When your sister turned two, I was warned to watch out for the ‘Terrible Twos’. I was told to expect endless tantrums, arguments and swift right hooks from a small child who was now big enough to land a powerful punch if she picked her body part wisely. For example, a punch to my bum could go unnoticed as there’s padding a plenty; a headbutt to the cheekbone (an injury often sustained whilst trying to wrestle her into a pair of tights), however, was agony.
But, however ‘terrible’ two was with your sister, it was also wonderful and amazing and beautiful because her individuality started to shine through; her personality blossomed; her hair was finally growing down past her ears and she became the greatest cuddler in the world.
I mourn the fact that she is no longer two. Just like I mourn the fact that you are no longer a baby. You are a walking, talking, Fruit Shoot guzzling little boy and my brief foray into the magical, unpredictable and chaotic world of ‘Babydom’ is over as there is no plan for a third visit from the stork – let’s just say we have moved on from that part of our lives and left no forwarding address.
Despite our mutual decision of stopping at two, this hasn’t stopped me crying into a discarded muslin that, if sniffed at the right angle, still smells like your divine new born head. I can still be seen giving lingering looks at the baby bath that has sat unused in your room now for well over a year. I have even wondered that if I stare at my my boobs for long enough (in a Carrie at senior prom like way) will they magically lactate again? Therefore meaning that you are still my baby boy and we haven’t quite yet left the baby years behind us? But, the fact is: the muslins are old and worn out; the bath has (only just) been given away to someone who is about to embark on their own baby adventure and my boobs have shrunk so much that the mere thought of them having to produce another drop of milk might just have them retreating even further into my chest. No, we must never look back. After all, you’re about to enter the ‘terrible twos’ and if you’re half as good as your sister was at being two, then you’re going to be awesome.
You are hands down the greatest cuddler in the world. If there was a competition for cuddling, you would nail it. At cuddling, you kick your sister’s butt. While she likes to lure me in with fake high fives (“High five, Mummy!” *goes in for the high five only to be denied* “Ha loser. You’re a loser!”), you grab me and pull us together cheek to cheek and while your sister refuses to pucker up her lips when I ask for a kiss (she unwillingly presents me with flat lips), you, at random points, just come and plant a firm kiss on my lips, my hair or my phone. Yes, you once kissed my phone, which I think says more about me than you.We don’t talk about this openly you and I (mostly because you can only really speak coherently about Fruit Shoots, Peppa Pig and dinosaurs), but we are co-sleepers. It wasn’t in the plan. Although, when mummy returned to work and was getting only a few hours sleep at night, it became the plan. It’s not an ideal situation, but secretly I love it and I will explain why. Once you’re asleep, I will creep downstairs and begin my nightly ritual of having a cup of tea, eating some chocolate and watching something American on Sky Atlantic. After an hour or so, your Daddy will tell me that I look tired and that I should go to bed so he can watch ‘Alaska: The Last Frontier’. So off I go to bed where I find you snoozing under a cover that still makes you look tiny and laying on a pillow that’s way too large for your head. Cautious not to disturb you, I sneak in next to you, but no matter the space between us, you, still snoozing, move yourself and snuggle into me. Last night I was even treated to a sleep talking “twit twoo” as you slotted yourself into my arms squishing one of them underneath you. Perhaps you do it for comfort, perhaps it’s love, but most of all it’s because you have never known anything else and that’s no one’s fault but mine. At sleep training both you and your sister we failed completely, but when you’re cuddled next to me and all I can smell is your freshly washed hair, I really don’t care. Despite Mummy and Daddy literally purchasing and owning the television in our house, the television in our house does not belong to us. It belongs to your sister. As your sister owns the television, it means that some fundamental children’s programmes almost passed you by. Almost. You were, up until only a few months ago, blissfully unaware of the imperious pig we all know and love by the name of Peppa. You actually literally stumbled upon a 2016 Peppa Pig annual and asked your Dad what it was by jamming it into his face. Fast forward four months and channel 615 is now a permanent fixture on your sister’s television again and I have lost count of how many times I have shouted “It’s not a toy train, it’s a miniature locomotive!” at Miss Rabbit as she happily, but very slowly, drives a bunch of talking animals to work. You also love ‘Ben and Holly’ and can be heard shouting “Elf Rescue!” and together we have an affinity for ‘Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures’ although I don’t think we watch it for the same reasons…(Andy – call me…!)
You are a really happy young man and your sheer delight for most things is infectious. You have two little dimples high up in your cheeks and seeing them appear everyday when I pick you up after I have finished work absolutely makes my day. No matter the type of day I have had, your smile is a shining beacon that lights up; it signals the fact that the working day has ended and family time, if only for a few hours, has started and nothing can beat that feeling. However, it can’t be all unicorns and rainbows can it? Tantrums have begun to sneak in. Mostly they are about Fruit Shoots. After nursery, you will bound into the kitchen shouting “Frooot Sooot! Frooot Sooot, Mummy!” and when I say no, you plonk your little bum on the floor and begin to scream. Obviously after teaching a few raucous teenagers, there’s only so much more screaming I can take and within
minutes seconds you are running around happily with a Fruit Shoot in your hand. You also cleverly use Fruit Shoots as a form of torture. This torture often occurs at 3am when you wake me up with a yank to my fringe quietly saying “Fooot Shooot”. In my dishevelled state, I’ll search the bedroom floor blindly in the darkness before grasping the familiar feel of the bottle that has been left there by your Daddy who sneaked in the room quietly at midnight after having watched ‘Goldrush’. We only get to watch our programmes late at night because, you know, your sister owns the TV…
When compared to your sister at two, you are incredibly brave or should that say stupid? No, not stupid. A daredevil perhaps. You will climb and climb and climb – I am hoping that the eyes in the back of my head are going to grow in soon because, heaven knows, I am going to need them.
Today you are two years old. I can’t believe it. To me, you are still all shiny and new and I can remember every second of the day you were born – mostly because my waters broke in NatWest Bank and after driving home and wetting the car seat, I refused to leave the house to go to the mid-wife led unit until I had finished watching the penultimate episode of ‘Breaking Bad’. But, also the day was so memorable because that was the day our family was complete. You completed us. We are now a unit. Two females and two males – in my opinion – perfect and I will never take what we have for granted. Thank you for choosing us; I hope we are doing you proud because we could not be prouder of you.
Fruit shoot addict.
Son.This post was in no way sponsored by Fruit Shoot…seriously.