The light at the end of the (toddler) tunnel

Down you come, bump, bump, bump, step by step, laughing hysterically each time you crash into me. Then back up the stairs to do it again. I make a slight move towards leaving my half-way-down-step, and am told “No mummy! You stay!” Then down you come again, stair by stair. Crash. Burst of laughter. I don’t really want to move. The dishes can wait. This is fleeting perfection. You won’t always find it so funny to bump down the stairs and you won’t always want to spend every waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment with me.

The cot is gone, the high-chair gone too. We’re moving quickly through toddler-hood, one milestone at a time. But you still need me to sit by your bed until you fall asleep at night. You still put your dinner, carrot by carrot, into your drink. You carry fistfuls of soothers; armed with back-up in case any component of your drug of choice is confiscated. You argue with your reflection in the mirror – “no, my turn!” and with the sheep in your book “not sheep’s apple, my apple!”. You’re afraid of your shadow – not figuratively, but literally; running down the road, looking behind, not sure what who this shady character is.

Occasionally it amazes me that I’m a grown-up and yet spend so much of my time chatting to someone who has no idea of what’s going on in the world (long may that last)

You’re unpredictable. You like a good cry – to let it all out. You like being in my arms – a lot. You don’t like anyone else to hand you your soother when it drops on the ground – “No, mummy do it!”. Sometimes it’s all going wrong for you and none of us know why or how to fix it. The tears flow; frustration – the words are not yet formed.

So we’re not taking a flight anytime soon. We’re not staying in any hotels, And meals out will continue to be at lunchtime only; in restaurants that serve food quickly and don’t mind a mess or a cry. Lie-ins are not yet part of our weekend routine. A full night’s sleep is a new and much celebrated achievement – and not one we’re taking for granted. I know you can whisk it away in a flash, on a whim.

And that’s all just fine. I’ve stopped looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe it’s because you’re my last baby, or maybe it’s because you’re very good company, or maybe it’s the hugs that are so tight it feels like you’re trying to get back inside. Maybe it’s the “I lubb you mummy”. Maybe it’s just a moment on the stairs. But I’m pretty happy in the tunnel.

Office Mum: Toddler


For a more chaotic description of life with a two-year-old – one who needs his toast cut the right way, his banana closed again when opened in error, and wants to wear his food-covered t-shirt to bed, you might like to read this article that I wrote for eumom:  Tears, Tempers and Tantrums: here come the terrible twos 


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24 thoughts on “The light at the end of the (toddler) tunnel”

  1. Such a beautiful post – we are not long behind you, little one is just coming up to 2 and he’s grown up way too fast. Little mr independent, every day he needs us less and less 🙁 Hopefully one day I get to go through it all again but for now my baby boy is no longer my baby boy!
    Lisa recently posted…Ten Illustrators To Follow NowMy Profile

    1. It’s way too fast isn’t it! But great that you are able to see that and appreciate it right now – it took me till my third to figure it out. Happily, not too late though – I’m enjoying every minute. Thank you for commenting!

    1. Exactly – even when he was cross and cranky this evening, I was thinking “I’ll miss this”! Kind of…

  2. What a lovely post, and so true… Of course I can relate, I have a 3 years old who keeps telling me to sit down, follows me everywhere I go, wants to do everything by himself but gets frustrated when things don’t go his way… He wrecks my head sometimes (often if I’m honest), but when he gives me cuddles and kisses I just forget all the madness… They won’t be babies for a lot longer so we have to enjoy it while it lasts!
    Anne recently posted…The cultural difference that took the longest to get used toMy Profile

    1. That’s it exactly – we forget all the madness in a heartbeat – the cuteness and the hugs outweigh everything else. I feel like going upstairs and giving my little guy a hug while I write this 🙂

  3. Oh I love this, I, slap bang in the middle of it second time round here. He’s pure crazy but he loves me so openly and eagerly I cannot get enough of it. I am commanded to “umpen” bananas daily but luckily have yet been asked to close one.
    Jill recently posted…Interior. Night.My Profile

    1. I love how you put that “loves me so openly and eagerly” – that’s it, exactly. Long may it last for all of us.

    1. Is it a boy thing do you think – people told me there’s something about boys and I didn’t believe it but now, I wonder…the hugs! Just delicious, and yes, going by far too fast.

  4. Ah, so sweet.

    I’m not allowed kiss my boy any more. And his hugs are so strong now they hurt. But they’re good hugs, so I shouldn’t complain.
    Maud recently posted…ItaliaMy Profile

    1. Oh no, I didn’t know they could ban kisses at such a young age – will have to up the kiss-quota now to make the most of the next few years…

    1. That’s it exactly – the bit where it all comes together and we finally realise what’s important and what isn’t, and too late, we try to slow it down.

    1. Ha love the idea of pickling the bit of baby that’s left ! And yes, determined to enjoy all those bumps 🙂

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