My Baby is Three

Booni, my baby…

I can’t believe you’re not a baby any more, and that you are now three years old! Where has the time gone?

Here’s wishing you a very Happy 3rd Birthday.

There is so much I want for you. And there is so much I want you to do.

BUT – I don’t want you to ever change. Keep being persistent. Keep pushing for what you want. Just remember that hands are for playing and hugging – not for hitting!

Don’t ever lose that glint in your eye. That glint is what makes you “you”.

I love you to the moon and back!

The Magic of MJ

Vins has finally discovered the wonder of Michael Jackson! We listen to music a lot at home and in the car – but he’s never really sung along or tried to dance or anything. He’s never been interested.

However, one of his friends bros has made him listen to a few songs and he hasn’t looked back since!

His favorite is the Jackson 5’s Blame it on the Boogie. He found the video and lyrics on YouTube and watches it over and over again. I regularly hear him singing along from the other room when he thinks no one can hear him. It’s actually very cute.

He asked me to print out the lyrics for him. So I did. Then he asked for the lyrics of another song. And then another. And again, he’d find the videos on YouTube and sing long. And… Even trying to dance! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that video.

The other day I asked him something about the moonwalk and told him we should watch the Billie Jean video. We were watching quietly when Vins suddenly said, “How come he keeps disappearing?” I replied, “Vins, Michael is magic!” He looked at me, unconvinced, “Magic? Michael Jackson is magical? How come?” I said, “Listen to his songs! See how he dances? And how so many people love(d) him? The man is a legend!” Vins agreed wholeheartedly. Then he said, “What about Prince? Is he magical?” I looked at him, a bit surprised that he brought Prince up, and said, “Of course he is!!” Vins asked, “Who was more magical? Prince or Michael Jackson?” I said, “You can’t compare them, Vins. They were both magic. Both legends. Both geniuses.” Vins accepted that. Then after a second he said, “What about Justin Bieber?” I looked at him in disgust and said, “What about him?” He said, “Is he magical?” I replied, “Vins, Justin Bieber has a few songs I like, yes. But there is absolutely NOTHING magical about him!” Vins was quiet for a minute (finally) and then said, “You know, you’re right. The only magic thing about Justin Bieber is he can make girls like him!”

This kid really knows what’s what, doesn’t he?

Lunch With My Bros

Last week I told Vins that I wanted to take him and some of his friends out for lunch during Easter break. I carry around a lot of guilt when it comes to his social life. I don’t make as much effort as some mums make when it comes to arranging playdates and having his friends over to our place. We just kind of wait until he’s invited somewhere. This is not good, I know. And I need to step up my game a bit.

Anyway, so as I was telling him about the lunch thing and he stopped me mid-sentence. The following conversation ensued:

Vins: Mama, mama – wait. Just wait. On Wednesday X has invited me for a bros lunch.

Me (unsure if I heard correctly): Oh. What’s a bros lunch?

Vins: You know! A bros lunch!

Me (trying not to laugh): Vins, I don’t know what a bros lunch is!

Vins (getting impatient): Mama – you know we’re all best friends, right? Well, this is lunch with all the best friends together!

Me: Ohhhhhhh. Okay, that sounds good!

Seriously – where does he learn this stuff?

Sleepover

Last Thursday a friend rang me and said that our boys (they’re in the same class) had decided that they wanted to have a sleepover at the weekend, and would Vins want to go…

Wow… A sleepover? To be honest, I was kind of excited about having the TV to myself for a whole evening. But – would he be ok? Would he cry when it was time to sleep because he wanted to come home? Would we get a middle of the night phone call asking us to pick him up? I wasn’t worried about safety or him being in any danger – my first sleepover was with his friend’s mum (many moons ago) when I was the same age! I knew he’d be fine.

I figured I’d speak to Vins and see how he felt about going. For all I knew, he could have been excited when they talked about it at school, but then thought about it some more later and changed his mind. Anyway, he was quite insistent that he wanted to go, that he would be fine and that he was going to have the most awesome time! He was so excited, I can’t even begin to explain…

Come Saturday afternoon, I dropped him off at 5pm and tried to say goodbye. I also tried to get Vins to say goodbye to Booni. But it was futile. He was off, running around the house with his friend in wild abandonment.

LagosDad and I decided to stay in that evening (actually, I decided to stay in and his plans fell through <evil laugh>) just in case that middle-of-the-night phone call came. My friend messaged at about 9.30 pm to say they were having a ball and didn’t show any signs of going to sleep yet!

I woke up the next morning and the first thing I thought was, “Hey! He made it through the night!”

Can you believe it? Can you believe that my Vins made it through a sleepover in someone else’s home? Without either parent or yaya (nanny)?

He really does infuriate me sometimes, but I’m so proud of him!

 

 

Gone Again

I was looking for a post I wrote about 18 months ago. A post about the children’s nanny and the fact that she was away/had been away for about 6 months…

Anyway, so that time has come again. Annual leave time.

E (the children’s nanny) left yesterday for a month.

It all happened rather suddenly. She wasn’t meant to go until the summer, but something came up and she had to leave this month. While I spent the last two weeks worrying about the children and how they’d cope, worrying about how I’d cope and worrying about who would do the laundry (I suppose I’ll have to be a bit proactive!), I realized that this was actually a good thing. At least I can have a summer holiday too, then!

Anyway, so the post I was looking for had to do with Vins’ bedtime and the fact that I had to pat him and sing him to sleep. Not sure if you remember that one?

So last night, when it was bedtime he asked me to put him to bed. I said, “Of course I’ll put you to bed!” I thought, “ARGH!”

I tucked him in, he closed his eyes immediately. I patted him for a few minutes, but didn’t sing. It looked like he was asleep, so I stopped the patting and studied his face (in the dark), hoping he didn’t suddenly sit up and ask to sleep in my bed. After about a minute, he opened his eyes, looked at me and said, “You can go now.”

So the time has come. The time when he doesn’t need me (or anyone else) to sing Dream A Little Dream to him. And he doesn’t need to be patted to sleep (finally). He even stayed in his own bed (until 4.45am).

He’s really growing up, isn’t he?

We’re Getting There

I’ve made no secret of the fact that Vins’ behaviour tends to frustrate me.

He’s always been clingy and getting him to go anywhere without me or his nanny has been a struggle. I’ve come to accept this. I mean… That’s just how he is. But it still does bother me a little from time to time.

Having said all that, he seems to be improving.

Last week a friend from school invited him (and a few others) over for a ‘movie night’. At first, Vins said he wasn’t going. Then I explained to him that he’d go at 5 pm and that they were going to play outside. Once they came in from the playground, all the children were going to eat and then change into pyjamas before watching the movie (Peter Pan). I told him his friend’s mum said that he should also take his duvet and pillow. I also told him that E (his nanny) would go with him. The excitement started building!

On the day of ‘movie night’, the traffic was disgusting. It was so bad I even told Vins he didn’t have to go if he didn’t want to. But when he said he wanted to go, I realised I couldn’t hold him back. He came home at 8.45 pm and he was SO happy. He’d had a really fun time, and I was so proud of him.

This week he had a half-day on Friday. This meant that he started school at 8 am (instead of 9.30 am) and finished at 11 am (instead of 2.30 pm). His friend’s mum asked if he would like to go home with them that day (in their car) and have lunch and play. Amazingly, Vins agreed. I say ‘amazingly’ because all of last (school) year another friend offered to take him home after school, and he always flat-out refused. He would only ever go to a friend’s house if I or E were to take him. So this Friday – we had a double victory. He went home with a friend in their car (with another friend of theirs) and he went without me or E.

Vins’ friend’s mum messaged me to say he was fine and that she’d never seen him so animated. Another friend rang me in the evening to ask where I was at pick-up, as she’d seen Vins with his friends. She said he was so happy and that she’d never heard him make so much noise before!

I know he’s better in smaller groups and that we still have a long way to go – but I think he’s turned a corner.

My baby really is growing up!

What Will Booni Be?

Booni will be elven months at the end of this month and I still can’t get over how different Vin was as a baby of the same age.

I look at him and wonder if babies are meant to be the way Booni is, or if they’re meant to be the way Vin was. By the way, I do realise there’s no right or wrong answer here.

By this age (yes, I’m going to compare again), Vin showed a strong interest in animals and books.

Booni… Booni is like a cross between an excitable (and extremely loveable) puppy and a hungry hamster. Booni actually sounds like a puppy dog’s name!

There’s a shelf in the playroom which holds all the boxes of games and puzzles. Booni loves to crawl up to it, pull himself into standing and either:

a. pull boxes down one by one, or

b. chew the corner of one particular box.

He’s got a whole bunch of toys. He usually picks one up, looks at it, puts it in his mouth and then throws it behind him. And he repeats this four or five times!

If there are clothes in the laundry basket, he removes each item and chucks it on the floor.

If there’s anything on the bed, he’ll reach for it and throw it on the floor.

Whatever he can reach ends up on the floor!

I remembered writing a post about Vins might be when he grows up and although he was much older when I wrote it, I started wondering about Booni.

And I could only think of two things that he (Booni) might be when he’s older.

1. A professional food taster (since he loves to chew things and just eat in general).

2. A waiter in a Greek restaurant – where he can smash all the plates he likes every day!

Growing Up

Yesterday…

V: Mama! Soon I’m going to be in pre-k (pre-kindergarten)!

Me: Yes! That’s right! Not long to go now!

V: And then I’ll be in kindergarten. Then first grade. Then second grade. Then third grade. Then fourth grade. And then fifth grade! And then no more school!

Me: Umm. Yes more school. You forgot sixth grade. And seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades.

V: Oh. And then no more school?

Me: Well… then you’ll go to university.

V: What’s that?

Me: That’s where you go to learn how to be something. Like a doctor or a teacher or a vet.

V: Oh wow! I’m going to learn how to be a transformer! Or a rescue vehicle!

Me: V – people don’t learn how to be vehicles. But you could be a policeman or a paramedic.

V: I know. How long will I be there for?

Me: Mmm. You’ll probably be about 23 when you finish.

V: Twenty – three? Gosh that’s old!

Today…

V: Mama you know that universary you said yesterday? After that no more school?

Me: University? No more school after that. Then you have to get a job.

V: A job?!

Me: Yes. And go to work every day. Like papa.

V: But I don’t want a job.

Me: But how will you get money?

V: From the bank of course!

Me: But you’ll have to get your own home. You can’t stay with mama and papa forever!

V: I don’t want my own home! I will stay with you! Why can’t I stay with you? I don’t want to grow older!

Me: It’s ok. Calm down. There’s still many years before we have to think about this!

V: How can I stay a small boy?

Rescue Me!

V1 is four years old. And like most other four year olds, he’s into dinosaurs, animals and every type of vehicle. He knows so much about the things he’s interested in, it never ceases to amaze me.

However, there is one thing about him which I don’t think is like other four year olds…

See – usually when you ask a child what they would like to be when they grow up (or what they want to dress up as for Halloween), they probably say things like: doctor, nurse, fire fighter, policeman, etc.

V? No, no, no… He says he wants to be a rescue vehicle. He wants to be the fire engine, the ambulance or the police car.

Strange kid.

Oh wait. I just remembered. Sometimes he pretends he’s a brachiosaurus eating leaves from the trees. *head desk*

Catching Up

It’s been ages, hasn’t it?

I’ve been a bit lazy about updating my blog since I left Lagos – but I can’t put it off any longer!

You saw my last post, right?  About leaving Lagos?

Well – lots to report!

1. I don’t know if you know this or not – but Motilium does NOT help with airsickness.  Not in V’s case, anyway.  As with our previous flights, he slept for a bit and woke up whining.  He woke as the meals were being cleared.  I honestly think it’s the smell of all the food that makes him feel queasy.  He started throwing up when there was three hours left of the flight.  This is pretty much the same as the last two flights.  Maybe next time I should find some medication to knock him out for the whole eight hours?  Once we got home (at about 4 am), he decided he was hungry and wanted an egg and chocolate milk.  He ate so fast – he projectile vomited all over the kitchen!  My mum was thrilled.  Not.

2. It took him a little longer to ‘settle in’ this time.  About three days.  He wouldn’t communicate with my parents or my sister much at all.  His tantrums were frequent and loud.  My mother said they were ‘excessive’ (implying it was all my fault).  On the third or fourth day he had a slight temperature – slept all afternoon and woke as a different child.  Smiling, laughing and affectionate with the others and not only me!

3. We were in Dubai for Christmas last year as well.  Last year, if the ‘S’ word (Santa) was said, there would have been meltdowns.  V was terrified of him!  Pictures, statues – the whole lot.  This year was a different story.  He talked about Santa a lot.  We wrote Santa a letter, Santa wrote back, V knew he was going to get a gift, etc.  So I decided I’d take him to SEE Santa.  We went to Wafi City Mall.  I’d heard that the grotto there was fabulous – so that’s where I was going to take V.  The queue was very long – but we finally made it to the front!  It cost 60 dirhams per child (that’s about $19) and it included a gift from Santa and a photo.  V got more and more tired (and hungry) as we waited in the line, but he managed not to have a total meltdown.  Before seeing Santa, we had to wait in a little area that had been decorated with elves, Christmas trees, snow, presents, etc.  V was frightened of the reindeer that moved its head – but as we got closer, he didn’t mind it so much.  I was nervous as I didn’t know how V was going to react when he actually saw Santa.  I needn’t have worried.  He was shy.  But he sat on Santa’s lap and told him that he wanted a bus for Christmas (he was a bit disappointed that he got a rag doll instead).  I swear, I had tears in my eyes when we came out of there.  I couldn’t believe it.  Was this my child?

4. V loves Barney.  You know that already, right?  However, he’s always been scared of people in those big Barney costumes (or any other character costumes).  This doesn’t work well when we go to birthday parties where they have ‘characters’.  One of the last parties we went to, they had someone dressed up as Simba.  V freaked.  Anyway, so once I got to Dubai, I saw that there was going to be a Barney show at the Dubai Marina Mall.  It’s not exactly close to us, but I decided I was going to take V and he was going to like it – whether he liked it or not.  I kept talking about the show and how much fun it was going to be – and he got excited about it.  Come ‘SHOW DAY’, we took the Metro (because V was dying to go on the Metro) and got to the mall just in time.  I’d never been to one of these shows before – so I didn’t know what to expect.  I didn’t even know where the show was going to be.  As we walked into the mall, there was a stage right in front of us.  There was a small area around the stage that was cordoned off and there were people EVERYWHERE.  The cordoned-off area was for the children – and no adults were allowed to sit inside with the kids.  Eh?  My friend and I took V and her son in to settle them (because that was allowed).  We sat them down – though they fussed a bit and didn’t want us to go.  But they stayed.  V’s friend came out crying a few minutes later – he didn’t want to stay.  And I started worrying about V.  How would he sit alone?  He’s scared of these big character people, what will he do?  What if he cries?  I moved round and positioned myself (among buggies, nannies, babies and other mums) so I could see him.  He didn’t see me at first, so I was able to watch him.  He was a little scared when Barney came out – I couldn’t see that from the way he was sitting and his fingers were over his mouth – but it was only for a minute or two.  And then he was fine!  He caught sight of me and I saw this made him more confident.  He didn’t sing to any of the songs, but he did follow instructions (for once) and close his eyes when Barney told all the children to.  Honestly – I don’t know if I’ve been prouder.  I may have cried *embarrassed face* The only downsides were… a) The sound system was crap.  And b) When the show ended, there was no system for going in and getting your child.  The security just lifted all the ropes out of the way, and adults and children were free to move in or out of the area.  This is something they definitely have to think about and come up with some sort of system!

5.  And lastly…  Today is New Year’s Day.  And LagosDad and I are in Doha airport in the lounge waiting for our flight to Bali.  V is in Dubai with my parents.  He was kind of ok about us leaving – we didn’t tell him where we were going or that we were going by airplane, or he’d never have let us leave.  The last time I left V was 18 months ago.  I went to London for a week and left him with LagosDad in Lagos.  He doesn’t remember that.  And this is the first time we are both leaving him.  He has an exciting few days planned – my dad is taking him to the airport tomorrow to have ice cream and watch the planes take off and land (V’s idea of heaven).  My sister is going to take him to a new wildlife park over the weekend.  My mum will take him to the pet shop every couple of days (he likes to go and see the animals).  And then we’ll be back.  We’re not even there yet and I miss him already.

My son – my darling boy – I can’t believe how much progress he’s made in recent months.  I could make a list here – but I won’t bore you to death.

I’ve got photos – but I’m using LagosDad’s laptop – so will include at some point!

Happy New Year everyone!