The fact that, when I tell you to “say cheese” for the camera you pull this face.
The way you say “octopus”. In this house, it’s known as “octalamapus”.
Following that note, I love that “zebras’ are “zibwas”.
I love how convincing you are when you want something. Your ability to charm and use language never fails to make me smile. Example: “Y’okay Mama? Yes? Um…cake? Okay? Yeah Mama? Cake? Yis pweaaaaase Mama.” You don’t let me get a word in edgeways. And yes, you got the cake.
How clumsy you are. You and I both. We’re always dropping things, banging into things and tripping over things. I just hope it’s as endearing with me as it is with you.
Your beautiful, beautiful face, when you’re just intently watching or doing something. Your eyes are wide and full and blue. And your little profile is something I could stare at all day.
Your fondness for your best friends. Teddy, Raggit, Peewee…and the addition of Meep and Octalamapus. Where would you be without them?
How everything is always: “Ohhhhhh nooooooooo.”
How tiny you are when you’re fast asleep. Curled up into a tight little ball of a boy. Fists clenched. Cheeks flushed. And so gorgeous.
How, if you need something right that second, you’ll just grab my hand and lead me and tell me what to do. “Mama – that?”
Your love of books. I’m a bookworm. No one else in our family really is. But you love books and words just as much as I do. I have great hopes that this will be something we’ll always share. Maybe you’ll have the success with words that I never did.
Your obsession with hair. Since you were tiny. Held to my chest. You’d always have a handful of my hair. And it was one of your first words. And now you’ll quietly brush my hair and you love it when I do it in return, with that oh-so-soft baby hairbrush.
Your intent to make a mess wherever you are. Sometimes, I’m not even sure you play. You just empty things. Overturn everything and create piles of mess. Like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack that you just simply can’t find.
The fact that you like olives.
That, if I lose you for a second, you’ll be found most likely climbing on a chair to sit on the dining room table and play with the daffodils. Despite being told no, over and over again.
The way you let people in. It doesn’t always happen overnight, but you’re a happy, social little boy and I know you always will be.
The way I show you photographs of yourself as a baby – the ones that hang in the hallway – and you’ll say: “Ohhhh. Nice. Baby.” You’ve no clue it’s you, you plank.
The way you recognise people in photographs. And when you spot me you gasp, turn to me and smile and say: “Oh Mama. My Mama.”
The way you call me: “Mama.”
The way you’ll tug on my clothes when I’m cooking in the kitchen, so I’ll bend down to your level, so you can wrap your whole body around me in your monkey-like way.
The way you chase the vacuum cleaner like a dog.
The way you’ll ask after people all the time. “Mama? Where Dada? Where Po? Where Granny? Where Milo? Where Juno? Where Jamie? Where Mark?” You’re either thoughtful or incredibly nosey.
The way we will argue over whether a lion is indeed a lion or a “tiger, raaaaah.” It’s a lion. You won’t win that one.
The way we walk around the shops, with you sat in the trolley, hugging.
The way you’ll sometimes come up to me and go: “Mama? Y’okay? Hug?”
The way we have taught you to hug people who are crying. So much so that we might pretend to cry just to get a hug sometimes. Granny does it more than Mummy. She’s the naughty one.
Your love of outdoors. I’ve never seen a happier smile.
The way you collect flowers when you’re outside. Even dandelions. Which Mummy has to hold as we walk around the garden.
The way you’ll run to the phone and fetch it for me when it rings. “I’ll get it! I’ll get it!”
The way you sincerely believe that you know how to use my camera.
The way that, when I ask for a high five, you give me one and shout: “Yessss!”
The way your hand finds mine. And fits safely there.
The way you’ll say “I love you” or “miss you.”
That you’re mine.
I can’t count the things I love about you. But just know I do.