Yes, I know it's a bit of a mouthful, but I didn't make it up. After a couple of days of not being quite himself, nursery have made the official diagnosis. There is something going on and T knows all about it.
I'm talking about the baby of course. Sorry, I am aware, in a sort of 'had slightly too much to drink' kind of way, that I am going on and on about my pregnancy and the impending arrival at the moment and that people are probably willing me to shut up, but in a 'Pinot Grigio has my tongue' kind of way I'm also utterly unable to stop.
Anyway, I know that older siblings can 'regress' when a new baby comes along. Although T's showing a willingness to potty train, we've deliberately held back, moving from my beloved cloth stash to extortionately priced Bob the Builder branded pull-up nappy pants, meaning he can use the big boy toilet when the mood takes him but I'm not constantly worried about keeping the living room carpet dry. In the next couple of weeks (days?!) I'll be changing a lot of nappies. An extra few shouldn't be too much of an issue. We'll tackle training proper once we're more settled. Perhaps around the time he'll be five?
There is no denying though that despite his fierce independence and constantly improving language skills T is very keen on reminding me that he's the baby at the moment. His new favourite phrase is 'I want a mummy cuddle', followed by a leap at speed into my arms whence he clings on like one of those clip on koala toys. No amount of pressing his shoulder blades together can persuade him to release the iron grip, which sometimes also involves licking my neck.
He's developed a fascination with my breasts, hardly surprising given they were a source of food and comfort for more than sixteen months of his life, but worrying when his rummaging down my front pulls my baggy maternity tops down to my navel, exposing me to passers by. Still, the koala cling-on does do a good job of disguising that.
Each morning drop-off at nursery and bedtime kiss goodnight has been wet with tears, and our bed home to three (and 3/4!) for much of the last week.
Then, the final straw. I woke T from his nap (that's one baby habit I'll be very happy for him to keep!) and took a strangely quiet boy downstairs. We sat together at the table, ready for lunch before our afternoon music class. He started to cry. I asked what was wrong.
'Mummmmmmeeeeeeeeee, I want a dodie*'
Right. My two year old son, who never took a dummy, even when we set aside our rubber soother snobbery and desperately held it in to stop the constant crying/feeding/crying cycle, now wants something to suck on.
We never got to our music class. Instead I let my boy cling to me, feeling his sobbing chest heave against mine and his tears drop onto my front. We stuck together on the sofa, and I murmured into his ear, stroking his hair. There are big changes coming. I'm a grown-up, with a bump, and a husband to moan at, and to be honest I'm pretty terrified. Why should my two year old feel any differently.
Something's going on. But are we ready for it?
*colloquial for dummy