My boy is three! Just like that and three years have passed by. There is so much truth in the saying that the nights are long but the years are short. It is bittersweet seeing your child growing as it’s so exciting to see them grow and develop into their own person, but you can literally see them slipping away from you as they become independent. I remember in the early days of N’s flat head situation where I had to hold him all day that I fantasised of the day when he wouldn’t need to be held anymore so I could have a cup of tea in peace. Now I celebrate when he comes to snuggle as these moments are more fleeting. There are some moments when N makes a face that is so adult and I picture him as a grown man. This completely freaks me out but of course what a parent wants more than anything is for their child to grow into a happy independent person so I hope that these flashes are pictures of the future.
N’s birthday was almost a month ago as I simply haven’t had a moment to scratch myself since then to write this post. So let’s do a rewind.
I organised a construction-themed birthday party in his grandparents’ garden for his birthday with his nursery school friends joining. I was cautious about Covid-implications and so an outdoor party seemed the best solution, but also because it is summer and very hot, even in the evening! His birthday was on a Friday so my husband and I took the day off work to organise things while he was at school. I won’t lie, it was hectic and a bit fraught at times, but I really loved organising his birthday and went to a lot of trouble to make it lots of fun.
We had a bouncy castle (loosely) in the shape of a digger as well as a kids party entertainer who does some magic (including producing a rabbit and a dove out of nowhere), plays music, makes balloon animals and and has a dressed up mascot (a tigger in our case). This entertainer was worth his weight in gold as he was thoroughly entertaining. While he was for the children, no one loved him more than N’s grandfather who laughed his head off and joined in at every available moment. Even N’s daddy got involved!
We had around 15 kids and their parents as well as various family members so I think there were about 40 people there. It was a great buzz and N absolutely loved it! I think he ate the sum total of 1.5 chicken nuggets for the entire evening and I literally had to drag him home at 10pm as he was still running around squealing with delight. I had a lot of very kind feedback from the other parents so I felt like my efforts were worthwhile. Full confession though, I felt physically hung over for two full days afterwards! My entire body literally hurt as though I’d been out dancing for 6 hours straight (sadly, this was not the case). Who knew hosting parties was a full body experience?
Subsequent to the party, there has been another huge falling out with my husband’s family. I won’t go into it here other than to say that this has really brought me down. I actually wasn’t directly involved or present for the latest conflict but the underlying issues that surround this situation are not new and are very painful. The issues with his family also bring out my grief. It makes me so cross that my Mum (and Dad) who would so have loved to be a part of my son’s life are not here to enjoy him, meanwhile my husband’s family are here and very dysfunctional.
I have felt incredibly lonely and full of anxiety during this period. It has gotten quite bad actually and is beginning to manifest itself physically again. I’m aware of it so I am trying to take some actions to look after myself, but the past few days I went down a bit of a black hole and have struggled to function properly. Of course on top of all of this we are coming to the end of our house build situation which is definitely one of the most stressful things anyone can ever be a part of. We have had a billion issues one after each other and my poor husband has been trying to overcome these, but he too is getting psychologically drained and sometimes misdirects his anger and frustration at me which just compounds my anxiety. He is doing his best to improve in this regard too, plus I recognise that this is a short term situation that should improve in the next few weeks (it might get worse before it gets better though). The good news is that the house looks really great now! The pool now has water and so even though we can’t live in the house yet I have taken a cheeky dip in the new pool.
More importantly, N is a superstar through all of this. He’s definitely been a handful lately, but I wonder how much of that is reacting to the general vibe of home which is probably not textbook perfect right now! He is funny as hell, albeit also too clever for his own good. He has been excited by church bells ringing for some time as we live near a church and often hear them, but recently this interest has increased and so he literally asks to go see church bells about 3 times an hour every day. Often we have to go on drives to find churches with bells and I think sometime soon I’m going to have to find someone at a church to let him go up the bell tower to check them out for himself.
He is totally a water baby and lacks fear. He wears arm bands when he is in deep water, but now likes me to take them off for a time so that he can “go under” the water. He really delights in spending a couple of seconds under the water, obviously under the constant care of either me or his dad. He’s not yet able to actually swim but shows a lot of great potential. When our pool is properly operational we will look to start some swimming lessons for him. Not only do I think he will be a competent swimmer with a big of guidance but it’s so important for safety reasons that he can at least save himself if he falls into deep water. I think we will put a fence on our pool as I don’t think I’ll sleep well at night otherwise, but it’s still such a valuable skill to be able to handle yourself in water.
He is also obsessed with the song Bad Romance by Lady Gaga. I used to like that song haha! He plays it a billion times a day and has a little dance routine to it too so now I barely even hear the song. It’s like white noise to me. He has always loved cars – as does his daddy – but now he insists he sits in the front seat and “drives” the car every time we go anywhere. This is all well and good unless you actually need to go somewhere quickly. I guess this is why you see so many mummy blogs talking about drinking a lot! I often wonder how on earth parents of multiple children actually manage to go anywhere without having a mental breakdown.
N’s language is improving and he learns new words every day, but he is still quite difficult to understand, especially by non-family members, so he we will continue with the speech therapist for the foreseeable future. I can see he has so much to say but those words are not yet coming out nicely. His passive vocabulary seems very wide but the poor guy struggles with his active vocabulary. It’s interesting as he is so physically capable and yet his weak spot is his language. I guess we all just grow and develop in different areas at different rates. I can see he has a lot of empathy and capacity to learn so we are delighted by the little ray of light that he is and once we get him on the road to good speech development I think we will all feel a lot better about it.