When I think of Alex, what are the first words that come to mind?
Smile, Dimple, Hair, Buzz, Bright, Chaotic, Determined, Stubborn, Bright..!
When Alex was born, he was so tiny, sometimes I’d look at him and almost worry about picking him up, he just looked so delicate. For the first six months, all he did was eat, sleep, drool and flash exceptionally cute pudgy smiles every now and then. He lulled us into a false sense of security thinking, wow, we got one of those babies that just loves sleep! Amazing!
Almost at the stroke of midnight as Alex turned six months old… he woke up.. and the chaos begun.
Suddenly, the world seemed to move twice as fast – Rian was still just two and giving us a crash course in the emotions that come with that age… and suddenly we needed eyes everywhere. Alex was a climber, a jumper-offer of things! Where Rian was cautious, Alex was oblivious – there was simply just always someone there to catch him as far as he was concerned! Not long after that it became very apparent that these two little boys came as a pair – if Rian was doing something, Alex was too. Gone was any hope of him sitting in a buggy, by the time he was around a year and a half old, he refused point blank to get into one unless Rian was too. No more high chairs – he would insist on sitting on a chair beside his big brother at the table, so young, that he wasn’t even tall enough to see over the table. We’d sit down to have a meal and all we’d see every few seconds were two pudgy little hands appearing over the edge of the table, feeling around until his pudgy fingers met some food, then they’d disappear as he fed himself! If Rian was doing it, Alex was too.
There’s no doubt as brothers, they’re already very close. But when I think of Alex, another obvious pairing comes to mind, in the form of Buzz Lightyear. I mean, how could I write a post about Alex, and not mention Buzz? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone to be as big a fan of anything before this! To be fair, as a parent of young children you get used to watching the same thing on repeat, or the same songs, and to be fair to Toy Story, it’s not the worst thing to have to watch on repeat. But when Toy Story 4 was released over the summer, I’m not going to lie, I was almost emotional at the thought of seeing footage of Buzz & Woody where I didn’t know the dialogue off by heart, I could even listen to two seconds to the backing music and not only tell you which of the first three movies it’s from, but the scene, the next line.. in fact it could now be my specialty subject on Mastermind I know it so well!
But the most amazing thing about Alex is that every time he watches it – (it’s not actually every day… even Rian is starting to put his foot down about it these days!) – it’s as if it’s the first time he’s ever seen it. He lives the scenes along with his heroes: ‘Oh nooooo the train fell!’ as if he hadn’t seen it 23498 times already.
That’s the thing about these kids, both of them… they open your eyes to things you thought you knew and shows you them from a brand new perspective, and you see things as new all over again. Not necessarily Toy Story of course, but things like the colour of leaves and why do they change? And you start to explain and realise that you don’t stop to notice the beauty of it as often as you like. There was the most beautiful rainbow across the sky yesterday as I was on the train home from work, and I wished I was with the kids to show it to them, knowing how delighted they’d be with it!
As Alex turns three, the latest phrase he has started to say is, ‘I’m not a baby! I’m Alex’!
He’s right of course, but also he IS a baby! How is it just three years ago that we met him for the first time? How is he old enough to be going to ‘Stoweee’ (Montessori), to be telling me in his own babyish words about his day at creche, the friends he plays with? Shouldn’t I still be wrapping him up in the sling and wondering about when his next nap might happen??
I’ve said it a million times, I just can’t understand how I got so lucky to become Mam to these two amazing little boys.. each birthday comes and it’s more than their birthday, it’s a milestone for me. Both new territory, and newer territory – where Rian has gone, Alex follows, but they’re two such different little people that it won’t be the same experience. They teach me things all the time, cause me worries all the time.. but they’re moving too fast. One year of each version of them so far as they change and grow up doesn’t seem enough! I just want more.
Happy third birthday to you Alex, you really are the most amazing three year old I know, full of fun, mischief, determination. I can barely remember before you were here and I cannot wait to see what comes next. We love you!