You’re 33 months + 18 days old today. I used to churn these posts out smack bang on the third day of every month, celebrating another month with glorious little you. But well, then I just stopped because … I was pregnant, heavily pregnant, low in iron, juggling various daily hospital appointments with a toddler in tow, & not to mention the whole not knowing where it was that I was even going to be giving birth thing. And then? Well, I was labouring for three days straight, & then I was discharged four or so hours after giving birth, & then I was learning to breastfeed, & well … I guess it’s safe to say I’ve been more than a little distracted ever since. And so today? We celebrate life with 33 month + 18 day old you.
Because it’s better late than never, right?
:: I almost wouldn’t even call you ‘shy’ any more. My, how you’ve come out of that shell o’ yours! I’m not going to lie, there’s been some criticism along my Mothering travels over our not having sent you to any form of day care. We were warned about the dangers of not socialising you, or about how you may cling to us for the rest of your natural life (ha!), etcetera, etcetera. But the thing is, we gave Montessori a go, & you just didn’t cope. We continued to give it a go, just in case it was a ‘settling in’ thing, & you still didn’t cope. I pulled you out immediately, & I honestly haven’t looked back.
The thing about this Mothering caper is this, every child is different, & I’m learning more & more that children can’t be ‘googled’ or summarised in the chapters of every ‘expert’ parenting book. And here’s the thing, these days I’m referring less & less to the ‘experts’ & more & more to myself. Because … wait for it, these days I’ve been kinda thinking that maybe I’m the expert! Or at least, maybe I’m your expert. Because nobody knows you better than me, or Dave, & so if you’re not coping in day care? Well, it’s a no brainer really; we pull you out immediately.
And so that’s what we did.
You just needed another year home with me, & now that we’re nearly ten months into that year? Well, I just know you’re more than ready for three year old kinder next year.
:: the questions, my lord, the questions have begun! Actually, they don’t stop. All day, every day you want to know ‘what?’ & ‘why?’ & ‘why not?’ & ‘how much?’ & ‘when?’ & ‘what sound does it make?’ & ‘what does it do?’, & I always thought I’d be that parent who’d nurture your learning with an answer for everything, but the questions just fly so thick & fast that I often feel completely fried by 10am & find myself answering some with ‘well, I’m not sure sweetheart. Let’s ask Daddy when Daddy gets home!’.
:: when you’re not asking questions, you’re just talking. Always with the talking. You talk to me, you talk to Frankie, you talk to yourself, you talk to your toys, you role play, you just.have.to.be.incessantly.talking. The other day we were in your ‘big boy room’ together, & the sun was shining through your bedroom window & on to your hair, & you were just completely beautiful, & so I asked you if I could take your photograph. You said, ‘ok. I smile. I’m a big boy. I’m in my big boy room. This is my room. I’ve got a willy. You’re a girl. You don’t have a willy. I like cars. Do you eat lady bugs, Mummy?’. This was all in the space of my having asked if I could just take your photo, & actually pressing the button on the camera to take said photo.
The talking? It never stops.
:: you’re actually obssessed with Frankie’s head. In the mornings, you climb into our bed & scream, ‘I have to touch Frankie’s head!’. When she wakes, you touch her head. And when she sleeps, … you wake her up by touching her head.
:: we’ve also entered the ‘THAT’S MINE!’ era of toddlerhood. You don’t share, you’ve never had to, & in your two year old mind you probably see no valid reasons as to why you’d even want to. And so, it’s up to Daddy & I to teach you the importance of sharing. When any pint sized anyone comes to our house you remind me of a dog, because you mark all of your toys in a similar way a dog would mark its territory. And if they grab any one of those toys? Well, it is on. ’That’s MY garbage truck!’, ‘that’s MY cars!’, ‘that’s MY Marben!’, ‘that’s MY big boy room!’. And so, it’s up to me to follow you around reminding you to share, timing you out if you don’t, & generally just ensuring that I do indeed sound like a broken record with all of my ‘no Max, we share because …’ etceteras, etceteras.
:: you’ve stepped up to big brotherhood even better than I expected. Frankie feeds two hourly during the day, & you’re there by her side at every feed, stroking her head while she gulps down my milk like the chubby little superstar that she is. And the truth is, I can’t help but look at you while she feeds without thinking that you’re just a little bit of a superstar yourself.
Life with 33 month + 18 day old you is exhausting, & rewarding, & hilarious, & ever changing.
Never have I been more certain that we are smack bang right in the middle of what I know we’ll refer to as ‘the good old days’ in years to come.
Photography by sweet Lecinda from Little Moments.