Honest Motherhood: Happy Birthday Leo

We celebrated Leo’s second Birthday earlier this month. A joyous occasion and a house full of his favourite people. The whole day sort of felt like being wrapped in a giant hug.
Unlike last year there were no tears when it came to singing Happy Birthday, he simply did as required and, right on cue, blew the candle out. We did not expect this. Shockwaves rippled through the room as we all wondered how exactly he knew when it was time to blow?

We’d gone to a little more effort this year with presents, now that he possesses the fine motor skills to physically unwrap a gift.£20 worth of plastic fire engine (with sounds obviously) was undoubtedly his favourite surprise of all, going by his reactions:
“FIRE UNDIN!!” Lots of bouncing up and down (seated) on the table. (There is a tradition in my family, started by my mother, to plonk the Birthday-toddler on the Birthday-table, surrounded by cards and balloons, to unwrap their presents. This is solely for photographic purposes but means I now have delightful photos of my son, my daughter, and myself at two years old in various interesting-Birthday-outfits on various dining room tables over the years.)
Other presents include: a balance bike, bath letters, a train track, a table and chairs and a potty. We figured there was no harm in leaving a small potty lying about the place in the hope he’d get used to it and even take an interest. No real interest has been taken so far.
The train track has provided countless hours of entertainment in the two weeks he’s had it. I wish there was a train track everywhere we go. He very independently built nearly the entire track in the garden one afternoon, quietly going back and forth to the living room to fetch each piece.

Leo turning two sparked a small revolution in the weaning department. Though I still feed him to sleep (the next hurdle), he no longer feeds during the night, which is a giant leap for us both.
Now, once the children are in bed and I’ve had my hour of eating junk food with Joel whilst debating what to stick on Netflix, I simply get into bed, (a bed with no toddler in it) put my squishy foam ear plugs in and go to sleep. This is pure happiness. Words cannot describe the feeling of liberation.
There’s no small child on my pillow.
No clambering over me.
No reading my book in the dark with a measly phone torch because turning the bedside lamp on is deemed far too risky.
Just me and my pillow.
When/if Leo wakes up, Joel attends to him. (Leo catching sight of me would only thwart the weaning process, he’d demand to be fed, so I must remain out of sight and in bed, which works perfectly well for me).
Some nights, I get eight hours straight. EIGHT. This is unheard of. A state of being I have not experienced over the last two years. An alternate reality. A utopia of sorts.
On day one I texted Joel mid-morning to tell him what a “beautiful day” it was.
Day two I read several pages of a book without having to go back and re-read it all.
Day three I began wondering why on earth we had not done this a year ago.
Best not dwell.


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