I’ll be seeing you

One year ago, I was worried I would forget so much about the Little Mister as he changed. I wanted to keep the moment he rolled over, the day he started walking and the first words he started using, etched in my memory forever. So I started this blog, in order to help me remember.

Reading back over the year’s posts, I feel like I have kept a record of all I wanted to jot down in order to not forget. It’s been lovely reading back over how my world changed. And it’s been lovely remembering how the Little Mister was at five months, and how in one short year he has changed so much.

Today, this little light of my life is a bundle of energy. He runs everywhere, fast and happily and excitedly. He loves to play toys. He loves being outside. He loves dogs so much I wonder he has room in his heart for much else. He loves his family. He calls out to me, ‘mummy, mummy, mummy’, in his baby voice that makes my heart melt. He’s still not bothered really about food, unless you offer him his favourite Indian sweet, which he can ask for most articulately, ‘tiki’, he pleads at least a few times a day.

In two months when our lives change, I trust he will adjust to life as a big brother without too much drama. He is ready, I think, to be a little bit bigger, a little bit more grown up, and a little bit more independent. He is my little boy, but he is also his own little person too.

Just like the Little Mister has grown up, so has this blog. Which is why I’m taking a little time away from it. I’ll keep blogging, in the usual places, and at a new personal blog, where life won’t just be about the Little Mister. It’ll still be about children, parenthood, mummydom, life as I know it – but there will also be a little bit more about the world around me too. Please take a look, follow me and keep reading – you’ll find me here, at Mummy Says…

I’ll still come back and see Hello Little Mister – just maybe a little less regularly. Thanks for reading 🙂

photo-6

Advertisements

When nothing matters more than being here

The story behind today’s terror attack is still being written. The news is still being made. We don’t know everything yet, but on a street in London, a man lies dead.

He is a son, he was a once a child, he would have brought love and laughter and brightness into the world.

This news as it becomes known is hurting those who hear it. It knocks the breath from me. Is it because I am now a parent? I moved back to this city for my child. Partly for a better life.

What we don’t know tonight, as we go to sleep in our quiet and leafy London suburb, is why. We don’t know the extent of it or what it may be. We are calling it a terror attack.

In September 2001, when this city was sent home from work after the towers across the ocean fell, I rushed home to my parents. In July 2005, living in Taiwan, I called them in a broken voice from a public phone box while London panicked and people died on its streets.

Tonight, I lay my child gently in his cot after holding him tighter and holding on to him for longer than I had last night. I had just heard the words: terror attack.

I had pressed his body to mine and let him rest his head on my shoulder. I stroked his hair and felt his breathing slow. When he slept, I stood for a while and watched. There was nothing to rush away for. My sixteen-month-old boy – this is your world.

I have been reminded tonight of what is important. There is nothing more important than truly being present in the life of my child. I do not mean being here in body to put him to bed each night. I mean being here completely, to listen, to watch, to care, and to love. I mean him knowing that I am here, always. There is nothing more important than seeing him happy. There is nothing more important than showing him the best of this world.

He will learn of the grief and despair. He will come to know the anger and hurt and heartache. He will discover the unjustness and the ugliness. But while he is too young to know that evil exists, there is nothing more important than me being here.

Household favourites

A dustpan and brush, a plastic golf club and a ball. These are the objects that could keep the Little Mister happy for an entire day. Life is good being him. It’s full of his favourite things. This is them:

1. A toy dustpan and brush set with a miniature broom. We bought this little set when we realised how much Milin loved watching the big people around the house sweep the floor. The broom is undoubtedly his favourite toy, or household object. He spends much of the day sweeping, and it is the first thing he looks for after getting out of his high chair after a meal. Let’s hope this behaviour continues.

2. The golf set. Again, this was bought by the Little Mister’s grandma when it became apparent that his favourite bit of sporting equipment was his grandfather’s golf clubs. The much lighter toy versions keep him occupied for hours. He is happy using a tennis ball, toy golf ball, lightweight plastic ball, leather football or foam ball with the clubs. It doesn’t matter – any ball will do. A close second favourite bit of sporting kit is a pair of mini tennis rackets he has just been given. I have a feeling he is going to like sport.

3. Pots, pans, wooden spoons and plastic containers. The Little Mister has one cupboard, the plastics cupboard, and he can open it up and sit in front of it for ages. His favourite object is usually a sieve. Wooden spoons come a close second. These implements are used for playing tennis and teething respectively. The cupboard’s contents are also useful for ‘cooking’ and ‘drumming’.

4. Books. There’s a few favourites, and some fall in and out of favour. But a book about animals, The Noisy Book, a book about a London Bus, and a couple of musical books which tinkle the tunes to ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ and ‘the wheels on the bus’ are long-term favourites. Thanks to the latter, he is also now able to point out his head, knees, toes, eyes, ears, mouth and nose. Shoulders are a bit trick, but at the end of the day, the Little Mister loves reading.

5. The box in the corner. It’s not on all the time, but CBeebies is my mealtime saviour. Postman Pat, Mike the Knight, and Wooly and Tig are the best at getting Milin to eat. At all other times of day he wants to watch tennis. He’s going to love Wimbledon.

The Little Mister loves some other stuff too. He loves putting his shoes on because it means it is time to go outside. He loves singing and dancing – which consists of bending his knees, bopping, and swaying. He loves saying his favourite word ‘bubble’, he loves it when his daddy comes home. He loves his daddy’s bike. He loves ants (which he calls ‘na’) and he loves bath time – but he hates having his hair washed.

Life, for the Little Mister, is about all of these things. In the corner of the kitchen, meanwhile, are boxes of all-singing, all-dancing fancy plastic toys. They stay in their boxes most days.

Playing golf

Playing golf

Sharing toys and being sixteen (months)

SIxteen months, from where I watch on, looks like a busy, exciting, but also difficult time in a toddler’s life. For the Little Mister, it’s mostly about fun, of course. But there’s tough times too.

It’s flown by, of course. It’s been the fastest and best sixteen months of my life. And now, here he is, this little boy with his own mind who isn’t afraid to tell me what he thinks. It’s just that I often don’t understand him and can’t decipher his language. It’s driving him crazy.

Most of the time, the Little Mister is a happy-go-lucky, calm and placid bundle of joy. Life is about playing with his favourite toys – which are a broom, a football, a tupperware and a wooden spoon. It’s also largely about trying to get outside at all times. The garden will do nicely. But trips to the park, walks along the street and outings in the buggy or car are also greatly appreciated.

There’s some challenges thrown into life though too. Having his hair washed is torture. Not being allowed in the garden because it’s too late/too cold/too early/ too rainy is also mean-spirited of the grown-ups. Eating anything other than biscuits or completely plain freshly boiled pasta is also a fate worse than early bed-time.

But what really gets the Little Mister is that us adults still don’t understand him. Most of the time, he is telling me he wants to go outside now. And he wants a biscuit. And he wants to watch tennis if he can’t go outside. I just never seem to get it.

What I do get, though, is how much this little boy has grown. I’ve noted recently that he suddenly seems to understand everything. Today, he proved me right to such an extent that I couldn’t stop raving about his behaviour all afternoon – and so I will continue here.

At a cafe, he picked up a car belonging to a little boy a few months younger than him. “It’s not your car, Milin, it’s that little boy’s car. Please go and give it back to the little boy,” I said – or something like it. And he did. He walked over to said little boy with said car, and held it out to him. The little boy ignored the Little Mister, so he followed him round for a bit, trying to give him the car. When he got bored of being ignored, he left it by the little boy’s feet and went off to play on the mats.

And there you have it. The Little Mister gets mad with me because I don’t let him in the garden when it’s getting dark. And he gets mad with me because I feed him porridge instead of biscuits. But, today, he did what I asked him. He understood every word I said. He was polite, and kind, and gentle, and didn’t think to complain. He went to give a car with super cool spinning wheels to another little boy. Pretty amazing.

Of course, not all play times go so smoothly. For the Little Mister, playtime with other little people can be terrifying, particularly if they get too close or (how could they?) try and show him affection. His reacts slowly, retreating into himself, then letting big crocodile tears roll down his cheeks while he hangs his head. Luckily, the tears can usually be wiped away with the aid of a hug and the distraction of some carefully chosen toys. And that’s life for a sixteen-month-old. You’re growing up Little Mister, you’re growing up.

photo-5