Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy birthday, little guy!

I was never a pet-names kinda gal before my son came along. My husband has always been “Alan” or “Al” rather than “sweetie” or “babe,” and though I envied friends who could sound perfectly natural saying, “Alright, honey, I’ll talk to you soon!” or ”Hey, darls! How are you?”, I never felt comfortable trying it for myself. And then, less than 24 hours after my son’s birth, without thinking about it at all, I heard myself calling him “my darling,” and have not been able to stop since. He’s still most often “my darling,” although he’s also (among others) “buddy,” “little man,” dude,” “Moo” and “stinky poo boy,” depending on what comes to mind first (and the state of his nappy).
Me: "Show me your happy face!"
Me: "Now show me your sad face."
Moses is two today. This is fortuitous because “two” is the only number he responds to number-related questions with, so when we ask him how old he is now he sounds clever by saying “TWO!”, but it’s actually the exact same answer hed give if asked, “What time is it?” or “How many grains of sand are there on this beach?”. I love this languagey stage of his life, although now that he cares whether or not I understand him it can be stressful at times. For some words I have to go through a list of potentials (“Sit? Dig?”), then when I finally get it (“STICK!”) he yells, “Yeah!” and gives me a smile so huge and relieved that I feel like that guess was the best thing I’ve done all day; I can glow with that kind of achievement for a full hour or so. He’s repeating everything and playing around with creating his own sentences, which the linguist in me finds fascinating and the mum in me finds amusing:

(Having just tried to dive on Dadda’s head WWF-style, but landing on his chest instead): “I miss!”

(Carrying two paint cans as bags): “I shop!”

(Banging on table/box/floor/car/actual drum with fork and spoon/sticks/carrots/hands/actual drumsticks): “I drum!”

(Pulling on his seatbelt with a pained expression, while I’m driving): “I stuck!”

He’s still affectionate, cheeky and inquisitive. He has a thousand different facial expressions which he puts to good use when telling stories or doing voices for his Duplo people. He loves hiding behind doors and then jumping out and saying “RAH!” at people (we/they act surprised, and he laughs) - we play this game every night before bed at the moment. He’s a champion soccer player and ball-catcher, and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mother (his completely-unbiased grandmother says so too). He loves dirt. He loves poo. He loves being with people; he waves at strangers and follows other kids around at the park, joining in their games as if they were all old mates. He loves olives and kiwi fruit and zucchini slice. My husband is envious of the way he can bend notes when playing the harmonica.

He loves his doll, who we named Holly but he renamed Meek. He loves Play School and “hole biscuits“ (donut-shaped rice cookies) - before his day sleep he asks for both and I remind him that he can have them when he wakes up; before his night sleep he asks about them again and we assure him that there will be hole biscuits and Play School tomorrow, too. He loves singing together:

Me: Here is the sea/The wavy sea/Here is a boat/And here is...
Mo: Meeeee!
Me: All of the fishes/Way down below/Wiggle their tails/And away they...
Mo: Basketball!

And he loves his birthday trucks. We took him to a toy shop to check out the prices of scooters and tricycles and think about maybe buying one for him, but he was far more interested in some plastic diggers he saw at the entrance, so we bought him a few of them instead. With a staff discount (thanks to my cousin, who works there) they cost $7.20. He takes them everywhere now.

In the immortal words of Savage Garden, I truly madly deeply love this kid.

You know those scenes in movies where someone in bed opens their eyes and yawns a bit and then asks the person next to them if they’ve been awake for long, and the other person says something like, “It’s okay, I was just watching you sleep”, at which point you reach for a bucket in which to vomit because gooey romance triggers your gag reflex? Who watches someone sleep?! Recently Mo’s been waking too early from his daytime nap and then spending the afternoon being cranky and annoying, but I’ve worked out that if I take him to my bed and lie down with him when it’s clear he’s still tired, he usually falls asleep again. And I watch him sleep. His cheeks are like magnets that my lips find it hard to keep from kissing, and, though my arm may fall asleep and my back may ache, I will stay in whatever position he’s most comfortable in so as not to disturb his rest.

Of motherhood, Caitlin Moran writes (on page227 of How to be a Woman):
You...observe yourself from a distance, simply astounded by the quantities of love you manufacture. It is endless. Your adoration may grow weary but it will never end: it becomes the fuel of your head, your body and your heart. It powers you through the pouring rain, delivering forgotten raincoats for lunch-time play; works overtime, paying for shoes and puppets; keeps you up all night, easing cough, fever and pain – like lust used to, but much, much stronger.
This may all seem a little mushy, but I realised recently that as the sole photographer in our family and therefore the one not in most photos with Mo, posts like these may be all he has to remember me by one day, and I want to make sure they’re the equivalent of the hundreds of pictures Ive taken of him having a blast with my husband. So to my son, my darling, the one for whom I have given thanks to God (almost) every day over the last two years: Happy birthday. I love you completely. And, just so you know, you and I have just as much fun as you and Dad look like you’re having in all of those photos, if not more.


  1. And in this case, I think words are worth a thousand pictures :-)

  2. Lovely post! Love the photos too :)