Where Did That Toddler Go?

I went along to my son’s parent’s evening last week. 

He never ceases to amaze me, and it’s tricky to explain without sounding like I have very low expectations of him! 

I don’t at all.

I know he’s bright, I know he’s more than capable, and I know he’s good at listening and doing what’s expected of him. 

In fact in some ways, I expect a lot, because I know he can do it without having to stretch himself too much. I think it’s more of an assumption than an expectation. I assume he’ll be fine. 

But he’s better than fine, he’s doing well. 

They say he’s a pleasure to have in the classroom, mature, thoughtful, contributes well, confident to speak up and he’s doing well across all areas. All good stuff, and it’s always good to hear that he’s behaving well and being kind and thoughtful when I’m not around. 

He makes me proud and sometimes emotional in a way that can take me by surprise.

I hear about this considerate and composed boy and I wonder where did that toddler go?

He was such a shy toddler at playgroups, and settling him into nursery was very difficult. At school, I can’t tell you how many days I dropped him off and had to leave him there crying as he didn’t want to go. 

It’s been a journey.

So now when I hear that he contributes all the time, and I can see how popular he is and the many lovely friends he has, it feels like he’s come such a long way. 

You almost wouldn’t recognise that toddler in him now. 

He no longer avoids things that make him uncomfortable, he tries them anyway, even if he tells me he feels a bit scared about them.

He puts himself forward for things and gives his best. He’s been on the student council having given a speech to his class to get voted in, he’s been chosen for a couple of school sports teams this year, he’s been selected to go along to an advanced maths group weekly with kids from other primary schools in the area and he applied to be a sports play leader, something he is very proud to do. 

If you’d have told me he’d be doing all of this a few years ago I wouldn’t have believed it. He has come so far. 

He is still naturally shy, an introvert, but he has this sense of self-assurance and certainty of who he is that I love to see. 

You don’t see arrogance in him, he’s just not that kid, but you do see a quiet and calm confidence that carries him through his days.

He’s grown so much in ten years. Even in just a couple of years really. 

And it’s this that I really love to hear about at parent’s evening. This boy who has a go at everything, who happily puts his hand up and shares his ideas. 

I can’t help but think back to his toddler days, not so long ago to me yet a lifetime to him, and I feel so proud of him. 

Confidence is a complicated thing to master and it seems he’s getting there and building on it every single day. 

Where did that toddler go? 

He’s still in there, he just knows how to spread his wings now and how much fun that can be. 



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