Dexter James, you’re three years old. Where did the past three years go? This time three years ago I was pacing up and down our old flat, cursing you for the pain I was in, and so scared of what was to come. Who knew we’d be blessed with the most precious little boy who brings us such joy and happiness every single day?
It’s been six months since I last did a Dexter update and I think it’s time to share what a wonderful little boy you are turning into. You are no longer a toddler, but a fully functioning child with his own thoughts, feelings and desires. You have changed so much over the past six months, it is so hard to comprehend. You seem to have jumped from baby to child overnight and I keep trying to understand how I seem to have lost a year or two! You are still as sweet and as funny as you ever were, but your personality has changed hugely these past few months and it’s so incredible to watch you try to learn about the world around you through those big blue eyes of yours.
You’ve always been an amazing sleeper- yes there’s been days and weeks where you’ve woken during the night or refused a nap, but on the whole you were a unicorn child. Although you are quite happy to not have a nap if we are out and about, when we are at home you will still nap for three hours in the afternoon. These naps are getting later and later on during the day, nearing 2pm now, and even though you often don’t wake until 5pm, you are still back in bed for 7pm, ready for your 10-12 hour sleep. You love waking up early and you don’t shout for us from your room anymore, instead you come creeping into our bedroom, shutting your bedroom door behind you. You climb into bed with us and whisper that you want to watch TV. Sometimes we moan and groan and say, ‘No, Dexter! Go back to sleep‘, but you never do. Once you’re up, you’re up, even if that means you start yawning at 9am!
There have been so many changes in your life these past six months. In December we welcomed your baby brother Felix into our lives. I can’t believe how well you adjusted to this huge change for us all. I was so fearful you’d feel left out, insecure, unloved or worse, but instead you’ve welcomed Felix with open arms and kisses and only want to show love and affection. Sometimes it’s been hard when you’ve wanted me to play in the garden but it was too cold for Felix and I couldn’t leave him inside, but you’ve been so understanding and patient. You love showing off your brother and have learnt to whisper when he’s asleep. I know you can’t wait for him to grow more so you can play together and get so excited to show him your new toys.
The other big changes have been getting rid of your dummies, moving to a toddler bed and getting a new bedroom. Each challenge you’ve taken in your stride. There’s been the odd tear here and there, but you are such a well behaved and polite little boy, always grateful for what you have and thankful too. You always say please and thank you (sometimes you need a little prompt) and are starting to learn how to say sorry if you hurt someone physically or emotionally. (Although you never mean to do either)
You still go to the childminder’s every week, at the moment for three days a week. You absolutely adore your days there and beg me to take you when it’s your day at home! You have made some lovely friends there and have recently enjoyed a few playdates with one of your little friends. It’s so heartwarming to see your friendship and how much you adore each other. I hope you guys stay friends for years to come.
You are obsessed with chocolate thanks to a combination of Christmas and Easter and beg me for chocolate eggs, Malteasers, chocolate spread and cake bars most mornings. Luckily, your charm doesn’t work on me and you end up with cereal or toast, but you certainly know how to turn on the smiles and the batting of eyelashes! You would eat chocolate for every meal of every day if you could, which is pretty scary!
We took our first holiday together without Daddy a few months ago when we went to Bluestone with our friends. You made me so proud that week Dex after dreading what was to come a little bit. Only six months prior we had gone out together to a park and I’d had to carry you kicking and screaming back to the car because you kept running off towards traffic. I had no idea how I’d cope with you and your newborn baby brother, five hours away from home, without your Dad. I needn’t have worried though because you were absolutely amazing. As usual, you had no interest in hanging out with me but wanted to be around ‘the people‘ (aka our friends Nic, Roo and ELT) every second of the day. You watched out for traffic and stopped whenever a car or buggy came anywhere near us. Most importantly you listened and embraced the time away and I’ve never been happier to have been your Mum. That time away was so precious to me and I am so glad that we did it. It made me realise how much you’d grown and that I could trust you to make good choices and listen. Since then we’ve been out and about so much more as I’ve had much more confidence in being able to handle the two of you together.
Don’t get me wrong, you do love a good tantrum from time to time, but we’ve noticed recently that these are easing and instead you just get a little bit sad. Just the other day you had been out with your Daddy and so Felix and I took advantage of the quiet time and hopped in the bath. I hate getting out of the bath when we are both wet so when you returned I shouted you and Daddy upstairs to help. When you saw us both in the bath and you’d been left out you looked at us sadly and stomped into your bedroom with your head down. You didn’t cry or shout or scream and it nearly broke my heart. I encouraged you to come back and you told me you’d like to get in the bath too, so I passed Felix over to Daddy and we had a bath together too. I’m so glad you feel able to communicate with us calmly when you feel upset. I know all the emotions and feelings can get very overwhelming from time to time.
You’ve also gotten really good at tidying up after yourself, putting food wrappers in the bin and popping toys away when you want to play with something new. Although the latter takes a bit of encouragement. You love helping yourself to snacks from the fridge or shouting me to reach the ones you can’t find. When you aren’t demanding Easter eggs you like snacking on carrot sticks, yoghurts, mini cheddars, rice cakes, cereal and grapes.
We have started our third attempt of potty training this week and it seems to be going an awful lot better than our previous attempts. This will be another huge hurdle ticked off your list Dex and I know you’ll get there eventually, whether we’re successful this time or not.
Happy 3rd birthday little dude. I am so excited to see how you grow and change over the next 12 months and can’t believe we’ll be applying for schools in the next 6 months or so. Thank you for being the kindest and sweetest little boy we could have asked for. Thank you for being gentle with your brother and brightening up our days. Love you ’til the day I die.