I don’t want to moan about my son. But I am going to just a little bit. I am fully aware that Noah is a remarkable little person. I am fully aware that for every annoying habit he has, he has an even bigger endearing trait. He is three years old, I tell myself. Most of the time, I am patient. Most of the time, I try to see the world from his perspective. He goes through phases and some of these phases are trying. It’s just a phase, I tell myself. It will pass. He will grow out of it. But still, I’m just a teeny tiny miniscule bit exhausted.
Here are Noah’s top 10 favourite things to do at the moment from the least to the most annoying:
- He has taken to sleeping in his slippers. These are blue, slightly too big, and have Mickey Mouse on them. In itself, this habit is quite endearing. When I check on him before I go to bed, all I can usually see of him is his little slippered feet sticking out under the duvet. God love him, I think with a smile. What is annoying about this is the tracking down of the slippers just as he is climbing into bed. One is usually easy to find; the other often proves elusive.
- He has started biting his toenails. Surely he will grow out of this as he gets bigger and less supple? Unless he is hypermobile like me*. He then complains his big toe hurts and needs cream on it. If this happened once, or even twice, a day it would be okay…(*Please note – I do not bite my own toenails.)
- He insists on wiping his own bum after doing a poo. Bum wiping is not one of the aspects of motherhood that has come easily to me. I’d love it if I didn’t have to wipe his bum for him anymore. But he doesn’t do it properly which means I have to intervene which usually means me chasing him around the flat with the toilet paper. Sorry for talking about poo.
- He is obsessed with plasters. Last week, he insisted on wearing a plaster on his finger every day because it “hurt”. At first I indulged him. It was easier than having to suffer one of his tantrums over it. But then he used up a whole packet of plasters and I was a bit worried his finger was going to shrivel up. So I suffered a 45 minute tantrum where the only words were “I want a plaster” over and over and over and over a hundred times until, exhausted, he fell asleep. What were the first words out of his mouth in the morning (at 5am)? “I want a plaaaaaaaaaaaaster!”
- He is “afraid” of the Big Bad Mouse. One of his current favourite reads is The Gruffalo’s Child. Every day this week, he has drawn a picture of the Big Bad Mouse when I pick him up from nursery. The Big Bad Mouse is also under his bed. Apparently, this is why he wakes up at night. I have tried to explain to him that the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t exist, it’s really only a little mouse. I remind him of the story of The Gruffalo. But it seems that intertextuality is too difficult a concept for a three year old to grasp.
- He watches videos of adults playing with toys on YouTube. One is a man (American) who opens toys with his daughter. He usually opens some sort of plastic egg that has sweets and a toy inside. You can hear him eating the sweets as he gives a running commentary on the toy. Annoying. But he has nothing on the woman (also American) who plays with Paw Patrol toys. Her favourite expression is “Super cool!” In today’s video she had buried the Paw Patrol figures in a sandpit and was digging them back up again. What the duck?
- He puts all of his toys in bags. I can only find half of his pirates. Most of his train track has disappeared. Where are the cars for his garage? All in random bags. He often wants to take these bags out with him. Can he carry them? No. This was the conversation we had this morning as he was stuffing Happyland people into his Postman Pat bag:
Noah: Mummy, can I take some toys to nursery?
Me: You can take one toy.
Noah: I want to take lots of toys! (Gets Postman Pat bag and starts to fill it)
Me: That’s enough! You won’t able to carry all that. I’m not going to carry it for you.
Noah: I can carry it because I am Superboy.
Did he take the whole rucksack full of toys? Yes. Who carried it? Me.
- He pulls my hairband out of my hair. Seems like an innocent enough thing but this infuriates me. Every mother in the world feels some level of harassment when they are trying to leave the house in the morning. Right? First I have to coax Noah into the bathroom for a wash. Then I have to grapple him into his clothes whilst he won’t stand still for a second. Then I have to find a pair of matching shoes (the pair that he actually wants to wear). It is when I am kneeling down trying to get the shoes on his feet that he makes his move and whips the hairband out. This annoys me because (a) it hurts (b) I have to go back into the bedroom and brush my hair back into a ponytail and (c) he won’t give the hairband back to me and hairbands in my house are like gold dust.
- He refuses to scoot on his scooter. He wants to be pulled along by his scooter pull rather than scoot. On the one hand, it is safer because I know he isn’t going to accidentally scoot in front of a car. But it also means he is always bumping into the back of my heels, falling off when we go round corners or ploughing in to things.
- He acts like a baby. As in he talks in a baby voice. A lot of the time he doesn’t actually speak at all, just makes whinging baby noises and points at what he wants. He can keep this up all day. I have become one of those mothers in a shop snapping at her child, “Stop acting like a baby!” But when I say it, I don’t mean stop being immature, I really mean stop acting like a baby.
I am not being negative about my Noah. Not really. All threenagers are hard work, right? I know that these habits/mild obsessions mean he is developing his character. And what a little character he is. Whilst these 10 things annoy me, they also make me proud. But not number 10. Or 8 and 9. Or 2…
I’m saving these anecdotes up for when he gets married. And yes, I am planning on doing a Mother of the Groom speech.
Do you remember when Noah was three and wore his Mickey Mouse Slippers to bed? Ha ha ha. Do you remember when he wore a plaster on his finger for a month and the finger fell off? Ha ha ha.
My Noah, you are my treasure.