When I started this post, we had just sat down for a morning breastfeed and cuddle after a few hours of reading your favourite book, Everyone Loves Underpants, for the tenth time, sorting the washing out together and playing with your cars. I just glanced down at you, my baby boy, and realised that in just four short days you will be eighteen months old. A year and a half. Officially a toddler, a baby no more. And I want to record this, I want to write down you, how you are, the things you do. Because if motherhood has taught me anything it's that time is precious. The days are often long but the months are short. Time passes in a blink of an eye and before you know it your tiny, squished, newborn baby boy is this gorgeous, long limbed, walking, talking toddler.
The first thing people comment on when they see you is just how beautiful you are. You really, really are. Your big, blue, beautiful eyes sparkle and dance in happiness, and your giggle is infectious. Your hair is starting to come through now and is a perfect mix of your Mummies - strawberry blonde, red and blonde in almost equal measures. We often spend ages just staring at your, wondering how we managed to make something so utterly beautiful. We are head over heels in love with you, our beautiful little boy.
And then come the comments about what a chatterbox you are. The truth is they don't hear the half of it, you save most of your chatter for when you are at home, with your Mummies and your beloved Willow. We often try and tally up your words and manage to forget them along the way. But let's try... "Mama, Hiya, bubye, dog, cat, cup, all gone, uh-oh, this, car, bus, door, yes, no, break(fast), cha(ir), tickle tickle, door, book, stuck, bird, dog, stairs, Grandad ". Every day you say something new or repeat a word after us. It amazes me how you are picking up phonetic sounds and have started to say the first syllable of words.. W, T, S, O etc. You also sign for milk, sign when you want some food / drink, and wave hello and goodbye. We often joke that you already speak in full sentences but just in a foreign language, such is the nature of your constant chatter. You have recently started to sing, particularly “row row row your boat", and "twinkle twinkle little star", with appropriate actions and animal noises to accompany them. Speaking of which, you love music, and dance away at every opportunity. You haven't any interest in TV and are off doing your own thing if it's on, but if there is music on you will dance and clap along with it.
A few weeks ago you finally took your first independent steps. It was a truly magical moment, one that I will never forget. I am so grateful you waited until both Mummies were here, as you took your steps from one to the other and then back again, collapsing in a heap of giggles as you landed in our arms. The speed of your bum shuffle is a sight to behold, it's no wonder you aren't in a hurry to walk when you get around just fine on your bum! You have still confidently mastered climbing, and going up and down the stairs, so not walking hadn't got in your way at all. Please always know how proud we are of you, you will do things in your own way, and in your own time, and we will always support that individuality. We love you exactly how you are.
In the past few months you have a sudden fascination with vehicles. You are a truly car mad boy, and will happily spend hours playing with your collection of wooden cars, making ramps for them with your rainbow, filling up the trucks you have with pebbles from the fireplace and transporting them elsewhere. You follow a transporting schema and can happily play moving things from one area to another over and over. You love sorting, organising, transporting and throwing. You also love your books, and will bring us your stories over and over again for us to read to you. You enjoy reading to yourself too, and to us, and whilst your babble is far from coherent, you put tone and emphasis in to your words, and it's beautiful to hear. Your fine motor skills continue to be ahead of your age, you can combat puzzles, thread strings, drink from an open cup easily, and make us proud with your knowledge and understanding.
We want to show you the whole world, in your little life you have been to London, Wales, Devon, Brighton, Northumberland and Edinburgh. We hope you always love travelling and exploring as much as we do! Closer to home we spend a lot of times outdoors with you, walking in forests and seeing mountains and rivers and beautiful wildlife. We take you to forest school and let you freely explore in parks and woods and even in the garden. You love nature, you love playing and seeing and exploring and we love watching you. You also love animals, and have developed an incredibly beautiful, gentle way of stroking them and putting your head on them saying "ahh". We hope you always continue! For a vegetarian boy you certainly aren't doing too badly, you remain on the 91st centile for weight and just below for height, and you love food! Your absolute favourite things at the moment are raisins, pears, bananas and anything that has nutritional yeast on!
One thing that I will always be incredibly proud of us is how your Mommy and I have always agreed on and stuck to our parenting principles with you, and have never listened to how other people have thought we should do things. We always make our decisions based on what is best for you. We have always agreed that the best place for you to sleep is in our bed, and although we had a brief couple of months of you happily being in your own room, you decided you were happier in our room, which is fine by us. You wake often at night, and need the reassurance of our presence to help you back to sleep. That will always be ok, you are still so small and need us so much, and we will always be there. Always. You are still breastfed on demand, and I am incredibly proud of that, given our very difficult beginning, and we parent you in a very gentle, attached way. We respect you as a person, and respect that your needs and understanding are different tours. We try and guide you through with our gentle words and by showing your our examples, and our arms are open for cuddles whenever you might need them. You get frustrated sometimes, and are loud with your dislikes of things, but as you struggle through big emotions we only ever try to help you understand, through love and support.
You spend our days out in the sling, we love the continued benefits that holding you so close brings. In fact you are in the sling more often than you are in the pushchair now! But we both love having you so close to us wherever we go.
You spend your days with your Mummies. We made the decision not to put you in to childcare and to split looking after you between ourselves. We have days alone with you and days together, and whilst it is often exhausting juggling everything, I wouldn't change it for the world. You will be so little for such a little time, we just want to be there every time you need a cuddle, or learn something new, or feel a bit sad. You are our absolute dream come true, such fun and so full of love. We love you to the ends of the earth and cherish every day we spend with you, even the hard days, for they only make the good days more wonderful.
We love you Oskar, happy year and a half birthday. Two years ago we were just announcing our pregnancy, and nothing could have prepared us for the beautiful, magical, exhausting journey that was about to follow. Thank you for choosing us to be your Mummies.