Carl considers himself to be equal in size, speed, and noise making capacity to his older brother Niels, and figured out long ago exactly which pieces of Lego he needs to snatch away from under his brothers’ nose to drive him absolutely crazy.
His is very much a Mummy’s boy at the moment (probably because I’m the one with the coveted boobies) so after I’ve read his story, gone through his photo album of the extended family and then tucked him in for the night I’m usually called back into his room at least twice to give him another cuddle and kiss goodnight. As I kneel awkwardly on the floor boards, ignoring the stabs of pain from the pieces of lego, small plastic knights and Hot Wheels cars poking into my legs, I bend over him in the dark under his ceiling filled with luminescent stars, moons and planets. We can just see each other in the orange glow of the night-light, and he scrunches himself onto his right side, dummy firmly stuck in his mouth, and hooks his left arm up over my neck as I snuggle into that lovely baby-soft skin on his neck. We both sigh, first me; “aaaaahhhh”, and then him; “aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”, then I kiss his neck and make as if to leave. At this point his arm tightens around my neck and he pulls me close so our cheeks are touching. I can feel his long eyelashes on my cheek as his body relaxes and he edges towards sleep. At that moment I swear I forget every sleepless night, every ear splitting yell, every toy hurled at my head in frustration or amusement, every pool of pee on the floor as we try to progress through toilet training. In that small warm moment the universe exists of nothing but the instinctive closeness of mother and child symbolised in our warm breaths on each others face. Finally Carl releases me and I give him a last kiss before leaving and he imparts his final comment, something like “I’m your friend Mummy”, or “It was good fun in the pool today Mummy”. Or sometimes even just “I like your boobies”.
I’ve included some photos of Carls' big day at pre-school (top), his dinosaur birthday cake and also his birthday party here at the condo (left, showing Carl with his best friend Noor, who he calls "My Noor").