I've been shocked out of the soft, warm cushion of post-natal haziness by the disturbing fact that my son has got to four months old without me noticing. "They grow up so fast" doesn't even cover it. I swear it took years for my eldest to get to this age. Years, I tell ya. I find myself spouting the most inane comments to try to justify my wonder: "He's a little person." Yes, he is. From the moment he was born, he came complete with his own personality and voice. Why is this such a shock to me, every day?
"How did he get so big?" Probably the two-hourly feeding that is leeching the fat and braincells from my body.
"It's like he's always been here." Well, in one shape or form, inside or skinside, he has been here for just over a year.
The kid can say a thousand words with one look - another cliché, but it really is true. He will stare you out while he cries, trying to get across exactly what the problem is. Once you've locked gazes and raised your eyebrows in acknowledgement, he quiets, immediately. As Nina might say: he's just a boy whose intentions are good, oh lord, please don't let him be misunderstood. She left out the part about late night nappy changes though.
I seem to be raising two little bookworms, too. Kiddo#1 is a confirmed bibliophile, already competing with our bookshelf space. His favourite place is the library and from the moment he wakes up in the morning it's all about the stories - written or plucked out of the air. He'll walk circles around our bed in his pyjamas while we grasp for consciousness, a non-stop stream of imagination:
"Tell me a story about a brontosaurus, or actually, about a tiger. With a baby tiger. Who was climbing up a tree. No, who had a tiger cub and also a puppy. The cub and the puppy were brothers. The puppy was the baby brother and the tiger cub looked after the baby. And you're the mummy, ok Mummy? And you're the daddy. And the baby is the baby. And the brontosaurus, I mean, tiger, climbing up a volcano - wait, tree - and ... no, actually, it was a volcano and..."
Kiddo#2 does a whole-body wiggle if a book is stuck in front of him. Storytime is a wrestling act while Kiddo#1 makes me flick back to pages he wants to see again, elaborating on the story with his own designs, and Kiddo#2 desperately reaches out for the pictures and chews pages. Paraphrasing is essential. Unless Kiddo#1 knows the book by heart, in which case I get corrected...
My god, soon the little one will be crawling, eating solid food, calling us Mamamamama and Dadadadada. The big one will be at school this September. It's going too fast, and I need to write down these moments so I don't lose them.