I have been trying to write a post to mark Mini Mck’s third birthday for weeks now and last night I finally sat down to get my jumble of thoughts down and get it published. After working on it for a while, it is still just a incoherent ramble. Certainly not one of those beautiful, touching posts that you read on blogs all the time.
Of course, I am full of love for my gorgeous boy and yet I find him such a challenge at times, particularly over the past few months and I am sure this would come through in the post. There is no denying that he is difficult to parent. He is stubborn and headstrong, loud and fearless. He is all ‘boy’.
I gave in the other day, as I often do, when he asked me to stay while he fell asleep at naptime. Easier to lie with him for ten minutes than be back and forward telling him to stay in bed. As we lay in the half light I watched him slowly falling asleep and before he had even closed his eyes I knew that he would be soon be napping.
I found myself wondering how many times I had watched him fall asleep, to instinctively know that it was not far away. Hundreds? Maybe even thousands. Several times a day for the first eighteen months. He has always been the same, wanting closeness and touch to settle.
As I used the next hour of child free time wisely, getting chores done and calming the chaos, two things occurred to me. First of all I realised that one of the reasons this post was so tricky is that he is a complicated boy. A real conundrum. Or at least, he is to me. Fiercely independent and yet craves closeness. Confident and yet not always able to accept praise. I do love that he keeps me on my toes. It makes him a real person, someone with lots of layers and that is a good thing, a great thing actually.
The second thing this tiny falling asleep moment reminded me is that he has always been the same. He has become the boy version of his baby self. Everything that frustrates me now, frustrated me then, in a different way perhaps, but basically the same. Just as everything I loved about him then, I love about him now.
He is a force of nature and most of the time I am just running to keep up. He exhausts me and frustrates me, but he is funny and bright, with an imagination that is just exploding each day. I am lucky that I get to watch this fascinating person grow up and that really does make everything else worthwhile.