Friday, 24 September 2010

Our favourite big boy Joshua

All righty, my friends (all 60 of you as well as those who drop by occasionally ☺). So now you’ve read a bit about Sam and India, let’s round it out by having a chat about our beloved first-born, Joshua (or Joshie as we tend to call him). Here he is the other day down at Salamanca Place in Hobart which I've mentioned before.

He’s the sweetest little soul, very thoughtful and caring, and has been right from the start. He’s especially devoted to his siblings, delighting in playing with them, as well as the occasional wrestle (Mr PB finds that funny. I find it a little, well, disturbing.). To see him gaze at Sam so adoringly makes my heart melt. We will have many sweet times ahead on PB, I think, judging by the connection Joshie has with his little brother already. Here they are, playing with Sam's new 'car' yesterday.

And I’ve already mentioned the close bond he has with his sister. Yes, we are really blessed. Here they are, whipping up a batch of their favourite pikelets.

Being the first-born has its own challenges, joys and complexities (being one myself, I particularly relate to that). Yes, that deserves a post of its own (note to self). Joshie has experienced the full impact of our parenting L-plates in all their glory. But hey, we’re all learning on the job, including him, and I expect that will continue throughout the pixies’ lives. Just because we’ve worked out something with one pixie doesn’t mean it will necessarily work with the others as they’re all such individuals. Anyway, I digress.

From the outset, he’s been a sensitive little fellow, attuned to others’ feelings. That doesn’t mean the absence of tantrums (getting him out the door to school this morning being one of my more memorable ‘challenges’, for instance – ah, the understatement!) but in the main, he’s shown a remarkable ability to empathise. Not always, of course, and often it requires a bit of prompting but it has both surprised and delighted us to witness it at this early age. He thinks about things, deeply. And like his sister, he also has an elephantine-like memory. Mr PB can’t get away with much – he’s constantly being reminded what mischief he’s been up to or the ‘fibs’ he’s told!

Joshie has a strong sense of what is right and what should be done in a particular situation. At this early age, life seems so black and white to him. He reminds me of myself a lot. I viewed life though that clearly defined black v white lens for a long time, in fact too long and to my great detriment. I suppose life seems so much simpler when you are little and I don’t want to confuse him at this age but I do hope that as he grows up a bit, we’ll be able to show him that life isn’t necessarily comprised of moral absolutes. I hope we can show him that there are all the plenitude of shades of grey in between on the moral compass, that life isn’t always what it seems or is always fair. I wish I had learnt that sooner – it would have saved me a world of grief. But at this stage, we’re content to let him be and watch in wonderment as he navigates his way through life as a Generation Zer in the early days of the new century.

Seeing him acquire every tiny step of independence from us has been a privilege and fascinating to watch. Until he arrived, we had no real concept of what ‘baby steps’ really meant. Then we watched in wonderment as he learnt to smile, roll (both from his back to his front and then vice versa), sit up unaided, babble, crawl (commando all the way), cruise laps of the house and then take off into the wide blue yonder, walking on his own. At 10 ½ months – we didn’t see that coming so soon! I will never forget the pride and delight I felt in seeing him walk those first three steps unaided from the sofa to his bedroom door. What an unbelievable outpouring of love and pride I felt. And yet, at the same time, I was a tiny bit sad as I realised that he would no longer need me to carry him about. Until that point, I hadn’t consciously registered how much I enjoyed being needed, however exhausted I felt. And that was needed in the truest sense, as in ‘required’, not just an optional, nice-to-have extra. Here we are, practising his walking, aged 10 ½ months.

So, yes, observing him grow up has been a journey of wonderment. We’ve never quite known where we’re headed and we still don’t. We just try to handle things on the spot as they arise, cross our fingers and hope for the best. If we stuff up, then we’ll learn from it and try to do better. Or so I hope!

So, what else is he like? Well, he’s absolutely obsessed about dinosaurs. Maybe all four year old boys are, I don’t know. Certainly none of his friends share his extraordinary passion for them, only a passing and intermittent interest. When I’m talking obsessed, I mean of the I-know-the-difference-between-a-Brachiosaurus-and-an-Apatosaurus kind. Here's one of the many dinosaur-inspired creations on PB (although I do lament that errant apostrophe).

He avidly devours information as we read to him the countless dinosaur books he borrow from both the school and the State libraries. For the 10th time! Too cute. And he remembers it all. How does that work? How a four year old can absorb and synthesise the contrasting information provided by numerous authors on a multitude of dinosaurs astounds us. We can’t even do it, even when we really concentrate (am I the only parent on earth who zones out occasionally, well, ahem, often, when reading to their child?). Amazing. And, yes, he even wants to be a paleontologist! His teacher didn't even know how to spell it when he told her, let alone know what he meant! Too funny.

Whilst he’s a sensible little chap, rarely doing crazy things unlike his sister, he does have a funny sense of humour, something Mr PB particularly appreciates. It doesn’t take much encouragement from India for the two of them to indulge in something a little crazy. He has a twinkle in his eye and a keen sense of the absurd. He is rapidly developing a love of ‘knock, knock’ jokes, much to Mr PB’s delight. Today, at Mr PB’s urging, he brought home his first Roald Dahl book from the library – a whole new world of delight awaits him. Let’s see what that does to his sense of humour!

One thing which has particularly pleased us about the move back to Hobart from Sydney is observing the development of his sense of belonging now that he spends so much time with both sets of grandparents and his cousins, aunts and uncles. Now they have a chance to really get to know him instead of seeing him fleetingly on fly-in visits. He actually requests to spend time with them, something I hadn’t anticipated. The company of our elders wasn’t something Mr PB and I actively sought out when we were growing up. Yes, interesting times. And lovely to witness.

So, all up, it’s a privilege and a thrill watching him grow up to be a confident little fellow. We can finally see the hard work is paying off. I look forward to sharing more of his adventures with you – next year he starts Prep and a whole new world opens up for us on PB. Stay tuned to see how it all turns out!



  1. Hi Jane, What gorgeous kids. What a lovely blog you've got here. So pleased to 'meet' you.

  2. Why, thanks, Lori! The feeling is mutual ☺. I look forward to following you. And thanks for returning the favour! J x

  3. Ooohhh your children are adorable! What a cool post about your Joshie - and you can rest assured that there ARE other children out there who are obsessed with dinosaurs! ;-)
    Thanks for visiting my blog so that I could also discover yours! X

  4. Oh, thanks, Brigitte. I am so pleased to finally discover another mum of a 'dinosaur lover'! I am also pleased we've found each other's blogs - we mums need to stick together! J x

  5. beautiful children and so many wonderful memories for you ... enjoy your weekend with the family.

  6. Thanks, Sarah! Lovely of you to stop by. This weekend I want to take some photos of me walking along with Sam just like that to capture the moment before he starts walking on his own. J x

  7. Thank you for all the lovely comments you left on my blog! Off to have a browse through yours now!

  8. My pleasure, Emma! I'm so pleased we have 'found' each other! I was absolutely riveted reading your blog last night. I hope you might enjoy mine. Oh, and I see my friend Sarah has become another of your followers - it's a small world once you start blogging! J x

  9. Oh he sounds so much like my eldest was at four, right down to knowing the Phylum, Genus, Species of every dinosaur to walk the planet. Doesn't your heart ache with love as they grow into themselves. Getting to nurture and know these little people is a true privilege, isn't it! A-M xx

  10. Too true, A-M! And I'm so pleased to find yet another mum of a 'dinosaur lover' (see above). I had hardly given dinosaurs a thought in my whole life before Joshie started displaying his passion. Suddenly, I notice them everywhere when we go shopping. They must have always been there but know I notice them, thanks to PB! J x

  11. what a lovely read your blog is! thanks for sharing!


  12. What a beautiful post Jane. Each and everyone of our littlies have their own ways of doing things and remembering them for who they are is very special. Thank you for sharing a little about Joshie.:)

  13. Thanks for dropping in on PB, Soné! I'll have to drop by your blog, too.

    Why, thanks, Catherine. I'm so pleased we have now 'met'. J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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