Life with 3.4 year old + 8.5 month old you (two).

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// Max.

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.

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// Frankie.

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.

Comments

  1. I loved reading this! I had 2 lovely no baby proofing required kids and now I have almost 10 month old destructo! He is a toilet brush chewing, chair surfing, iPhone charger chewing menace! To the point where my builder husband tells me don’t buy security gates “I’ll do something”(never good) I now get to trip over knee height planks of timber which slide into little rails on all the main doors yay!!!

    • Raising Master Max says:

      HAHAHAHAHA! Amy, oh my actual God!

      This is my future life with Frankie, this I know for sure.

      x

  2. Reannon says:

    Blake is the same as Frankie but since he started walking about 6 weeks ago it’s gotten worse!!! And he learnt to climb out the dog door !!! My big two were like Max, no baby proofing required! But by hell Blake is making up for them. But Blake is the king of tantrums & as soon as he hears no he screams, throws himself onto the floor or into the nearest wall & completely loses his shit. For the most part it’s quite hilarious but then it’s not because I wonder if this is indicator if things to come…

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Oh man Reannon, ha!

      Funny, yes. But yep, we’re also acutely aware that we’re going to have to actually keep our eyes on Frankie 24/7. And yep, ESPECIALLY when she starts walking, ha!

      Hold me.

      Blake & Frankie would be quite the dynamic duo ;)

  3. Theresa says:

    Lol! My eldest was like Max, we did no child proofing, my brother once bought his kids over and couldn’t believe we didn’t have lock on cupboards etc.

    Then I had boys. Oh lord. Yesterday my 19 month old was calling me, as I walked down the hall he giggled, cos apparently standing on too of his brothers fire station (stuck mind you) is funny. And the destruction… We just recovered from he five year olds toddlerhood and it seems the baby wants to one up everything. Give me strength!

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Oh MAN!

      I had *heard* all about this being the case with boys, but seriously? Not Max?! He is painfully cautious, ha!

      Frankie? Fearless. Absolutely FEARLESS.

      Toddlerhood’ll be interesting ;)

  4. Love it! what is the yin without the yang ?

  5. I feel like you just summed up my two babies. Ella (6) was your Max and Carter (2) is your Frankie. I was nodding the whole way through that, saying “uh huh” at every turn.

  6. I laughed out loud reading this, my two are exactly the same! I felt quite quite smug about not needing to baby proof for Max and put it down to my great parenting style… I’m definitely getting my comeuppance with Lincoln!!

  7. Cherie we have lived in our house for 3 years with no front fence or gates of ANY kind. We just didn’t need them. Friends ask how that worked with a 4 and 1 year old when we moved it. It just did. They don’t run out the front and if they do they just play on the front lawn. They have never even gone near the road. Our now 20 month old baby girl is on a similar mission to Frankie. It is SO different. We are getting quotes for a fence right now as we can’t relax without locking every door in the house. And I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before she works out how to unlock them. Nutcase! Bit gorgeous nutcase.

  8. Haha I had one kid who would sit placidly and read books rather than destroy the christmas tree, and one who was hell-bent on destroying/climbing/eating everything in sight. I passed Abby’s clothes onto her, and wouldn’t dream of passing them on again – she has toddlered all over them :)

  9. C is the same as Max…totally placid and mostly obedient…and not at all the child I thought I would have! My husband is a daredevil athlete and I was sure that I would have a child who climbed and jumped and generally destroyed everything around him. But I don’t! I have a child who loves quietly playing trains and reading books. And that is just fine by me!

  10. Claire Lenton says:

    So funny, our 9 month old (#3) is exactly the same. We never baby proofed for #1 or #2 . Quinn must eat smash grab bang all the things !!!

    • Raising Master Max says:

      It’s hilarious, isn’t it?!

      I’ve just gone & bought a second hand play pen, just so I can put her in it when I need to have a shower & NOT have to worry about her actually killing herself, ha!

      Ah … parenting eh? ;)

  11. Ha ha ha oh wow Cherie, absolutely described my number 2 right there! All of the no fear antics and absolutely definitely the no care factor when it comes to “no”s. My husband and I are both number 2s and have never followed the rules so I feel our little hell raiser is just karma for what we put our parentals through ;)

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Oh man, it really must be something about #2, hey?!

      See, I was #1 & a seriously good kid! So, … I don’t deserve this?!

      hahaha!

  12. We have a 10month old little girl Remi and she sounds exactly like Frankie will try to eat anything she finds and when we say no get that cheeky grin too!

  13. I have had two “Frankies” which means more ambulance rides than any parent should have.

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