Four.

I can hear your laughter you beautiful boy x

I can hear your laughter you beautiful boy x

To my darling Jim Jam,

Today you turned four.

I’ve really struggled with you turning the big 4. Really struggled.

I love having birthdays and I love you having them too. We have such fun and you really understand what they mean now. This year we did a Star Wars themed party which Mummy really got stuck in to. I tried my hardest to make Wookie Cookie puns, making my own lightsabers for your friends and even trying to get you guys to play Don’t drop the Storm Trooper. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. But your face when you saw the R2-D2 cake is something I will remember forever.

Being three was one of my most challenging years of being a parent. You certainly took ‘Threenager’ to its full capacity and your attitude has really made me question whether I really am any good at this being a Mama lark. Its been tough but it wasn’t always so bad.

I think the reason we’ve had tantrums and sometimes full on arguments is because you’ve really, really developed this year. Your speech (as always) is astounding. Your inflection in your words and knowing when to say things, even jokes, makes me wonder if you really only have been here for 4 short years. Have you been here before I wonder?

You love numbers and are now trying to subtract and add them together. How did you learn that? I am super impressed. I think this is a Daddy trait for sure.

You started nursery just after you turned 3 and you’ve come in leaps and bounds. You’re making friends and becoming a sociable little lad. Its a joy to see.

Your favourite things are:

Star Wars

Minnie Dog

Marvel comics

All sorts of music – you never stop singing and dancing!

Riding your bike – you give me heart attack every time you race down the hill

Imagination play – please do not ever lose that frantic imagination you have

These are power boosters, don't you know.

These are power boosters, don’t you know.

James, you will be going to school in September and you will be going with a lot of the friends you have made this year, its a big change for you, but I know you will try your best. You get frustrated when you can’t do something straight away but it doesn’t stop you trying. Thats a fab trait to have.

You’ve turned into such a big boy in more ways than one. You’re potty trained now and you’ve physically grown so much. The baby chub that used to get squidged so much, has now given way to long limbs and a slender face.

You are absolutely beautiful though. I am biased yes, but truthful too. P1020442

Your other best friend - your bike!Your other best friend – your bike!

Oh my gorgeous boy, you learnt to swim this year and you are making great strides with your bike riding. You even defeat creepers and zombies whilst zooming down the hill. You still love YouTube Kinder Egg videos, seriously its like baby crack for you, although you have branched out to watching Stampycat (if you’re a parent, you will know what this means)

My sweet, sweet boy, you are an emotional soul with a beautiful heart. You feel every emotion and you can feel it for other people too. One of the comments on your nursery report was how you comfort other children when they are upset. So when you give your Mama a hard time, its nice to know you have a wonderful caring side.

This year also saw me be 2 years Cancer free. It was also the year in which you realised that Mummy goes to hospital and that we enlist the help of the Purple Army. Or what you have affectionately dubbed Pepperami. It doesn’t scare you, but you ask questions about the ‘cancells’ which Mama defeated and you’re very proud when I come home and tell you that I got the all clear from the SuperHero hospital.

You make me want you to be proud. That along with your happiness is all I want my darling.

Lots of changes will be happening in the next few months my darling, some will be harder than others, but know this. I only do anything with you in mind and we will do this all together.

You’re my best friend my beautiful boy and I love that you call me your sweetheart.

Enjoy being four, lets make it the best year yet.

Keep growing strong,

All my love,

Mama xIMG_6444

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Happy 4th Birthday, James Aiden x

Happy 4th Birthday, James Aiden x

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The lies we tell

James and I, well we’ve currently got an affinity to sing as many Frozen songs to each other as we possibly can. I can turn round in the hallway and sing to him ‘Let the storm rage on’ and he will hit back with ‘The cold never bothered me anyway’. We’re like Idina Menzal and Kirsten Bell but in Mother and Son form. It’s weird but we love it.

We’ve probably watched the film a silly amount of times and we laugh at the same parts each time and James mimics the words and it’s aces.

He’s understanding the concept of the storyline now and how Christof and Ana fall in love (‘They love each other Mummy Aww’) and how Elsa makes things frozen when she’s full of rage (‘Mummeh, can I make ice things when I’m sad?’). He gets it; you have an emotion and you react. James is full of emotions and it’s amazing trying to figure him out at the moment. He knows that if he does the bottom wibbly lip pout, it shatters my heart into a thousand pieces and I would give him my everything. He also knows that if he does that whine which ALL the children in ALL the world know how to do, it makes me want scream into a pillow. So he does it louder.

Whilst he is exploring these emotions, which we are freely letting him do, he needs to know what feelings are after all, it has brought out the protective Mama Bear out in me more than ever and now (especially since we have hit full on into the ‘WHY’ phase) I’m finding myself lying in order to protect him.

Case in point:

1. ‘Mummy, why does there have to be baddies?’ ‘Er, well they are called baddies for a reason and they never win and you don’t have to worry about that because you’re a good person’

2. ‘Mummy, why you going to work? You sad bout work?’
‘I ask this same question everyday bubs, but mainly it’s to keep you in Lego pieces. Build Mama a house to live in please and I can stop working’

3. ‘Mummy, why can’t I have some more cake and not eat my dinner and drink your special juice (gin) that makes you laugh?’
‘Because gin is for old people and you’re are young’

And so on and so on. I know we all lie to our children, sometimes we do it to pacify them because after the hundredth time of ‘But whhhhhhy’, it seems like the only logical thing to do.
We lie about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas but this is all part of their upbringing. It’s to keep them children for as long as you can.

We’ve always tried to be as honest as we can with James in some things though, as we want to instil that in him and so that he understands certain situations. He has to learn and grow too.

But as we watched Frozen for the second time last weekend, there was an opportunity to be completely honest with him. A chance to show him a fact of life that no one can escape from.
As we watched the scene where the Mother and Father leave Ana and Elsa for a trip at sea, the music tempo changes and the scene gets darker. Something ominous is about to occur and your heart sinks when you realise they’re not coming back. James realised they weren’t coming back and with very teary eyes and a silent cry (that cry where there is no noise but they hold their breath for what feels like eternity) he turned to me and sobbed.
I held him so tight and tried to comfort him and seek out what had spooked him so much.

‘Don’t leave me Mummy’

Heart. Shattered.

‘Baby boy, I will never leave you, I will always be here. You will always have me’

I kept it together somehow and just like any 3 year old should, he got excited by the next song which was thankfully 2 minutes later.

But later on, once he was in bed, I thought about the lie I told him. Of course there was no way I was about to go on a mortality discussion with a child, a boy who’s main concern at the moment is how far he can kick his pants across the room when he goes for a wee. I just hope that he won’t remember that lie I told because I won’t always be around. None of us live forever.
It was the biggest lie I’ve told him, to protect his wee fragile heart. I don’t regret it. I don’t want him to think about me going away or leaving him for a ‘trip on a ship in a storm’. He doesn’t need to know right now what happens after that storm.
He just needs to know his Mummy (and Daddy) will always be here. Riding out the storm.

The lies we tell.

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Toddler

Dear James,

In a week’s time, you be 18 months old. That is like, WELL old in baby terms. In fact you’re actually a toddler now and boy are you fitting into those tantrums well.

You have definitely inherited the firey Italian gene from me and the stubbornness of your Dad Dad.

You are an amazing little boy. You DO NOT STOP TALKING. But it’s music to my ears.
Most of what you are saying makes sense. You are very determined in what you want.
You are polite with your ‘peas’ and ‘fankoo’. You know your ‘weely’, and your ‘noose’ and ‘ey’ and ‘EARS’, which always makes me laugh because you shout that word.

You will give us a running commentary in your buggy of the form of transport we encounter. ‘A car, a van, a red car, ooo a BUS!’
And it never fails to make me giggle when your say ‘vancar’ very quickly.
You’ll understand when you’re older.

You know a ‘Bik’ is what Uncle Tattoo drives and a ‘Biceecle’ is the other one.

You say lots of words and you understand them all. You know that I am Mum Mum and that Daddy ‘Go work bus’ and is sometimes Mr. Tumble, or ‘Misser Mumel’ as you call him. He isn’t your Daddy, but I can see the resemblance.

You still love ‘Din Dins’ and your ‘Dooce (juice)’ and Minnie dog is still your best buddy in the whole wide world.

James, the affection you show people is so wonderful, please never forget the power of a kiss or a hug. They have been Mummy’s saviour of late.

You kiss so passionately with both hands on face and a force so strong you shake your head.
You shake hands, fist bump and high five. You dance like a little robot which can body pop. It’s not listed in the conventional milestones but I am very proud you can do that. Its awesome.

The only major change is that you no longer have breast milk. Lots of decisions impacted this and I delayed a lot of things, because I wanted to go at your pace. If I didn’t think you were ready to move on, I’d still be feeding you now. But, you independent little boy, you knew it was time to move on.

*weeps*

All in all you are a brilliant little boy, who, without even realising it, is looking more after his Mummy right now, than vice versa.

One day I’ll explain that better.

In the meantime, continue to be a child for as long as you can. Look at the world through those big brown eyes and embrace your life.

I love you with everything in me.

Keep growing strong,
Mama
XOX