note to elliott

Note to Elliott – 22

Dear Elliott,

Ah, 22.

I like the number 22 because I was born on the twenty-second. 22 also means that you are just 2 months away from turning 2 years old. Ok, that’s a lot of twos in one paragraph but anyway.

You turned 22 months the day before school started for many young ones. It would be an exciting day for parents and child alike because starting school is a huge milestone. I don’t think you know it yet but you, my Bubu-pants, will be starting playground proper once you cross the 2-year-old mark. The thought gets me a little nervous and a little teary at the same time. I wondered about a million things, like whether or not you’d be ok, if you’d make new friends, if you would like school.

I really shouldn’t worry though. At 22 months, you are a rather sociable and happy little kid. When Yiyi got married on Boxing Day, you performed your page boys duties perfectly and I was so so proud of you.  I was sleepless the night before because you know, mothers worry about everything. I was worried that you’d throw a fit and lie on the floor, screaming. I was afraid that you will spot me from afar and decide not to walk. None of that happened. You held onto the hand of Chloe Jie Jie (happily)and walked down the aisle perfectly. In fact, when the walk was over, you continued to hold her hand, you little Cassanova.

You can now sing the entire Alphabet song on your own. Of course, you stumble over some of the more complicated bits but in general, you can complete the song on your own. I have a little video clip where you hit your drum and sing the Alphabet song out loud. Such a precious memory.

You also enjoy singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as well as the Chinese version – which admittedly, I had to go search Youtube for the proper lyrics. Before bedtime, I will always ask what song you’d like to sing and I’d go through the entire repertoire with you saying “No” until we get to a song you like. On most nights, it’s (still) “Wheels on the Bus”.

You can also string simple instruction sentences together with your favourite being “On tv ok?”. And if we say no, you go into a (fake) crying fit, sometimes lying on the floor. The moment we ask: Watch tv? You bounce up and go cheerfily: Ah-K! (ok) Pfffft. I am going to admit here that we allow you to watch far too much TV for your own good and am keeping my fingers crossed that there is no long-term irreversible harm that we are causing you. You particularly enjoy Youtube videos of kids trying out toys, like this one here. I really don’t get how such videos are exciting but you will sit there, enthralled. I’d have to try and capture a photo of your TV Face, as we call it.

You still enjoy bath time and would try and swim in your fast-getting-small Stokke bathtub that we have had since you were little. You sit happily in there, playing with your boat and watering can. We sit and observe you from the dining area and when you catch us watching you, you will usually break into a big smile.

When something goes wrong, you will go “Oh no”. Like, finding a stray thread on your pyjamas is an “oh no” moment. Or if you spill some water on the floor. You like it when I go down to your eye level to ask what is wrong and would point out the offending item to me. You will then look suitably pleased once I remove, or clean up the mess.

I also like it that when you want to show us something, you come right up to us and hold our hand before leading us to the item gently. It is such a simple gesture but your besotted mother here thinks that it is very cute. Of course, you are still a little young to understand the concept of “wait” or “Mummy is busy” and would insist that we come with you RIGHT AWAY. I hope that you will continue to remain curious in the smallest of things.

We also celebrated your second Christmas in December. We have a confession: Your parents did not buy you a Christmas present. Not because we did not want to, or could not afford it. It was for the simple reason that you are so very loved and you received way more presents than we have space for! You are also started to grasp the concept of present-opening and would exclaim “Wow” when you get to the present after ripping apart your gifts.

I have also discovered that you also have a rather amiable personality. I strongly believe that you acquired this trait from Daddy. I have observed that when you are pushed (gently) by other kids, you don’t react. If it was me as a kid, I would have punched said kid in the face (yes, I’m a bit fierce that way). In fact, your slightly bewildered face breaks my heart that little bit. It is as if you are trying to make sense of what just happened. I am also thankful that you do not bite or hit (yet). You also seem to demonstrate empathy when another kid is crying because you look on with concern, as if asking “Oh dear, what is wrong?” Whenever we ask that you give a crying child a hug, you do so without hesitation (oh, my proud mother’s heart). I do hope that you continue to be kind and empathetic.

I have to confess that your mother here has been less than kind and empathetic, and it is not something that I am proud of. After every single occassion where I have “lost it”, I regret it immediately and wished that I had remained calm and patient. I have to remember that when parents “lose it”, we lose control of the situation which can easily spiral out of control.

I want you to continue to look towards me (and Daddy) for comfort. I want you to know that we will always be your safe space in this (scary) world. And for that to happen, I have to consciously remind myself that you are but a young child. Being curious and exploratory is what you do best. It is easier said than done, this “be patient” business but I promise to try my very very best. And when there are times when I feel like I am losing it, I will walk away to take control of my emotions first before reacting. It will be hard but I will TRY.

Happy 22 months, dear Elliott.

With love,
Mummy xoxo

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