I can't believe that this month, LO will be turning 3. In many ways, I struggle to work out how the past three years have gone by so quickly, yet at the same time it feels like LO has always been a part of our lives and I really can't remember what life was like without him. I'm not sure what we used to do with our time before we had children. I think that before we had children (when I was a teacher and in the few moments when I wasn't busy with all that) we were really lazy and just spent a lot of free time watching TV or boxsets. But what I do know is that since he came into our lives on that warm and humid July night three years ago, our lives changed forever.
Parenthood most certainly is a rollercoaster of a ride and I don't think that rollercoaster ever stops. No one teaches you about parenthood really, and even if you were to read all the parenting advice and books, it probably wouldn't be that relevant to everyone's situations or their child's personalities anyway. If there's one thing I've learnt in this parenting journey, it's that no two children are the same and you cannot compare one to another. LO is at such a funny stage in toddlerhood at the moment. I often refer to him as being a 'threenager' even though he's still in his twos. Like any parent, I have always had moments of worry. As a baby, I always used to wonder if he was meeting his milestones ok as he was quite late with crawling and walking, but, of course, he got there in his own sweet time and I worried needlessly.
I look at LO now and of course, to us it feels like he's been how he is now for ages, but of course when you see your children every day, you don't notice the little changes and it's only when you look back at an old photo or video that you realise just how much they've changed. Of course, he's got taller, and his face, although still quite baby-like, is slightly more chiselled. I took this photo of him yesterday at a friend's 3rd birthday party and it suddenly hit both myself and Mr F just how grown up he is looking lately. His talking is pretty advanced I think and some of the things he comes out with are so perceptive, witty and grown up, I often forget he's still only 2. I often need to remind myself of that when he's having a bit of a tantrum moment and I lose my patience.
He's incredibly feisty, stubborn and willful, and I put a lot of this down to the fact that for 2 and a half years, until Little L was born, he was the only child in our entire family. He's had so much undivided attention from adults, I think he often thinks he is an adult. He can be quite the cheeky one and often is more comfortable in adult company than around other children. At groups, he's not really fussed by the other children and is so unbelievably shy- clinging to my leg and wanting to be carried about or refusing to do what everyone else is doing until he's warmed up a little bit and got used to the surroundings. I've come to learn to not worry so much, and to realise this is quite normal for any shy child. I was incredibly shy as a child and it's only really since becoming a mummy myself that I'm no longer that shy, and again, I need to remind myself of that and put myself in his shoes sometimes as I was exactly the same.
Since his baby brother came into our lives back in January, the dynamic in our house has obviously been quite different. At first he really struggled with having a new baby around, and I wrote a while ago about my feelings of motherhood guilt. But over the last few months, he's really grown up incredibly, he's so utterly affectionate with his brother and seems to just be so in tune with his needs, often working out himself why Little L is crying or asking if he can help make him feel better. It makes my heart melt every time. Again, I let worry take over my mind for a few months. I worried that he wouldn't accept his baby brother or that they wouldn't get along, but of course, in his own sweet time, he came to grow and love him dearly. They've become best of friends and now that Little L is starting to roll about, LO is even more interested in him and I will often spot him holding his hand, giving him a little kiss or encouraging him to roll to him or try to crawl.
We are very much going through a funny phase with LO at the moment- he's reached the end of the twos and in the last two weeks has decided to give up naps himself. I had wanted for him to carry on napping a bit longer really as he does still need them- he gets incredibly cranky when he's overtired and I'll be honest, it makes the day very long and exhausting, especially while Little L is still being breastfed. He really knows his own mind and can be a real handful at times, especially mid toddler-tantrum. But I love his feistiness, his attitude and his wickedly dry sense of humour. He does and says things which absolutely make me and Mr F roll about with laughter. You can tell he's been the centre of attention in our family for a long time, and I think it'll do him the world of good to have an equally feisty little brother to keep him on his toes.
And so onto the threes... July sees us maybe face our next challenge in this crazy journey of parenthood- the dreaded potty training phase- something we attempted rather half heartedly a couple of months ago but which he showed absolutely no interest in at all. It's easy as a parent to feel worry when all his friends are potty trained but I know him well enough to know that he will crack it one day soon in his own sweet time. He has inherited an incredibly stubborn streak from both sides of our family and it will very much be on his terms as and when he decides to crack on with it. He is also about to move up to the pre-school room at nursery, which I think he's more than ready for, and then the big day itself- his third birthday at the end of July. He's already so keenly aware of it and the only thing he's asked for is a 'nice piece of cake please Mummy and maybe a little Gruffalo'.
I truly cannot believe he's about to turn 3. The past 3 years have been incredible, emotional, exhausting at times but so utterly rewarding and full of love. He may try my patience most days, and be a really cheeky monkey at times, stealing snacks and breadsticks out of the kitchen cupboard, but he's the most loving, polite and caring little boy I know. He's our feisty, cheeky, charming little boy, the one who made us a mummy and daddy that warm July evening, three years ago...
Linking up with Katie from Mummy Daddy Me for The Ordinary Moments