Growing up is hard to do

hulkBlake is on the cusp of the ‘terrible twos’. In the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed a distinct Bruce Banner-style change in my tiny man. He’s evolving from a compliant little duckling, following me around everywhere with a cheeky smile, to something more akin to a surly teenager. “No!” is swiftly becoming his favourite word. In fact he’s started saying “no” before I’ve even asked him a question. I enjoy throwing him a curve ball every now and again:

“Do you want ice cream? Oh, such a shame, I have to take your first answer…”

Master of the Universe
He wants to do everything on his own. Handling sharp knives, stirring boiling pots, putting up shelves – you name it, he thinks he can do it better than we can. Saying that, he’s probably better at DIY than his Dad by default. It’s not a high starting point to be fair.

He’s categorically refusing to sit in his high chair. Every meal time now looks like an episode of Noel’s House Party. Tomato splattered up the wall. Avocado gunge on the curtains. None of us escaping without being covered in congealed crackers.

He’s even taken to pretending to read books to himself just to prove that he doesn’t need my assistance to find out how much the big nutbrown hare loves the little nutbrown hair.

John Paul Gautier – look away now
funteam
He wants to choose his own clothes. The shame. On Wednesday, he selected a t-shirt with the words ‘Funteam Allstar’ emblazoned across the front. I found this particularly ironic as he was pretty far from being a ‘fun’ anything that day. Not that we’re masters of matching our mood to clothing in our family. My daughter was once wearing a Little Miss Sunshine top while telling me that she was never going to be my best friend EVER AGAINwonder. My husband once wore Superman pyjamas while he had man flu. Of course, my Wonder Woman t-shirt remains purely a statement of fact…

Bye bye baby
This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve already been through this with Elysia (side note from brain: been through?! When did we emerge out the other side then? I could’ve sworn we had a 2 hour battle over drinking maple syrup this morning. Don’t ask.) So I guess I knew it was coming. But it’s a hard time for all parents. That tiny baby that you’ve been inseparable from has realised they are their own person. And they are starting to assert their own independence. Loudly.

My Mum used to say that she wished she were a kangaroo so she could put me in her pouch and hop away with me. I may or may not have been 17 at the time. Anyway, I now know what she means. Part of me wants to keep my children as babies forever. They don’t need to be independent! I’ll take care of them forever! But the other part is proud that they are beginning to carve out their own personalities and find their own place in the world.

All I can do is let them know that I will always be here for them. Whether it’s a grazed knee tomorrow or a broken heart in 20 years time [scrap that. Make it 30 years. No dating allowed until they are at least 30]. I’ll be ready to dry the tears.

Although if Blake continues to throw himself dramatically to the ground every time I dare to ask him to put some trousers on, the tears will probably be mine…

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