The hair! All the hair! Well... Some of the hair. I watched as it landed on the hairdresser floor; lots of blonde locks fell. I am just grateful that it wasn't an ear, the way that his head turned this way and that to locate the source of all of these oh-so-new-to-him noises. Nana's phone captured his attention for the most part. And he still has both ears! Delightful.
His favourite food is blueberries, easy on the stalks.
Food, lots of food. Every food. Except still perhaps cucumber. Blueberries. All day long this child will eat blueberries; excluding those that slip his grasp and slide down into his car seat. I fear that quite the collection is building up within that poor chair. Peering in my rear view mirror, I see my blonde boy grabbing handfuls of the berries and placing them all in his mouth. "One at a time!" I suggest, which he attempts, before reverting back to his slightly more hazardous but speedy methods. His blueberry grin shows off the quantity and his pride. "All gone".
Good morning little one.
He wakes often with a smile, wishing good mornings and imploring that we go downstairs. Downstairs is where the porridge lives! One, two, three... count the steps... ten, eleven, twelve. Hooray!
The teddy bear, the loud one with the flashing features and the songs about animals and colours and numbers - this loud bear is his friend of the moment. Squeeze his foot, squeeze, squeeze - and just the right song comes on. A dance around the room commences, skip, skip, push off with my left foot. Oh no, the song has stopped - another song is coming on. The wrong song! Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Phew. The right song is back - the dancing can recommence. "Teddy bear, teddy bear, clap like this. Teddy bear, teddy bear........".
We lean against the radiator. "Hot, mummy". No Elis, just warm, just nice. Can you see the birds in the tree? He lines up his robin, and his blackbird on the window sill and we watch the blue tits chasing each other around the silver birch tree.
An insect flies past our noses - "a BZZZZ Mama, a BZZZZ!"
He takes loud gulps of his drink, grinning at me with a milk moustache and thrusting the cup in my general direction. He shares his drink, but not his Mama. At the park, a small child sidles towards me, and tugs at my trouser leg. "Nooooooooooooo" he shouts, a toddler blur catapulting towards me. Keeping his sight trained on the infiltrating child he wraps his arms around my leg and stares the enemy into submission. The two foot tall snotty enemy retreats, and knowing when not to make the same mistake twice, Elis tightens his grasp on my trousers and drags me towards the slide.
Learning is fun.
We play games, sing our alphabet, learn the months of the year. November is not in good favour at the moment, with October skipping straight into December in the toddler rendition. He points at the hedgehog and the bumble bee on the Springtime puzzle, before indicating that enough time has been spent away from trains to warrant a return.
"Cheeeeeeeeeeese!" he says as he puts my phone to his eye. "One more time. Cheeeeeese, Mama!"
Walks are still jerky, zig zagging forwards, and sometimes back. Wandering must be just that with this toddler in tow, no intended destination - or at least not to any short time scales. I hoist him onto my shoulders to some protestations, before distracting him with the yellow flowers of a gorse bush, or the nearby river. Gallop, gallop, gallop, before Mama is tired and we slow down our gait.
Bed time comes. "Hair Mama, hair." I spread my hair next to him and he twirls it between his fingers and rubs it against his cheeks, eyes, face. "Lie down, Mama". Stories read, teeth brushed, the dummy returned to him from the "sleeping babies" who look after it during the day until it is his turn to sleep. One day he will no longer be a sleeping baby, but a sleeping boy, and will not need it then either.
But until that day, he sprawls on my bed, chubby red cheeks and a hefty snore. Dreamland until the morning.