You’re fast asleep in your hand-me-down pyjamas, curled up in your big girl bed, pouting in your sleep with that little snore reminiscent of your father. I could sit and watch you all night.
But I won’t.
Don’t take it personally, it’s one of those things we say as Mums that we forget so quickly; the next pile of laundry needs to be sorted, the dishes – or God forbid a little time to watch TV and have a conversation with Dad.
Today has not been the crowning glory of this almost three year rollercoaster of ours.
I didn’t get it right today.
We started on the wrong foot at 5:30am. I have to admit to you that when I heard you call my name I sighed. Yes, my first interaction with you today was a sigh.
By the time I gave you the wrong breakfast I’d progressed to an eye roll. In my defence, I gave you the breakfast you’d asked for about five minutes before. The breakfast you had been so excited to eat at 5:45am. However, I appreciate, when you’re two years and eleven months, five minutes is a really long time. Exactly the same amount of time it takes to get the lid of the tub of nappy cream in fact. Actually, it must less than that, as in that amount of time you’d managed to open it and cover all of your legs and arms with it. We both learned a lesson there. Me – that I should never take advantage of five minutes peace, and you – that a 10am bath is less fun than it sounds.
The trip to the supermarket can’t have been the best decision I’ve ever made, but we needed food even if the trip improved my chances of achieving Worst Mother of the Year (from both you and the other customers in the shop). That you hate this. But I know that if I let you win, and make this trip after you’re in bed at night, sneaking out when I should be talking to Dad – hearing about his day, laughing about the brightest moments of my day with you – if I let you win, it won’t help either of us in the long run.
And yes, I know that we went from there to the school run. And I understand that it’s frustrating being the sibling who waits; the one who watches from the sidelines. I agree, so much of your day is spent waiting for someone else (as is mine I hasten to add) and on so many occasions you want to take part. If it helps, when you do get the chance to get involved, I know you’ll be awesome. I also know you are the one who won’t look back when finally at last, it’s your turn. You’ll leave me without a glance and that makes me happier than you will ever be able to believe.
Because I know you’ll find this hard to understand, but I’m rooting for you; every day. Building you up, making you strong, teaching you well, to be the amazing kid that I see every single day.
I don’t want to make you sad by insisting you eat properly. I can’t even remember the last time you ate a meal without complaint, but despite your insistence, this food will not poison you. None of the ingredients involve shoes or socks. And you will come across worse things in life than a cooked carrot. Hard to believe, I know.
You are as strong willed as I am stubborn. Sometimes that makes us a complicated pair to encounter. But I also think it makes us understand one another. To appreciate the need to control a situation, to feel strong-minded enough to say what we think and stand up for what we think is right (this can be scary – but it’s important, and never as hard as you think it will be). These days like today may feel like they are going to last forever, but before we both know it, you’ll be at school and we will both long for trips to the supermarket and a stroll to school holding hands and counting snails and picking daisies.
Today has not been the crowning glory of this almost three year rollercoaster of ours. But we will start again tomorrow, and I promise I won’t ever stop trying; to cut your toast in the right shape, anticipate your pace when we try to go for a walk, figure out how to put you in your car seat when you are a rigid raging torrent of curly haired fury.
I promise to you that when I look back on you being two, I won’t remember today. I’ll remember you. And you are absolutely wonderful.