#987 The stage she is at, 5.2

We walked on over to the table we were meant to be sitting at. We were at a family friend’s daughter’s Christening, and my eyes scanned over the empty chairs, trying to work out where the lot of us were sitting.

I counted in my head. ‘1 for sis, 1 for me, 1 for Hubbie… there’s that spare spot over there, but that’s for the old lady coming back…’

Where would baby girl sit?

I headed back to the table list at the entrance, to see that her name was not listed anywhere on our table. In fact it appeared on number 7, several tables away…

ON THE KIDS TABLE.

Dum da dum dum.

Crap. She wouldn’t sit down there, no way. She had been strongly encouraged (and I’m being diplomatic) to come inside in the first place, as she didn’t know many adults or kids there, and sure, although she was currently getting reacquainted with the kids she had played with VERY few times before, I couldn’t foresee her sitting down at a table with them, away from us, so far from her parents.

The table was tightly spaced as it was. Could she sit on my lap?

And so I wondered if it was going to be a LOOONNGGG afternoon.

But then, something happened. I told her that there was a special table, just for the kids, just as one of the girls her age called her over there. I thanked my lucky stars for her kindness, and got baby girl to sit down amongst a table full of kids that she rarely ever sees.

I put bread on her plate. Chips and calamari. I cut it up, with the 3 other Mums fussing over their own brood. I poured her some water. She watched everyone on the table. She started eating her bread. She stayed still, and me, being the overly-watchful Mum, stayed on, reluctant to leave in case walking off would result in a dramatic display of ‘MUM DON’T GO!’ –

and then it would be sit on Mum’s lap time.

But… she stayed. I reassured her of where I was sitting, just a short distance away.

I walked off. I watched as she ate. She looked over at our table and waved, even blowing kisses to us all… and although she made a few visits at times to give us hugs and kisses… she still went back to the kids table to sit and eat.

No drama. No fuss. No objections. Total maturity and complete willingness.

And in shock and surprise and happiness, I realised I was stressing over nothing.

My girl was growing up. She had this all down pat. Like she didn’t eat with a large group of kids 3 times a week at some place that was called, kindergarten? LOL. I was concerned she would whinge, go shy and retreat into herself and not come out.

But she was used to this. She was used to order when I wasn’t around. I saw that again as the ‘Magic Man’ came out to entertain the kids. She sat obediently on the floor, cross-legged beside all the others. She put her hand up to participate, calling “me me me!” and was then chosen to sit on a chair and pat a dove, stroking it so gently and happily.

You see, I don’t see this. I don’t see how she is at kinder. I don’t see the progress she is making. But in these moments, these events away when in company that isn’t our everyday kind, I become witness to her happy ways… thanking the magic man for her flower balloon… asking the other kids if she can join in with playing chasey… going back to her table to eat, and not complaining that she isn’t with us.

She spent the entire day running around with her new friends and having a ball, and came to us a couple of times, almost like a check in 😉

I am loving this stage, because not only do I get to see her develop and become, truly a big girl… but as she becomes independent, so too does my role, as her Mum.

And it is pretty cool. Getting to be there with her, for the fun stuff.

I can say happily, that I am really enjoying this stage. Sure the bed time routine is still hell at times…. but like all in Parenthood – BALANCE!

#927 A 2-way kinda love

She was there tonight to rub my back when I said I was sore. She followed me around devotedly, telling me she loved me and hoping I would get better soon.

As sore as I was, my heart soared.

And the feeling was reciprocated, sooner than I liked. She was suddenly shivering right before bedtime, so I sat beside her reading her most recent fave book, as we lay together in back.

One hand turned the pages. The other arm was around her… rubbing her back.

I tucked her in… told her I loved her… and hoped she would get better soon.

This love that binds us, unites us, and keeps us warm, is all I need. She knows when I need help, and instinctively I too know, when she needs me… like a little girl needs her Mama.

And although we are sick, and although we are sore… we have each other. We have our love.

Therefore, we have everything. ♥

#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

IMAG0037

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.”

IMAG9076

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 🙂