My beautiful baby turns 3 on Sunday. Tomorrow, his four favourite friends are coming over for a party and he's so excited because this year he knows what to expect. I'm excited too because birthdays get worse the older you get, so at least I get to enjoy his now.
We had a bath together earlier, and as we splashed and made beards out of bubbles, I realised that three years ago tomorrow, I was lying in the very same bath thinking disturbingly violent thoughts about the cow of a midwife who wouldn't let me come into hospital and told me to take 2 paracetamol and have a bath instead. I remember writhing and moaning, twisting about with each contraction, trying to breathe through it and watching my baby bump kick and wriggle, desperate to get that damn baby out so I could have my body back again. Now he's 3, and I'm not sure how much longer it's appropriate for us to have baths together and that makes me sad because it's another sign that he's growing up and changing.
I couldn't wait for him to stop being a baby, to sleep a bit better, to talk so he would stop screaming at me. Then it went and I missed it. Now I realise that it won't be long before my horror of a toddler will grow out of filling his shoes with mashed potato and weeing in Daddy's slippers (he does seem to have a slight obsession with footwear), and although it will be nice to put my wellies on without encountering a fish finger, I'm going to miss the sparky little bugger.
Someone asked me to write a piece about first love recently, but I just haven't been able to find the words. Part of what I wanted to say though is this: Did you ever love someone in the knowledge that they didn't love you back? And when you were with them you'd try to freeze frame moments of time when everything seemed perfect, when if you wiped your brain of what you knew to be the truth, you could pretend that everything was OK, and that they felt the same? I'd lie there with him, thinking "if I can store this feeling up in my head; how his skin smells and how my cheek feels against his chest - that will be enough for me when it's finally over and I have to face up to the truth." Well, that's how I feel about Rory. I'm so lucky to have a cuddly, affectionate little boy who loves to snuggle up to me and kiss my face and have private, whispered conversations about everything that's important in his brilliant, three year old head. But I know that one day it will all stop - that he'll roll his eyes at me and tell me to stop fussing, that he'll cringe when I kiss his head and ruffle his hair, that I'll have to bribe him for a quick hug. I know he'll shut his bedroom door on me and grunt at me to leave him alone and keep my nose out of his life. And I find myself smelling his hair and feeling it between my fingers, remembering his little baby kisses and the squish of his pudgy arms and trying desperately to store it for future reference, when my little boy is not so little and doesn't need his mummy so much any more. I try to etch everything onto my memory when he shouts "TEAM HUG" and he, Rich and I all collapse in a pile of limbs, me listening to Richard's heart beating and hoping that his cardiologist will find out what's wrong with it soon and fix it, so I can stop worrying so much about losing those team hugs.
Anyway, I'm getting my melancholia over with tonight because tomorrow is a day for balloons and cake and musical bumps, and on Sunday it's his real birthday, and he's got a BAT CAVE as his main present, so I will be too busy playing superheroes to feel sad. Normal service will be resumed soon people - rest assured that I have made a 3rd birthday cake so shit that it really should be in a museum. Plus the flying ants seem to be back, so there's that. See you all soon for inappropriate swearing and cock-ups.