The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Me and my boy

on January 11, 2015

#1 has been six years old for a few days now.

Six years old.

What a busy year it has been for him.

Whilst I was feeling quite emotional the day before he turned five last year thinking about how he was becoming a big boy now, it happens so gradually that you barely notice until you stop and think about it.

So now I’m stopping and having a think about all the things that he’s achieved this past year. The difference between the growing they did when they were babies to the growing they do now, is that back then it was all about the physical milestones. Like marvelling at how much weight they had gained and how many centimetres they had grown. To the popping out of that first tooth and the first rolling over and then on to crawling and walking.

In the last year, the major milestones that #1 has achieved has been mainly on the academic side. Just after he turned five, I seriously wondered how and when he was going to learn to read because I certainly wasn’t helping along the process. But sure enough, he came home from school a month later with his first reading book. Albeit the whole book was made up of ‘Look at me’, arranged in different order but it was his first book all the same and he was reading. All by himself.

He’s obviously still growing of course. To the point where if you swing #2 and 3 in the air and he wants a turn too he complains you’re not swinging him fast enough or high enough. That’s like 22kg of caber tossing.

And he’s growing in confidence too. He’s still not quite the one to be first up and dancing but he likes to share a joke and mess around with his friends. He understands what’s funny and not just laugh because you’re laughing like what #3 does. Husband told him something that #3 did the other day and he cracked up so much at the thought that he clapped his hands and bellowed with laughter. He even made up his first own joke last month.

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But I can see what our neighbour in the lift from last year means about boys outgrowing the ‘big emotional phase’ by the age of seven, and she has it on good authority from her sister who is a child psychologist. So far at the age of six, it is showing no sign of abating. We’ve had a lot of walking off and slamming of doors and folded arms this past year. Everything seems to be a battle of wills and endless negotiation which isn’t really a negotiation at all when they try and wear you down with asking you the same thing over and over again even though you have said ‘No’ over and over again. We could have had a really, really good day doing lots of stuff that interests all of them but then something minute will happen and there’s high drama and #1 feels like he’s had a terrible day based on that one insignificant moment. Something like telling him to brush his teeth before bed. Or he can’t have a snack 20 minutes before teatime. It gets to the point where I feel like I could shut my head in a cupboard until they think it is best to leave me well alone.

But then the moment passes and we are on that blissful home stretch of nearly having them all ready for bed and #1 reads us his storybook. Carefully and slowly trying out the words aloud. It’s a proud moment for any parent. Watching your child learning the skills towards independence and a future that isn’t solely reliant on you. To opening up a world full of wonder, imagination and discovery. Being able to read for yourself is a very powerful tool indeed.

I have been frustrated at how long it takes all three of them to do anything we ask, like putting on socks and shoes, choosing something for Show and Tell at school or a toy he wants to show #1 Best Mate. No matter how many times and how many minute warnings I give, invariably it’s at the moment when we need to be out of the door that #1 (or #2 for that matter and soon to be #3 no doubt) says he hasn’t got something vitally important. But gradually over this past few months, I can see a change in him, it’s slowly happening but he’s getting there. It’s not so much of a job for him to put on his socks and shoes. Less of the ‘I’m tired’ to do such things and yet has abundant energy for everything that is ‘playtime’.

But you know, when I’ve seen him at school and I’ve listened to his teachers at Parent Teacher Meetings, he’s a helpful, disciplined and well liked boy in his class. I have no doubts that he’s a likeable boy with plenty of friends. He has a sunny smile and he’s very inclusive. I have no doubts that he’s helpful and disciplined at school and with his friend’s parents too. I sometimes just wish he would think about giving such a good impression at home too.

But he does.

My expectation is that it ought to be all the time but that is impossible and unrealistic. I haven’t overlooked the times when he has been so helpful and kind when Husband and I have really needed it. Like when we went on holiday to Japan last June and had to ask #1 to either push a suitcase or #3 in the buggy. When we were in the UK for seven weeks, he was so helpful and accommodating with all that I asked of him. From moving him on from this place to that, long drives in the car and introducing him family members he doesn’t recognise the faces of and expecting him to treat them with all the love they have for him. He is the leader amongst #2 and 3. If they see that he is comfortable then chances are, they won’t freak out either.

He makes me laugh a lot and he will remember what makes you laugh the most and do it impromptu as a treat for you. And I love looking at his face. Whilst a lot of his peers are losing their young child looks, he still retains his because he has these chubby cheeks and snub nose. He knows one of my favourites things to do is kiss those cheeks in turn and then his nose. When he hugs you, it’s a real substantial hug now that he’s taller and stronger.

Husband recently observed that a lot of #1’s mannerisms are very much like mine. The good and the bad. Especially the bad. The impatient outbursts of ‘Oh For Goodness Sake’ (far better than my usual For F@£$ Sake), ‘Stupid Idiot’ from our drives in the car and the arms to the side, palms outstretched to the sky, ‘What?’. I can’t deny that I have not uttered them many a time. And then I realise he is what I show him. So I’m trying very hard to be a better example to him. Trying.

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I like how he associates certain things with certain people based on what he knows they like. When he sees Star Wars in the shops he always points it out to me and tells me it’s my favourite and it’s also Nana Moon’s favourite. He knows I like beer, wine and whiskey. Sometimes publicly declaring it at 10.35am. He’s been following my recent return to frequent running with interest and likes to know that we all have a sport we enjoy doing. He’s been playing rugby for a year now and it’s something he really looks forward to. I think having #1 Best Mate there too is an added bonus. And he’s a pretty good swimmer too. Much better than I am now.

He’s inquisitive, sensitive and dare I say it, clever too. When I told him about how #3 had scribbled permanent marker pen on our bed sheets, the question he asked first was ‘But where did she get the pen from?’. Ah, well that would be my carelessness then. So really whose fault is it? He’s recently been asking me why he has three Grandma’s because he’s made the connection that a Grandma or Por Por is the Mummy of Mummy or Daddy and if he only has one Mummy then surely it follows that there should only be two not three.

For his Birthday, I made 48 cupcakes, most of them for school with a few reserved for his sisters and #1 Best Mate and #1 Best Mate’s Sister. I watched him enjoy his Birthday Sing Song and blow out his candles and then as he shared out a cupcake to all his class mates. After we picked him up from school, Husband and I took him to get his first bike. He wasn’t sure he wanted one at first, preferring a new scooter instead but now that he’s got it, he’s really loving it.

And then he waited with huge excitement over when we were going to collect #1 Best Mate and #1 Best Mate’s Sister. We finished the day with fish and chips with proper chip shop chips. He’s a boy after my own heart. For all Birthdays we try and do a birthday outing as the focus of our special day and he chose to visit the Cloud Dome at Gardens By the Bay so that’s where we went on Saturday. He was last there when Nana Moon came to visit and remembers it well. He invited #1 Best Mate of course, who has a very strong love for #3, I wonder how that will develop over the course of the years and how #1 will view that as he’s very protective of #3.

So #1 is six years old now.

My funny, led by his stomach, temperamental, emotional, sensitive, clever and lovely boy. I’m looking forward to watching him grow and develop further his own personality we are catching glimpses of. I’m going to cherish each school pick up when he runs over and shouts ‘Mummy’ and gives me a big hug, only for him to have grown bored of me by the time we get out to the car. I’m looking forward to being with him every moment I can before Gainful Employment and his other interests take precedence over the time we get to spend together.

Me and my boy. Happy Birthday #1. With all our love. xx

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One response to “Me and my boy

  1. sanity4mummy says:

    Ah, yes. I get the “For Goodness Sake!” Very loudly. But you are right, I could be a lot worse than “Goodness”!

    Like

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