Some days it’s just made abundantly clear.
We went for a walk today, just around the block, Reece and Ella running up ahead down a path with no roads around, Reece running so well now, his little legs pumping to keep up with Ella – until Ella falls – tripping over her own feet and with her balance being not good – over she goes. I run forward to help her up and brush her of as Reece now overtakes her running ahead laughing like maniac. Ella taking off again – laughing as I call out
Once we get home I give Reece and Ella a bowl of pretzels for afternoon snack, not their usual afternoon snack, but I’ve had a big day with the both of them and I know they will eat it.
While Reece happily sat and ate his snack, sipping on his drink occasionally, not a care in the world – Ella, on the other hand, choked 3 times (once resulting in a spew) and needed to be reminded to chew. She knocked her bowl on the floor sending pretzels flying – twice. Both times, she fell off her chair when reaching to get the bowl, and knocked her cup of water over once. Nothing unusual really, most meals end in a mess, or a choke, or a spilled drink.
And now, as I sit to write this down, they’ve finished their snack and are happily playing. Reece quietly doing the shape sorter that Ella still struggles with, and Ella, playing with a stuffed toy and a car thing that Reece has grown out of and it hits me.
“She’s so far behind”
It dawned on me, pretty soon Reece will be talking, not just saying words. He will be reading, writing, brushing his own teeth, dressing himself, hell, even doing maths! Their bond is amazing, they love playing together, but I can see Reece is starting to play differently to Ella. And I know There’ll come a time when Ella wont be able to play what Reece wants to play. There might even be a time when Reece doesn’t want to play with Ella at ALL! Honestly thought I had plenty of time before this happened, a few years at least, before Reece ‘overtook’ Ella. I thought I was prepared, but here I am, a blubbering mess in denial.
I’ve been joking for a while now that I think Reece is a genius, I’m honestly shocked by the things he does! He repeats words after hearing them once, he does puzzles, he understands when I talk about things even when I’m not talking to him! I mean, for me?
But now I think that in calling him a genius I’m in denial that in actual fact he’s probably completely average in every way,. I just didn’t want to admit that Ella is so far behind.
Reece has been in daycare 2 days a week now, and recently they sent home a parent participation thing – asking what our goals for Reece are and what we want to work on and to be honest even that sent me into a spin! I had zero clue what Reece should and shouldn’t be doing!! What if he’s actually behind? What if I’m missing something? I’ve been cruising along just letting him pick things up on his own, I don’t think I’ve actually taught him ANYTHING!
Of course being mess I am, I called the daycare asking what Reece needs to be working on and what goals they think I need to be working on. (yep, I’m that mother apparently) Pretty sure I came out of that conversation sounding more than a little crazy as they reassured me that Reece is fine, and not to take the goal setting too seriously. But in my world? goal setting has always been serious!! If We set a goal for Ella, that means therapies and work to achieve that goal!
This whole thing has been such a HUGE learning curve for me – I have no idea how to parent a ‘typical’ child, or when things are supposed to happen!
Another big example is a toddler bed. I had big plans of Reece being in a cot until around 3, and hen we’d go pick out ‘big boy’ bedding together ad transition into a single bed. ooooh noooo Reece had other ideas!!
At 18 months he flipped himself out of the cot – head first – face planting onto the floor. The first night I figured it was a fluke and left it, but then he did it again the next night!
No time for my imagined loving, bonding trip to target, we had to change his cot to a toddler bed asap. So much is happening with him a lot faster than I imagined!
It’s the same with toileting! He tells me when he’s pooped, he does wee’s purposefully into his open nappy before a shower and I’ve been told I should get a potty!! heck to the no thank you!! I’ve been toilet training Ella for YEARS and I’m only just now getting somewhere, I’m not ready to start another one!
It’s almost as if I’m only just realising now that Reece will grow up. The little stuff has always been in the back of my mind (that he’ll read and talk etc) but the fact That he’ll walk himself to school one day, there will come a time he brings mates over after school, there’ll be times he goes to sleepovers, sweet jesus, one day, there’ll be times when I wont even know where he is!! He’ll drive and go on dates and move out and maybe even have kids of his own and all that stuff is so damn exciting! and yet sad, because I know those things aren’t in Ella’s future.
I guess I just have to plan and hope that I do this parenting thing right, and that Reece still wants to play with Ella, even when he’s ‘outgrown’ her. So there’ll be other moments I can look forward to – instead of dread. How cute will it be if Reece can read Ella her bedtime story? or If Reece helps Ella to learn things that he’s learning? Their Bond is amazing right now, I can only wish that it continues to get stronger.
So here it is, 2 gin and tonics deep and I can admit it. At just 20 months old, Reece has caught up to Ella, but somehow, I can see the beauty in it.