Twenty Months

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‘Whereaaaaaareoooooooooo’

That’s Sammy’s latest. With his little palms turned up and fingers splayed, he’ll call for whoever he’s lost. Namely, Daaaaadeeeeeee. Or is it Buddy? It could be either. We know it’s not mummy. He never ever says mama unless it’s specially requested a number of times.

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Daddy is a good word though isn’t it Sammy. There’s your dearest ‘Daddeee’ (it’s just recently changed from Dadda to Daddy). A slight change to Dooody for your beloved dummy. And in the last few days you’ve adopted ‘da-deee’ for thank you. We’re making a concerted effort to teach you manners at last, it’s amazing how easy it is to forget to reinforce these things. Bad mama. Please and more sound a lot like ‘meeeeeee’. Before you’ve finished polishing off a biscuit, you’ll hop off the sofa, eagerly following your pointed finger in the direction of the kitchen snack cupboard. ‘Meeeeeeeeeeeeee!’

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All of a sudden you’re trying so hard to talk, Samsam. Yesterday, you were so enthusiastically repeating sentences to me, gesturing determinedly about something up high. It was so important to you Sammy and I wish I knew the story. You started nursery just before Christmas (still a bit wobbly) but each time I collect you, you sing and clap with gusto. ‘Babeee babee, BAYbeee babeee, BAAAYbeee…’, rocking from one foot to the other. I think you must like it there. Last night, after your longest day yet, we sat together at the kitchen table and I couldn’t help but notice how big you were, eating your cracker and almost swinging your legs from the big chair. We were chatting about your day – I asked if you had fish fingers and you burst into giggles like it’s your secret. So grown up.

I get so scared that I haven’t been recording all these things. There are so many posts that I wrote in my head whilst packing up orders in the small hours. Those words have long since vanished in time but I can try and collect what I can remember and do my best again from here.

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Throughout these last hectic months, since the summer your vocabulary has consisted of ‘oh dear’, ‘oh no’ and maybe a ‘ball’ thrown in for good measure. Then along came your favourites, ‘apple’, ‘pear’, ‘cheese’, ‘bubble’ (balloon) and ‘daydoh’ (oh Playdoh,we have a lot of time for you). Although thinking about it, the latter can also mean potato. Triangle though! That’s a good one. Then there is of course the obvious ‘NO’ and ‘goway’. We rarely get a yes although it’s starting to appear now and then. Yesterday playing with your skittles, you shouted ‘yay!’.

You understand it all though little one. Before I knew it you were putting things in the bin when I asked you to or sweetly reappearing with a dustpan and brush when you spotted a spill. ‘Oh deee-ah’, you’d proclaim, your brow furrowed with concern (similar to the way that you always point out the red lipstick you ground into my bedroom carpet not so long ago).

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Still, since before you could walk, you’ve been obsessed with pots and pans, stirring the minutes away. You’re happiest in the kitchen and will never let anybody cook without you being on their hip. You make a bee-line for the pan drawer if it’s open just a crack. I’m sure you can sense it from the next room. Finally, at long last you got your very own Ikea kitchen for Christmas and it’s your favourite thing by far. A big fan of a ball too, it’s also stood the test of time. Jumping you learnt from your papa’s skateboarding lessons early last autumn and all of a sudden you can reach the light switches, much to your delight. Lately we’ve seen the artist in you as you happily colour away at your table and you’ve also developed a soft spot for stories. Bringing them to me and perching on my lap makes me one happy mama. Every night since you were tiny, we’d read ‘Goodnight moon’, your head against our chest, pointing out the red balloon. We don’t read that one so much now; bedtime is when your dada scoops you up in his arms and you both come to me for kisses before disappearing upstairs with milk, Bun Bun and doody, to do your thing together. You and that Bun are as thick as thieves.

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You’re a sweet, sweet boy, Sammy. I say that after months and months of hitting and headbutting that have driven us to despair. But I know it’s not intended. We had a crazy ride last autumn and it wasn’t fair on you. We were pushed and stretched but now’s our chance to slow down. I’ve got more time for you, more time for myself, and once again I’ll take in every sweet moment. Between your tiny rosebud-lipped kisses and spreadeagled rages, we’re learning side by side. I promise to give you all that you deserve. Please stop being afraid of the bath though.

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Twenty Months

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