Question: when was the last time you did something for the very first time? No seriously, take a minute to think about it - when was it? I don't mean your first drink or the first time you got laid! I mean something that you set out to do, you managed to do it and felt...... euphoric, you felt tingly and elated!!
Well, last night my 3 (and a half) year old son was having a poo on the "big" toilet when he decided that he wanted to take his own shirt off - right there and then - a polo shirt with three buttons at the top. I moved in to help him but he brushed my hand away stating firmly, "I want to do it". Fine, I said - if you want me to help, I'm right here.
He tips his head forward and looks down his nose, his beautiful brown eyes (like his mothers) straining to look down far enough to actually see the buttons and his little hands start their difficult task. He has only one button to undo as the rest are undone already but I could see the enormity of the job in his face, his furrowed brow, the slight frown, his little fingers struggling to comprehend what his brain was telling them to do.
As a minute or so passed, I offered to help but again got the brush off. I watched the button and its corresponding slot, willing it to go through, not wanting it to get the better of him. I needn't have worried - slowly, ever so slowly, one edge of the button slipped through the slot - he saw this but stayed calm, continuing to apply pressure until, after maybe three long minutes, the whole button 'pinged' through.
With this, he looked up, straight at me, punched the air and yelled, "I did it Dad!". At this, my heart melted, as only your own children can make it melt, I jumped up off the side of the bath and hugged him - hard. I looked down at him and he looked up at me, beaming, SO pleased with himself and so proud at his accomplishments.
We shouted out this amazing news to his mother (who was down the corridor changing baby sisters nappy) and her response made him beam even more.
With this small but important milestone completed, our thoughts came back to the fact that he was having a poo and we realised that it was actually a very smelly poo. I commented on this and our focus drifted back to bath time.
The first of many mammoth achievements. Who knows what tomorrow holds!
Well done Joseph my beautiful son, very well done.