My last couple of blogs have been about the (lack of) grown-up men in my life. Tinder dating, the lessons I have learned and everything in between. But, whilst I may wanna dance with somebody, I need to talk about the main man in my life – my toddler, TJ.
TJ is two and a half – I get so emotional baby, when I think that he will be three in October, he’s growing up too fast! Every parent experiences this, there’s a huge change happening in what feels like just one moment in time. My once helpless little baby is turning into a helpful and independent toddler.
After my separation from TJ’s dad, I regularly go a few (long) nights without seeing my son. Then, TJ trots back into my world and the changes since I last held him in my arms are all too apparent. My jaw metaphorically drops on the ground as TJ tells me all about his day’s activities as he runs around our home using his imagination to play.
The biggest and most noticeable sign of him growing up too fast is his language. No, he’s not dropped the f-bomb … yet. TJ comes out with longer sentences and it’s truly amazing. He will tell me about something which has happened at nursery or with his dad.
He will describe to me whatever he wants and leads me to where he wants me to be (usually to the kitchen for juice or a snack, obviously). He will ask questions of those people around him – the current cutest example is: ‘hello, how are you today?’. He enquires this of everyone from his grandparents down to the Minions in Despicable Me. I hope he continues to be my baby for a long time. That’s one day job I am not quite ready to give up on no matter how much growing up too fast he’s doing. Here’s just some of the ways in which my little boy is becoming a man – and others which show he’s still (and always will be) my baby.
He has to hold onto a handful of my hair to fall asleep at bedtime.
He loves being carried around by his mummy.
Peter Rabbit and Hey Dugee rule his life.
He sometimes sleeps in mummy’s bed when life in his own room is a bit too much at 2 am.
He still loves a bottle of milk (judge me, it makes him happy)
Big boy TJ
He can use the Kindle Fire I bought him for Christmas to play on various CBeebies apps, largely without my assistance.
He can walk up and down the stairs by himself – a blessing when we live in a first floor flat.
He can recognise emotions in people and also articulate his own very well.
We’re in the middle of potty training – cue a very odd feeling of pride.
He still tantrums – not everything about growing up is a good thing!
His intelligence is shining through in ways which astound me – that kid is as sharp as a tack.
Luckily, TJ’s big boy ways are outnumbering the baby traits, so his development is heading in the right direction. Step by step, he’s finding his feet in the world. He knows he can always count on me whilst finding his own independence.
Parenting is such an intense experience full of highs, lows and the somewhat monotonous bits in between. Excuse the clichés which are about to come, but the love is more intense than anything I could ever have imagined before that C-section. I want his slobbery little kisses forever. It’s the ultimate parenting dilemma – stay exactly as you are vs. grow up so I can see who you will become. I remember this feeling from right back when TJ was a newborn and not wanting a faint hair on his little head to change.
I know there’s so much more to come – from starting school straight through to his 18th birthday and beyond. I hope our strong bond will remain intact so when he’s a man who earns his own living, he will come home and scoop up his little old mum for the hugs and laughter that I rely on now.
Because TJ is, of course, my greatest love of all.
Jude is a 30-something mum-of-one who charts her adventures as a single parent while juggling her kid with a career. There’s no sugar-coating the truth with Jude – she tells it as she sees it, hears it, lives it and experiences it. But, this isn’t a how-to guide to parenting – sometimes, it’s quite the opposite! Jude isn’t ashamed to admit to her own flaws whether that’s in raising her son or navigating the ups and downs of relationships. She hopes to show other parents out there – single or otherwise – that they are not alone with the tantrums, tears and all that goes with it. But, above all, Jude wants to show what a fabulous experience parenting is – for just when we all need that reminder of why we signed up to the mum/dad role in the first place!