My elder six year-old son, L, is growing like a weed. These days, I’m frequently gob-smacked by how tall and big he is. Not only that, but L is genuinely developing into a small man.
He picks up dead bugs around the house, while calming his hysterical mother who always somehow finds a table to climb onto when these creepy crawlies are about. He helps me rake leaves in the backyard and never fails to demand fair compensation for services rendered. He is capable of holding a serious conversation with me about any number of topics (especially ones involving small ninja figurines), but mature beyond his age not to embarrass me when I can’t answer his probing questions or match his counter-arguments.
The transformation naturally leads me to reminisce about the days when he was small enough for me to cradle and babyish enough for me to cuddle. Unfortunately, it also brings back memories of some of worst times of parenthood, when L struggled with sleeping. You see, for the first two or so years of his life, L would wake up at least 6-8 times a night, unable to settle himself back to nap, and completely drive my wife and I to the very brink of insanity. It didn’t help that L had an eczema problem which made him scratch furiously on most nights and scream from fatigue on most days.