This month has seen you start to realize that actually the whole world doesn’t belong to you, despite what your grandparents in Newcastle have led you to believe. You have started to identify for instance that different towels belong to different people, there is a Daddy Towel which hangs next to a Tricky Towel and high up on the back of the door is a Mummy Towel.
This process of identification extends to pillows, glasses of water and various bodily discharges, hence Mummy Wee Wee and Daddy Fart. Words have flown thick and fast this month, you have shouted for sandwich, biscuit, gingerbread, porridge, vegetables, underpants and a puppy and when we try to distract you with a glass of water say, or perhaps a hilarious Daddy Fart, you cut us off with a contemptuous No Way.
This is thanks to childcare of course, No Way being the signature tune of fellow attendee, Jack. Jack only stayed a few weeks after you started but it was long enough to pass on both words and attitude. Tiring though it is to have you constantly exclaiming No Way at a bowl of wholesome mashed root vegetables, or to having your feet cruelly introduced to a pair thick warm socks, I give thanks that it wasn’t Bite Me Mother Fucker or something equally distasteful.
In positive developments at childcare though, we have finally moved from Don’t Leave Me, Oh God Where Are You Going Please Don’t Leave Me This Woman Is The Devil And These Children Are Her Imps to the almost as heartbreaking Bye Bye Daddy and the happily climbing into his carer’s arms, because apparently the Devil gives good cuddle. The devil also encourages crafts and provides you with a hot lunch so who are we to complain. At any moment I can look up and see some of your special craft activities blu-tacked to our loungeroom wall: your blue handprints, your large orange paint blob. And of course, it goes without saying, I will keep these works of art for the rest of my life.
You experienced Easter this last month and although you were sick with some viral ghastliness at the time you got to join in on an Easter Egg hunt with your cousins. They very sweetly found eggs on your behalf and dropped them in your pile and despite the ruthless bargaining, and take no prisoners hunting that went on between themselves, you were positively showered with eggs.
But because I am Pure Evil and decided that you were too sick to eat Easter eggs just at that moment we avoided clueing you in to the concept that those brightly wrapped jewel like objects were actually edible. Instead you smiled at them, played with them, rolled them about the floor and then collected them up happily and put them back into their paper bag. You are a bit obsessed with marbles at the moment and I’m sure you just thought these were retarded marbles with one fat and one pointy end. However, I am not a complete tyrant (unlike you), when you were feeling a bit better you had an easter egg for the first time in your life and it blew your tiny brain. It was like the first time you ate ice cream and your mouth just kept opening and closing like a goldfish. You didn’t even pause to demand “More” like you normally do, you just let your demented gobbling goldfish mouth do the work. When you were finished I explained that what you had just eaten was chocolate. More chocklit, you said immediately.
This past month has seen some very lovely family time, you, your daddy and me, always involving cuddles, often in your cowboy tent or on the Big Bed. Our bedtime routine sees you selecting some well thumbed titles from the bedside shelves; Owl Babies perhaps or Gorilla or Big Fish, where the main character is the chief fish of a small pond and, as you like to firmly clarify; HE WAS HAHPEE.
After stories there are more cuddles. And several expeditions over the pillows to turn the bedside lamp off, no on, no off again. Perhaps a round of Rockabye Your Bear. And then requests for More Books. These are usually denied because it’s now past your bedtime and your father is desperate for the sweet sweet relief of alcohol. We zip you into your sleeping bag, kiss you all over, pop you into bed and back out of the room, muttering to ourselves as we do that you are once again proven to be The Most Delightful Boy In The World.
You are a delightful little boy, quick to laugh, adventurous, and, as I think about your various falls- off stairs and over your own feet, pretty hardy. You get whingy sometimes, you cling to me sometimes, you have temper tantrums when you’re hungry sometimes, and you have shouting spates when you’ve just woken up but you are, despite all this, a great kid. We see the best of ourselves in you and sometimes the worst too but beyond the bits of us are the uniquely special bits of you and they’re beautiful.
This was the month where we tried to make another baby, not another you, no, but another like you. A potential little brother or sister. It didn’t work. That tiny soccerball bunch of cells never did expand like the embryologist told us it would. The sadness currently in both your father and I feels so deep and complex, woven tightly with the memories of all the fear and despair that seemed to haunt us before we finally found you.
It's like we’re failing to provide you with something that was fundamental to the making of both your father and I…a sibling. Three brothers in your father’s case. Three sisters in mine. I don’t know how long it will take for that guilt and that sorrow to dissipate. But I do know that amongst all that sadness is a great deal of joy . You are our son, our baby, our beautiful, grumpy, funny, singing, book loving boy. You may be an only child, but you won’t be a lonely child. You have so many people who care about you. You may not have brothers and sisters but you live with three cousins who fall over themselves to pick you up and hug you even when you call them by each other’s names. You have aunties and uncles and grandparents on opposite sides of the country who adore you. And always you have us, Vanessa and Christopher, your mummy and daddy, who love love love you with all of their hearts.
Because you, you our darling boy, you make us hahpee.
Your very own