Tired, wired and feeling inspired

Thursday 22 March 2018

It’s been a while since my last blog post. This exhausting thing called life got in the way... 

We’re fast approaching a year since I haunted your news feed so there’s been countless chaos and silly stories missed but I’ll just catch you up on the recent good bits.

Ethan turned two on Valentine’s Day. He celebrated with chocolate, ice cream, a soft play party with all his pals, and so many presents from generous friends and family that we staggered opening them over an entire month! I celebrated with a greasy burger, a bottle of prosecco, a look back on every single photo or video that I’ve taken since he was born and tried not to upset myself over the person whose card was missing from his pile this year.

His party was most definitely the highlight of what became a weeklong celebration. For me anyway. I’ve listened to parents complain about having to go to children’s parties (hey, no judgement, I’m sure I’ll get there one day too!) but I actually love them. Watching him race around with other little children like a total maniac or dive, wired and fearless, headfirst into a ball pool before filling his face with party food and then determinedly heading back for more of the same really makes me smile.

It also made me realise that, despite what I wrote in his birthday card, he’s not a baby anymore. He’s an amazing little toddler that knows his own mind and loves to tell me “no!” A little boy who doesn’t need me to hold his hand while he navigates the madness of soft play. An infant who will confidently take a complete stranger’s hand without question while she leads him on his musical march to his birthday tea. A tot who can have actual chatter with me and his friends and even if I don’t always understand what he means they definitely seem to.

His speech and understanding is completely fascinating to me. It seems to have appeared out of nowhere and suddenly he knows exactly what you’re saying and usually how to respond. Especially if that something has anything to do with food. I find myself spelling out chocolate if I talk about it in front of him. Just to avoid the inevitable tantrum when he asks for some and I have none to give.

Speaking of… the tantrums are the biggest confusion to me right now. Why does no-one ever sit down and explain how to deal with them? Even a little warning would be nice. I’m not looking for a manual but just someone to pull me aside as I left the hospital and whisper in my ear: “Hey! Enjoy your baby. When he approaches two he’ll become a bit of an arsehole for no reason at all so, bask in the temper-free, cheery, baby glow for as long as you can…”

Most of our tantrums are food related. He points up at the fridge in the general direction of about six different edible items, grunts that he “want that one” like a character from Little Britain and then screams his head off if I pick the wrong thing up.

Some days this makes me worry he’s broken. Banana gate of just last week is a good example of why. I foolishly showed him a snapchat of his little baby friend eating a banana. He immediately (and I mean before the 10 second snap video had even finished) asked me for a banana.

We had no banana.

The ensuing shit fit went from 0 to unconsolable in less than a second. My usual “dealing with a strop” strategy is to ignore him. But the banana lust was real and it became a game of tantrum chicken where we both challenged each other on who would give in first. Ten minutes in and with a toddler who was turning a lovely shade of purple and spinning around on the hallway floor like he might be either break dancing or possessed and I decided to offer him a square of chocolate. Big mistake. This made the situation worse. Probably because it wasn’t a banana. He threw it across the room with all the conviction of a teenage girl with a love for the dramatics and got back to his crying that I had rudely tried to disrupt with confectionary.

I sat down on the sofa, opened Facebook and politely waited for him to finish his business. I don’t remember how long it took. I do remember that he went to bed no trouble at all that night. He was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. So… swings and roundabouts!

With his growing up comes a fair amount of hilarity in the way he acts or the things that come out of his mouth. He made me smile the other day when he strolled into the kitchen to catch the end of me belting out a cheery, early morning, sing song and said: “Wow, good singing mummy!”

My first instinct was to laugh at his mimicry. He’s taken to singing to himself and I often let him know that it’s, “good singing Ethan” because it still amazes me that he can remember words and a tune.

However, that instinct wore thin pretty quickly. Mostly because I can’t sing for shit so I quickly calculated in my head that my tiny baby boy had possibly got old enough to figure out the concept of lying. A future of him coming home drunk telling me he’d had nothing but lemonade all night flashed before my eyes and terrified me slightly. But, I digress, he loves me enough to pretend I can carry a tune. Even if it only encourages me to sing more often. So I guess I’ll let it slide. This time.