kids and things they need, what with all their growing and general destruction of stuff. Their feet are always too big, toothbrush bristles too flat, socks too holey, pants too un-findable etc etc.
On Saturday I went into town with a list of stuff to buy them, leaving them at home with their dad (regular readers will understand why I don’t take my kids near retail outlets). Anyway the list was pretty dull…
On one morning over the weekend I like to have a nice relaxing bath. All going to plan this involves lots of bubbles, a cup of coffee from the machine with actual frothy milk and the Guardian weekend magazine.
However it very rarely goes to plan.
Pretty much as soon as i sink into the bubbles I hear the sound of elephant feet pounding up the stairs and a booming voice in the distance.
‘F where are you going, please stay down here. I told you Mummy is trying to have a nice bath’
‘But I just have to talk to her about something Daddy. It’s important!’
[Elephant feet recommence and grow steadily louder – enter eldest son]
‘Mummy I just need to talk to you about something!’
‘Ok, whats that?’
‘Um, um, um…Do you think Lightning McQueen or Francesco Bernoulli is the fastest?’
‘Yep me too! Oh…do you need some toys in there Mummy?’
‘But you’ve got nothing to play with! I’ll just put some boats in for you and, and do you want the fireman Sam that transforms into a fire engine in too?
We have been so excited for you turning four. This year you have more of an understanding about time and have been quizzing us on ‘how many sleeps’ for a little while now. It hasn’t been at all irritating though i promise ;)
I jest of course because I know we have been more excited than you, looking forward to seeing your face when you got your shiny red pedal bike. We considered taking you up to London or to do something out of the ordinary but when it came down to it we knew you’d prefer taking your new wheels out for a spin along the prom. You know what you like and you like what you know and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.
I was watching a TV documentary the other night and it started to reel off a list of personality traits that seemed oddly familiar: –
- Unconcern for the feelings of others
- Unnecessary risk-taking or impulsive behavior
- Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms
- Very low tolerance to frustration
- Incapacity to experience guilt
- Marked readiness to blame others
- Superficial charm
I repeated them to J and asked him ‘Does that sound like anyone to you?’
‘Yep sounds like F – why?’
‘Those are the personality traits of a SOCIOPATH!!’
‘He’s 3 – most 3 year olds are like that surely?’
‘I guess so but do most 3 year olds ask stuff like…‘
Day 1 – We are going on a holiday. Daddy says it’s a chance for us all to relax which makes mummy snort and mutter something like ‘same old sh*t, different location.’ A thing called packing happens which seems to make everyone hate each other and random inanimate objects such as shoes and charging devices.
After we have been in the car for a bit the baby sicks up loads of big lumps of milk that stink. We can’t stop due to the motorway so we have to drive for ages with lots of crying and everyone feeling sick due to the disgusting sick smell.
When we finally find somewhere to stop mummy starts changing the baby and daddy wanders off, she says ‘you have got to be kidding me!’ He comes back later with a coffee the size of his head which mummy says is ‘bloody ridiculous’. I wonder if when I grow up, I will get angry about the size of drinks other people buy too.
We get on a boat that takes us on the sea to the France which is a place where they drive on the wrong side of the road and eat cross ants for breakfast.
The house we are staying on sits on water. It has no wifi which is also ‘bloody ridiculous’ and causes mummy to have a tech tantrum similar to when i throw the ipad on the floor in a rage or when daddy kicks the xbox because he loses on Fifa. It means I can’t watch videos of people opening kinder eggs on YouTube. This sucks.
I can’t sleep because I don’t understand how a house can be on the water and not be a boat. I have to ask for clarification 37 times before I can properly relax.
Today was a big day for my no.1 boy although he didn’t know it. An email popped into my inbox confirming his schools place and all i could think of was
YAY roll on September how can my baby be going to school already?
He will be 4 years old and 2 weeks when he starts, possibly the very youngest in his class.
People ask me if i am worried. I guess i could be.
He can’t count above 10, he has only recently learnt to draw a circle, he can’t sit still, he can’t get himself dressed or put his own shoes on, he seems to have perfected the skill of selective hearing and the only letter he can consistently recognise is an X (a pretty cool letter to be fair).
I have wondered if we should spend the next few months trying to get him up to scratch, so that he is not so far behind all of his classmates. But pushing him on things which he doesn’t yet have the capacity for, only leaves us all feeling more frustrated.
So i wonder if we should stop focusing on all the things he can’t do and think about all the things he can.
He can ride his balance bike like a pro, he can climb, he can dive bomb into the pool, he can chat to anyone, he can make the most amazing customisations for his cars using lego and play-doh, he can run about for HOURS without even the slightest breather.