To my beautiful son,
You turn two tomorrow, which is now today as it’s freakin’ 1.10am. WT?
A birthday you will not remember, but one I will. And not just because it’s 10.30 the night before and I still haven’t made the cake. A tradition I began with your brothers and one which allows my ability to procrastinate to transcend all areas of my life.
Because you see, you mark a major turning point for me. I had returned to an office job, battle weary from being at home with your old brothers and everything that goes with becoming a parent, too many periods of wrestling the demons in my head, chronic money worries and all the rest.
And suddenly you were there. Unexpected. Growing inside me.
And I was just so blissfully excited.
Then you were here and it was as if a golden shower of warmth and love had ensconced our entire family.
The unit your dad, me, Oscar and Felix had been was gone, to be replaced by something so much more wondrous. So happy. So full of laughter and light and love.
All these things had existed before you, but with your arrival it was bountiful.
It was like love through a loud haler.
And so it still is.
You are wickedly funny and in recent days have developed this growly giggle, as if even you are delighted at just how hilarious you are.
You are the performer. No self consciousness. No self doubt. Just pure joy at being in the world.
You are the most independent of your brothers, perfectly content to sit on your Thomas couch, thumb in the mouth, hippo (arboo) tucked under your arm while the rest of us hog the lounges. But in recent days you’ve developed this habit of climbing up on to the lounge, and slowly inching closer, eventually snuggling in under my arm.
You can do that as often as you like.
So too have you started giving cuddles with hands clenching around my neck, your hot breath on my ear.
We are in the grip of you realising the power of no.
Did you have a good sleep? Nooooo
Did you have fun today? Nooooo
Is it time for nigh-nighs? Noooo
All said with the most nonchalant casualness.
There are whole tracks of time you seem to get all your nutrients from air, but still you are the happiest child in the world.
But just some pointers for you:
Nuding up at the swim school will not result in you being allowed in the pool. Even if you try and back it up through the bars.
If you keep pouring sand on the dogs, or leaning your entire weight on them while saying “nigh nigh Larlie nigh nigh Coco”, or clamping your hands on their heads to make their faces look all squished they are going to snap and bite you. I’m just saying.
But well done on teaching them to fetch.
Even if it is with a rather critical part of the hose attachment.
I will not be offering plain steamed rice for dinner every night.
Or spaghetti bolognaise.
We’re onto that particular scream you use when playing with Oscar and Felix. That’s right. We realise now they are not killing you slowly or softly, but that you’ve merely worked out a highly effective way of sounding as such and thereby getting what you want.
You can crawl into our bed at 4.18am for as long as you like. Particularly if you keep doing so by climbing over your Dad’s head, not mine.
I don’t think eating a tube of toothpaste constitutes dinner.
The jumping on the trampoline with a sword is not going to end well for anyone.
ENOUGH WITH PLAYING WITH THE DOORS.
So happy birthday little guy. We do hope you come round to liking the trike we bought you and that the looks of derision and dedicated refusal you showed at even sitting on the darn thing in the shop will abate. But don’t worry, we bought you more Thomas the Effing Engine stuff too.
And thank you.
Thank you for being the baby who started sleeping through the night at nine and a half weeks.
For riding into work with me on the bus from four months of age and only leaking poo on me twice and weeing on me once.
Thank you for being the baby that made me realise I am pretty good at this whole parenting malarky and for letting me enjoy it so much more than I had ever allowed myself to in the preceding years.
Thank you for the silly walks you hope will distract us from whatever it is you’re about to do that you know you’re not allowed to do.
Thank you for singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at least once every single time we go somewhere in the car.
Thank you for making me look for the moon every night.
You make my heart burst every single day.
Music: Bernard Fanning, Watch over me