I’ve been skirting around the idea of writing a weekly diary here for a little while. Ben is changing so fast that for every simple moment of pure toddler magic that I’ve carefully memorised, there are probably ten that I’ve forgotten. This is my reminder of the ordinary sparkle in each week.
This week really feels like July, all warm, bright, barefoot days, and for the first time in at least a month we have no plans. This is a week for finding our rhythm again. For peaceful, child-led days playing trains, hunting for “cacabears” (caterpillars) in the garden, and reading all the favourite books over and over.
Toddlers are very good at telling you what they need. The problem is that they have a broad spectrum approach to communicating these needs of which language is just a small part. Ben’s way of explaining that he wants a bit of quiet and routine is to attach himself to me like a limpet and refuse to let go. Any attempt by me to drink coffee, go to the toilet on my own, or generally leave his immediate vicinity is swiftly admonished with a cross “Mummy tooooooo”.
(Because the language for, “mummy, I would quite like some quiet, some space (not too much mind, you need to sit right there please), and your undivided attention to help me get my equilibrium back”, isn’t quite in his wheelhouse yet. We’ll get there.)
We are weeks away from his second birthday (which coincides with my thirty-third) and I can feel the edges of a new developmental shift poking through. The explosion of long sentences, the daily acquisition of new words, the concept of big things and small things, and perhaps my favourite, the division of the world into the things that are “blue” and things that are “not blue”. The testing and re-testing of old boundaries, as if to check that they still apply in this new form of existence and heightened awareness. And the moment every newish parent fears above all others: the inexorable dropping of The Nap.
So for now I want to keep things simple. For him and for me. Enjoy the first harvest of garden peas that taste like sunshine. Focus on saying yes more than no. Play trains for hours at a time and ignore that pile of post-holiday laundry.
Clean pants are a tomorrow problem.