Somehow, it’s been more than two months since my last post. What with Christmas, a fresh Covid lockdown and a more consistently hectic work situation than I would like, blogging has taken a bit of a back seat.
Now small guy N is more than three and a half years old and I can finally say with some authority why people have more than one child. It has taken me three years to work this out, as long-time followers will know that I did not take to the newborn stages too naturally and thus was mystified why anyone would openly choose to go through that torture again. BUT, three-year-olds are hilarious and I have never felt such a deep and burning love for another human being like I do with N.
Each day we play elaborate games that involve role-playing and make-believe. One of his favourite is to have a shop and he “sells” me items – mainly fruit and vegetables – and I have to give him money in return. It’s so funny as he demands the cash and counts it methodically while keying in important information into his cash register. We also set out traffic cones (which were decorations for his birthday but have ended up being one of the most played with toys) and do all sorts of jumping and weaving over and around them. There is painting, dot-to-dot pictures, magnets, Legos, cars…. The list goes on.
He’s also a huge fan of doing the washing up and one day when I was trying to multi-task with work emails, I didn’t concentrate on him for a few minutes and found he had put a lot of liquid hand soap in the kitchen sink and it was like a bubble bath explosion. We had very clean dishes that day!
I am delighted to report that his speech is becoming so much better too. At the end of last year we did a full assessment on his progress with a special needs teacher. I have full respect for this teacher as she has a magical way with children to instantaneously put them at ease. In summary, her analysis was that he has no medical conditions or issues (no autism), is very clever, good at problem solving and just simply needs some more support with developing his language skills to be at the same level as his peers. He is much stronger in English – they don’t call it the “mother tongue” for nothing – and needs extra support with his Greek. We knew all of this anyway, but it was helpful to have it confirmed so we can double-down on the speech therapy.
We also changed speech therapists. My husband was not so happy with the previous therapist and once you’ve lost confidence in providers like this it doesn’t matter how good or not good they are, it’s time for a change. As a result, we are now going to a new therapist, but it’s going well and N has a good time with her. The progress is very noticeable so the investment (and it’s not cheap) is worthwhile.
Now that N has found his words, he is so super sweet, telling me he loves me frequently. He is also polite and always says “please” and “thank you”. He even says “bless you” when you sneeze (while laughing) and “you’re welcome” when you say thank you to him.
He loves his bath and he especially loves me in his bath with him. I’ve been doing this a bit the past few weeks – while wearing a swimsuit – and he just has such a fun time, splashing about with me and playing games. I sometimes get a lot more wet than I want to, but I just think to myself that I’m going to blink and soon he won’t want me anywhere near him, much less his bath! I also wish I had put a drain in the floor of the bathroom because he is an energetic bather with a lot of water overboard.
He loves the new house – we all do – and it has been a huge positive in our lives over the past six months. The timing was good too as we have been under some form of Covid restrictions for a few months now and had a full lockdown with national curfew for the past month. While I’m not advocating for permanent restrictions, I haven’t entirely hated having to stay at home. We have had plenty of things to do around the house and the restrictions over Christmas meant I escaped many of the gatherings that it turns out I don’t really like.
We had a lovely Christmas. Not only was it relaxed, but this was the first year N was really into gifts. Last year he had a terrible ear infection and was miserable, but this year he loved it. We gave him a (huge) Hot Wheels car garage as his main gift and we built it in advance so that when he came down the stairs on Christmas morning it was ready to go. As he descended the stairs and saw it under the tree he couldn’t believe it was for him. He kept asking me “Is it for me?” Once he was convinced it was actually for him, he played with it non-stop for an hour and didn’t touch another present.
We all really miss playdates during this phase though. He often asks for various friends to come and play at home but until next week it is still banned. I’m also looking forward to going out and about to parks and places with animals and nature as I think it’s kind of sad to limit children to these experiences.
Things he loves:
- Cars – he has developed an awareness of different models of cars and he even saw a Ferrari parked on the side of the road and commented unprompted “That’s a nice car”.
- Slime – many thanks to YouTube for introducing him to slime, which is actually really disgusting.
- Magnetic toys – we have a few different magnet-based toys and they are a total hit. He plays with them for ages.
- Lego – ditto. For some reason, we usually build a garage for the cars, a car park (like one with a barrier that requires tickets) or a car wash. Notice the theme?
- Gumball machines – another big thank you to YouTube, as he has asked us for a gumball machine for over a month now so we bought one online for him. We did not fill it with gumballs due to a choking concern, but instead found giant Nerds candy that worked. He is obsessed with it!
- Card games – like Uno or Snap. It’s really funny!
- The moon, stars, and space. I have (finally) gotten around to properly decorating his room and have ordered some wall stickers that include a giant mood and stick-on stars. It was only after ordering that I realised all 300+ stars need to be stuck on one-by-one. Looking forward to that!