My big boy is now four years old. It feels like only yesterday when I was in a birth centre room, holding my cone-headed little newborn, and completely in love. I had a reasonably quick labour, drug free, and my strongest memories are of exhilaration and joy
I remember bringing him home from the hospital completely unprepared. Our conditioner was on the fritz, it was a 40 degree day, and we had nowhere to put him. It was too hot to put him in his cot. So we lay blankets down on the loungeroom floor and slept there. I left the hospital still unable to breastfeed properly, and by the next morning, I was in tears from the pain and with a screaming, hungry five day old that I couldn’t feed. It took six incredibly painful and stressful weeks for Alex and I to get in the swing of breastfeeding, but we kept it up until he was sixteen months old.
Alex is sometimes the sweetest, cleverest, well-mannered, funny, cool little kid. Other times, he becomes “The Hulk”. The Hulk can be pretty hard to deal with. The Hulk produces much stress and anxiety on my behalf, and I have been reduced to tears from time to time
He really is a very sensitive soul, underneath the noise and the energy. It’s not uncommon for him to start sobbing over an emotional piece of music. “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” made him cry the other week…
He has unfortunately inherited both of his parents’ tendency for anxiety, but he has definitely not inherited our respective natural shyness. He will quite happily stand up in front of a room full of people and sing at the top of his lungs. Whenever there is a birthday party, you can always hear him singing over everyone else. He is much more at home talking to adults than his peers, and makes the funniest small talk.
He loves his Daddy so much, it’s just beautiful. At breakfast a few months ago, he leaned over and put his hand on his Daddy’s cheek, and said “Daddy, you’re in my heart”. When he was younger, and I’m not convinced John didn’t teach him this, when I would try and get him to say “I love Mummy”, he would always respond with “I love Daddy”. It was pretty funny.
He loves his brother so much. He still refers to Charlie as his “baby”, despite the fact that he is now nineteen months old. They play together so well now, although I’m not sure how much longer Charlie will put up with Alex “swapping” toys with him, by grabbing Charlie’s and shoving another into his hand as replacement. Their favourite activity is to run up and down my hallway screaming at the top of their lungs. Mummy does not like this activity. Every night, we read books in Alex’s room, and Charlie tucks himself into Alex’s bed, and Alex asks if Charlie can have a sleepover in his bed yet. They’ll happily spend an entire groceries trip sitting in a trolley, having a big cuddle. I can really see them being best friends as they grow up.
Being Alex’s Mummy has been one of the best and most challenging things I’ve ever done. I’ve found more patience, self-control, tolerance, kindness, compassion, confidence and joy in myself than I ever thought would be there.
Alex has been so excited about turning four, his party is all he has talked about for months. I’m pretty sure he’s most excited about the cake… I’m pretty excited about it too. Four seems like such a big milestone. He’s off to Kindergarten next year. I have one year left of having my little man all to myself, but he’s old enough to be a great companion and his own awesome little person.
So happy birthday to my Alex, my gorgeous little niblet!