The long kiss…hello

Hello world

Little Mo man has been whisked off for a morning of fun with his dad and grandparents so I am taking a few moments to have a cup of tea in our mini garden and revisit the blogosphere.

I wanted to touch again on the reason I began this blog…it was a way of exploring Maurice’s firsts, and enjoying the journey of discovery that he is on in his every day experience. Everything is new to him, which is sometimes easy to forget and lose patience with when you’re feeling old and wizened, which I sometimes am on a bad day.

The past 6 months have been a tempest of changes in so many ways, but it’s all too easy for these changes to be lost in the diurnal routine and then you only notice when you’ve moved past them. For example… the speech. Mo has been chattering away since he was a wee wee man, and since he was about 14 months has been layering his linguistic capabilities slowly but surely by adding words to the general chatter, and now linking words together to form adamant meaning and purpose. It’s now hard to recall a time when he wasn’t able to allude to what’s bugging him, when he wakes up in the night. Now at least he can shout WATER!! or MUMMY!! or, if the mood takes him, TRAIN CHOO CHOO!

Linguistically, he is asserting his own authority. Whenever he’s playing and he’s struggling with fitting a piece of lego together or the like, he will steadfastly refuse any assistance from me and try and try again, saying “Mo mo do it”…until he chooses the time to say “Hemme” (help me)…and he’s always ready to command “do it”, “get it”, “throw it”..I’m working on the added please…. He loves to say his own name, and to say “daddy, Ben”, “Mummy, Anya”, “Anya, Ben, Maurice, Momo, mummy, daddy”, as if gently mulling over our positions in the family.

I was listening to a programme on radio 4 a while ago (with one ear, so I can’t recall what programme) which was discussing depression and how we feel i these episodes that we lose control of our lives, and how to a certain extent the frustration and desperation felt may be a regression emotionally or a throw back to how we felt when we were babies/toddlers, and experiencing no autonomy in terms of how anything in our lives is run. This has been echoing in my ears over the last couple of weeks as Maurice is tugging and tussling with the fact that he isn’t necessarily the boss of him, and mummy will upsettingly want him to stop doing this (bashing the plants) or not do that (climb into the toilet) or say sorry for the other (pushing other little people). It must be really annoying.

I also am aware of feeling a latent sense of sorrow as he moves beyond his babyhood, he is now very much transmogrifying into a little boy before my very eyes, and the last remnants of babydom are slipping into that timeless pool of memory. Rather than allowing myself to feel sorrowful about the long kiss goodbye, where he skips along the road away from me, from being a part of me to being an entirely independent being who, shock horror may ultimately not entirely agree with everything I say and do…and as the kisses, cuddles and snuggles that he so happily and wonderfully bestows on me right now will be viewed as somewhat less cool in a few years’ time, it must be more positive to reframe each section of this journey as a new hello to each new episode.

And physically…we’ve recently entered a slightly alarming phase, for me anyway, which involves Maurice pushing other little ones over whenever he gets the chance. This is premeditated and forceful… there seems to be no anger, it’s more of a physics experiment to check out how gravity works to pull little bodies to the ground if given a shove. Unless he’s particularly tired, when it takes on a more malevolent feel and he adds in the occasional head butt into the mix. This leaves me in the role of the shameful mother who is continually apologising for him to the mothers of the various other toddlers he leaves toppled in his wake. It’s been quite a tiring and frustrating time, probably for both of us. He seems to understand no remorse for the act, and refuses to make eye contact with me when I’m telling him the errors of his ways. Hopefully it’s one of those fabled “phases”. His father was a bit of a basher as a small person, by all accounts, but he also has remained lifelong friends with all those he bashed at nursery, so there is at least hope for Mo in that respect that his ability to make friends may not be stunted by a spot of violence here and there.

So, hello and welcome to all the new phases of toddlerdom and childhood. Or, as Maurice’s 4-year old cousin Senan asserts, after you’re a toddler you then become a kid. And farewell to the baby era, you will be remembered with a big heap of nostalgia and rose tinted vision.

Have a lovely Saturday

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