As we wandered through the Wyre Forest a few weeks ago, the four of us chatted happily. The type of easy conversation that doesn’t take much thought. We talked about leaves and the light, the Gruffalo and nursery, breadsticks vs crackers and it dawned on me, right then, that I am the owner of a pair of actual people. No longer those dependent, sweet smelling, soft bundles. These are real life, thinking, communicating people.
I imagine that this is a moment that strikes us mothers unaware, as we pack away long forgotten toys or put babygrows into that bag to go to the charity shop. Of course, this is not the first time that their freewill has come to my attention. It’s right there, during battles over not being allowed to wear wellies to bed or as they express their need to watch ‘Fireman Sam – The Great Fire of Pontypandy’ yet again (have you seen it? No? Save yourself..).
But right in that moment, they felt like a pair of tiny little friends. Great mates of mine, enjoying their company as if I’d hand picked them to spend my spare time with.
I realised then, that for all of the toddler wrangling, the sweat and tears, the moments of utter exasperation on both sides, I really like them. Not because I love them. Not because I made them, not because I think that helping them to grow up is the greatest privilege of my life, but because, they are growing into ace little people of their own.
She is sassy and opinionated and strong willed. She likes a look in the mirror before we leave the house, but also to freestyle sometimes, releasing just one pigtale as she runs about in the crisp air howling with laughter. She’s yet to master putting her boots on the right feet, but like most things in life, it doesn’t stop her from trying. She can write an H and display it proudly informing you that it’s her name. Try and tell her that she’s still Mummy’s baby at your peril.
He is either on or off. Sometimes 100 miles an hour, racing head first towards any target, loudly announcing his superhero status to the world, ready to find the next emergency. An insatiable appetite for ‘fixing’, hammering, throwing, racing. At other times, he’s a minature film addict (his father’s son), unmoved by snacks or his sister or his favourite toy hammer, when that boy is in a Toy Story chance you have no chance.
Oh my little people how I do adore you. I will remember these moments when there’s porridge flinging across the kitchen table, when you feign deafness as we need to leave the house and when you’re screaming in a rage because your socks match.
Toddler conversations, the best thing ever, yes?