Pages

Friday, 21 June 2013

About A Boy

4 years old today.  No vestiges of toddler left now; you are a proper boy. The fine down of baby blond has gone, now you have a head of thick flaxen hair. Your body is long and lean, your legs have grown so much that only last week you yourself said; “Look how far my legs come out of my shorts.” Oh the irony; that we have always called you Pip, when in fact you stand loftily over all your peers. You are growing up - in every way.

You are every inch a boy; turbo charged and raring to go. Flashing lights in the soles of your trainers, chasing through packs of pigeons in the park, causing them to flap and fluster in heavy flight. Racing, chasing - as long as it’s fast - you’re happy. EB and I race you with the pram whilst you hurtle alongside on your scooter. "Let's pretend it's sports day" you say. You have developed a competitive edge and you like to win; thank goodness you’re happy to wear a safety helmet.

Right now, you love the Octonauts. You are an expert on each and every episode and every featured sea creature.  Spiderman is also a big hit with you, your polyester muscle suit is your favourite thing to dress up in; as far as you’re concerned, it is the only acceptable attire to wear for parties or for visiting Grandma; chinos and smart shirts are not ‘cool’.

Your favourite food is pasta. Or pancakes (for breakfast).  And cake; we share a love of cake. On many a shopping trip you and I end up in an M&S cafe with a slice of Victoria sponge to share. Your growth can be measured in your upped cake consumption. I always used to be able to guarantee myself 2/3rds of the slice. These days I have to argue for my fair share of fork time and I get to share half the slice if I’m lucky.  At some point in the future I may even have to consider buying you your own.

Your imagination is fabulous. You love building huge towers out of building blocks or creating something from a cardboard box. You love role play and dress up. Tuesday is your favourite school day because it’s drama club. I love seeing the creative side of you develop, it’s the one thing about you that is most like me. I like seeing a small glimmer of myself in you, especially when in nearly every other way, you are like your Dad.  

"One day I'm going to be really big and strong and climb mountains just like Daddy." You tell me this often. A photo of your father sits on your bedside table, your hero, pictured with Everest in the background; you love it. Only now I realise, that I haven't pointed out to you that it was Mummy taking the photo; that mummies can (and frequently do) climb mountains too.

This year I have noticed you becoming increasingly independent. ‘I can do it myself’ is now one of your stock phrases. You get frustrated if I try to help you complete a task you’ve set your mind to doing alone.  You are forming your own opinions now too;  after years of choosing your clothes, I find my selections are sometimes now rejected. “No Mummy, that shirt has flowers on it”. “Not really, they look more like leaves to me darling..” I say as I try to cajole you into it. “No Mummy. Boys don’t wear flowers.” You know your own mind.

Despite your increasing independence, you still cling to the long standing associations of your babyhood. Monkey is still blessed with a place in your bed, though some nights now ignored.  Warm milk still helps you sleep at night.  Sometimes you still want your ‘snuggly blanket’.  You like to sleep with your ‘ele’ night light on.  Last night I found you sleeping with Peso penguin wrapped tightly in your fist, you had gone to sleep whilst playing with him.

At bedtime, after lights out, you like me to cuddle up and we make up stories together. With pirates; Peg Leg Pete and Peg Leg Paul, Sabre Tooth Sammy and Red Beard Rob.  You are always the hero who foils the terrible pirates (again), with the help of your crocodile friends. These moments by dim lamp light I cherish. We cuddle up close and as you get drawn into the story you start to embellish it yourself, eyes wide with excitement, tapping on your headboard to signal that the peg leg pirates are making their way into the narrative.

Six months ago you became a big brother. After 3.5 years as an only child, it was quite an adjustment for you to get used to sharing Mummy and Daddy.  3 months after EB was born, we moved out of our house and somewhere else, another big change.  You’ve coped admirably and with a maturity I did not expect, but have been very grateful for.

EB adores you. You make him laugh. You’re his hero, his eyes smile when he looks at you.  It’s wonderful to witness. You enjoy playing the joker - and he is the butt of some of your jokes - but to be fair, he doesn’t seem to mind; even yesterday when I caught you putting a small colander on his head and pretending it was a hat.

I often think about the years I had alone with you before EB was born and I feel very lucky.  These days, moments together just you and I, are infrequent, but we still have special times.  A little while ago I told you; “ I love it when you hold my hand.” I’ve noticed you hold it more often now. Thank you. I’m making the most of it whilst I still can.

You like to pick me flowers from the garden to wear in my hair, a daisy or a dandelion, sometimes a buttercup. Without fail, you’ll tell me; “Mummy, you look beautiful’.   I love the way you offer up your flowers and then admire the way they look.  There are some things about you I hope will never change. I hope you pick me flowers forever.

You may not be a baby or toddler anymore but you are still relatively untouched by the world. Still pure. Your teeth the brightest white, your skin still silky soft, not yet scarred. Big Boy school is calling - beckoning us to September. I know these last few months will pass in a flash.  I want to cherish each and every lasting moment, to make the last of you as you are now, untainted by multiple external influences.    You are ready; I can see that. “Can I go to school now I’m four?” you ask. “The ‘Big Boys’ can’t wait for me to get there, Mummy” you say as we drive past.  I’m pleased that you are excited about going to school, that you’re approaching it with such confidence.  I don’t often give myself a pat on the back, but it comforts me to see it, makes me feel that somewhere in the midst of muddling through motherhood, I have done something right.

I can’t believe how much you’ve grown, how these short years, have already flown. My first born boy, my pride and joy, I’m so proud of you and I love you very much. Happy Birthday. xxx

*Published slightly after Pip's birthday - just because that's what life is like right now.

15 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful post, and he sounds very much like a lovely little boy, hope he had a great day x

    ReplyDelete
  2. A belated happy birthday to Pip. Hope he had a wonderful celebration. He sounds like such a happy, healthy boy. CK is constantly asking to go to 'schule' - he really cannot wait. He has a little bit longer to wait than Pip though.

    So pleased you can find a bit of time for the occasional post. You're missed x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is so hard finding time to write, especially when there is SO much I want to write about. Typical. School for CK will be here before you know it. It's amazing how quickly time passes.

      Delete
  3. What a lovely piece MP. Boys are so different to girls, I dressed my son too but TC has been choosing her own clothes for months now and she's not 3 for another 4 weeks! Some of her choices are interesting!
    Happy belated birthday Pip x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks MLM. Yes, I think girls seem to get into fashion a lot earlier than boys!

      Delete
  4. A beautifully written post, I love the stories you tell Pip, so imaginative and exciting. Belated happy birthday to your (not so) little man. xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh Pip is so lucky to have you as his mummy. What a wonderful post about him. Love that you make up stories together at bed time. I do exactly the same thing with Little A which always involve defeating some monster or saving someone and Little A emerging as the hero. Peg Leg Pete and Peg Leg Paul are inspired! Very belated Happy Birthday to Pip! XXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a lovely thing to say. Thank you. I do enjoy the making up stories, but after a hard day I am often glad that there is no one else listening or critiquing apart from a 4 year old!

      Delete
  6. What a beautiful post. Happy birthday. x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lovely post. Your darling boy sounds adorable. Isn't if fun to see them use their imaginations, lol. May he have many more years of celebrations. Bless you all.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This has reduced me to tears - so warm. And that hand holding and flower picking - long may they both continue :)

    ReplyDelete