So, I’m in this constant battle with myself at the moment whereby I sit there and watch Alfie play and think, “oh my gosh, this time is going too fast. Where has my baby gone?” and “I really can’t wait to see him learn new things”. I feel watching your child grow up is very bitter sweet. You don’t want them to grow up, you want them to stay that cute little chubby baby who loves cuddle and kisses forever, but on the other hand you can’t wait to see them grow into a smart little adult. I constantly sit there and look back at pictures of Alfie and wish for just one more day with the little bean he was, to hear his little baby laugh, to have them lovely long sleepy cuddles during the day where you’re really meant to be doing house work, but they fell asleep on you and you can’t possible move.
I, like most mums I’m sure, am struggling quite badly with how quick these first three years have gone. It only seems like yesterday that I was giving him his first ever cuddle after he tried to swim away from the midwife in the birthing pool; changing that first nappy; giving him his first bath. I feel you take the first things for granted and don’t really think about them until you’re three years down the line and you look back. Whoever warned me that there would be a last with everything, the last time they would need help to eat their food, a last time they would fall asleep on you during the day was right. I didn’t understand or realize that there would be that last or even know that last was coming until its been and gone within the blink of an eye and I didn’t even get the chance to cherish it. Don’t get me wrong I have a lot of lasts to come: I still carry Alfie and will do until he stops asking me to. I will still climb in Alfie’s bed at night after he’s screamed the house down with a night terror until the night he has no more. I will still sit on the stool in the toilet while he does a number two and have the amazing conversations with him that we have on frequent occasions until he can do it himself. These things, although they seem small, are the things I will miss the most, but it is always the little things, the things you don’t think about that you miss the most.
I use to hate it that Alfie played with my hair, that my hair was his comfort because I have such a sensitive scalp and any little pull would absolutely kill me, but now its getting less and less that he’s playing with my hair I find myself putting it in his hand when he needs comfort, encouraging him to play with it. Yet a few months ago I would tell him that he could only hold it not play with it, the poor boy is going to end up so confused. Not only am I going to miss the little things, but also the big things. As silly as it sound I miss his dummies and I know he does too. I was always on the mind set that I would get rid of the dummy when Alfie didn’t need it any more or if he was getting to old, but that was not how it went down. Just after Alfie’s second birthday we went to the dentist and he said that the dummy was miss-shaping his teeth and had to go. Both Alfie and I were mortified to have to give it away. I personally hate it when things like this are taken away just like that so god knows how Alfie felt. Needless to say neither of us liked that “last” and it was thrown right in our faces. I still haven’t binned his dummies, they are in my draw in a plastic bag and every now and then when they catch my eye I feel all sad that my little boy is growing up so fast.
Then there’s the other side, where I sit there and think of everything that the future is going to bring. His first day at pre-school (not that I’m looking forward to leaving him for a whole day), his first day at school, the first time he writes his name unaided, there are so many thing that I look forward to and sit here getting excited about experiencing with him. My family and friends think I’m mad because every year as soon as January comes I start to plan Alfie next birthday party even though it is at the end of July. I make sure that I have bought everything I am going to need over the next couple of month and have a deadline that everything needs to be sorted by the 1st of May. I get so excited about planning the big things for him and making them so special and magical so that when he’s older he can look back and go my childhood was amazing. I have already planned his 10th birthday party, as ridiculous as that sounds, but it is something I have to save up for. I want to take him on a trip to Disneyland Florida.
I do wish time would slow down and my little man wouldn’t grow up too fast. I am not ready to let pre-school have him for the day and even though I know he is ready and he will walk in ready for an adventure, because that is what Alfie is like, I will be standing at the door holding back the tears and the sadness that my little boy isn’t just mine anymore and I have to share him with people, to let him grow. The bitter sweet of it all is that yes, we look back at the past and think I wish he could stay little for ever and yes, we look at the future and think I’m not ready, but we also have the fact that we are so excited to see what they will get up to and achieve that it is ok. We realise it’s ok. I miss the past, but the future is going to be just as awesome. That all being said, I do have one favour to ask: please don’t let the next 3 years go as fast as the first 3 years.
I’m going to savour every moment of the bitter sweetness of growing up and cherish every moment I have with my gorgeous little boy.