The other day, whilst on holiday, I was standing watching Freddie and Sasha tear around the soft play area in Butlins. What struck me most (besides the ear-piercing screaming) was suddenly how sweet our little one’s relationship had become. Freddie would wait for Sasha to climb up through the holes behind him, trying to pull her up if possible. They would wait for each other to come down the tunnel slide, calling up anxiously if they were slow in coming down. Freddie would tell another child to “mind out of the way, please” so his sister could pass through without getting squashed. When they bounded out of the play area, hot and sweaty, and grinning with excitement, I told them both how proud I was that they had played together so nicely, and had looked after each other. “I have to, Mummy, Sasha is my sister!”. It was so adorable, and I could have burst with pride. I still find it amazing how even at the tender ages of 2 and 3, the empathy they have developed is huge, and long may it continue! They may fight and argue at home, but out and about and facing the big-bad-world, they are inseparable, and a tiny duo to be reckoned with.
Right now, Freddie would eat chocolate buttons for breakfast everyday if he could (he doesn’t!) and loves making a ‘jungle’ out of all the sofa cushions for him and his teddies. He loves pasta, travelling on the bus and watching his favourite Thomas movie. Sasha loves drawing, specifically with her yellow and purple pens, putting stickers on everything (we find them everywhere) and the story ‘Hansel & Gretel’ (I have no idea why, it’s actually a horrible tale!). She runs around the house naked before bathtime squealing with delight, wanting us to nibble on her squishy little bottom, shouting “I’m naked everyone, look at me, I’m naked!“. She climbs into our bed in the middle of the night (her turn for this little phase), and snuggles up close. Yesterday morning, far too early. she lay next to Adam and said, “Daddy, open your eyes, I want to TALK TO YOU!”. They are so fabulous, and despite being challenging at times, make us so, so happy.
I’ve enjoyed different phases of motherhood so far for different reasons, and some I’ve enjoyed more than others. Whilst I’m not a huge ‘baby-stage’ person, I loved it when they were newborn, and would sleep on us for hours, snuffling and murmuring. Then at a few months old when they can smile, and doing even the weirdest things will make them peel off into fits of laughter. That later baby/toddler stage where they can gain independence and crawl/toddle about, and start to express their likes and dislikes a lot more clearly. Their little personalities really come to life.
But this stage we’re in right now, where my 3 1/2 year old asks the questions that really challenge me to think of appropriate, simple answers, and when he says “I love you, Mummy” for no particular reason at all. When my 2 1/2 year old has me in hysterics with her funny facial expressions, and when I watch them play together for longer and longer, deep in their own little games, showcasing their brilliant imaginations. When they cuddle up on the sofa to watch a film, and F lets his little sister fall asleep on his lap, yes, right now, I think, really is my favourite stage of all so far. The one with the most personality so far, yet still so innocent, before it gets tainted slightly with more outside influences, consumerism and an understanding that the world can not always be the nicest of places after all.
Having never done ‘this’ before, I often worry that we ‘re doing it ‘wrong’- Are we too laid back? Are we too strict? Have I shouted too much today? Are we all spending too much time together and driving each other mad? Am I being selfish when I leave them during the day to pursue an interest of my own/see friends? Do they watch too much Peppa Pig? Am I passing on my own fears and bad habits to them? I worry that we will only have one chance at ‘this’ parenting lark, and really pray that we don’t cock it up too much, and that they will reach adulthood and look back and think that we did a ‘good job’, or at least, a ‘good enough’ job. I feel lucky that for now, they are healthy, happy and content little people, who thrive off their surroundings and routine.
On the eve of starting my new part-time role, I feel lucky that I’ve been able to spend so much time at home being their Mum for the last 3 1/2 and 2 1/2 years.
I was thinking today how wonderful this preschool stage of motherhood is, and how I need to make the most of it, it really is the sweetest. It won’t be long before they are both at school 5 days a week and we won’t be able to hang out and just enjoy these beautiful moments as much.
So here’s to little ones, and all their quirks and foibles- please stop growing guys, just for a minute!
Teaming up with Mummy, Daddy, Me & The Ordinary Moments!