To allow to me to gloat a little, and for you to get to know Wren, here is a list of my favourite things about him and our relationship at the moment.

To allow me to vent a little, this is followed by a list of the worst things about Wren and our relationship at the moment.

I hope to do this as a regular list, for my own personal record, perhaps to share with Wren one day.

The Best of Wren:

1. Your love of music and dancing. You can dance to anything, any style of music. You are starting to request songs for me to sing. Your current favourite is the hokey pokey.

2. Your energy and love of a physical challenge- while sometimes exhausting for me, it is impressive. You are happiest running, climbing, jumping, and sometimes just want to run up and down the hallway with me, or around and round the lounge room, “fast, fast, fast!”. When we go for a walk in the bush and your favourite part is climbing the rocky hills.

3. Your growing capacity for independent, creative play. I love to see you digging away on your own in the sandpit, or playing imaginary games with your toy animals. Adorable. Oh, and it gives me a much needed break.

4. Your love of animal, particularly horses at the moment. The enthusiasm with which you spot them at every opportunity, in real life and in pictures (you’d be amazed how many horse pictures there are in this world once you start looking).

5. I love watching your growing awareness and knowledge of the natural world. You can “read” the landscape, for example knowing when we are likely to come across a waterhole. One day you’ll be a great tracker – you already excel at spotting animals holes / nests and particularly animal poo and can identify which animal it came from – kangaroo, dog, horse, rabbit.

6. Your social skills are better than mine. You love other kids especially and can win anyone over with a cheeky grin, friendly giggle and silly antics. You love to perform and be watched and feed off the energy of people. Your boisterous friendship with Jade is particularly lovely, and the way you look after May, who is only 15 months, is particularly lovely.

7. Your rapidly growing language – a sponge for words – I love the earnest way you repeat new ones. You talk a lot, though sentences are still forming.  You are picking up little instructional phrases like ‘keep going’; ‘come on’; ‘do it’; ‘find it’. I love it when you come back from walks with dad and rush to tell me “kangaroo… hopping… hill… rabbit poo… walking”. I also like it that I know you so well that I can interpret whole stories from just a few words, which are often meaningless to others.

8. You like to HELP. You are so proud when given a task which you can do, like putting things in a box or passing me clothes to hang on the washing line.

9. You are so healthy.  I am proud of myself for that, as I have worked for it, although probably it’s just you. I finally feel like I don’t have to worry so much since you got diagnosed with cystic fibrosis a year ago. You are growing and you can recover from colds and coughs without antibiotics.

10. You have recently discovered that you too have nipples. I find it so touching when you offer them to me to have a drink. Your dad thinks it’s a bit weird, but I think it is just sweet.

11. The way you kiss your dad goodnight and then instruct him firmly to kiss me. It makes you happy to see us kiss or cuddle.

The worst of Wren:

1. Kicking the dog, grabbing the dog’s tail, usually exactly because you know you are not supposed to. You do it just to get a reaction from me. You also try to ride dog, but this is just because you really want to ride a horse. The poor dog is so patient with you.

2. Kicking the chooks, chasing the chooks, and now even sometimes catching the chooks. I am glad you like them, but you just need to learn to be more gentle. I feel bad that when you disappear in the backyard, I tell myself you are playing in the sandpit, just to get a few minutes alone, when really I know there’s a good chance your torturing the chooks, or eating their food.

3. You are so goddam stubborn. You want to do be able to do everything yourself, not understanding why you’re not  allowed to drive the car, or help cook dinner (to be encouraged of course, but the knives are very sharp and the stove hot and your co-ordination still developing). I do hope this will be a positive characteristic in the long-run, but right now it’s annoying.

4. This leads to tantrums. hmmm.

5. Your renewed clinginess. I don’t want to be too hard on you, or force you to be independent before you’re ready, but it is hard for me, hardly getting a break.  Especially since for a while there, you were so confident and happy to be left with a number of loved people.

6. Sleep. I so wish you were a better sleeper.  Still waking up several times a night to breastfeed.  It’s exhausting. I’m going to have to draw the line soon.

7. When you are deliberately unco-operative even when you know exactly what is expected of you and have an interest in co-operating. Why – even when I tell you we are going to playgroup and you really want to go – do you run around and refuse to get dressed and ready to leave the house? It doesn’t make sense. Obviously, you have no sense of time yet or concept of being ‘late’. But why so much joy in making me frustrated?

8. The way you insist that certain jobs are mine, not your father’s.  Like putting on your socks. Why can’t your dad do it? He feels rejected.

9. The ‘mine’ phase. That word has such nasty sound when it comes of your little mouth as you snatch a toy away from another child. It is exhausting for me having to emphasise sharing and taking turns whenever we are with other kids; I don’t like to police your behaviour so much, but it is an important thing to learn. So many tears in the process. I realise it is a developmental phase; it comes along with you identifying that certain things belong to certain people, which is important to know, but why so much possessiveness?

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