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I’ve been focused on writing about this pregnancy recently because that is what has been filling my head. Luckily for me I also have the most amazing toddler in the world who makes me and his dad remark on a daily basis how much we love him and find him the funniest thing since Del Boy fell through a bar.

In the last few months every part of his development has just exploded and I can suddenly see before me the child that my baby is becoming. It’s a pretty awe inspiring thing to witness, this little person emerging from the cocoon of a toddler and I thought it was time I captured the things I love most about Alfie right now so that when he is 16 and trying to be The Big I Am in front of some girl, I can call this page up and embarrass the crap out of him:

Oh No!

You have to imagine a slightly Cartman-esque delivery for this one, it’s usually said “ooooooh NOH!” with hands raised melodramatically to cheeks. It is also said about 50 times a day at the moment and if there is nothing currently going wrong, my little darling will create something just so he can say it. I’ve now lost track of the number of times Keith and I have replied “don’t you oh no me, you did it!” but on the other hand I hope he never stops doing it because behind every raised eyebrow and stern look is a chuckle desperately trying to force its way out.

Blowing dandelions

Now that the weather is warm and the evenings long, we have become a bit more chilled about pushing back Alfie’s bedtime. After dinner we often go for walks up a local closed road called West Drive which is a great place for Alfie to weave his drunken toddler way in our wake investigating the plants and sticks. We taught him how to blow the seeds from dandelion clocks except he didn’t quite get the blowing part. First he would just kiss them, which was sweet but not entirely effective. Then he mistook what we were trying to tell him and started sucking instead of blowing. I have spent many minutes on our walks fishing clumps of spit soggied dandelion seeds from my son’s mouth recently while trying not to laugh too hard.  

Dancing
Alfie loves to dance. At home, in the car, in fact anywhere. I bought Keith a Paulo Nutini album recently and it lives in the mighty Benz. Not only does Alfie clap enthusiastically at the end of several tracks but when Pencil Full of Lead comes on he does this really sweet sitting down hula dance move in his car seat. It starts with the head going side to side and by the end of the track is a bit of a full torso tank slapper. It’s even worse when he’s standing up but at least he offsets the wobble with a weird stamping arm flapping arrangement. If it weren’t for the smile nailed to his face I might get worried he were suffering some kind of seizure.

Balala?

Still a favourite food, The Banana has been renamed. He’s getting pretty good at identifying the various parts of a balala too. Yesterday during our midwife appointment (which went perfectly) Alfie looked into a waste paper basket and seeing a banana skin turned, pointed to it and asked “balala?” in his best “please may I have one?” intonation. I love that he recognises the word when we say it in conversation and looks up quizzically with a “yes-please-now” expression. I love that he has now taken banana eating to the next level by experimenting with eating them widthways as well lengthways. I especially love it when he can’t decide how many bites are left and instead rams the whole damn lot into his chops, often to the extent that he needs a hand placed over his mouth to stop the whole lot escaping again.

Bedtime

Bedtimes are still me and Alfie time and I treasure them more and more every day. They always go the same way: We go upstairs, he gets up onto his bed and tucks into his bedtime drink while I change him into his night clothes. Then I lift him round onto the pillow, tuck him up with ‘Walla and we read a story. Often I read him one of the Spanish books we have because it’s the only way he gets to hear Spanish regularly and he points at pictures while I read. When he’s finished he hands me his drink and turns onto his side with a big sigh. I have to leave the book though otherwise there are grumblings. Then I kiss him, tell him I love him and leave him to it. By ‘it’ I mean the hour of playing that always follows me leaving the room. I love that he thinks me and his dad can’t hear the herd of Rhinostrich upstairs, or that we don’t twig when his room looks like Armageddon the next morning, but if I look back at the door, I can always see a beady eye trained on me just waiting for me to go. Son, you had better get better at being subtle if you ever want to sneak out of the house.  


In terms of things I don’t like about Alfie these days there is but one – The Toddler Tantrum. 

Oh dear Lord how they do vex! 

I saw this article today though and it was a timely reminder for me. I sometimes find it really hard to remember that flailing screaming ab dabs aren't just an exercise in pissing me off but this article I think takes a pragmatic and sensible approach to what you can do to avoid selling your offspring for the price of a G and T.

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