The setting was perfect.
The church, the flowers, the sunshine streaming through the stained glass onto chattering guests.
A romantic idyll having taken months of preparation, shattered in an instant by a screaming toddler yelling “I not go to church, I not like church!”
Having stayed on holy ground just long enough for a few pitying glances, Raffie was carried swiftly out of the wedding under his father’s arm, never to return.
He was instead taken on several laps of the nearby field, looking at the stream and the birds until we shuffled out of the service an hour later. This is not the first nature walk of shame we have had at a wedding, and I suspect it won’t be the last.
So it came as something of a surprise to find Raffie has discovered a joyful enthusiasm for churches, their spires, and most importantly their bells.
When I was pregnant I was convinced I was having a boy. I mused at length as to what we would do together, what his interests would be. Where I once predictably imagined planes, trains and automobiles, there is now medieval masonry and monumental bells.
Watching him engrossed in the Wednesday Evening Ringer’s Association from Holsworthy in Devon playing their eight bells in peal, eight bell call change on my laptop (you can find them here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eKjWCQ0dv0) was not something I could have foreseen.
Nor his excitement at the sight and sound of York Minster’s bells bonging away at full belt.
This has predictably cued many attempts at reproducing the same sound around the house, smashing a tiny beater repeatedly against a metal lampshade, rattling saucepans and turning the frying pan into a gong.
“I like church bells Mummy, it sounds like a church bell,” he shouts.
“Yes Raffie, that’s lovely. How about drawing a picture of them now?”
“Ding dong, ding dong, bong!”
I feel I may not be alone in having an empathy for bells. I think we share some common ground.
Like my constant attempts to ask Raffie whether he’d like cereal or porridge, they are often heard but usually ignored, a mere side show in the circus of toddler life.
But unlike my pleas for a breakfast-based decision, bells for Raffie are a source of fascination, a call to action. And, although we’re not expecting any wedding invitations in the near future, his recent passion is further testament to how the little things in life can ring in the unexpected.
Another blogger living with a two year old toddler is Jaime. I have been following her lovely blog and their family’s journey through toddlerhood and it’s well worth a visit at http://theoliversmadhouse.co.uk/
I’ve also been enjoying reading about My Life as a Mummy and Laura’s little boy, who is also two. You can read more here http://www.mylifeasamummy.com/