It’s been a while since I’ve written much about the little man. It’s not that he’s not been around, he certainly has been, it’s just been manic and monotonous at the same time. Parenting seems to ebb and flow in and out of a Groundhog Day situation. We have the same routines, the same arguments, watching the same episodes of Paw Patrol until I can recite them. The more things change, the more things stay the same. He’s changing, but doing it on the sly, while I’m not looking. He wakes up an inch or two taller. He comes home from creche with new words. He’s half way to five, I realised the other day. Half way to schoolbag on his back, out the door, being a proper little person.
He’s taking a head start as far as that’s concerned. I can never say I’m not raising an independent soul – he makes it very clear he can do everything himself. Of late I seem to be in his bad books. While we were in Seattle, he stayed in Ireland, being spoiled rotten by family (thank you!!!). He’s been fine with his Daddy upon his return, but it seems the betrayal of me leaving him has damaged his view of me. I’m getting a lot of “Get OUT Mummy” and saying he doesn’t love me, he only loves Daddy. You wouldn’t want to be sensitive with toddlers around, that much is certain. I’m trying to look on it like other parents are telling me, that he’s acting this way because he feels so secure that my love is unconditional. Operating on that thought system, and googling whether or not anyone has started up a toddler boarding school. They would make a small fortune.
We had his (rather late) two year check this week. He’s 13kg, 89 cm, small and skinny and full of chat. A little underweight and under tall, but nothing to write home about. He’s loud and enthusiastic, and has settled very well into his creche. It’s amazing to see him interacting with the other kids in his room, his little friends that he comes home telling us stories about. He’s got his own little universe completely separate to ours. It’s hard to believe that just that short time ago he was a little dot, so dependent. And before that he wasn’t here. Things happen and life whizzes by when it gets busy like it has around here.Â Things like him not saying Nee-Naw, and saying Fire Engine. Good things, great things, just signs he’s less my baby and that I should really get proactive about the whole school place thing. Yeah, that.
Paw Patrol still rules the roost around here. Life-buoy, otherwise known as “leg boy”, seems to be his favourite game – it involves hauling one of us, or being hauled by one of us, around the floor with a cushion. He’s a walking mess maker, serial banana eater, who will be full to the brim but always has room for “anoda go-gurt” (his drug of choice is the goats milk yoghurts from Glenisk). Despite his being slightly underweight, he never stops eating. He’s a teenager in the making, all attitude, up late at night and grumpy to be woken in the morning. “Mummy. I. Sleeping!” is a commonly heard retort.
He’s doing good. Kid is doing good. Me, I’m working on it. With his new independence comes a whole new layer of having to be the grownup. He’s my child, not my friend, and sometimes I have to be stern, strict and unrelenting. Yes, it is terribly unfair that I won’t let him scoot on the footpath next to a busy road. Unfair enough, some would say, to warrant a tantrum. However I’m trying my best to keep him safe, healthy and unsmushed by a car, so I’ve got to be Unfair Mammy from time to time. I’m also an imperfect being who hasn’t done this before. I’m learning things like keeping my patience when it’s being tried to the last degree, and gaining understanding of the reasons behind the tantrums. As a grownup it’s so easy to forget the tiny little things which drive the tiny people mad at two and a half. It’s easy to brush them off and not realise the effect they’re having. The screaming match isn’t always just a show of defiance, and it’s taking the time to understand what is going on and how to change the situation that I’m working on.
We’re both learning and living and doing just fine.Â Two and a half is half way to five, and we’re doing just fine.