We have lots of nicknames for our son. Usually we just call him Boo. If I call him Baby or Honey or Sweetheart, he corrects me each and every time and reminds me what his real name is. “I not baby, I _________”. Because I often use the excuse of my back to not pick up him, he often asks me if my back is okay when I do pick him up. He rubs it when I say it’s sore. When he drops something, he mutters, “Oh, damn!” – like me. He likes to help me out around the house with vacuuming even when I REALLY don’t want his help cause I really just want to get it over with as quickly as possible. My frustration mounts and then I just watch him as he “vacuums” and when I get to step back in, he brings fluffs of dog hair over to me to suck up. Sometimes a Swiffer will keep him busy elsewhere. He has a really good eye for things – like spiders, and their webs, bits of paper on the floor, stray candy – “this is yours Mummy”, little things like that. One time I had a spider hanging off my ass (yup, I did) and he got my attention and pointed at backside and said, “Spider, mummy! Spider”. Of course, I just turned and looked that way and this way and I just couldn’t see it. He kept pointing his little finger and I followed his gaze and I finally figured out where it was. “Good eye, Boo, well done, let’s put it outside.” I stop myself from screaming and having a fit at the rather large spider dangling from my Lululemoned butt.
He also loves helping in the kitchen. As soon as he sees the egg carton come out of the fridge, he runs to get a step stool and is right beside me before I know it. I groan inwardly. (Did I tell you I’m a complete drag in the morning?) Once again, I just want to make breakfast as quickly as possible, but he makes me slow down as he grabs egg after egg and breaks it on the rim of the steel bowl. He is patient with me every time I have to ask him to move, because he has placed himself in the way of getting the frying pan or the measuring cup I want to get at. He always wants to break one more. He wants to put spices in and stir with the whisk. He likes putting in shredded cheese when the eggs are cooking. I’m nervous cause he’s so close to the stove and I do not find this fun at all to worry at 9 o’clock in the morning and I note to myself to next time to take the time to go downstairs and get the bigger stepladder for him. When it’s not scrambled eggs or an omelette, it’s Mummy’s cereal that we eat together. I hate sharing my food. He loves sharing my food. I just make extra now. Sometimes when I just give him some dry cereal in the morning so I can have a cup of coffee in bed, he comes over with a tiny handful for me. He gives me one cheerio at a time. He is so happy that I rub his chin in appreciation of his generosity.
We share a love of popcorn. And when mama wants to stay out a little longer, we go to Tim Horton’s for frozen lemonade and timbits. Yeah, I know, so healthy and nutiritious, but what’s a treat every now and then? He is allowed 2 apple fritter timbits and Mummy has 2 (or 3) sour cream glazed timbits. Sometimes, if it’s around lunchtime, I try to make him eat a little wrap first. Of course, the last time I did that, he proceeded to toddle over to me and vomit in my hand. Ooops, mummy was trying to send an email and he snarfled his food too quickly. “Boo, ” I tell him, “you must savour your timbits. Take your time. Cause you’re only getting two and it’s a special treat.” He vomited some more in my hand as if in agreement.
He shares his meltdowns just for me I’ve noticed. Not daddy, just me. The other day he fell from a ladder on the playground. Not from too high or too hard. Of course, when I turned my head for a second. No scratches, no blood. I checked him out, brushed him off and sent him to play again. We left about 20 minutes later, and by the time we got to the car, he burst out in tears, loud, shrieking inconsolable tears. I picked him up, held him, kissed his “boo-boo”, promised him a bandaid when we got home. Some juice and a cookie from a friend quieted his shrieks. Sometimes he naps, but only when I drive around long enough to get him to sleep. He won’t voluntarily nap anymore. Even when I know he’s tired, even when I give him warm milk or read him a story. “It’s sunny out Mama!” And when he’s tired, he becomes hyper and clingy all at the same time. When I try to insist on napping, he begins screaming and crying like I’m flaying him alive. I’m sure the whole neighbourhood can hear him. He can scream so loudly and in such a high pitch, I’m sure the dolphins can hear him. If I’ve managed to get him to fall asleep in the car and keep him asleep in his bed, he wakes up after 1 hour, rested and calm, hatching a bit slowly until he’s up and roaring for play.
He`s been great at the potty training. He had a little trouble with going #2 without a diaper, but with continued prompting and trying to make sure he doesn’t run into his room to poo in his pants, he’s been great. (I’ll spare you the horror stories of poo – really, I’m a dog owner, and I’ve had enough dealing with poo to last me a lifetime.) I even took a pic of his giant poo to send to Daddy – he was quite proud of that! And the kid as well. Him and Daddy “swordfight” and though he realized mummy can’t do that, he likes to come in and pee on his potty while I go on mine. Heaven forbid, if I don’t let him flush the toilet. Oh, the tears!
Lately, he’s real big on saying goodbye to me when I leave in the evening for work. He wants a kiss and a hug and now he insists that I hug and kiss Daddy too. Mmmm, don’t tell me little kids don’t sense tension between the parents. He loves nothing better than getting in on group hugs.
He lets me nap on the couch when I’m really tired; oh, I’ve been known to sneak in a snooze or two when the Backyardigans is on. On the odd occasion, he’ll even snuggle with me, though he generally hates to assume any position that may lead to sleep.
He loves to play with other kids. He will start running after someone or mimicking their behaviour as a way to get in on the play. It hurts to see him snubbed by older kids, but I step in when I can and stand back when he finds someone. He is kind to young children, I notice. Particularly babies. He will hold them like they’re made out of china. He takes the job of baby holding very seriously.
He’s taken to very rebellious behaviour with mummy especially when it comes to getting in his car seat. Yes, I have actually had to call my husband on the phone so he can tell him to get in his car seat. And he does. I learned to make a game of getting into the car seat and pretend we’re having a race. He’s caught on to that one, too and gives me an impish grin as he clambers into the driver’s seat. Kid – 1, Mummy – 0. Pre-school is helping a lot. He’s getting settled in now and though he protests, as soon as we get into the door, he runs off to the mat. I suppose one day I will be crying as he goes to his first day of kindergarten.
Sometimes, mostly during weekends, he’ll climb into bed with us, and I’ll reach out and hold his hand. Like I used to do when he was little baby and he fastens on tight. I tell him I love him and he says I love you right back.
He’s an awesome kid. Lucky he puts up with me.