I look at you now and can’t quite believe how big you are. You look and speak and act like a big school girl, but you still need me like a toddler – to hug and hold and carry and play and reassure and sit with you and feed you and hold your drink bottle. Your independent streak has taken a back seat for now. You demand to be carried (‘My legs aren’t working mama!’) and will only accept me for mornings, toilet time, bedtimes and night times. Plus most everything in between.
I’m so tired of being the preferred parent, baby. Are you absolutely sure you don’t want to try being a Daddy’s girl yet? Because I am SO ready for that to happen. I think your baba might like it, too, instead of being pushed away and told ‘only mama’.
It’s very easy to be resentful of your baba, even though none of this is his fault. You’re just very attached to me. You have been since you were born, when we stared at each other in shock, like a mirror reflecting each others confusion and surprise. You and I are a lot alike. I recognise me in your hyper-sensitivity and your eagerness to please and the way your feelings overtake you until you are quaking with rage or upset.
We’ve had some epic fights, you and I. Time outs and tantrums that leave us all shook up. Recently, late night fights, power struggles that your baba and I always lose. We almost always end up giving in, too tired to keep fighting. I worry that this will make you a tyrant, a bully, or a princess. But you are so sweet too, and so loving. And I have to keep reminding myself that you’re only just three, baby.
Last night you held my face in your hands and whispered in the dark of the night, ‘I can’t hear you mama, talk to me. I can’t see your face, mama. Turn the light on so I can see you’. I reassured you that I was there, and talked to you softly until you heaved a contented sigh and snuggled into my neck.
What do you love right now?
You love the water. Warm, shallow pools of it especially.
You love knock-knock jokes (mostly because I always laugh at bad jokes). Your favourite is the one with the little old lady – you love yodelling ‘littleoldladeEEEEwhooo’ and ruining the punch line.
You love ice-cream – we must have played ice-cream vendor and customer 1000 times. The vendor mixes the ice-cream with a lot of very complicated movements, and there is a wide range of sprinkles, including unicorn and brocolli. Each ice cream is presented with a flourish and an emphatic ‘Thank Ya’.
Your imagination is truly wonderous. This is probably the best thing about you right now. You truly and utterly believe in magic. If something goes missing, you turn to me wide-eyed and tell me it must have been ‘magicked’ away. You tell elaborate stories and hold 3-way conversations with yourself, and make complex worlds that are confined to our hallway. You make up words like ‘fabalista’ and ‘jamhydrates’.
I love playing with you, and engaging that confetti-coloured imagination of yours (even when you script our conversations, you funny thing).
Love you possum-dillio,
…but maybe you could sleep on your baba tonight?