I don't write that much about the kids these days, which seems bizarre in one sense (given that way back when, that was why I re-started an online diary) but understandable given my worries about information about them being used against them when they get older.
I don't think I even wrote about Christmas, particularly. Sniff.
Anyway. James is coming up to his *third* birthday. That's freaky. The only vestiges of babyhood that are left are nappies (ayeesh, come on, little boy!) and dummies. I'm following the age old trick of cutting down the dummy a teeny little bit, week by week, until there's absolutely nothing left to grab the teeth on to, never mind suck on. He does love his dummies, does James. I can feel his adoration beginning to slowly slip though, in the way he no longer automatically grabs for it in between milk sups. Sad in a way, but I do help him on his way.
Two lovely women at work are pregnant at the moment and it gives me hormonal PAIN. I can feel them, their voices inside me, wanting me to ripen up and go pop. I have absolute understanding of why women become addicted to babies. They are in many respects an absolute nightmare! But they hold the keys that open up huge cupboards full of instinct and unconditional love. It feels validating and wonderful to hold this beautiful, vulnerable bundle of positive possibilities, before they've started screaming "No!" at you at the tops of their voices.
James is a big boy now. And by big I mean he's right up there in the 100 percentile range on height and weight, meaning to all intents, if it weren't for his still puppyish face, you'd think he was 4. He has a huuuge Hurley sized head, and he always reminds me of my brother, Stephen. He'll dig his heels in about the daftest things. He'll nod to being put in the naughty corner. He makes my temper fray, to be honest, and it really bloody annoys me that his pushing the boundaries (a contractual obligation) makes me... if I'm honest, sometimes I shout at him. i don't mean in a prolonged, awful way, but if he's doing something and won't stop, after the nth time of asking, or he's kicked me in the stomach yet again, or hit me, I will, before I know it shout "James! Stop this!" or words to that effect. If he knows he's done something terrible it really works in a way that makes me very uncomfortable. He bursts in to tears.
The other thing which began to happen and I'm scrambling away from as fast as humanly possible is, he was becoming so unbelievably aggravating that putting him in the naughty corner sometimes entailed putting him down with some force - him having kicked and screamed all the way there. On one occasion I think I must have given him a Chinese burn by accident whilst setting him down, but James' language skills are now flowing in to articulacy to the extent that he burst in to shocked tears and said "You hurt me!", between gobbets of sobbing. OH GOD. McK's been forced to manhandle him a few times too, and I say "forced" but ffs, he's not even 3 years old. We both have a responsibility to get our shit together on this and find a better way to focus his attention and stop the incredibly disruptive and potentially very dodgy behaviour without resorting to damn shouting and potentially hurting our developing little boy. It makes me feel thoroughly ashamed.
I think a little revisit to the behaviour / growing up books might be in order.
Meanwhile, apart from the bits where he's pushing it, or sobbing negativity (that one's for another time!) he's a wonderful delight and Oh Oh! He's beginning to recognise words. Key repeated names from his favourite storybooks: Dad, Mum, Floppy, Kipper and I think we kind of half got Snow yesterday. He's really not too keen on alphabet books, but personally, I think it's more a case of getting him the right one.
So listen - advice on any or all of the above, oh parents of boys who were small. Thank you.