Make believe. That’s where we are at right now. Your imagination is in overdrive and it’s all sorts of sweetness and light.
Playing make believe with you and equally, watching you play in your own little world is just about my most favourite way to pass the time of day.
From you literally being convinced that you are Simba from the Lion King, to flapping your arms (…wings!) as we race around the living room like a Rio bird (as in the film), to you cooking up an invisible storm and dishing out pretend pizzas and ice creams to your daddy and I amid that crazy hour (or two!) just before sleep where you are determined that the land of nod is not an option.
You and that hat in York on September 10th, 2017
You love to play doctors with your Dr’s kit. “Lie down mummy! Lie down daddy!” you demand, as you check our temperatures with your thermometer and then get out your little stethoscope and listen to our chests. “Am I ok?” I ask.
“Yes, very good,” you say, nodding away as the red and yellow plastic glasses that come with your toy kit, slide further and further down your nose until they are perched on the end.
You turned two-and-a-half on November 16th and every single day you do or say something new. Your speech is coming on leaps and bounds and each time you say something you’ve never said before, it blows our minds.
“Are you okay, Oscar?” I asked a couple of days ago.
“Yes, I’m fine mummy,” you answered. It was the ‘I’m fine’ bit which was new, and when I relayed it to your dad pretty much as soon as he walked through the door, home from work that evening, his reaction, did not disappoint.
“Ah, he didn’t?!” he said, beaming. Which translates as – ‘yay, he did!’
It’s the things which might seem to be little, which in fact are the big moments you see. We are still in the belly of the adventure that is all of your firsts. The first time you do this and the first time you do that, and the way your imagination runs wild makes the journey all the more gorgeous as we go.
Now that you are able to tell us what you want also makes life smoother, for you and for us as it means we can overt unnecessary upset and you can get what you want/need or to where you want to be all the faster. Communication and the development of those skills really are everything I’m fast learning. In the same breath, your new found skills mean you are oh so vocal not just in letting us know what you want, but also what you don’t want, and while your tantrums have paired right back compared to a few months ago where I felt like we were living and breathing your daily rages (which were largely frustration at not being able to communicate what you wanted/needed) – you do still like to go off on one on a fairly regular basis. And when you lose it, you really, really lose it! You be CRAZY! But when you’re on good form you are practically angelic. Such is this yoyo toddler life.
Since I left my job at the end of July, you and I get so much more time together and it’s magic. I’m so lucky. Instead of you being in nursery four days a week, it’s now down to two.
It’s the run of the mill days that are often the most special. Such as when we go for our long walks exploring the park. It’s in those moments where I catch myself and think how ordinarily I’d have been at my desk, miserable and pining for you. It’s in those moments where I get what I can only describe as a surge of gratefulness where I know I’m so unbelievably fortunate that I’ve been able to create a new working life that affords me these days with you, when we would otherwise be apart. I do not take a single second of it lightly or for granted.
Adventuring in our neighbourhood, July 9th
Speaking of nursery, I think you love it all the more for being there less. Those two days feel like such a treat for you, being with your friends. And boy do you love your little buddies, Dylan, Jack and Byron being your favourites. I assume they are anyway, as they are the three you talk about. Often if we’re going somewhere special like to visit grandma and I ask you to guess who we are going to see, your answer will be: “Jack!” Or Ella of course, who you adore. Not even three-years-old and you’re practically dating the girl next door. Well, down the street. We can’t drive by Ella’s house without you crying, because you want to see her. “Ellllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!” you wail, as big fat tears roll down your cheeks. Unbelievably cute! But it hurts my heart to see you sad too. Heaven help me come the day that anyone actually breaks your heart. I don’t think I could bear it.
With your number one, Ella on June 19th
This is the first year that you’ve really been aware of Christmas and I cannot wait! Having said that, we spoil you rotten regardless of the season. Your dad went through a stage of bringing you little gifts home after work, and now as soon as you hear him coming to the door you shout: “Daddy!!!! Present!!!!!”
And then there’s me, who has a lot to answer for when it comes to chocolate. Because of that one time I bought you a chocolate coin from Starbucks as a treat, you associate going to the coffee shop, ANY coffee shop with said coins. I wish I could say that I’d only bought you one the once… I’ve had to cut my visits to said venue right back to avoid the inevitable melt down in your expectation of your beloved chocolate coin. Indeed, just like you holla for Ella, we cannot even drive by Starbucks without you exclaiming: “CHOCOLATE COIIIIIIIIIIN!” Mother of the year right here…
So what else? We’ve very recently been to Australia and back. You’re in a size seven shoe, soon to be eight. Your curls are actual ringlets and people comment on your lovely locks wherever we go. You have the most beautiful manners. After a six month battle to get you to say sorry, thank you and please – those words now spill out of you often without prompt. When you say ‘thank you very much’, I sometimes think my heart might actually burst.
When we leave our local coffee shop, you wave to everyone and say “bye coffee shop!” When you want us to lift you up, you still say “carry you” when what you mean, is ‘carry me’.
You love to play rocket ship with daddy. Hate to be chased. You give us kisses and cuddles every morning without fail. Tell us you love us. Tell us you miss us. Like to sing Hakuna Matata. Love to dance. And run. And slide down our legs as if they are indeed a slide. When we play hide and seek you jump into view squealing excitedly as soon as we say ‘coming ready or not!’ So lush! You’re brilliant with numbers, and while you struggle with your colours you are getting better with them every day. You have an amazing sense of direction, knowing the routes and turns to nursery and the supermarket, and you have a memory like an elephant – in other words, you forget nothing. We are yet to potty train you, but that day is nigh!
Here’s to the next six sweet months. Who knows what you’ll be up to by the time you turn three!
The following photos were taken between your second birthday and November 16th, 2017. Opening photo taken on October 7th in Dorset.
New bed day, October 17th
Your first ride on the Roundhay Park train, August 26th
In flower heaven at Temple Newsam, May 21st
Waitrose is your obsession. Sometimes you cry if we drive by it and don’t stop! This was on June 16th.
In the park with lovely Alice on August 11th
Looking handsome as can be in the cable car at Arthur’s Seat in Melbourne on November 7th
Five Guys selfie gone wrong in Leeds city centre on September 17th
Living our best Dawson’s Creek life at Moonfleet Manor Hotel in Dorset on October 8th
Dimple. September 16th
On our way home from Yorkshire Wildlife Park on daddy’s birthday, September 28th
Dinner time in Opio, Provence, July 31st
Dessert time in grandad’s garden on June 18th
Possibly my favourite snap of us there ever was, taken on October 7th at Durdle Door. Such a happy moment.
Forever picking me flowers. July 8th.
At the window of dreams in Salts Mill on one of our Saltaire days. August 29th.
Visiting grandma on August 18th
Exploring in your handmade crown at Moonfleet Manor on October 6th
That cheeky face though. June 26th.
At Salts Mill with oh so lovely Helen, who also kindly took this photo! October 27th
A walk in the woods. September 4th
Running with daddy in Dorset on October 8th
Parkdale Beach in Melbourne, Australia on November 6th
In Penarth on October 29th, during a weekend visiting grandad
Plane selfie! July 30th, Nice bound
Blurry happiness in Barry, on June 17th
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