Casanova’s sports day

As well as being Heather’s birthday yesterday, it was also Isaac’s first sports day at nursery.

Amusing is, I believe, the word I’m looking for, as a variety of one and two year olds were asked to sprint/toddle for twenty metres, with varying degrees of success, compliance, refusal and even tears.

(We won’t dwell on my performance in the dads’ hopping race. Suffice to say that trying to shift 17-plus stones’ worth of weight on one of two dodgy knees was never going to result in a Usain Bolt-like performance. Move along, please.)

The afternoon also showed a lot about my son’s character. He’s not really one to go with the crowd, spending much of the afternoon roaming off in random directions. He then impatiently wriggled away from the start of his first race because it was taking too long to get everyone organised, before eventually gambolling away at a fair but not exceptional speed with the aid of his mother’s hand.

Zac is many things: compliant is not one of them. He definitely seems to be more intelligent than most at this age, but with that comes an inquisitive mind and a tendency to want to understand and challenge whenever he is asked to do something; he’s not wilfully disobedient, but he isn’t one for blindly following instructions either. I quite like that, although it can be hard work as a parent trying to get him from A to B sometimes.

And he is definitely starting to differentiate between Heather and I now. I think she summarised it best the other day when she said that he comes to her for attention and comfort, but when he wants to impress and seek approval he comes to me.

He really is so much fun at the moment, soaking up everything like a sponge and parroting everything you say back at you. Music has been his big thing for a while now; he instantly recognises his favourite songs, and regularly sings or hums in time (and in tune) with pop songs (current favourites: Lily Allen’s ‘Not Fair’, Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ and Irene Cara’s ‘Flashdance (What A Feeling)’, nursery rhymes or even the theme tunes of his favourite TV programmes. He is pronouncing polysyllabic words properly, having graduated from ‘ma-ee’ and ‘da-ee’ to a clear ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ – cute during the day, less so when shouted at you at 1am. And the phrases he has been taught at nursery, such as ‘Oh, dear me’ and ’Sorry, mummy’ remain an endless source of amusement.

On top of that, he is showing signs of becoming a real boy too. Okay, he’s not really shown any interest in football yet. But he loves rough-and-tumble physical play, and is starting to get very attached to his train track set and his building blocks. (I’ve been trying to teach him how to build a tall but stable tower; he hasn’t quite understood the principle of scaffolding yet, but I’m working on it.)

Funniest of all, he is already an incorrigible flirt. Whether it is a 2-year old girl or a 70-year old granny, he knows how to turn it on for the ladies. There is always a smile and a twinkle in his eye, and his favourite trick when meeting a female while out walking is to find a daisy or a dandelion and offer it to her. He’ll go far!