My, my, my. Some days have positively crawled by, but the weeks, months and now years are galloping onwards. Already it is a month since his third birthday. I can hardly believe that it’s been and gone. I haven’t even looked at the photos from his birthday party – I just seem to exist in the space of “now” so much; now I am cooking, now I am talking to this person, now I am painting with Monsieur. Between the moments of “now”, the activities/thoughts/conversations just slide right out of my head, as though there is only room in my brain for the current moment. Things like looking through photos, emailing friends, organising council hard rubbish pick-up, basically anything that doesn’t launch itself at me is not getting a look-in these days. But I have a plan to change this and it has started this week with regular meditation and writing. R has also suggested doing some raw, unpolished posts with thoughts straight out of my head and photos straight out of my camera. I think that he’s on to something, but it is a difficult leap for me!
I’ve wanted to write about Monsiuer before another 6 months passes and everything has changed again. So here goes with some raw thoughts and contemplations about where he’s at. Apologies for poor grammar, lengthiness and spelling mistakes. Hopefully this “raw” concept won’t be too bad!
Sleep: He loves his sleep still. I’m starting to think that I may get my dream of him continuing naps until he starts kinder next year. All fingers are crossed. He sleeps solidly from 7/8pm to 6am, although when we’re not getting up at 6, he’ll go back to sleep for another hour and half. He’ll have an afternoon nap which is on average two hours but can be three. I can’t believe that we once thought he was just one of those people who didn’t need much sleep. I am not kidding! We really did think that, once upon a sleepless time. The other amazing thing is that he won’t get out of bed until we go into the room and tell him that it’s time to get up. I know, right! We’re enjoying it for every day it happens, having heard so many tales of the bedtimes that drag on and on and on. Some nights he will chortle and sing and chat away at full volume for a full hour after we say goodnight, but he stays in his bed. Last night was the first night with him calling out for me regularly in a completely non-urgent way, but when I stopped going to him, he just started singing another song. This aspect of life with him has us pinching ourselves to check that we’re not dreaming!
Food: He loves food, still. Hooray. When he’s about to go through a developmental spurt, he’ll want a full cup of milk with every meal. Every morning, he asks for milk on his scrambled eggs, to “cool them down”. He is also cooking with me more and more. He loves to taste all the ingredients, *all* of them, including bicarbonate soda and cornflour, to name a couple of odd ones. The only ingredient that he’s tasted individually and not liked was coconut oil. He asks me to tell him all the ingredients of something, and the other day he asked his grandma if the smoothie she had made had kale or spinach in it! I am really enjoying his love of food – it is so much fun trying new dishes with him, and so satisfying to cook for such an enthusiastic eater. When all three of us are eating together, he will check “Who made this?”, and then thank the appropriate person for making the meal. Awww….
He did have his first experience of having too much of a good thing, over Easter, unsurprisingly. He spent a morning making his way through the small solid eggs, and then later complained about his tummy feeling sore. We explained that that can happen when you eat too much chocolate and he didn’t ask for any more after that. A week later we reminded him about his chocolate bunny, which he ate very slowly!
Language: He’s picking up idioms now. It is cute and hilarious when asks “Mummy, did you sleep like a log?” He is playing with words, changing them and making up nonsensical ones. He loves to say “Pleek” instead of “Please”, and he invents a new version of “itadakimasu” for each mealtime. When seeing R off in the morning, Monsieur will call out “Bye bye Daddy-Paws!”, his special nickname for his daddy. This does get some alterations, depending on what Monsieur is looking at at the time, and what he finds amusing. Some variants have been Daddy-Paws-Light, Daddy-Cold-Paws, Daddy-Paws-Scrambled Eggs-Coffee, Daddy-Paws-Reflector-Bike Seat. It’s usually pretty obvious where he is getting his inspiration from each day!
He is coming out with some funny sentences and assumptions too. The other day he requested “And you will share? Because it’s Mummy’s?”, and as we were heading home he told me “When Z’s at home, Z will chase the cats away and hide!” Today at lunch he asked “Can you tell me about wee?”
He sings and hums all the time and has just started making up songs. Mostly they’re in his own language, so far. Common nursery rhymes such as Baa Baa Black sheep are also being translated into his own language, but the tune is completely recognisable.
He still calls the washing machine a washing shamine, and plays it up sometimes by saying “washing shashashashamine” and giggling like crazy.
The “why” questioning has started, sort of. Instead of asking “Why?”, he will ask “Because?” or “For?” or “What sort?”. He can keep up a constant stream of “Becauses?”s, so it feels very much like the ‘Why?” stage.
Favourites: Trains, trains, trains! A couple of months ago I took him to a model train expo and he could have stayed there all day. He still has the magazine and occasionally asks R or I to read it to him. There is one article that I refuse to read out loud because it is so poorly and painfully written. This afternoon he was looking through the magazine again and said to me “And next time we will go again!” He loves all his Thomas the Tank Engine books, and trains, and Thomas pillow pet, which in his words, is “Soooo soft and snuggly!”.
Penguins, seals, cats and bunny rabbits are his current favourite animals. We can spend up to an hour watching seals and penguins at the zoo, and any time he sees a picture of a penguin, he’ll sigh and declare, “Awwwwww, I LOVE penguins!” All due to the penguin in Lost and Found – a favourite book of ours. He loves Scarface Claw, from the Hairy McClary book series; we think that is the closest he has to a hero, given that he doesn’t watch TV so isn’t familiar with any of the standard super heroes, or much at all of mainstream characters.
He does know about characters from Cars though, thanks to the Cars bandaids. He wants to know all the names of the cars, but I’m holding off showing him the film. He has plenty of time to be indoctrinated with all this stuff. It’s not part of our lives (yet) and there is no need to make it so. He was very delighted with a pack of Cars themed flashcards that arrived today, and so was I as they include all the character names. Phew. Finally I can answer those questions!
He loves music. He can request his favourite track numbers from particular CDs, and always at home he wants to listen to the Buffy soundtrack. When I put other music on, he wants to know the artist and title of each song. He loves the CD from his Mini Maestro class, and surprisingly, so do I. There is a rotation of music CDs and story-telling CDs in our car, and he always wants a CD playing. He has just learnt how to use his player so now I will go into his room and hear music playing.
He loves stamping as well. I have a set of stamps from Japan which he adores – they’re of pussy cats, so of course he loves them.
Playing hide-and -seek – he properly discovered this game at a neighbour’s house a couple of weeks ago and just loves it. Today we played hide-and-seek in the garden; he crouched down in the weeds, hiding, and I kept up a running commentary of where I was looking in the garden while I actually continued weeding. It was a win-win game for us! And yes, the weeds were long enough for him to crouch in and almost be hidden. Ahem.
How am I feeling: This year is flying by so fast and I just want to slow down, put the brakes on with a screech and savour every moment with him. Next year he starts kinder, and he will be attending five days a week, 8:30-2:30. Basically it is the start of his schooling. I love spending time with him, and I love the days where we have nothing scheduled and we can just flow. There have not been enough of those days since summer holidays. There are a couple of his good friends who we’ve barely seen this year. He has even started saying “We haven’t seen Lucy yet?”, and “It’s been a while that we haven’t seen Ilka”. I love that he has friends that he cares about and thinks about and I hate that I haven’t been better organised to arrange play dates with his friends. I feel like I’ve gotten caught up in all these activities that he loves to do, but which take up almost all our time together – really with his sleep patterns, mornings are all that’s open for us to do things; afternoon play dates only happen if people come to us, because he often sleeps until 4 or 4:30. I suddenly realised yesterday that we don’t actually have to go to playgroup every week, or anything else for that matter. Not really. So today we skipped playgroup and played in the garden instead. It was just lovely, you know except for the bits where he pushed boundaries and didn’t listen to me, but that’s every day, to a smaller or larger extent. Two days of no scheduling has firmed my resolve that I want to spend time with my son; it is such a short time left until kinder. I’ve decided to drop playgroup next term, and will stay at home on beautiful sunny days like today. I am also switching his Shichida class to Saturdays so that R and I can take turns. This will free up three mornings a week for us – time to dream, time to explore, time to play, time to read, time to sing, time to dance, time to laugh, time to cook, time to ride, time to jump in puddles. This is what I want most right now, just oodles of time with my beautiful, mischievous, sparkly, sensitive, active son.