child wear spiderman outfit

It’s (ironically) safe to say that my youngest son, Alexander, is pretty fearless most of the time.

I have two sons, Oliver is my eldest at 7, Xander is 4 and they’re complete opposites. Oliver was born old and wise. Mature beyond his years, he’s a textbook big brother.

Oliver was born old and wise, mature beyond his years (like me as a child, my Mum likes to tell me): a textbook big brother. Caring, sensible and rather cautious. He’ll make a great doctor or teacher one day if he chooses those paths. He’s quite strict and proper, exercising right from wrong at all times, a real leader yet he’s empathetic with it too.

He warns me to watch out when walking by the river near our home in case I might fall in, whilst Xander heads straight for the road.

Take today, at Bolton Abbey when he bounded towards the highest point, the crashing river beneath, causing me to have heart failure as I swooped him up and moved him back to safer grounds. I literally cannot take my eyes off him for a minute.

The child is wild at heart that’s for sure, and in many ways, that’s quite a beautiful thing. No obstacle seems unbreakable or unbeatable in his eyes which inspires me, yet equally, I’ve aged 20 years since the day he was born.

He inhaled a tiny piece of a toy whilst we were on holiday in the South of France last year, heading to Cannes hospital in an ambulance with his father, leaving myself and my eldest crying our hearts out until he returned laughing with a McDonald’s in hand, proud that he stood still as the doctor tweezed it out. He talks about it non-stop as a badge of honour if you will.

It often feels like bold and brave Xander is just one minute away from an accident. Thank goodness for the First Aid Course I took last year.

..I don’t know if you can change a child’s personality. I advise, inform, counsel and keep my eyes on him at all times, and whilst it’s flipping draining, I know with him, it’s necessary.

Life is getting a little easier as he’s becoming older at least. He’s learning to listen more and surprised my husband and I, recently reminding us he can’t eat yoghirt and cheese after a cow’s milk intolerance was discovered.

His zest for life, contagious laughter and sharp mind amazes most people. He’s such a character, who loves the camera and performing, and I don’t want to stifle him in my bid to keep him safe but that’s my priority as it is with my eldest. It’s a delicate balance of making him feel free whilst standing a safe distance from him to catch him when in this case, he inevitably falls.

mother kisses son on the beach

He’s such a loveable, sweet little boy who loves brushing my hair, inventing stories with me at bedtime and pretending to read (he gets frustrated if you try and read to him). He’s finding his independence day by day and will be starting school in September  (weep) so I’m learning too, slowly, to let go a little more and not worry as much about him, even if he’s usually the first kid to fall and hurt himself or get a tiny toy stuck up his nose!

If you have any tips to help me or can relate, then please let me know.

Gosh kids, don’t half make you worry, hey!

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18 Responses

  1. Laura

    Oh gosh yes! They sound just like my too and so lovely but different in spirit to eachother. If Soph is this feisty and fearless as a teenager then we need to prepare now! It’s my biggest stress keeping them safe and suffering from anxiety and an overactive imagination I guess helps see the dangers ahead more than is probably normal but may not be such a bad thing.lol thanks for showing me xx

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Hi Laura, I’m the same and worry endlessly about them. Hoping Xander never calls me saying he’s about to bunjee jump on a boys’ holiday! x

      Reply
  2. mainy

    My boys are a constant worry to me and they keep getting up to so many adventures that is starting to turn me grey. My eyes have to be on them every second and then when I start telling myself to chill out and let them be… thats when something happens. Between a rock and a hard place us mums!:)

    Mainy
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  3. Michelle

    Maybe it’s due to how we parent the firstborn and the second child. Mine are exactly the same. I’ve had many heart attacks when it comes to my second daughter who’s stubborn, fearless and a free spirit. She does what she wants and she listens to no one. I agree with you that we shouldn’t stifle them to keep them safe (and make our lives easier).
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    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Must be a second child thing-they have the safety of their usually sensible elder sibling so feel more free. I’ve definitely got more grey hairs thanks to Xander!

      Reply
  4. Rebecca

    Oh my goodness this sounds JUST like my little man!!! Again, as you say I think it gets easier as they get older… mine is starting to listen more too now which is shocking at times but amazing! #brilliantblogposts
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  5. Lizzie Roles

    This is Katie all over, second child, fearless, has me stressed most of the time. I play a ‘game’ to teach her to; go to the tree (praise) then the gate (praise) and so on to try and get her to listen and respond to my commands. It works most of the time. If she doesn’t stop then the consequence is she has to hold my hand or go on the reigns (at 4 years old which is absolutely not cool as far as she’s concerned). Gotta keep her safe though so I’m a #meanmum which is absolutely better than her running into the carpark at school. Shopping is still a nightmare though, I sometimes wish we still had our buggy.
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  6. Katie

    I can so relate to this! I have to have eyes in the back of my head!
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  7. Lisa

    Reading your description, you could have been writing about my Alexandre (just turned four) rather than your Xander. There must be some fearlessness in the name! I always say the only time I can relax is when he is in bed asleep. All other times, I am watching him and preventing tragedy. When he was less than two, he started to climb our house painter’s ladder. I ran across the garden with my heart in my mouth, and he was almost a whole story up before I got to him. Like your Xander, he is the sweetest, most affectionate, kind-hearted and animal-loving child. He will freak of someone in a store sees a spider and tries to kill it. He has such a strong mind, and I hope that his adventure and wilfulness never goes, but I will be glad when he starts to learn judgement! xx

    PS: I love the two photos in this post; they tell such a story.

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Haha there must be! Our sons sound so similar, it’s so scary when they put themselves into danger-thank goodness for we mamas and also the fact that soon they’ll start becoming more cautious (really hope he doesn’t call me from holiday in his late teens telling me he’s bungee jumped!) x

      Reply
  8. Susan Mann

    I have been relatively lucky so far in that none of mine are particularly fearless. They have their moments, but not too many heart in my mouth moments. x

    Reply
  9. Mirka Moore @Kahanka

    Awwww! I can so relate to this, you know Xander’s little sister! Both girls so different, and Olivia has undoubtedly been a little pickle since day 1. I had no idea about the France accident… that must have been so scary! xxxx
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    • Honest Mum

      It was really scary honey, I didn’t mention it at the time (just wanted to forget it) but blogged about it when we did the First Aid course, our little ones are twins in every way huh xx

      Reply
  10. Monica Gilbert

    My daughter is his age. She’s this strange combination of daredevil and risk assessor. She’ll go and do so many daring things, yet she almost always scopes out the situation and stops if it’s really dangerous. It’s stressful, but it is nice when she gets the confidence to do something like sliding down the pole without help. I try to step back as much as possible and let her test herself, but I do keep an eye out for those times she’s crossing the line into something that might be too much. And I’m really working on safety around roads, because her idea of looking is to say, “Stop, look, okay,” while she’s walking out onto the road. (And I work with toddlers, so I don’t even get a break from vigilance during the day.) I do agree that it seems to be getting easier as she gets older, and I do hope she maintains her adventurous nature as she gets older. It makes life much more interesting for her.

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Yes I agree there, there are times he’s more cautious but on the whole, he throws caution to the wind and really goes for everything, boldly. I agree about maintaining being adventurous, it’s a wonderful quality to have.

      Reply

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