Tuesday, 18 November 2014

His own person

When you know that you're having a baby, you wonder what they will be like. Boy or girl. Shy or outgoing. Practical or creative. Who they will look like. How they will be and the person they will one day grow into.

It's all a guessing game until they are born and you get your first glimpse and introduction to this child of yours. Then, over time, you learn more and more about them, and they you, and your bond develops and grows.

And you never stop wondering what they will one day become.

At 18 months, Ethan is now really growing into his own little person. Those first couple of months are tough, tougher than I think many people expect, as a baby can't interact or respond to very much around them and it takes time before they can really see and understand the world. What amazes me is how week by week, Ethan's personality grows and he's becoming his own person. He's understanding more all the time, about what we say or what he sees, and you can really see the cogs in his brain whirling around, trying to make sense of it all.


He's a parrot, learning new words and picking them at random from things he hears us say or by pointing at things around him and looking at us quizzically, waiting for us to respond by telling him what it is he's looking at. Breakfast, trousers and even octopus are all latest efforts in his speech and he's getting increasingly adventurous with his walking, and climbing, trying to reach new things and go new places.

Part of this new independence and understanding is his ever growing wilfulness. He knows what he wants. He knows how to ask for it, one way or another. And he knows how to get it, particularly when mummy is involved as I'm a bit of a soft touch. 

He's learnt the word 'no' recently and uses various intonations depending on how insistent he's being. He's also learnt how to be over dramatic when he doesn't like the response we give about something and he's certainly testing a few boundaries. He's not naughty by any means but he's starting to test things a little to see what's OK and what might get him told off.

I'm not sure what to make of his mini tantrums, whether I should be worried that sometimes he will wave his arms at me and sometimes land a smack on my face. He just lashes out when he gets frustrated and it's usually me who's in the firing line. This all sounds like he's a bad little boy but these instances are few. Still, they worry me all the same and I'm wondering if the terrible two's have arrived a little early...


As he gets older, I feel like I'm turning into more of a spectator, fascinated by his development and the new things he does each day, just observing him changing as he can do more for himself. He's very happy in his own company, entertaining himself, as well as being with other people, children or adults. He's great fun too and really seems to be into role playing with his Happyland figures, as much as he can at this age. And when he reads books, he follows the words with his fingers, even though they're still just meaningless shapes to him.

I always say that the name of this blog will hold true for a long time as I don't think you ever stop learning how to be a mum. Every stage is new and every child is different. Even though they're yours, you don't know who they will become and each experience is something you navigate together. 


I don't know what's next for my 18 month old - I'm not the most naturally 'playful' parent and I still worry that I don't really know what I'm doing, that no one gave me any instructions and should I really be left in charge - but I do know that Ethan will continue to become his own person. I know he'll always need me, but sometimes that need is about space and independence. Doing things for himself, working it out on his own.

Just as children learn how to be who they will be, we learn how to be the parent they need. It's not a case of pass or fail, although sometimes it can feel like that, but rather doing all you can to get an 'A' for effort and hoping that you've done all you can. They're their own person and who that person will be is one of the greatest mysteries and joys of mummyhood that I know.
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1 comment

  1. He is so adorable - you can see his personality in these pictures.

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