The Teaching Mum

A light-hearted look at parenting through the eyes of a very busy English Teacher.

The Fortunate Four

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You’re twisting my hair as I type this. Twisting hair brings you comfort as it is something you have done since you were a baby. The hair twisting needs to stop because when I brush my hair, I pull out knot after knot after knot and it’s excruciating! However, right this second, as you twist while drinking your bedtime milk, it feels so relaxing. I’m sitting up in my bed wearing my pyjamas and you’re next to me. You’ve just got out of the bath and you’re in your pyjamas too (so is your sister, who is also in my bed.) It’s my favourite time of the day – together we lay reading, chatting, playing with tablets, watching Netflix or You Tube and you snuggle in next to me and lull me into a false state of relaxation with the hair twisting. In the back of my mind I know that in about twelve hours, when I am straightening my hair for work, I’ll be cursing the fifth knot yanked from my scalp. But, we’ll deal with that tomorrow.

Right now, let’s focus on you.

You LOVE opening presents and during the Christmas holidays you have ripped your way through your Dad’s birthday presents, your Christmas presents and my birthday presents. After every present opening session was complete you asked: “Is it MY birthday yet?” And we would reply with “Not yet, but soon.”

When you were born, you completed our little team of four; you’ll always be the baby of the family but tomorrow you turn four.

You’ve been a great three year old and these are the things you have enjoyed at three:

  • Fruitshoots
  • Hitting your sister
  • Running (‘From that day on, if I was goin’ somewhere, I was runnin’!’ – Your Daddy often quotes Forrest at you.)
  • Shouting ‘poo’, ‘wee’ or ‘butt butt’ at any given opportunity
  • Mooning and saying ‘look at my bum’ (that went down well in a beer garden this past summer…)
  • Transformers (although how they transform into a car has beaten us all.)
  • Gizzy and the Lemmings (you make us read out the title of each episode and if we don’t do it, you go beserk.)
  • Teen Titans Go (the Pee Pee Dance episode was repeated at least 3562 times back in August.)
  • Fruitshoots
  • Playing with your two best friends
  • Climbing on your Dad’s head
  • Cuddles
  • Hitting your sister
  • Ghostbusters 1, 2 and even the universally panned 2016 remake.
  • Smashers (we have at least 73 perched around the bath – you may have had 75 but then Mummy got in the bath and they were never seen again…)
  • Smelling my hair (you grab it and breathe the scent in – perhaps you learnt that from me because smelling your hair and breathing you in is my morning ritual.)
  • Cuddles
  • Fruitshoots

There was a cow at the birth of Jesus

You are, without a doubt, a Mummy’s Boy. and give me the best cuddles. Sometimes they are rough cuddles when you clamber all over me; sometimes they are sad cuddles when you’re hurt and sometimes they are mischievous cuddles when you know you have been naughty but you know you can soften the ‘blow’ by insisting on having a cuddle.

Your sister – from day one – was a Daddy’s girl so when you were born, you became my boy. Feeding you as a baby came so easily. I struggled with your sister and gave up breastfeeding after five months. But you? Well, you wouldn’t unclamp for fifteen months! But that’s enough on boobing as you might read this as a 21 year old and think Christ, Mum stop writing about your boobs on a public forum that your friends and colleagues read…😉 The subject, however, brings me perfectly to my next topic: co-sleeping. Oh, it’s a taboo subject and I have been told on a number of occasions: “Ooh *looks at me in a judging manner* you’ve made a rod for your own back there.” I can categorically say, hand on heart, that I do not have a rod in my back (I mean, I may one day because sleeping on the edge of a bed for the best part of seven years will probably have caused some critical damage) but metaphorically there is no rod because waking up next to you nestled in close brings me nothing but comfort. Waking in the dark winter mornings at 6am knowing I have a five lesson day, followed by boosters or a meeting, followed by a swimming lesson or Brownies, followed by umpiring or playing netball, followed by washing or ironing followed by…(oh, the list goes on and on), well that can make a person feel somewhat f*cked off overwhelmed but waking and feeling your body tucked into mine, smelling your hair and taking that moment to appreciate that you sleeping next to your Mummy makes both of us feel safe and loved and protected, well that just makes me happy. And for as long as I am happy and you’re happy, then I guess we’ll co-sleep. You’re little for such a short period of time so as long as you need me, I’m yours.

There is something that your Dad and I worry about.  You’re obsessed – some might say even an addict.  You cannot make it through the day without a Fruitshoot (or three).  Each morning your first words to me aren’t ‘I love you, Mummy’ or ‘Mummy, you look at least five years younger than your real age of 38’ No, your first words are ‘Fruitshoot’ and heaven help us all if your Dad has forgotten to put a Fruitshoot next to my side of the bed.  You have been known to punch bottles of Evian because we – God forbid – denied you that devil in a little orange bottle and told you that you needed drink more water.  Did you know that Evian spells naïve backwards?  Your Dad and I were certainly that when we thought we could end your addiction to Robinsons with a bottle of clear liquid that tastes like nothing, smells like nothing and yet costs twice as much.

Are you looking at him or shaking your head at all the Fruitshoots in the background?

Sometimes I have days when I feel that no one is pleased to see me; perhaps I have had a challenging class, maybe I have had an argument with your Dad or possibly your sister has told me that I am the worst mum in the world.  Whatever the reason, there are days when I don’t feel my self-worth but then I pick you up from after school club or Grandma drops you off at my school after a long day and I see your eyes light up when you see me – you ignite my light that occasionally doesn’t shine as bright as it should. No one loves me like you love me and no one will ever reciprocate that love one hundred times over quite like your Mummy does.

Happy Birthday, son.

I didn’t choose the kit…

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