On losing Two, and trying not to be sad about it

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Second birthday. The cheeks have it.

He is on the verge of being three. Hanging onto Two by his fingertips. You can see Three coming in those long skinny legs, the bony bottom in little underpants. Three is in his self-awareness, the jokes with a random punchline, the sentences with multiple clauses. There are Threeish days he wants books with more words than pictures, and days he wants me to pull stories out of my head. I can smell it on the days he sleeps till 7.30 instead of 6am, and doesn’t want a nap because it’s obvious he doesn’t need one.

You’d think this would be good news. It is, it really is. Two has been a marvellous, multicoloured fire-storm. I have sensed for a long time that he and I are very similar, and I’ve butted heads with Two so often we have bruises. I can see the seeds of logic in Three. There’s the unremarkable everyday use of the toilet coming (!!!), and the point at which he can get himself a seventh glass of water. I can see, very VERY distantly on the horizon, a day in which he can put on his own socks.

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But oh, there is sweetness here I am not ready to give up. Two, with his chubby cheeks and flannel Thomas pyjamas. The process of watching him pull words from the air, awestruck with the discovery that things have names, and mispronounce them hilariously. Not ever again in his life will he forget how to say ‘porridge’. He won’t ever need my hand again to go down the stairs. That was Two’s thing, and Two has almost gone.

Three goes to nursery in September. We’re still waiting for the confirmation letter to arrive, but it should come any day. He’ll be someone else’s for five mornings a week, and he is so excited to go. Me, I’ve spent these sunny weeks holding onto Two with both hands: picnics, day trips, library books, lots of mornings jumping off walls and poking things with sticks, as much time as I can wangle with him wedged on my lap. For these last few golden weeks he is all mine, all day, and this life I make for him is the only one he knows. It was never going to last, and it shouldn’t, either. But I will close my eyes and breathe in Two for every minute I still have him.

Three is coming, lovely boy, and just wait till you see what you’ll find there.

Three is coming.

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15 thoughts on “On losing Two, and trying not to be sad about it

  1. Sasha says:

    My daughter is only two months away as well and I too am trying to hang on to every last moment of my precious little two year old.

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  2. So Beautiful! I have never been the biggest fan of two but you make it sound sweeter than I remember it 🙂 Three is quite a fav of mine, I am sure you will adore it! ( Jake just turned 7!)

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    • So glad you liked it! Don’t get me wrong – two is a rollercoaster. Lots of emotions they don’t know what to do with, and a lot of wanting things they can’t have 🙂 He’s gone through some pretty fiery phases, and I’m sure he has lots more to come. But watching him discover things – especially talking – has been the best thing ever. They are just wonderful little companions at this age. I’m not ready to lose him to school just yet!

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  3. I know it’s kind of obvious but three does seem so much older than two. Two is such an amazing age for learning and discovery. I think I will also be clinging onto my son’s final days as a two year old. Luckily I still have until next year.

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    • Yes, I really noticed a huge leap in his comprehension over the past couple of months (he’s three in a few weeks) – it’s amazing how they develop in stages. Two really is all about discovery, isn’t it? Watching him figure out grammar has been so fascinating – I’ve loved it.

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  4. Emily’s daughter, Amelia, is 19 months old but already she makes me thing 3! She has so many words and too much sense for 19 months that i have to keep reminding myself she is only a baby still. Enjoy your summer.

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  5. This is beautiful! We’ll have a three-year old come November and I think what gets me most is that the funny mispronunciations come and go so quickly. I’m not going to hear her say “What’s that sound of noise?” again now and I don’t want to say goodbye to her putting on a ‘cardington’. But, then again, the jokes will get better…

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    • I know just what you mean! ‘Cardington’ is a great one 🙂 I keep meaning to write more of them down, because they’re so short-lived and I’m certain I’ll forget them. Hurrah for better jokes…and stories that make sense, too!

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