Next month my son Leo will turn two. Two whole years of parenting TWO children. I’d say I don’t know where the time has gone, but I know exactly where it’s gone.
It’s gone to nappy changing and breastfeeding and catching up on lost sleep during the day.
It’s gone to bedtime stories and bubble baths and baby music classes.
It’s gone to maths homework and family days out and school runs.
Leo’s second birthday will mark two years of Maia being a big sister. A kind, patient and loving older sister. A best friend. Its not easy being the older sibling of a toddler (particularly when he goes into your bedroom and empties the contents of your pencil case out all over the floor just because he feels like it). And its not easy sharing your Mum. But she is brilliant. The way she guides, teaches and plays with him is utterly heartwarming.
Leo has reached a whole host of “milestones” this year. I’ve no idea what he is meant to be doing at this point, (I’m not one for reading up on these things, textbook expectations can be torturous) I just know what he is doing.
Here’s a brief and random summary:
1. He gets very excited when he sees a familiar face, squeals of excitement are his “Hello there!”.
2. He can now count from one to fourteen, albeit in two stages.
3. He repeats pretty much whatever we say, including one particular occasional obscenity.
4. He regularly helps himself to an ice lolly from the freezer, insists I open it, then allows me to re-wrap it and return it to the freezer before repeating the whole process again. We currently have about 12 open uneaten ice lollies in there.
5. One of his favourite activities is the simple act of emptying a room. All pans out of the pan drawer, same goes for the tupperware and the dry food. Any drawer within reach. And because it takes us months to get anything done, neither Joel nor I have secured the necessary safety lock fixtures onto these drawers to prevent this from happening. I still see it as an annoying but fun activity that keeps Leo occupied whilst I tidy one of the other rooms he has done this to.
6. Toilet roll must be kept out of reach; far too tempting.
7. “Daddy. Train. Work!” Is one of his favourite morning sayings. Short, sweet and accurate.
8. He will occasionally apologise when he thinks he’s done something wrong. “Sorry Mummy!” It is very very cute and never used at the appropriate moment.
9. Today I spent about a minute just staring as he played with a wind-up rabbit, winding it up and watching it go repeatedly. I was amazed that he had the fine motor skills to rotate the winder. They can be fiddly.
10. He loves watering/drowning the plants with his Dad.
As one child learns to count to fifteen, another reminds me of the importance of keeping childhood magic alive. Maia lost a tooth in the car a few days ago and as usual placed said tooth under her pillow. I failed to take note of this tooth loss and forgot to contact the relevant fairy. Days passed and as I tucked her into bed one evening she commented on it.
“Mummy my tooth has been under my pillow for days and you and Joel still haven’t given me any money!”
“WHAT? Do not let the tooth fairy hear you say that! She might not come!”
She smiles up at me. I am hanging on by a thread trying to resurrect the magic.
“Mummy. Come on.”
I persist anyway.
“That fairy is coming.”
It absolutely is.