It’s a hot Thursday afternoon, and I’m sitting in the kitchen in a basketball singlet and gym shorts. Not that I play basketball. Or go to the gym. It’s just hot. And I can’t exactly traipse around in my underwear; I feel like Mr 2 (who is almost Mr 3 *sigh*) is at an age when he’s going to start remembering things, and I don’t exactly want him remembering that. The fan is whirring and making the vertical blinds in the dining room dance, letting light sneak in. Mr 2 is asleep in his pram, in the living room. I hope he stays that way for a while.
He’s had quite a morning.
He turned up in our room at 5-something AM. I was in a druggy, half-awake state and could barely understand what was going on as I felt him climb into our bed and lie down beside me. I’d been in his room less than two hours before, patting his bum; a demand (not request) that he’s been making every time he wakes in the middle of the night. He never used to be like this. He used to be an Awesome Sleeper. In bed by 8:30pm and there until 7am the next day. How I curse the day we decided to take down the side of his cot. He spent the dawn hour flailing around beside me,climbing onto my chest and bumping his knees into my back, trying to get comfortable or to annoy me enough to wake me up – it’s hard to tell.
At 6:30 I sent him downstairs to have breakfast with his dad. When they came back up at 7:15, Mr 2 found my iPad and, in my desperation to catch just a little bit more shut-eye, I let him play The Wiggles game for a solid 45 minutes. Bad mum. I woke to the beautiful vision of him dancing to Do the Propellor, him a bounding body of energy, and me with eyes bagged and aching head, desperate for coffee.
At least I got to finish reading Gone Girl while I patted him to sleep last night (which, btw, is a brilliant book and movie, with truly messed up characters… will need to write a debrief post later).
We spent the morning playing, arguing, eating, playing, arguing, walking to a daycare centre up the road for an interview, to the post office, to the library, and back home. By that time it was high noon and we had to walk back in 30-something degree heat. The beads of sweat on my back had turned into rivers and when we walked through the front door his hat and shirt were damp and he was snoring.
If I’m honest I’ve got mixed feelings about spending more time with Mr 2.
It feels like he’s changed so much since we had our own days alone together. It’s only been a few months, but he’s grown up so much since. He’s more articulate; he speaks in full sentences (Mama, I’d like more watermelon, please / No, I don’t want to get in the car / Look, I got you a flower), asks me proper questions (Hey, what’s that noise? / Play with me? / Can we go now? I want to go now!), uses his imagination and tells me stories (Emma is sitting here, next to me; she’s driving the car / It’s Samuel’s birthday and we’re going to his party! See this? It’s cake! Do you want some? Here, have some! Eat it!), tells me that he’s telling me a story (Mama, stop talking and play with me. Sit in the car next to Emma.), and, if you hadn’t realised already, has gotten really good at articulating his
When I’m watching him – on rare occasions when my patience is still in tact and my blood pressure at a reasonable level – I can tell that his mind is in a conflicted state. He’s desperate for independence. He wants his things done his way and on his time (i.e. right now). But at the same time he craves dependence (Mama I want to play with you / No, don’t leave me!). This morning it took me an hour to make toast because he was pulling at my leg, trying to drag me into the living room so I could watch him play with Thomas the Tank Engine. Even when I set him up with PlayDough at the kitchen table – less than 4 metres away and with me in plain sight – he wailed incessantly.
I’m conflicted too. It’s nice to be wanted, and I tell myself this won’t last forever. He’s an affectionate child, which I love, because I am an affectionate person. I love hugs, and he is generous with hugs. But I also want him to be his own self, and not seek me so desperately. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. It’s certainly necessary; I won’t always be around.
I wonder if his neediness is just a phase (please God, let it be a phase!), if being a ‘Mamas boy’ is actually a thing and if it’s permanent… (gut feeling tells me it’s probably permanent… damn it) and if it’s all my fault. Or if it’s because he’s still breastfeeding occasionally (the ER doctor he treated him for anaphylaxis on boxing day was aghast to hear this, and told me to stop as soon as possible because it was just going to make it harder for the both of us).
Can I just say that I never intended to breastfeed for this long. We made it to two years, and I cheered, feeling sooooo accomplished and proud of us both, then considered weaning him and… well… rethought the whole thing. It’s free, always available, and nutritious. He hasn’t wanted to stop. He sometimes goes through a week without asking for breastfeed, and I think, “Yep, ok, he’s over it,” and then suddenly asks for some before bed. I think, “Surely my milk will dry up any day now,” but it hasn’t. And so we continue, because breast milk is good for him, and because sometimes I just can’t be f*d actually getting up at 5am and letting him drink milk is a great excuse to stay in bed/asleep. I’ll admit it’s getting weird, though, because he’s almost 3 years old and enormous already and sometimes tries to talk to me while he’s feeding… Yep. WEIRD.
I’ve just gone to check on him and was startled at how big he looks in his pram. He almost looks too big to fit in it. God, I remember when the straps barely held his tiny little body in place. Now he climbs in and out whenever he wants to. Actually, now, we barely use it because he walks every where.
Oh Mr 2… when did you go from being a little baby into a little boy? And what on earth am I going to do with you?