It Took Me By Surprise

I was having an OK day. The school run was uneventful, I’d got through the washing, some housework, caught up with my blog emails and admin, and got cracking on a new post. All this before 10.30, and then it was time for us to go to toddler class.

That’s where I realised what was happening. It took me by surprise. It hit me hard, and I teared up straight-away. Little Man is growing up.

Now, I realise that I’m stating an obvious fact here, as the very nature of the passing of time is that my beautiful boy grows each and every day. But somehow, I hadn’t spotted it happening lately. Particularly over recent weeks, with Boo being at home for the Easter break and then being off poorly, we’d not been out and about as much and hadn’t been to many groups. When it’s just the two of us, or even the four of us, I see him as my baby still. But remove him and put him in a different situation, one with his peers, and things then look very different to me. Does that make sense?

His toddler gym class is definitely his favourite of all the groups that we’ve tried. He loves climbing, sliding, balancing and jumping, so this is just perfect for him. We walk round the obstacles and equipment together, well I walk, he runs and scrambles! But this week, at the start of class, he had to do something he’s not done before, and this is when he made me proud, and triggered hastily hidden tears.

At the start of the class, Little Man tends to stay firmly on my lap and rarely joins in with the action songs. He knows every single one of them and will do them at home with his big sister, but not in company. So after the songs, the children were asked to go and line up against a wall, and he did, he actually left me and went over with the other kids. They were then asked to go and find a mat, stand on it, and then follow the teacher’s instructions. Things like standing on tip toes, waving their arms, tickling their toes, that kind of thing. And my son did it, every single thing. He watched the teacher and he watched the other children to see what he should be doing and had a go. I was so proud of him, and saw him for the little boy that he is growing into. I saw him with friends, at nursery, starting school, all in that moment. I know that this may not seem remarkable in itself, but it was one of those Naked Lunch moments, where I could see him so clearly.

little man at toddler class

Though it happens to me with increasing frequency since I became a mother (I’m sure I never used to cry) this one took me by surprise. I am always proud of my kids, and as I’m at home with them, I feel like I know them inside out and see every stage. But I don’t. They can still surprise me, still sneakily gain in confidence and grow up whilst being right there in front of my eyes.

I know this is what’s supposed to happen, I see it with my girl, it’s just that it’s crept up on me this week, and then to top it off, his nursery placement letter came through today confirming his two days a week there from September. He is ready, he is excited, he is looking forward to it. It’s just that I thought he was still my baby, but Little Man is growing up.

It took me by surprise, that’s all.

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34 thoughts on “It Took Me By Surprise”

  1. My little boy is turning ONE in less than a month and I still can’t quite believe it!! Great post, and now I know I’m not alone in thinking this! #brilliantblogposts

  2. It is horrible how quickly they grow up. Yes it is also amazing, wonderful, and emotional. Until I became a mum I never knew what it was like to just look at someone and want to cry – with happiness

  3. Aw that made me tear up a bit Jocelyn! This is such a bittersweet moment isn’t it – realising that they are losing the baby chub and the total reliance on us and we will probably never experience the cuteness of the baby years again. I think EJ has grown up so much quicker than JJ did too. Time really does fly – it’ll be secondary school apps before we know it! X

  4. Oh, it is bittersweet isn’t it? I’ve always been excited by each new stage, and I love to see what comes next. But I have to admit with the wee girl starting preschool in September, I am feeling a little sad. My last baby is most definitely not a baby anymore!

  5. I have to admit I have been thinking how grow up your little man has been looking in recent posts, he seems to have shot up suddenly so I don’t blame you for being taken by surprised. I was marvelling a few days ago with a friend about the change from toddler to boy as Monkey doesn’t toddle anymore. They really are growing up! Xx

  6. I’ve literally just written my ‘happy Birthday Little Man’ post for next week and know exactly where you’re coming from. Five minutes ago my Little Man couldn’t talk or take off his shoes but somehow he can now take shoes off, put them on and have little conversations. When did it happen!? x

  7. Oh, I know that feeling well. I always tend to find it’s after a holiday especially for me-when you see them return to a routine but somehow they have grown just that little bit more. An emotional business this parenting lark 🙂 xx

  8. This really resonated with me Jocelyn because I’ve had similar moments watching our Little Man at nursery school since he went into the big room after Easter break. He’s very confident and self-possessed and happy to go up to the bigger boys to ask if he can join in with whatever they’re doing. Like you I can see shadows of a time to come! Lovely post x

    1. Thank you. It’s amazing how they develop and grow in confidence. Lovely to see, if a little emotional! x

  9. It always amazes me how, in one glance, we can see our children growing through the years and see them going off to university. It’s one of those things that no one ever tells you about and sometimes can knock you for six! I had one of these moments with LP recently when I realised he’ll be entering Year 2 in September. I remember so clearly the days when it would just be me and him at home. I love this post Jocelyn, it really is a glimpse into the world of motherhood.

    1. Oh, I totally get that. My girl is in Reception and I’m sure she was only just born! Thank you, lovely of you to say x

  10. Hello there, I loved your post and you are so right, they will say or do something which means you suddenly notice a chance and often when you least expect it! x

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