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Peta Todd shares what she learned in the three years of being mum to Frey who has language delay

Just like every other parent, I feel like I don’t know where the time has gone and will post an Instagram montage of his three years with a declaration of love that he will neither see nor care about.

As much as it’s our job as parents to teach our children about the world, I have found each of my four babies have taught ME different things about life, being a mum and about myself. Frey has taught me lessons by the bucket-load and made me beyond proud.

My years as his mumma have been a blur – mainly a haze of cuddles, kisses and pride but shadowed by medical appointments, anxiety and fighting his corner fiercely.

I’ve tried to be open about the journey with my little dude. In my loneliest days, when my mind ran away with worst-case scenarios, I wished I had somebody else’s story to follow.

I wished I’d known a family who had experienced something slightly similar so I could send a message to them and get some reassurance that everything would work out OK.

Frey has communication or language delay, which we believe is due to hearing loss.

When things were at their cloudiest and I was unsure of the next steps for my little man’s communication or his surgeries, I would drive home from the doctor, sit in my car and cry with Frey asleep in the back.

I just wanted to make sure I was doing what was right for him and I wanted him to always feel I was his rock, no matter what.

I used to write down what I was feeling in the notes on my phone so I could look back when things felt tough and see how far we had come from the last time I felt overwhelmed.

I rediscovered these notes recently. Many of my old fears seemed insignificant, like a different person had written them.

I deleted all of them. I no longer needed reassuring.

My reassurance was there in my son who was beside me, merrily singing the Baby Shark song to me… for the 20,000th time.

My little man works hard. He gets frustrated at playing catch-up and those tantrums are sometimes a lot to carry, even for my adult hands.

But he is the funniest, toughest and most easy-going little love I could wish for. So happy birthday, Frey-dog!

And thank you. You taught me to be patient. You showed me how to keep going and you filled a hole in our family we didn’t even know was there. Now let’s eat cake!

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