My body is amazing

That’s what I’ve been making Henry repeat over and over around the house lately. You can do that with two-year-olds. Mostly I do it for my own amusement, but this time I mean it.

‘Your body is…?’ I prompt, helpfully.

‘Amaaaaazing!’ he chips in. With jazz hands.

He runs, he jumps, he stands on one leg and thinks it’s hilarious, he draws around his hands and counts on his fingers. Today he wanted to look at belly buttons, so we did: his a proper button outie, mine a stretchy, pockmarked valley, a casualty of birth. He put his head down on my stomach to listen to the food squelching inside, and pummelled the skin like bread dough, which is what it most resembles. I worked hard, hard, harder not to say anything negative about my squashiness. I told him about the boys that had lived in there, and everything my belly has done. I told him it was amazing.

I make a huge fuss of the good food he eats, tracing the vitamins and energy from his stomach, down his arms to the tips of his fingers and soles of his feet. At night we talk about the little men in his head, switching off his eyes and making his limbs heavy, so that they can help him grow and repair while he sleeps. (I hope to get more scientific on this one as we go along.)

He’ll get a different message eventually, but for now, this is the one I want ringing in his ears.

His body is amazing. Jazz hands.

SAM_1273

I think I took that phrase from Hollie McNish’s poem ‘Wow’, which I cannot, cannot recommend you hear enough. (I tried hard to find a transcript, but couldn’t – here’s a performance of it.) 

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