It’s funny how quickly children grow isn’t it. I mean at first when they are brand new and not doing much time seems to stand still and every week feels like it lasts forever; but before you know it three months are gone and your newborn has vanished in a puff of smoke.
They are smiling, eating, clapping, crawling, walking, talking and then wham you have a toddler, such a complicated little thing. A master at perfecting the balance of being both terribly annoying and utterly adorable all at once, for as frustrating as toddlers can be you have to admire their zest and vigour for life.
See something you like, you take it.
See someone else dong something you don’t like, whack them out of the way.
Run, see, do, explore.
Find pure wonder in a manky feather or cigarette butt.
Laugh with your whole body.
Stomp though the world like you own the whole fricking thing.
The next thing you know they are moving from toddler to pre-schooler and starting to realise that funnily enough they are not the centre of the universe; which is a good thing because you can’t go around biting people when they take something you want (unless you are a footballer). But it’s also a bit sad, because as kids begin feeling concious of the people around them and how they are perceived by them – that’s when the doubt creeps in.
How good would it be if we could all keep just a dash of that toddler magic?
Now my biggest is 5 years old and standing tall in a uniform, I look at him and think ‘huh?! how the hell did you get big enough to go to school?’ He’s a confident guy but I wonder how that will change now that he is finding his own way in the big wide world and I’m no longer his main influence.
He listens to his peers more than me and his opinions on toys, clothes, colours and words are ever changing.
And I’m no longer there to defend him from the nothing major, but inevitable school yard taunts that I’m sure he gives as much as he gets – ‘you’re a baby!’, ‘you can’t play with us!’ and ‘you smell!’
Even the most harmless throwaway comment makes me want to go all mama bear. But I can’t be his protector any more and I’m no longer his best buddy, he more frequently wants to play with his friends rather than me and I have to give him the responsibility to sort out and develop relationships on his own.
I’ll still be waiting at home though, with my little trowel, ready to fill in the cracks in his confidence that were made when I wasn’t around. They won’t be perfect, but I’ll do the best I can.
And I’ll still tell him that he’s beautiful even if it is a ‘girl word’, because he is and as Catchphrase legend Roy Walker said you’ve just gotta ‘Say what you see.’
**************P.S. My new book The Catastrophic Friendship Fails of Lottie Brooks is out on the 3rd March 2022! It's aimed at 9-12 year olds and you can buy it here :)
Brilliant as ever. You somehow steal thoughts from my mind, how do you do that? Spot on. : )
I crawl into your brain when you are asleep ;)
Sweet read. Thanks. X
So dumb! Thank you ;)
Aw love it Katie. Stamping on the globe saying mine, great illustration of their supreme assurance that they are It. We want them to stay like that forever. Xx
And that my friend, is motherhood. Beautifully put. x x
It might be the g&t, but this made me a wee bit emotional. I was having this discussion just this morning with my husband, wishing I could just magic my boys back to being tiny again, just for a little while. But then they are a lot more interesting now, and I even occasionally find I have 5minutes spare to raid the gin cupboard!!
You’re so wise, I’m still coming to terms with this, not quite ready to accept it yet. He does still think he owns the world but he also knows not to throw sand – so proud.
weep! Yep, this is my boy too. It feels so strange to miss so much of his day and have no idea what happened (except what he had for pudding, which he always remembers). I like softie Katie just as much as the gin-soaked lush X
Love this Katie! Ava doesn’t start school until next September but I’ll definitely feel the same way when she does xx
This blog is so well timed, my eldest boy (also
5) came home yesterday and told me that girls were tidy and boys were dirty. I was so Saddened and angry that he’d been told this (by a teacher). I hate the subtle undermining of boys that society pervades. These stereotypes can be so harmful; the social gender pressure is built up of these tiny bricks and because it’s so small it doesn’t get delt with but the effect they have is long lasting.
Sorry I’ve ranted, basically I’m filling in the cracks too and I really appreciate your funny and touching take on this.
PS my argument that boys aren’t dirty was slightly undermind yesterday as we were having this conversation whilst I was bathing him and scrubbing the pen, chocolate, paint, and other random muck off his face!!!
I love this. Your “toddler stomping about the world” is so perfectly accurate for my two right now, although my eldest is just starting to move into pre-school territory. *sobs*
Oustanding post as always – thanks for the giggles xx
Just voted for you. I found your blog only recently and I love it! Congratulations!
I love love love this. It’s such a battle isn’t it, knowing with your head that you have to let them go but aching with your heart to protect them from all the Daniels. I love the trowel analogy, and I can picture myself standing there splattered in mortar for years to come! x