It’s true. The little devil has somehow made it to THREE YEARS OLD (despite his best efforts, it often seems).
We’re having a little birthday party today with gifts from me and his aunties. And yes, I know, I said that I wasn’t getting him anything after having to spend $80 calling the pet poison hotline because of him a couple of weeks ago, but, well…
I love all my pets and always have. I’ve had devastating losses and trauma, and I’ve always appreciated every moment with them, but…well, these boys.
Shawn has lost his whole family.
His mom was killed by a predator just after he was born. One of his brothers died of hypothermia before being rescued. We lost Gus at eight weeks. And Shawn? Shawn shouldn’t have lived either. He was extremely low birth weight with various delayed milestones and characteristics to suggest those boys were at least a few days premature. The odds were against him. Given how often he gets into shit, it seems like they’re still against him.
He’s still here because of me.
I’m still here because of him.
Because he’s lost everyone, he can’t lose me too. So I’ve had to make choices to start putting my health first and asking for help, even when it goes against everything engrained in me.
He’s had a very interesting year.
He is down NINE teeth…
…but still has those iconic fangs, thankfully.
We’ve worked very hard on his behaviour and his stupid mum finally clued in on a few things, like how–of course!–he’s basically a human toddler in that he has a big vocabulary of understanding words/body language and a lot of things to express but no words to use himself, so he’ll try to communicate any way he can. Including knocking things off shelves. But as I’ve become better at reading his cues, he’s mostly less of a jerk now. (We do still play SHAWNLE, though, where I often have to guess what he wants before he destroys everything.)
He also knows how doorknobs work and if a door isn’t quite latched or he gets enough momentum, he can sometimes open them.
God help me.
Although he is absolutely the devil, he’s very good when I’m sick, though he’s struggled to adjust to the changed routine the past few weeks (going from MUM WHY ARE YOU IN BED ALL DAY to MUM WHY AREN’T YOU IN BED) but that’s to be expected.
He still gets in the shower with me. He still “helps” when I water the plants or do dishes. He likes to try to type on the keyboard when I’m working. And I finally figured out the reason he leads me to the tub at least once a day, where I am expected to watch him roll around in it, is that he’s trying to mimic me–he sits and watches me in the tub, and figures this must be Very Important Indeed, so likewise I have to watch him.
Yes, he never stops being entertaining. Basically every day I’m grateful for this fuzzy little jerk and all the joy he brings me.
I wish more than anything Gus was still with us and I’m so glad to have honoured them in the new book. Every day I think about how Gus would’ve grownup and how having his brother would’ve changed Shawn. Our Gus is never forgotten, particularly on these milestones.
Happy third birthday to Shawnie!
Here are some shots from his birthday today, but FIRST…a little reminder of where he came from.
Every day, I not only sing him his song but at night, when it’s bed time–part of his routine now–I call on Siri to play “Future Days” when the lights go out, and he knows it’s time to settled down (works…about 95% of the time).
Here’s to more future days.