My little Ben turns 5 today. I wrote a post when he turned 3. I just re-read it.  The post included lists of 3 things that he’s no longer doing now he’s 3, things I wish would stop soon and 3 brilliant things that are emerging. I thought on his 5th birthday, for no reason other than my own catharsis, I would review the last 2 to see how far we’ve come.  Thus follows:

3 Things I hoped would end soon:

  • Newborn style night waking:  Most babies appear to be sleepers or non-sleepers. Ben has liked to mix this up from birth. He will give you a short run of all-nighters to lower your guard then chuck in 4 months of 3 wake up specials with the odd 5.42am day starts. Sometimes he’ll give you a run of hard settles and it’s so consistently inconsistent you can’t build a plan round it. I’m sort of hoping this ends one day.

AGE 5 STATUS REPORT: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT THIS HAS CHANGED. Oh hang on, hold the front page, yes it has. He no longer mixes it up. (In a bad way)

  • Stubborn responses to necessary action: Just a general example: It’s the school run for Holly, time allocated to task initially plenty, oh there’s a puddle, come on Ben, drops to floor like ninja, flattens body. Only M&Ms can get us there on time.

AGE 5 STATUS REPORT: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT THIS HAS CHANGED.  Oh hang on he runs away fast, screams and stamps his little foot like Rumpelstiltskin

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  • The old favourite – tantrums.Just enough already, you must have enough neuron connections to know they are not effective.
NO!

NO!

AGE 5 STATUS REPORT: Come on neuron connections. COME ON!

 3 Brilliant things that were emerging (*when he was 3)

  • Face hold mwah sound snuggle hug mum kissing” ™: Possibly the best thing ever. They are not given willy-nilly either, you have to earn one and I am happy to put in the work.

AGE 5 STATUS REPORT:  OH MY GOD! YESSSS!  Ben is PASH!  He is the most loving, gorgeous little thing.  So much so that all the things in the previous section are instantly forgiven.  Now he can tell me he loves me, now he can tell me he wants Mummy hugs.  He’s even made a song!  Lyrics:  I LOVE YOUUUUUUUU (and we see how long we can hold the you note).  I don’t really even have to do anything to earn this!  I don’t know if there is an age when he’s going to hate me, but for now, I’m taking it.  I am loved.  No question.  And I love him back.

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  • Communication by almost-words: This is maximum cute. Holly was pronouncing 5 syllable words by 18 months and memorizing paragraphs of the Tiger Who Came To Tea. Ben is being kind enough to prolong our delight. Done with breakfast? FISH-ED! Need a snack? Wan Nem n nems! Need recreation? Go paygwownde!

AGE 5 STATUS REPORT:  The other day Ben woke up and said the following:  “Boba Fett’s got 2 swords.”  I sought some verification on this, and it was true.  He is able to express why he won’t share (he wants ALL the trains – which is fair play really).  He can call me out on the use of “potty words!  (*that’s American for bad-ish words, sort of of 5/10 on the bum to c word badness continuum.  “Mummy said a potty word!”  (*I SO didn’t!  **OK I might have done).  If he didn’t need to become more academically astute in order to function as a human, I would NEVER want this to change.

  • An awesome sense of humour: OK, we haven’t reached the heady heights of quoting Brent or Conchords, it’s more along the lines of moving his fingers randomly near your arm and saying “ticker, ticker, ticker” in high pitched voice (he means tickle). He’s seeking a laugh and he’s doing so with delightful intent. I estimate by 2023 he’s going to be a right old bust up.

AGE 5 STATUS REPORT:  OH MY GOSH YESSSSSSS!!!  This kid is hilarious.  I spend SO much time laughing with Ben – thats not at him, with him.  He’s my alter ego – the one I’d have if I could be how I wanted all the time with no need to show evidence of maturity.  I hope me and Ben always laugh together as much as we do now.

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See, Ben, he wears his heart on his sleeve.  There’s no game playing with this kid.  If he feels it, you know it.  Ben is passionate.  He’s hilarious.  From very shortly after he was born he has thrown his head back in response to humour, opened his mouth as wide as it will go and let out guttural laughs.  I don’t know if 5 years on earth is long enough to qualify as a legend, but I’m his mum so I’m calling it.  Ben is 5, he’s still a blank canvas.  Academically who knows, sporting prowess?  Almost certainly of some kind.  Sweetness, no question.  Standing up for himself? No question.  Making a mark of some kind on this earth.  No question.

BEN, YOU ARE A “POTTY WORD“, AN AWESOME, GORGEOUS, HILARIOUS, HORRENDOUSLY FRUSTRATING, SLEEPLESS LEGEND….. and I LOVE YOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU (repeat to (never) fade)

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