You are thirty months old and perhaps more sure of yourself and who you are than I am of myself at (almost) twenty eight. You will not be defined by your actions (sometimes naughty, sometimes nice, ALWAYS cheeky). Nor your personality (energetic, outgoing, inquisitive). The other day when you were repeating EVERYTHING we were saying I asked you if you were a little parrot. Your reply? “I not a parrot! I Lachie Jack GOFTON!” This is the reply to any such question of who or what you are. And every-time I hear you say it makes my heart swell with a simple happiness, and a hope that you always have such a strong and unmovable sense of self.
This last month also saw you celebrate your third Christmas. It was most definitely the best one yet. This year, you started to understand the whole concept of giving and receiving (admittedly, more the receiving), Santa, celebrating, food, and family. You still liked the idea of Santa more than meeting the big man himself, attaching like cling-wrap to me whenever we attempted any kind of Christmas photo. For the first time you were able to verbalise what you would like for Christmas. The list went as follows: birthday card (?!), food and a car. You settled on a “big red car” and Santa delivered with the goods. Seeing your ecstatic face early Christmas morning made me remember the wonder of Christmas as a child, the can’t-sleep-anticipation and the barely-contained excitement at unwrapping the presents by my bed.
Christmas day was a long-one by adult standards. But being the extrovert you are, buoyed by interaction, energized by engagement, you powered from 6am til 9.30pm with only a short afternoon car nap to see you through. We had lunch with your dad’s family and dinner with mine and through it all you bounced from happy foot to happy foot, making us laugh, colouring the day with your enthusiasm and charming us all.
Being your favourite has been a label I’ve worn with pride. It comes with its challenges, like not being able to go to the toilet by myself, midnight cuddles, and constant demands. But also with its rewards: being the only that can kiss your scraped knee better, midnight cuddles, and constant kisses. I always knew my days as your number one were limited but I never expect to be ousted quite so soon. And the victor in this popularity stake? That would be your cousin Ethan. These holidays you have been lucky enough to see a lot of your “boys” (cousins) and after one such day you happily, without a moments second-thought, declared “Eeth” your favourite. I’m not sure he is quite as eager to take on the role as you were to bestow it on him. Nevertheless he is endlessly patient with you: making up games to play, nervously sharing his iPod with you, capitulating to your most ridiculous requests. I can more than see why E has become your favourite and I couldn’t be happier to give up the coveted title to such a deserving contestant.
Sometimes I like to pretend you are still my little baby. When we cuddle at night before you go to bed you nestle into the crook of my arm and I bend my head to your crown of soft blonde hair just like I have done nearly every night since you were born. Except now when I give you a kiss and tell you I love you, you turn your face to me and say “I love you too mummy” and I’m both overwhelmed with happiness and sad at how quickly these precious moments are slipping by.
But grow up, you must. And I just feel incredibly blessed to be able to witness it.
I love you munchkin face.