It started with the image above. I was on my way to work when I received a message from the Missus. She had sent me the image of Benjamin, our two year old sitting on the sofa covered in Ready-Brek. Look back at the photo.. Look at how cute his sad face is, he looks like a sad face emoji! Awww hahaha!
Me: “What happened?!?!”
The Missus: “I went to the kitchen to make my toast and I hear him go “oooh” in his sad voice, come back in and he’s covered in this frickin porridge. LOL I tried to take it out of his hair with a wet wipe and it bloody stuck! Need to shower him now. Arghhh”
Benji likes to feed himself. He knows how to spoon food into his mouth so how it ended up on his head, God knows. He’s a good boy at heart and he’s realised that he is his own entity – an independent machine of living room destruction. He’s growing up, he’s becoming Billy Big Balls. And it fucking terrifies me.
I miss a lot of the little beast’s escapades whilst I’m at work, yet I know that if I was present for most of the stories the Missus tells me, they wouldn’t be anywhere near as funny.
Whilst I was at work, the Missus took Benjamin to a family friend’s daughter’s first birthday party. There was a soft play area set up for the ankle biters to go full on cray cray and ride on toys for the toddlers to play chicken with each other – perfect for draining your overly-energetic toddler’s batteries. Everything was going fine then disaster struck when it was time to leave and Bubba did not want to leave. Queue tantrum.
I should probably mention at this point that the little hulk is growing out of his naps, so when he crashes later in the day, he roars, turns green and freakishly strong (ok not green, he turns red. There’s a red hulk too though, right?). Putting his jacket on him and strapping him into his pram is like trying to fit your whole phone into your mouth.. he becomes stiff and just won’t go in (stop sniggering in the back, you).
Fast forward to the evening, I get home from work and the missus tells me that he’s bitten through his last dummy (I know, a two year old still on the dummy.. don’t judge). She asked him to throw it in the bin so that he realises that it’s gone for good. Wondering if he was upset about it, the Missus tells me that he just stood there for a little while after, trying to comprehend what he had just done.
He fell asleep on the sofa so I moved him down to the bedroom where he proceeded to wake up and have a meltdown, crying out for his dummy. The Missus even had to come to help and it took the two of us to soothe him from the change of sleeping without his comfort anchor.
My heart sank.
The change genuinely upset him. He couldn’t deal with the loss and it hurt more than popping a spot on your back to see him go through the changes of growing up. Despite his older siblings, I’ve never had to deal with dummy separation issues before and afterwards all I could think about was if it hurt seeing him go through this, what’s it going to be like when he loses his first match? Or the first time he has his heart broken?
It doesn’t matter how many children I’ve helped to raise prior to Benjamin, no matter how prepared I am, parenting will always keep throwing new challenges and experiences at not just your child but you too. When I thought about writing this post on the day, the premise was ‘Is Benji ready to part with his dummy?’ But now it’s about ‘are we as a family ready for him to part with the dummy?’ The answer is: it doesn’t matter if we’re ready, we have to take the kick to the dick and deal with it coz he’s not going to stop growing no matter how much we want him to stay our little bubba forever.
Emil – The Uncool Dad.
What are your thoughts on your toddler growing up? Do you have any significant development markers that stand out to you? Please feel free to share in the comments!
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