My word, you are growing up.
A couple of weeks ago I was standing next to you while you used the toilets (like I’ve always done), when you looked up at me & said, “could you please leave me alone now?”. I was stunned. I mean, of course you’d have wanted your privacy in that moment right there. Christ, what human being wouldn’t?! But it’s just that you’ve never actually craved privacy in your 3.4 years of life up until that very moment, & so I guess I was a little unprepared for it.
I loved it.
I left you on the toilet, & I smiled. Because I realised our little boy is growing up.
You crave your privacy a lot more now, & you make that same similar (polite) request, “could you please leave me alone now?”.. And so I do. You set all of your favourite toys up in the lounge room when Frankie day naps, because you like that you can play with them without an 8.5 month old swiping at them at her every opportunity. And you delve deep into your own little imaginary world, role-playing, & talking back & forth between your zoo animals, & your firemen, & your Lightning McQueen’s, & your Tow Maters. And if you so much as get a sniff that I am listening to your play, you look up & ask politely if I can leave you alone now.
And so I do. Because play matters. And it’s always mattered in this house. So y’know hey, … go for it kiddo, but you’ll also please have to excuse me if I walk into the next room smiling, … but still listening in. Because I could honestly listen to that little 3.4 year old voice o’ yours role-playing all day. It is just the actual best sound.
You take yourself off to your room to flick through books, you want to pick out your own outfits for the day, you drag your IKEA step to the pantry to ponder what you might want for lunch that day, you wave me off comfortably (& happily) when I drop you off at Kindergarten, you are just … rapidly becoming your own little person, & we adore that little person that you are becoming.
Max was the baby who lived in a house that required no babyproofing.
I mean, zilch. I’m serious, nada.
Why? Because I guess we just got über lucky in that we seemed to score one of those infants (& then toddlers) who never felt the need to open drawers & pull everything out of them, or wreak havoc with any kind of electrical wiring, or explore zones within our home we’d have preferred him not to explore, or put items into his mouth that he could potentially choke to actual death on. I’m actually serious when I tell you that we barely had to change much of our house throughout any of Max’s infancy through to toddler stages.
If he even looked like he was half interested in something that was perhaps even remotely hazardous, all I had to do was offer a fairly gentle “no”, & you better believe that alone seemed to be enough to make him drop his bottom lip, & retract from said exploration of hazardous object immediately. I know now it’s because he is our super sensitive child, who reacts in super extreme ways to even the most gentle forms of parental disciplinary methods.
And look, the truth is, … I can’t even remember the last time I had to “discipline” him?! He’s not perfect, Christ, he’s three. But he is a seriously good kid, & we got seriously lucky. And we know this.
Frankie? Oh my hat. Frankie? It’s like her mission in her eight month old life is to actually kill herself, on an almost daily basis. Sometimes twice daily. When Max went quiet during infancy through to toddlerhood, I used to relax & think, “well this is nice”. When Frankie goes quiet? My heart actually stops, & I run all over the house to try & a) find her & then b) stop her from actually killing herself (i.e eating charcoal from the fireplace, finding rogue 10 cent pieces on the bedroom floor & attempting to swallow them, smashing TV remote controls open & attempting to swallow the batteries, standing up in her highchair in preparation to then plummet to her immediate death, eating Play Doh, eating pom poms, eating paper, entering the bathroom & chewing on the mofo’ing toilet brush, exiting through our open back door – which yes, I keep open on warm days because I’ll admit I’m used to baby Max, & not our ‘suicide mission’ baby Frankie, & just … generally finding all of the ways to kill ones infant self, courtesy of her absent-minded Mother who has babyproofed this house about as much as I did with Max. So, … not at all, because … I never had to?!?!
Yes indeed. I was entirely unprepared for the differences between two siblings, despite having followed the exact same recipe?!
Frankie my dear? You are actually fearless. And your Daddy & I are quickly coming up to speed with the knowledge required to raise fearless infants. Every day I wake up & attempt to look at our home through the eyes of a fearless 8.5 month old, & every day I am getting better at seeing new hazards before our dear little fearless Frankie finds them first!
Please don’t ever stop being fearless, it’s your fearlessness that I am already addicted to. It’s funny though, when we used to say “no” to Max, it’d stop him dead in his tracks. Like, immediately. With you? You look at me, appear to acknowledge the request, smile your chubby-cheeked grin, but it’s like you’ve just said to yourself, “… challenge accepted”, & then you proceed to crawl your chubby little butt to whatever it is I don’t want you to be crawling to, & at an even faster pace.
Cute now? Yep. But I can assure you, I know toddler Frankie is going to be all the karma paying me back for how easy I had it with infant through to toddler Max.
You’ve completed this family.