#826 Early Sunday night

What may seem like such a bloody bore to some…

is a hell of a lot of interesting to me.

Because tonight I am grateful, that…

An early dinner…

An early bath…

And an early play time…

meant an early bed time for baby girl.

Which in turn meant an early ‘me time,’ for ME.

Yep, maybe boring. But for a parent, it’s BRILLIANT.

#794 Family Reading

When baby girl first brought me the book while we were out at the library, and we were waiting for our regular cappuccino and babycino order (with smiley face bikkie) I didn’t think much. She would often browse the shelves and grab any book, judging it PURELY by its cover.

She brought the large hardcover and placed it on the table, smiling. The book was facing her, therefore upside down to me. It wasn’t a book I recognised at all, and I thought to myself, just another to add to the ‘borrowing’ collection. As she opened the first page casually, she said slowly

“That’s Not Mine.”

thatsnotmine

I balked. Even from my upside down position of the book, I could see that the title indeed, was that: That’s (Not) Mine. I paused, thoughts flying through my head as I tried to process it all.

Baby girl was 4.

Did she know how to read?

Had she somehow taught herself?

Was she a genius with an extraordinary IQ?

Did I have to start looking up specialist schools from now?

And then, just as quickly, a reasonable thought crossed my mind.

“Honey, do you have this book at kinder?”

“Yes,” she replied still smiling, turning another page.

She then proceeded to read the book to me. Page by page. Sure not every word was exact, and she was going off memory. But I could see she was roughly repeating the story as it was told, and was so happy to share this story, this very simple and funny story about sharing, with me.

It was a joy to watch. Needless to say, we took the book home that day.

We have had it at her bedside ever since. Every night we read it. When the return date was up, she refused to let me take it back, so I had to renew it: I fear I need to find a copy of the book and purchase it before my repeated renewals expire, or else she will go into a frenzy.

It is the simplest premise, and yet so fun and silly for a child to read, hell even parents to read. And she has wanted it read to her, EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

Or should I say, she wants US to read it with her. What started out as the both of us sharing the two main roles of the book and acting them out, has since progressed to Hubbie listening in, and offering the last and third viewpoint of the book that comes in right at the end.

Without even meaning to, without even planning, or realising what was happening, we have created our own little family tradition.

I realised it tonight as baby girl and I headed into her room. I got into bed with her, and she picked two books, the same two-book combo she has been picking for over a week now: That’s (Not) Mine, and The Very Sleepy Bear. Tonight, knowing that Hubbie wouldn’t be able to join us immediately, I told her we would read the latter first, before moving onto her pride and joy book last.

And so it was…

Baby girl: “Mine!”

Me: “Mine!”

Baby girl: “Mine!”

Me: “Mine!”

Baby girl: “Mine!”

Me: “Mine!”

Baby girl: “Get off, it’s mine!”

Me: “Go away, it’s mine!”

BOTH: “IT’S MINE!”

Baby girl: (“Crash!”)

“I’m sorry.”

Me: “I’m sorry too.”

Baby girl: “Wanna go play?”

Me: “Yeah!”

Hubbie: “… mine!”

♥♥♥

#781 The heart symbol

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What do you think the symbol for the above heart represents today?

My heart-to-heart with Hubbie where I spewed all my troubles onto him, and I didn’t feel I was worrying him, he just listened and heard me? That was heart.

Baby girl serenading me at bedtime, singing “I love you you you you you, I love you you you you you…”? That made me laugh, and it was ALL heart.

Playing Frozen Bingo with my family? Memories – heart.

Actually, the heart moment happened this afternoon, when baby girl caught up with an old kinder friend today at the park, and her friend handed her this envelope. It contained a card inside, with a drawn picture of the two of them holding hands, and the word ‘Love.’

And although all of the above things gave me some hope of heart today, it was this little gesture of growing friendship and reciprocated love, that made my heart swell.

Oh, my heart. ♥♥♥

 

 

#757 Reading books at bedtime

A small realisation today. Because quite often you don’t realise you have succeeded in a vision you used to have a while ago, long after it has come true, and you are actually living it.

I have always loved books, to read, and to write, and I knew that I would make sure books and reading were a big part of baby girl’s early life… I couldn’t control what she did later on, but I wanted to expose her to as much fun, imagination, creativity and wonder that I knew books could bring to her, as I could in this still early stage of parenthood.

And so tonight, as I finished her second book of the night at bedtime, and she then said to me “one more book?” at first I said no.

1, it was getting late and she had an early start for kinder tomorrow.

2, she had had a BIG day.

And 3, well she was stalling – plain and simple.

But, I succumbed, as I always do, because I too, love books. She shuffled onto my lap as I started to read ‘Good Night, Sleep Tight,’ by the Australian children’s writer Mem Fox. We turned page by page, and I sang the rhymes with gusto and enthusiasm, maybe a bit too much for bedtime!… and it was in this moment, I had a pull-back.

I was able to see with clarity, almost in an out-of-body experience, that this is what I had always wanted. The reading to my child at bedtime. The interaction. The fun. The genuine willingness of my child for me to read to them, again and again and again.

The LOVE.

So when I finished that book and got out of her bed, and she asked “one more book?”

With all of the above in mind… I had to read one more 🙂

 

#738 Bedtime reading/singing

It’s going to be a mild night. We lay stretched out on her bed, our legs pushing back the blue sheets that will be even too much for a night like tonight.

She rests her head on my shoulder. The battery-operated ballerina lamp glows nearby.

“10 little ducks went out one day

Over the hill and far away

Mother Duck said ‘Quack Quack Quack Quack’

And only 9 little ducks came back.”

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We do this page by page, and she sings along with me, emphasising the ‘one day,’ ‘far away’ ALL the ‘Quack’s, and bops along to the sing-song-y tune.

I then have an idea. All we do is read at night in her bed as she is winding down for sleepy-time. But she has been singing a song ever since coming home from a kinder class the other day, so I put the books aside and face her.

“GALUMPH! went the little green frog one day, GALUMPH! went the little green frog!”

And so the song goes. For those that need a refresher or don’t know what the hell I’m getting all delusional about:

Is it GALUMPH? GARUMPH? PATOOF? Maybe even just WOOF, hell it’s a kids song, so anything goes.

But the slow build-up of the frog bouncing, the fun actions, leading to the jazzy “la di da di da” bit, makes the song so much fun to sing and dance to in its absolute entirety.

Even more so when you have a very cute 4 year old beside you, singing the song with absolute delight and gusto 🙂

 

 

#694 My imitator

When your child starts to copy the things you do and say, it can be pretty funny/sweet/horrible/ironic.

It’s all relative to the experience, you see.

FUNNY

I tell her not to touch things in a ‘special’ shop… she ignores this, but when another child enters and starts touching, she tells them “DON’T TOUCH!”

SWEET

Hubbie and I are telling her how special and precious she is to us. “You make us soooo happy! We love you.”

She responds with “No, Mama Tato make me MORE happy! I like you MORE!”

HORRIBLE

I will be stuck in traffic and yelling at silly drivers. Suddenly she is laughing at me and saying “Duck?!” Whoops.

IRONIC

Tonight, I sat in her bed with her, reiterating to her, “no, only 1 book.”

Baby girl held up 3 instead. I was unusually cool for a moment like this, and just stared back at her, still.

“Mama,” she said to my non-response. “Breathe. Mama, BREATHE…”

 

#621 Laugh fest no.1

Because there will undoubtedly be more.

You know those awesome laughs? The ones where you go all ugly face and you cry/can’t breathe/go silent as you gasp for breath, all in one?

Yeah those are THE BEST. I just had one with baby girl, and what makes it even more satisfying was that I was getting really shitty just moments earlier.

It’s something you need to learn, and adapt to in parenthood. The whole aspect of turning things around, not only to save your child, but to save yourself. It is easy to be angry, and harder to make the conscious shift to change things around. But when you do, boy you get the rewards in leaps and bounds.

And ugly faces too.

Baby girl does not sit still. Like, she will be eating her dinner, getting off the chair, adjusting her clothes, climbing back onto the chair, decides to then come over and hug one of us, back on the chair, nope she positioned her clothes wrong, back off… and ON and ON and ON it goes.

Sometimes I find her sitting and watching some show, and even then she is teetering on her little couch, letting it swing back and forth; her legs moving all around as if she has ants crawling all over her; and at the very least, her fingers are moving, picking at her skin, any loose piece of anything on her that she can get her hands on.

She does not sit still. I mean, you’d think she was 4 or something?!?!

So I am putting her to bed and getting her settled before reading time. I am trying to tuck her in, then suddenly… she doesn’t want to sit up, she wants to lie down.

“Fine, lie down.”

She does so as I get the books out. She asks to be tucked in, and I do so, and then she points to me beside her, my legs on top of the covers.

“No I don’t want to be tucked in, I’m hot. You’re fine ok? Let’s read.”

I pick up the first book, The Very Cranky Bear. I know she is shitty, because she wants me to be tucked in too, like her. As I start to read, she gets the other two books and flings them across the bed in a defiant action.

I pause, and breathe. I stare at her silently, and then ignore the action to start reading again.

She waits a couple of seconds until getting out of all the covers I have just tucked her into, to reach over at the end of her bed and fish the other books back to us.

I stop. I breathe. Why must this routine take so bloody long???

“Ok. Now get back into bed.” I tuck her in once again, knowing I’ll probably do it another 7 times, and go back to reading the book. I’m a tad frustrated as I read, and in a sudden movement, I alter the book to match my mood.

“… None of them had noticed, that someone else was there,

sleeping in that cave was a very cranky… Mummy!”

She absolutely roared with laughter. Suddenly the ‘Mummy’ and not the ‘Bear’ was going “ROAR ROAR ROAR!”

She laughed so hard, so addictively, so insanely, that I could barely read the book. She now knew the game, and was laughing for the future pages, knowing I’d be replacing the ‘Bear’ with ‘Mummy’ at every turn. She was laughing so deliriously, without control, that I stopped every few pages to ugly laugh with her. I couldn’t help it. What a good belly-aching time.

And as I reached the end of the book, I realised that a bear and a mummy have a lot more in common than just being cranky.

“As (Mummy) stormed back inside the cave, (s)he turned and roared at sheep,

‘All I really want,’ (s)he said, ‘is a quiet place to sleep!'”

Ahh bear. I feel ya. I’ve got my own monkey keeping me awake here 😉

cranky bear