Friday 17 July 2015


Today the King is 5.  It’s a very hard one to swallow. It just sounds so…big. And of course in my parental brain I’m already calculating how many willing hugs I have left until he turns his lip up at me and tells me to stop embarrassing him (I will of course enforce many a hug when he’s past the age of willingness). At around this point – or who am I kidding, this started long ago – one finds themselves going through old photos and videos in weepy realization that their child has lost their baby fat and is no longer that sweet little blob of…well, baby. And it's a terrifying moment because you realise there is nothing you can do about it. Time does not go backwards as much as sometimes wish it would. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are many advantages and amazements that happen with a five year old. They can feed and wash themselves; they are no longer a potential hazard (ahem) or loose cannon (in public places, airplanes and the like…actually, the jury is still out on this one); They can actually sit still for longer than two seconds and engage in things in a more profound way and somewhat grasp the concept of reason (and if that fails, bribery works like a charm). And of course, they have developed an intricate personality of their own and have the communication skills to back it up. Which of course has its positives and negatives. The ironic thing is that you spend the first few years aching for them to actually say something so that you can communicate with them and then when they reach four or five, you realize that there is no off switch and every thought they have comes out their mouth like a tsunami. In the case of the King, some of his thoughts are utterly charming and insightful and you wonder where they heck they got them from, and other times when he’s discussing his poo and private parts in front of all the wrong people, well, not so much.

The other thing that occurs for us one-child parents is that you realize this is it. This is your one. And your one is growing faster the weeds out back and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Of late I have found myself doing things purely because I know that one day soon things may change (I’m of course being dramatic as my 14 year old nephew still hugs and kisses his mother and damn it, the King will do the same) and I will no longer be the apple of his eye. In short, I turn down nothing. If he wants to sit and hug for me for 20 minutes, I’m there. If he wants to kiss for so long that my face starts turning blue (for some reason long kisses at the moment are his thing), I do it. If he wants me to lie down next to him and talk about how great Lego is and what Ladybugs eat, I do my best to accommodate him (Note to self: find out what ladybugs eat). If he asks me to pick him up, I….sod that, he’s huge, and I have a bad back, I tell him it’s no longer an option. 

The overall point being, I know soon enough his bedroom door will be locked and he will find his phone/tablet screen much more tantalizing than anything else I can put in front of him and that will be that. Obviously, I will fight like hell not to let this happen (or I will just put my face across his phone screen in a big annoying flashing image…or a hologram, by then we'll definitely have holograms in every room), but part of it is inevitable. Kids grow, change, seek their independence, and then, gulp…go out into the world and forget to call their mothers.

So for now, I embrace five and all that it entails. And pray like hell it will still mean that he views me as the greatest thing since sliced cheese. And man o’ man does the boy love cheese.

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