ROOM FOR CHANGE AS MY CHERUB GROWS UP
The Troublesome Twos have gone. Fewer tantrums -- and 'no' is no longer my son's favourite word. He even says 'yes' now and then -- truly, music to my ears! I had expected the Tiresome Threes to follow, but no, he is like an angel child, even helping to tidy away his toys before bed. He is so cute now that it almost makes me think I'd like another one.
I always said I'd have just one child. For the experience. Never a particularly maternal individual, I thought I'd get a cat first, and after a few years I thought it would be more fun having a child -- after all, besides putting a little collar on a cat there's not much you can do by way of dressing him up!
When I was pregnant, I was so delighted. I envisaged many afternoons shopping with my mummy friends and their babies. In my little fantasy world, the washing just got done all by itself, the bottles were sterilised all by themselves and I would spend the afternoons strolling around the park in the sunshine, pausing occasionally to take photos of my little cherub.
Of course, life isn't a fairytale and the first year of my son's existence still remains a fog of chores, with me wondering if my baby brain (I sometimes even forgot Gary's name when people asked me!) would ever get back to normal.
Now I no longer have a baby, but a little friend. We have meaningful conversations about cartoon characters and animals, we hang out at the play centre around the corner and we even go shopping, although shopping for toy tanks, JCBs, and tractors isn't as much fun as I'd imagine shopping for dolls' houses is.
The other day, I looked around his bedroom. It was still a baby room with bunnies and teddies as well as a changing unit and it contained all the baby stuff that Gary no longer needs.
"I think I'll do up his room," I told my father. "I might get him a car bed and make it into a real little boy's room."
He agreed with me. "Get rid of the baby stuff," he said. "What's the point of keeping it? You'll never need it again."
And he was right, I acknowledged ruefully. I'll never have another one.
So I rang a charity shop but they said they don't take second-hand baby stuff because of safety regulations. Then I put an ad on the Internet advertising it as free to take away. A young foreign couple arrived the following morning, all excited, and took everything off my hands.
I waved goodbye with a sigh of relief tinged with sadness, as all Gary's baby stuff turned the corner never to be seen again. Then again, it was very nice going back into my home and seeing all the space I'd forgotten I had. I mean, baby stuff takes up a ridiculous amount of room.
And now that I'm in a de-cluttering mood, I'm looking at the treadmill that I got to help lose all the baby weight. It hasn't lived up to its promise. I think that big imposing machine that takes up half my living room will be next to get its marching orders!
Marisa is the author of Along Came A Stork