Just when I thought things can’t move any faster, our son is now Three. Comparing it to all the other years, last year especially, I am confident that this has been the fastest year yet.
You’d think that after settling into our routine after T started nursery when he turned one that things would have slowed down and continued at a nice pace, but no. Things have only moved faster. Due to a combination of busy weekends, holidays, and general milestones happening weekly, we pretty much hit the ground running every day.
Whilst this is fun and it’s great that we’re never bored – several times throughout this year I could have done with a pause button. Our days are flying by and our baby is growing up way too fast for my liking. It’s hard to keep track of everything and there are days when I look at Sharon and ask; When did he start doing that? or When was the last time he did this? I miss that.
The Past 12 Months…
Whilst this year has been the fastest than all the others, it’s also been the most fun and incredibly challenging at the same time! T is now a proper ‘kid’ as opposed to a toddler. He’s lost all signs of that ‘toddle’ and words are as clear as day. He converses with us and can eat a meal without making that much mess, if any! When talking to other parents about our children we’re no longer talking (as much) about sleep and food, but instead what schools we’re thinking about and the funny things our children say and do.
He is REALLY into his sports and finds a game out of anything. For his birthday, we got him a basketball hoop and he’s been playing with this non-stop. He also enjoys kicking or throwing a ball back and forth (he has a really good throw, by the way!) and loves it when we keep score. He is incredibly competitive.
As per my previous posts, I’ve split him into a few categories to show you where he’s at…
We’re pretty lucky that T will eat pretty much anything you put in front of him, apart from; onions, cooked mushrooms, and ‘leafy’ items like spinach (unless it’s really small/hidden), salad leaves, and anything from the cabbage family – which isn’t THAT bad! Like I said, if I can chop it up really small or make it into a pasta sauce he doesn’t care, so I think it’s more to do with the texture of foods that he’s particular about as opposed to the taste, and you know what, I’m ok with that!
His favourite foods are still pretty much the same as last year, with dinners containing Pasta being his ultimate meal, but his other favourites include any form of egg, olives, raw mushrooms, and baked beans. We’re also pretty blessed with that fact that we can take him out to dinner and he’ll happily sit and people watch, colour in, or chat to us, and then sit and enjoy most meals from the menu (until he shouts FINISHED at the waitress (*facepalm*)).
The biggest change in this area is probably his appetite, and by that I mean it’s blown up! He’s an eating machine! Most mornings before nursery he often consumes the following upon request; two weetabix with a banana or blueberries (or both!), an apple, a rice cake with peanut butter, and maybe an oat bar if I haven’t managed to convince him to wait until his lunch at nursery. Other mornings, if weetabix is replaced with porridge, eggs, or toast, it’s still the same! On days when he’s not at nursery it’s worse! Again, this is all pretty normal, but it doesn’t mean that we’re not considering buying a house with a pantry just for T.
Although we’re lucky in the fact that T often goes through the night dry, we still haven’t managed to get to the stage where we’re getting regular toilet breaks out of him – let alone number twos! He’ll go to the toilet in the morning and before bed like clockwork, but in between that it’s a real battle sometimes, where if we push it too much he gets stressed out and we don’t want that, so we back off. We’ve been lucky a handful of times, but it’s rare. It knocks me for six when he suddenly tells me he needs the toilet.
What’s strange though, whenever we’re on a long car journey, he seems to choose to hold his wee until we get to the services and then almost runs to the loo! Explain that.
A few months ago, T started suffering with Night Terrors, and we’re still pretty much there. Although the frequency seems to have slowed down a bit (for reasons beyond my brain capacity), the intensity when he does wake is still there. We’re sometimes up for over an hour just waiting for an episode to finish. It’s tough, but apparently very normal.
Thankfully, his sleep (and sometimes lack of) doesn’t effect him during the day and he’s still very much an active little boy. On days when he’s been up the night before he may have a bigger appetite (if that’s even possible), but this may also be down to growth spurts which seem to be never ending.
This is probably my favourite part of the past twelve months. Where he was saying a 2-3 word sentence last year (drink please, mummy / T hungry, mama), we’ve now adapted to 5+ word sentences that have correct grammar in them and actual context! When we ask him a question or suggest that we do something, he always has a decent answer. Even when I haven’t said anything, he’s constantly talking and telling me about what he can see, or telling me stories about an item or person. I’m also pretty chuffed to say that’s also incredibly polite!
I probably need to dedicate a whole post to the conversations we have some days as it’s truly wonderful and one of the milestones I was really looking forward to those years ago when we were planning our family. We honestly love taking to him, finding new things out about him, even making silly jokes that make no sense. For example. ‘Peacock’ is ‘Tea Clock’ in T’s world and there’s no convincing him otherwise, especially now that I find it hilarious trying to get him to say ‘Peacock’. He says ‘Pea’ and ‘Cock’, but together? ‘Tea Clock’.
Anyway, I digress massively. He is just an incredibly funny guy and he makes me laugh at least twice a day, just by being him.
Whilst there has been a bounty of good times in the past year, milestones, and amazing memories, there have been several occasions when it’s been really REALLY bloody hard.
T is a strong-willed, independent, confident, fierce little being, but what comes with what feels like this burden comes sometimes daily struggles between us because he either doesn’t understand or thinks we’re being completely unreasonable. Thankfully, I’m still managing to stand strong and not break on my decision making, but by heck have I been close to letting him do things his way for a somewhat quieter life for a few minutes.
I know in the long run it’s for the best, but it really breaks my heart when he’s on the floor crying because I’ve advised him that he can’t pour the just-boiled kettle or wear sandals in the snow. Trust me, I’ve thought about how both options could work in my head for a split second, but I just know it’ll end in disaster or a loss of toes (for both options!). Don’t get me wrong, I now choose my battles, and I think about my answer based on what I think the outcome will be. That’s not to say that we let him get away with things, but if taking one of our washing up brushes into his kitchen is his main priority, I’m not going to argue and say no for the sake of a tidy house (despite knowing damn well it’ll end up behind the radiator – which Sharon will have to fish out!).
If it’s not tantrums it’s the sheer bull-headed stubbornness we face. If he wants to do something or has an idea, we have hell of a job convincing him otherwise. He loves doing things himself, from putting his own socks and shoes on, to his seatbelt. I’m now at a point where I have to leave 20 minutes earlier than normal to make time for T to climb in the car himself and then put his seatbelt on. I’m pretty sure if he could reach he’d drive himself to nursery! I love the fact that he’s confident to give things a good go, if anything I encourage it, but it’s tough finding that middle ground between ‘Go for it, babe’ and ‘ Sweetheart, we’re running late now because you wanted to unlock the door yourself, so you don’t have time to sort your own seatbelt out as well’.
In September, we register & apply for the schools we would like T to go to the following year.
Can we just talk about this for a second?
I’m pretty calm about it at the moment to be honest, but perhaps it’s not sunk it yet, or maybe I’m just concentrating more on getting him into one first! My biggest realisation is that 4/5 years really isn’t long enough to have your baby all to yourself. I feel like I have so much to earn about him still.
It sounds strange, but nursery just seems a lot smaller, more personal, and with it I still feel that me and Sharon are his number ones, but what about when it comes to school? He’ll choose a proper best friend, for starters. He’ll be away for longer periods and I worry he’ll stop wanting to do things like hold my hand.
I feel so silly saying it, but at the same time I just don’t feel ready to let him go yet. He just seems so small still.
Maybe I’m not so calm.
Anyway, that’s where we are at the moment.
I’m incredibly proud of how far T has come with all his milestones over the past twelve months, from talking to eating, to his confidence and general take on life. It’s been an absolute privilege to watch and I can see that it’s only going to get better – with the occasional strop along the way.