As I type this you are struggling with your father who is trying in vain to give you dinner.
You are kicking him and shouting NO I WANT STORY! There is something very poetic in this scene, something about art before bread or somesuch and being your mother and a feckless artiste herself I, of course, understand your passion, but also it's a wee tad annoying because we are actually at a friend's house on Lake Macquarie for NYE and all the other kids are eating outside and I'm trying to blog my last post for the year, as well as your monthly newsletter which is a trillion days late.
It's bad enough that I've abandoned our friends for the computer without having you loudly drawing attention to the fact. And frankly, i thought you loved tortelini (I know the tomatoes are a stretch), or at least you did at lunch.
Also Mummy's a bit pissed, can you tell? Nothing serious, two glasses of champagne, that's all. Since having you I've become the proverbial two pot screamer and whether that's due to the sleep deprivation or some hormonal biz I couldn't tell you. Also my feet are bigger. How wierd is that?
As are your feet. And your legs. And your lovely mop of curly hair. You seem so tall when you stand beside me, at hip level, with your arm wrapped around my thigh. When we arrived at the house today you stood like that for a long time, even though you know all the kids here and all the adults, coyly gazing at the floor. It's such a far cry from your loud shouting, specific demands, intricate songs and secret language raves. Like your mother you take a while to warm up.
For posterity I shall record your latest song which i'm pretty sure is completely made up and not a bastardisation of some daycare melody:
Oinka boinka oinka boinka
da da da
Hairy Scary Hairy Scary
da da da
What does it mean? No idea, but the other day I casually started singing Oinka Boinka and the grin on your face was fabulous. It was like you'd cracked a joke a while ago and I'd brought it up again and then we sort of sang it together, chuckling. My how we laughed and I'm hoping that it's a clean joke and not for instance a reference to that day you got into the shower with me and loudly pointed out my missing appendage.
You adore trains and the whole ritual of boomgates and cars stopping and the ding ding ding. When we go out to coffee in the mornings you ask if we can go to the 'train cafe', a groovy little place in the carpark of Hamilton railway station. We sit so we can see the track and the boomgates and as soon as we see the red lights flash Some Convenient Adult must whisk you up and rush you out to stand on the bridge. It's a complete bugger and hell on the thighs as we run up the steps with you in our arms and thank god the coffee is good.
This Christmas was lovely lovely lovely and yet there was a lot that could have gone wrong wrong wrong, your grandparents having moved into their new place and nearly killing themselves in the process. Your favourite present, hands down, was the wooden garage your Uncle P gave you. His dad gave it to him when he was a little tacker and he still had it some 20 or so years later. He found it shoved in the back of the cupboard of his old bedroom during the move and decided to repaint it for you. Your Aunty R and Aunty T gave you cars to match and the result was nothing short of sublime. You moved cars and drove cars and fixed cars and had tiny wee roadrage episodes.
It was all very typical boy stuff which is fair enough. You played and played and then... you got out your pink teaset and utilising a firetruck with extendable ladder as a moveable boomgate you suddenly were running your own 'train cafe'.
This morning you gave me a cup of coffee which you 'spilled' and 'wiped up'. When I complained and asked for a caffe latte you gave me a plastic knife. You also offered me banana bread but failed to deliver. I'm giving you one more go and then i'm writing a letter to management.
We are having a bit of a session with rules at the moment. As in: No Screaming In The House. My parents new house is quite sturdy but it's a little small and the sound travels like nobody's business especially at 5.30 in the morning. Other rules include: We Don't Push and We Don't Pull Hair. One rule I haven't activated is We Only Do That When We are Alone And In Our Bedroom but it may well be on the horizon.
At the beach today you said to me sternly; We Don't Eat Sand.
That's right, i nodded as I towelled him dry.
And We Don't Eat Dirt.
Neither we do, I agreed.
And...We Don't Eat People.
Quite true. Although exceptions are made for footballers who crash land in the Andes.
We were at Newcastle beach and for a few moments we stood together, the three of us, by the large round kiddy pool, carved from rock. I wrote about this pool once before, long ago, here, Your father and your mother, standing together, kissing in the moonlight at the start of their relationship. I wrote about fear and about wishing for a child and and about despair and how maybe it would only ever be the two of us.
But today, on the last day of the year, we were three.
We saw a pelican and seagulls and you held a tiny starfish in the palm of your hand and we were immeasurably happy.
It's a new year coming and so your parents are reflective and regretful and hopeful and appreciative.
But it's just another day for you and so you shout and laugh and ask for dinner when it's been cleared away and run away from putting on your mumpy and you sing and smile and love, just like any other day. You have no idea why we're here, all these shrieking pint sized kids, your little friends Claudia and Sebastian, Morgan and Jack.
And their mothers and fathers, watching with loving smiles, all made parents in their late 30s and 40s. Grateful. Tired. Happy. And much to celebrate.
Worth another glass of champagne at least.
Your very own