At two and a half, he’s definitely not a baby and not even a toddler. Two and half is half way to school.
He tells me things, chatter chatter chatter chatter all day long. The invisible connection I feel when I’m around him used to be based on glances and now it’s based on words. “You alright my darling?”, I ask from the kitchen while he watches Peppa Pig on the couch. “Yeah Mummy, me fine” he replies without looking up. Later, I stand in the hallway, lips pursed, furrowed brow, trying to remember if I’ve got everything I need for leaving the house. He looks at me “Mummy, you aright Mummy?”
He surprises me with his knowledge of how things work, “Dat man not wearing his elmut! Need to wear elmut onna bike!”, and his memories, and what he picks up on in his environment. Today at the market he saw some yellow tomatoes and he said “yeyyow domadoes, yike at Mira’s party!” – six weeks ago, he saw yellow tomatoes and he remembered it.
There are new ways of being connected, snuggling in bed with him telling him stories, teasing him, joking, asking him to tell me things about his day, conversing. Me: “the wheels on the bus go… SWISH SWISH SWISH”. Him, laughing hysterically “no wheels go wound and wound, Mummy saying it wong!!”. Me “oh, sorry, the wipers on the bus go… BEEP BEEP BEEP”. He thinks I’m hilarious. Classic.
He wants me to tell him a story about when I was a little girl and I was naughty.
One day when Mummy was a little girl Mummy was very very naughty. Uncle Liam was a baby, and Nana was giving him his milk, and Mummy went into the nappy room and took out all the nappies and threw them on the floor! It was so naughty.
“Oh no Mummy dat so naughty! Mummy, you shouldn’t do dat Mummy!”
His vocab is extensive, but he talks like a baby “me need a duddle and a diss”. He knows when he’s being cheeky and he has a particular laugh, impish impish, when he’s caught in the act. What are you doing? What are you doing scallywag? “Me djust open da fidge and me djust eating honey!”
He said “is it” when he means “it is”, which makes all his observations sound like questions.
When a picture book shows food, he says “me djust petending” and mimes the action of taking the food from the page and eating it (“and one bfor Mummy dtoo!”). He recognises the letter D and says “dat one me number! Dat one D for Davy!”
I do that thing that mums do, talking to the baby, and the little dude looks up at me and says with weary patience “Mummy. Ben dan’t dalk. Ben a baby.”
If he sees a dog, he’s scared sometimes but not other times. I have no idea what system he uses to categorise. Some of the scary ones seem small and fluffy, and yesterday a large German Shepherd was labelled a fendly doddie.
He’s so bloody bossy my kid. Today at the playground “dat big boy come back here and go down dis slide!” Uh, that big boy will do whatever he wants actually.
Two and a half is off out the door with his dad on a creche day, puffer jacket and backpack, waving at me “bye mum! Me donna run so me don’t miss da bus yike Pedro Pony!”
He can open a car door and climb into his carseat, but he still sometimes likes to wind me up by taking his arms out of the seat straps. He is very careful with traffic and roads – “no dat car boom me! Me donna be soooo dareful, me donna walk on da footpath, and me donna hold Mummy hand”.
Two and a half is half way between baby and big kid and every glimpse of baby makes me want to scoop him up in a cuddle and every glimpse of big kid makes me want to hold him tight tight tight when I do.