#492 Park Days no. 2

It was a very good day today. I was emotional, teary, and super-proud as punch as the kindergarten teacher told me how well baby girl was doing during her mid year parent/teacher mini-interview.

She is 3, in a predominantly 4 year old class. Not intended – that’s just how it happened. There weren’t enough 3s for a class of their own so they separated them into the 3 classes there are per week.

Every child has their own personal talents, and their own personal challenges. Baby girl does not differ. And yet, to hear such beautiful and encouraging feedback, about her positive self-esteem, sharing nature, ability to play well in a group, and to listen in group story-time, well…

IT MADE MY HEART SOAR.

As we were leaving the kindergarten, heading over to the park beside it that she hadn’t yet been to, I felt like I wanted to give her the world. I know I do already, but to hear such happy and positive news, I felt like I wanted to give her everything.

I know I already do. I was just so bloody proud.

So I pulled her aside and said “baby girl, look at Mummy – I am so, so proud of you. Mummy loves you.”

She smiled and then charged forward towards the playground she has been eyeing off for 6 months.

And so, we had a splendid park day.

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And for anyone thinking their Mum-kid relationship today was nothing like the above scenario, I’ll provide you with the humbling addition that we ended the day crying, exhausted, and angrily threatening “no book!”

Balance. It’s key. Still proud though 😉

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#481 The Trampoline

I mean, of course I was going to be grateful we had bought baby girl a trampoline, right?

Right???

Well….. (breaths out) let’s discuss the last week.

Firstly, last Sunday as we finished putting the ‘thing’ up over 3 hours, Hubbie said to me “I never had a trampoline as a kid,” and then proceeded to jump as high as he could in the middle of the mat while baby girl and I bounced around crazily around him.

“I know, right?” I said. “it’s like we’re fulfilling our childhood dreams through her!”

So bloody cool. When you give your kids things you never had as a child, you feel more than proud… you feel fulfilled. Special. You feel like you’ve come full circle, and now that you have a 10 foot trampoline in your backyard, you are somehow complete.

I had also thought, now that her day naps were mostly gone, that the trampoline would give me that little bit of ‘me’ time while baby girl went crazy outside, prepping herself for the most awesomest of awesome sleeps that night. I was like ‘this will be great, I can write again.’

Then on Monday, she was jumping… and wanted me to jump with her.

On Tuesday, I sent her out there on her own, and yet again – she wanted me to jump with her.

Wednesday I started work late, and sure enough, as Hubbie was checking out our gutters around the side of the house that morning, she was pleading with me: “please please!”

Now, I don’t know about you, YOU being any other person out there, or if YOU is a fellow Mum or parent, but I ALWAYS have shit to do around the house. Cleaning, food prep, washing, do this, sort that, we still have boxes here, catch up on writing, grocery shopping, and the list goes on and on and on. I don’t really have time for jumping. I wish that was all I had to worry about – how much bloody jumping I can cram into one day. But I don’t. I start with a rough list, and if I’m lucky I complete it. I don’t usually have time for much more.

Today, AGAIN. Now on all these other occasions I complied, and jumped with her for a little. I told her I was cold, sick, had to go to work, whatever. And all those times I wasn’t lying. But I also told her that she had to jump on her own – we had bought this trampoline for her to jump, not for Mummy to jump!

(Just thinking those words again makes me realise how lonely that thought is. Jumping alone).

I was going to try and sneak in some writing while she watched TV in the other room. And of course as soon as the laptop was fired up, round the corner she came, saying “Mama?”

She wanted to jump. It was after 5, and darkness was falling upon us. She only had a little bit of time left, and quite frankly I was concerned she would rope me into it.

“You can jump, BUT… Mummy is staying inside, alright? I’m not jumping. Just you’re jumping. Mummy is sick, she has a sore throat, she’s cold… ok? You understand me?”

She nodded obediently at me, just as she had every other time before eventually pleading with me to jump with her.

She headed out and I turned back to my laptop, and after a minute or so, she started to intermittently call out.

“Ma! Ma!”

It was more sing-song than anything, so I ignored it. But soon she came to the door again, knocking loudly, and opened it so I could see her.

“Jump?”

“NO!” I had had it UP TO HERE (the sky). I went over to the door and locked it behind her so she couldn’t go back out. “Baby girl you just don’t listen, you can’t always have your way!” I seriously was feeling under the weather, and besides, this girl needed to learn rules! This was not on, we couldn’t cave in every time she wanted something.

I headed back to the laptop with her throwing a tantrum behind me, yelling, and then crying in a pleading tone. As I sat back at the desk, she came from behind, and poked her head forward from the side, trying to get me to look away from the laptop.

I turned to her. These big, brown, pleading eyes, tainted with tears, a hopeful face, parted mouth, wishing and praying that Mum would not be upset, and Mum would come around and jump.

Fuck Me.

How could I say no? I followed her out and strictly told her I would stay seated on the mat while she jumped around me – I wouldn’t jump myself.

(What follows are some highly-skilled and photogenic shots baby girl and I took of each other)

And yet it was pretty fun. She jumped around me, into my lap repeatedly, and I ‘ate her up’ with kisses. We had an absolute ball, and then it turned dark, and it was time to go inside.

So in answer to my question… yes. Yes I am grateful we got her a trampoline… I just don’t know what we’ve created in the process.

A jump-a-holic, stubborn, cheeky and clever girl who will go to any lengths to get what she wants.

We’re in trouble.

 

#473 A Mini Me

Having your own kid is super cool. Apart from the loving them until the depths of the earth, reaches of the galaxy, and ends of time thing… it is also awesome, just knowing that they are a version of you.

They have your DNA. They may look like you. Their hands may be slender like yours. Their eyes the same brown, face the same heart shape, and laugh the same adorable cackle you yourself used to have at 3.

These things are kind of out of your control, just as much as they are out of control for your child. They can’t choose their looks or their predisposition to certain things.

But what they CAN control is themselves. And when they choose to do and be like you…

It’s pretty damn cool.

It’s all in the little things. As it always is. But she will want to wear a dress, when I wear a dress. She sees owls on my pyjamas – she wants owls on her pyjamas.

I’m brushing my teeth, and suddenly, because I didn’t hound her this time, she is reaching out and grabbing for her toothbrush, and we stand there side by side, looking at ourselves in the mirror as foam spills from our mouths, grinning.

She finds me putting on make up before going out, and she is then asking me for make up too. I give her some glittery not-obvious stuff, and she applies it to her skin with such careful precision, yet at the end I can’t even see anything there. I smile broadly and tell her she was beautiful to begin with, but “good job!”

I sing to Ricky Martin and Prince – she bops and hums along.

I drink coffee – she drinks babycino.

🙂

Today, she did the cutest thing. During our daily coffee break after lunch, we were seated at the table and enjoying our little time together. She’ll have her babycino and some other sweet, usually some chocolate, while some cake or chocolate too will accompany my cappuccino. As we sat there, I brought the coffee mug to my lips, my left hand naturally going to rest on my hip, and the action made me aware of the hilarity of it, because in our high school years bestie would often be sitting at a desk with one hand on it, the other on her hip. It was funny, because she was sitting – there was no need to put a hand, or any hand on her hips. It was such a standing pose, and here, one hand always found its way there.

Baby girl must have realised my action as I did, because as she drank her babycino, her eyes skimmed over my arm on hip, and she immediately dropped one hand from her cup, and placed it on her hip.

Just like me.

It was a little gesture, but it was also the grandest one.

Just like Mum. She wanted to be just like Mum, whether Mum’s action made sense or not.

Of course, I then dropped it, telling baby girl to hold her cup with two hands (never-ending Mum worry of spilt food/drink taking over) but of course, she wasn’t going to listen to me now, was she?

The hand stayed on her hip, and I let it be. I love my girl 🙂

#464 A new way to Write

I had it REAL good when baby girl was in fact, a baby.

I mean, aside from the not-knowing what the hell I was doing, second-guessing every decision, crying a fair bit, being sleepless and fatigued most of the time, and just wondering when this confusing and struggling never-ending stage would pass.

But then, came the naps. That’s how I had it good.

During her day naps, baby girl would sleep for hours. Sometimes her day naps combined, would equal about 5 hours of sleep time for her, and non-baby time for me, a day.

This was really good. At first it was all catch up on this, maybe I should meal prep for dinner, pay an online bill, make that important phone call I’ve been putting off for 3 months, and wash that pile of soiled baby clothes that will re-fill by the day’s end.

But then, she settled a bit…. while the naps remained.

And as she settled, so did I. I relaxed into Motherhood, and so began journalling again.

I really wanted to capture as much of parenthood and her early months and milestones as much as I could, and so recommenced a fave past-time of mine that I hadn’t done for quite a while, a past-time that I both love and loathe simultaneously. I feel like I HAVE to do it, and that is exactly WHY I loathe it. Because I feel it needs to be done.

And I can’t stop.

And then, I relaxed MORE into Motherhood. And I began to do some food reviews, here and there, read some books, start notes on them that would eventually become my book reviews… and hell, I even started my parent blog, SmikG.

And years later, that followed with this one.

Now as the years have passed, her nap durations, as her naps, have significantly reduced to just one a day. It’s still allowed me some great ‘me’ time, to do whatever I need to do, and yet I always try to do what I feel I need to: write in some capacity, however I can.

However recently, I’ve come to a realisation. With baby girl getting cheekier and cheekier at bed time, her hyper-activity shooting through the roof, I decided I had to do the only thing that made sense.

Drop the nap altogether.

It was doing me good, because it meant she was more tired (or so we hoped) at bedtime, since she hadn’t napped at all during the day, and would be ‘out’ quicker. Well yes. She is ‘out’ a bit faster, a bit less reluctant to drink 15 sips or water, go to the loo 7 times, jump on the bed 10 times, and then ask for a tummy, hand, arm, leg, foot and back massage, following her 3 books read to her by lamplight.

Yeah, a bit less.

But anyway, bedtime routines are somewhat better. She does go to bed slightly earlier now. But it means my writing time during the day, IS GONE.

R.I.P precious writing time.

Or so I thought.

She’s 3 and a half, I thought today. Often, she is quite happy to play on her own, build some blocks, or watch some Paw Petrol.

Surely she would let me do some writing. She’s not 2 and climbing over me to grab at the laptop as I pay a bill or buy the one concert ticket I’ll be going to that year.

A year and a half, makes a difference.

And so, today, I tried. We had had our coffee/babycino/cake break, she was fuelled, she had Nickelodeon shows on in the background, a whole family room full of toys including her new Sofia the First mini figurines, and I sat in the same room as her, and began to do what I started all those years ago, so tentatively, while she was out cold in another room –  I began to write.

Journalling in fact. And there were times I stopped, and she called my name, repeatedly, and I looked back over my shoulder. Repeatedly. And she left the room and came back, and even walked on over and yelled “O” multiple times after looking at the keypad. But after about 90 minutes, I had written 3 pages long.

3 pages! I was a bit surprised, yet pleasantly so. Had I just learnt a new way to write? Multi-tasking, with child in room, interrupting me every so often?

And I did it?

I did it. Yes it wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was done. My quiet writing time may be over, but that’s not to say, I can’t write if I don’t want to.

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

No excuses people. That’s what I take from this. No excuses. And I’m pretty chuffed with that 🙂

 

#452 First Mother’s Day celebration at kinder

Oh man. Another Phil Collins moment.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment, all my life.”

True story. Like I have literally been looking forward to the day that baby girl brings home artwork and painting, after artwork and painting, from her kinder days. Like, actually, the very first painting she did at kinder, Hubbie and I were so excited, we decided we would FRAME IT.

So it comes to reason that when I heard they were doing an afternoon tea in celebration of this Sunday’s upcoming Mother’s Day, well, I was in my element.

And so that afternoon happened, today. Upon arrival, I was first given a hand massage by baby girl (heart tearing open)

We then did a shared hand-painting exercise, where we painted each others hands in varying colours and pressed it onto some paper as a future keepsake (our hand size comparison – so darn cute!)

We shared in some scones and biscuits as a little mid-activity treat (because sugar makes everything better)

The kids ran around, before they sat down with us parents to hear a story of a Mummy, turning into a monster when her kids don’t listen to her (highly, highly appropriate)

The kids then sang an “I Love you Mum” song, and I nearly burst out into tears at baby girl’s actions of hugging and blowing a kiss to the song’s words (I was tickling the roof of my mouth like CRAZY here*)

And then finally we got goodie bags, which contained a pot plant, and a handmade card from our kids (finally, presents!)

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There was also the portrait our littlies drew of us, and can I just say ‘Picasso!’

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Totally, no. She is 3. Still, I will cherish those squirls on a round face as my humanly representation, for a LONG time.

And like she really knew what it was all about… at two moments during the book reading, baby girl left her spot on the floor with all the other kids, and came to sit on my lap, and gave me a deliberate, and distinct, KISS on the cheek, accompanied by a great big warm hug.

And just like she does so often, in every day of our lives, she stole my heart all over again.

My heart is all torn up today, in the absolute bestest way possible :):):) And tonight’s sunset is a perfect metaphor for its blushing state.

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(*To prevent yourself from crying, tickling the roof of your mouth with your tongue is said to keep you from bawling like a baby… does it work? I think I am always too busy trying to inconspicuously do it, that my mind immediately becomes preoccupied with being so-not-obvious, and in doing so I forget I’m an emotional wreck… so there’s your answer) 😉

 

 

#421 Kinder days no.2

….. and we are BACK. Back from school holidays, and back to kindergarten.

(Mwa ha ha).

Even though baby girl only goes one session a week because she is 3, those 5 hours mean a lot to me, let me tell you. If only for sanity, for catch-up, for myself, those few hours make such a difference, and the absence of them over the past few weeks has been sorely felt.

Today I did grocery shopping, alone.

Today I recommenced Zumba – my body needed and wanted it, BAD. (My left leg not being able to perform a particular movement towards the end of the session, showed me how badly my body was out of whack).

I ate well, having extra time to prepare a healthy lunch.

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(No that’s not cucumber, that’s broccoli stalk – shop your vegies finely, pop it into a Microwave safe container, fill 1/4 to a 1/3 with water, and put in the microwave for about 2 minutes with the lid ajar, or if you have the above Tupperware contraption, even better. Mix with tuna, carbs, or all of the above – done).

I cleaned the house – let me tell you it was very necessary.

I completed and ordered online invitations for my parents 50th wedding anniversary – sis and I are extremely excited.

Ahh, there’s nothing like catch-up. Getting ahead. Feeling accomplished.

I love Kinder.

#407 3rd row at The Wiggles show

I almost broke my bumper bar driving up steep shopping centre car parks to find a park. In the end I didn’t even get one there, having to park blocks away in the only available spot I could find, with 7 minutes to go.

We walked there in 10. Baby girl was tired after spending most of the night crying from a suddenly-developed sore throat. She was dolled up in her Emma costume, but the vibe wasn’t all there. She wanted me to pick her up at many stages, and somehow I warded her off. Carrying her would have made the walk longer, and as it was I was worried we’d approach the Frankston Arts Centre and hear distinctively catchy music already underway.

We walked in to silence and presented our tickets. And then as we walked further into the bustling theatre, full of kids screaming from laughter and fury, happiness and sadness, I scanned the area to find my sister near the front, waving wildly at me.

Near the front.

3 rows from the front.

I had forgotten just how close we were when I booked the tickets months ago. I had been initially impressed by ‘ROW C,’ when the offer came up online during my mad rush to buy tickets, but until you actually see it, you really can’t believe it.

Sis and I, were rapt. I kept telling baby girl how lucky we were, and likewise my youngest nephew sat there taking it all in, also unfazed by our superstar seating.

The Wiggles show was brilliant. I know the close seating made it all the more special. Not only were we close enough to read their faces and all their expressions, make eye contact and catch every thing that unfolded with perfect clarity, but our kids benefited hugely, though they never imagined it: my nephew had his sign read out by Emma at the start of the show, and his name was read out which made sis and I both madly happy and teary; and later while they were collecting all the gifts made to them from the kids in the theatre, Emma was able to sttrreettcchhhhhh out over the 3 rows and get the card being handed to her, by none other than baby girl.

Awwww 🙂

During the show I had a moment, where I realised it shouldn’t be a given that I will see them again. We’ve seen The Wiggles now about 4 times I think, and each time it’s been beautiful to watch baby girl grow and develop alongside them, and interact differently each time she sees them. She loves them now, but I wonder, when will The Wiggles be just a passing phase? Maybe she will still love them by the time the next big show comes along, but maybe my nephew won’t be interested, and so the little outing sis and I have with our kids, won’t be a reality anymore.

It made me truly grateful for the moment, the day, and the fact that on this show, mine and baby girl’s 4th one, and 3rd one with sis and nephew together, we were coincidentally, 3 from the front.

Lucky 3.

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Kudos to The Wiggles. I can say with such certainty, that I love them as much as baby girl. For someone to devotedly spend their time making children around the world happy, I think is really, something, and some-ones, special.