Monday, 31 December 2012

A Letter to Dexter


To my darling boy,

As you lie snoozing on the sofa, finishing the year with the dreaded Norovirus, I thought I'd give a little bit of my soul to you.

This letter marks the end of your first full calendar year and the end of Mummy's ramblings about it. This little project started off as simply capturing a photograph of you every day for a year and seems to have taken on a life of its own! You know how Mummy likes to talk, well she likes to write too, and 'Brighton Ramblings' has become a cathartic space for me to celebrate, remonstrate, pontificate and sometimes just have a good old moan. I've sometimes had to write several posts at a time, but I have never cheated on the photos and it's so magical to see how much you've changed in such a short space of time.

What a year we've all had! I'm so proud of you, little man. Your life is quite hectic and demanding but you take most things in your stride. You've found your feet, your appetite and almost a full set of teeth. You're yet to really find your voice (although you did manage 'moo' and 'mine' over Christmas). When you read back on this one day, you'll see how worried Mummy got at times about your lack of chatter, but I'm feeling okay about it at the moment: you'll get there.

I think you'll do everything in your own time. Many people remark on how much of a character you are - including the epic tantrums. I think you have a really steely (stubborn?) core and a dogged determination. You are also a very happy little chap, so content in your own company, and still so fond of your sleep - thank you for that!

I will never lose the guilt I feel about everything concerning you. We don't get to spend as much time together as I'd like: holidays and weekends are sacred. You definitely seem to prefer Daddy to Mummy, and sometimes Mummy's friends take preference with you! I am learning not to take this too personally, particularly as it's me who has to be 'bad cop', waking you up to travel to nursery and then turning up to take you home when you're having lots of fun.

I cannot explain the feelings I have for you in words. You have the ability to augment my heart with love and make my heart physically hurt with worry or sadness. 

I love you unconditionally and always will. I never want to be a pushy parent and my only expectations of you are that you will be happy, kind and always try your best (oh, and vote Labour and never buy The Daily Mail).

I don't think I'm a very good Mummy - perhaps a little bit slack and definitely not a natural, but my love for you is boundless: I promise.

I don't know when, or indeed if you'll ever read this blog, but if you do, I hope you recognise that in the hurly burly of modern life, you are an inherent part of me. I still think a lot about carrying you in my tummy and the wonderful birth experience you gave me. I know that the beautiful boy with the long lashes and lustrous mop of hair will grow into an amazing young man who will make us proud. But I want you to know, you will always be my little boy.

Love always

Sunday, 30 December 2012

A promenade


Another long, lazy lie-in for Team W this morning. We did have a mild panic that the boy was going to get us up at six thirty this morning, but it proved to be a false alarm and Dexter just required some soothing strokes and his duvet pulling over him properly.

Miracle of Christmas miracles, it wasn't actually raining for once. We took advantage of the dry weather and drove to Hove Lagoon. Dexter caused a small queue at the children's swings, and then seemed most unimpressed by the wild and crashing sea. He quite enjoyed running along the promenade though with the cute and colourful beach huts as a backdrop.

We finished up with a visit to Waitrose - of course, so we're stocked up for the next part of the holiday.

The boy managed a whole day without a nap (please don't drop them, please don't drop them) and so was in bed at much more his usual time, rather than the tardy bedtimes of late.

I have spent the evening doing a small amount of work, and playing around with a new blog template. I can't believe tomorrow will be my 366th post of 'Brighton Ramblings'. It's going to be the blog's swansong. I'm definitely going to continue being a 'blogger', but this one is a gift for my boy.


Saturday, 29 December 2012

Driving back home from Christmas


The boy awoke at half past nine again this morning, as he has done for the past few mornings: loving this holiday business. We finished packing - bags full of toys and cases full of 'mum washing' (it smells so good) - before squeezing in one last set of visitors. This time, my younger step-sister and her family. Dexter was suitably sociable again and stared at the television whilst eating biscuits.

We then undertook the six hour journey back home in the wanging rain on traffic-filled roads. We stopped once at a particularly grim service station, ate toasties and drank over-priced coffee and let the boy stretch his miniature legs.

He went to bed very late this evening, having opened his present from Mummy and Daddy - a super-duper garage. Excitement levels seem to be at an all-time high. Whilst I type about twenty back-dated blog posts, I can hear him giggling away to himself through the monitor.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Toddler watch


Today has been a busy day. Because the three of us aren't back in the North very often, and because it's Christmas, we  have been getting a lot of visitors. Today was the turn of one of my step-sisters and her family, followed by auntie and cousin. I know they only want to see Dexter really, so it's a bit of a shame that any actual people in the house offer little distraction from CBeebies/food/new toys/sleep for the boy.

Grandma put him to bed this evening as the husband and I had a 'date' at the local giant shopping centre. John Lewis followed by Gourmet Burger Kitchen in the food complex: who said romance is dead?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

House Party


Today, we spent a lovely spontaneous afternoon at the house of an old school friend. There was another friend there too with her family. We've known each other for twenty three years now, yet it still feels funny being grown-ups with children, mortgages and family cars between us!

Dexter was somewhat erratic in his behaviour. Upon arrival, he screamed the house down, refused his lunch and went and sat on his own in a different room. He soon came round though and managed to play with all of the resident child's Christmas toys and eat his own body weight in sausage rolls. 

The husband and I ate our combined body weights in Chinese food this evening. My parents were going out to a party, so treated us to a take-away. The day finished with 'School of Rock' on TV and lying on the sofa. Happy holidays indeed!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day Blues


After an epic tantrum this morning and a chilly visit to the park, it was clear the boy was out of sorts. We were supposed to go to a family party in the afternoon, but Dexter seemed genuinely unwell and unhappy and instead, spent the entire afternoon asleep on the sofa.

I suspect this may be a sign of things to come...

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Has he been?


It's Christmaaaaasssss!!!!! The boy enjoyed the big day. He received loads of fabulous gifts but was most enamoured by a set of four flashing rubber ducks that my mum had bought for his stocking for 99p. Watch and learn, broke parents!

It was a lovely family day, with Dexter getting to spend lots of time with his grandparents, auntie and uncle and his cousins. He troughed his Christmas dinner like a pro, being particularly fond of 'pigs in blankets'. He wasn't so keen on the noise the crackers made, but took the noise his excitable cousins made, completely in his stride.

I still think he's a little bit too young for true 'memory making' yet, but it was a low-key, cosy, happy day. Dexter spent most of the evening, surrounded by gifts and chatter, and my sister's enormous dog, having a very lovely time.