He’s taken to telling me to ‘go away’ as his bottom lip drops to indicate displeasure that is gone as quickly as it came and he is soon tugging at my hand once more to lead me onto his next adventure, of which I must be a participant (willing, or otherwise). ‘Come’ he cries as he pulls me towards the sandpit, where he instructs to me to sit forcing a miniature garden fork into my hand. The Hugo-getter was my other nickname for him as a baby, as his happy-go-lucky nature belied a hefty determination to reach his next milestone as soon as he possibly could.
He is still like that now, a cuddly, strong, bull-at-a-gate with a mop of blonde hair that is getting darker just like his brother’s, cherubic cheeks and a cheeky smile that charms everyone. He sings a lot, mastering words to nursery rhymes and if he hears music he particularly likes, he’ll grab the small electric guitar in the corner and rock out.
I can already feel the closeness between him and his brother and love to watch them playing and chatting to each other, especially when they don’t know I’m there. They are both fiercely protective of each other and I feel my heart expand in my chest every time they hug and kiss each other goodbye and goodnight. I hope they continue to be the closest of friends as they grow.
On the weekends when his father is home, I can’t even do up his seat belt without him yelling ‘No! Daddy Do it!’ … like he relishes the time with his dad so much that he wants to milk every moment, but then by Monday it’s back to ‘Mummy do it’ and I’m secretly pleased to still be needed by this independent little guy.
Mondays and Tuesdays are Hugo and Mummy days after we drop Jarvis at kindy and he loves this one-on-one attention and as the weeks go by I realise how quickly he’s growing up. When we talk about J going to school next year, he pipes up ‘me too’ and I can half imagine him in his toddler bravado walking through the gates and wanting to stay. I have to whisper to him, don’t grow up too quickly my son, and he just smiles and laughs and it feels like in that moment that if I blink my eyes, he’ll have grown too big for my arms.
And so, I linger a little longer when he’s fallen asleep with his chubby hand up to his face, his breath deep and slow. These days, though long, are short. He is growing right before my eyes, so I try and go slow and enjoy each crazy toddler moment with this precious second son of mine.