#480 Her affectionate nature no.2

“Ugh,” I groaned. I was over it. Baby girl was going for yet another book.

Any other night and I would have just bared it. Tonight however, I was feeling ‘it’ again. Under the weather. Tired. Weak. Sore throat. The last few weeks this is how I’ve been… how we’ve all been. The cold comes, the cold goes.

Great, I thought. This Winter cold is ‘up’ again.

She came back to her bed with a second book, while I closed my eyes and willed myself to remain calm.

The sooner I read it, the sooner it’ll be over, and then I’ll be able to go to sleep.

I started reading an old faithful: In The Night Garden.

“The night is black and the stars are bright,

and the sea is dark and deep,

and someone I know is safe and snug

and drifting off to sleep…”

Baby girl was grabbing at my free hand, and appeared to be doing something to it… tickling it? Was she drawing circles in it the way I used to do to her hand, during this part of the story?

It occurred to me as she straightened my fingers. “Do you want to hold hands?” I closed mine around hers.

“Yeah.”

Awww. Immediately, all the frustration I’d been feeling melted away. She wanted to hold hands and have me read to her? This girl is the cheekiest and smartest and most challenging of monkeys at times, but when she pulls things like this, my heart can barely cope with the onslaught of love. Simultaneous guilt for wanting to go and sleep, versus enormous gratitude for this moment emerged.

Always more gratitude though, because glass half-full gal and all…

I squeezed her hand into mine and kept reading.

“Round and round a little boat,

No bigger than your hand.

Out in the ocean,

Far away from land…”

 

#476 The Joy of Jumping

Today was a fabulous day. And the most of it was spent at home.

My wish of having a real low-key, family-fuelled and catch-up weekend at home was fulfilled these last two days. Last night was super-chilled, and likewise it was all about us three even before the blinds were opened on this lazy Sunday morning.

Cuddling in bed, even taking silly selfies! Laying about ’til 10am.

Then doing not only a fun but family-oriented task, but ticking off a huge, massive, GINORMOUS to-do that has been staring at us in the face since we packed the 3 large boxes into the garage about 3 months ago.

We finally put together baby girl’s trampoline.

It’s not that we didn’t want to – as always, it was lack of time and opportunity. Always busy, always working. You need two people to construct it, and finding a spare 2 hours to do it, when we didn’t already have plans or there was something more pressing, especially in light of daylight savings ending (pardon the pun), was proving really, really hard.

But today… we did it. 3 hours worth of constructing, some light snacks in between, baby girl stealing springs from us, and then nearly screwing up the poles in the final installation… but we did it baby.

IMAG4328

This girl, is going to jump to the sky in that thing. It’s not just the fact that I’m so grateful this big job is finally complete, but that huge yellow thing in our backyard, is tangible proof that today was enjoyed by all.

It was actually, the BEST day.

#448 Early night

So, it’s 11:40pm as I write this. Clearly, I’M still up.

But, what makes the difference is I have had alone time since 10pm. This hasn’t happened in a LONG TIME.

For the first time in Forever… wait, I sound like a Disney movie. Start again.

For the first time in a LONG TIME, I managed to put baby girl down earlier than usual, since she missed her nap today, went to bed LATE last night, and also spent the previous night restless and unwell since she was complaining of a sore throat.

She went to bed with chills last night, she had two doses of medication during the day to thwart that and her sore throat off, and on top of all of that, being so unwell, she ate very little.

All in all, after her warm bath, she was tired. She was ready for bed.

So my reasons for being free don’t come from the best circumstance. But, now with her sound asleep (fingers crossed), I have been doing my thing – drinking camomile, writing lists, messaging sis, journal writing, and googling, and I haven’t even finished yet.

Just a bit more. A bit more of ‘me time.’ And then I too, will have an early night.

12am instead of 1am. It’s a Mum’s life.

#320 3 generations on the bed

A continuation of an earlier post.

Last night Mum stayed with my sister during Dad’s first overnight hospital stay.

Tonight, it was our turn.

We had already passed on our “sweet dreams” and well wishes for the night to her, with baby girl repeatedly confirming that Baka, was indeed sleeping next door to her, and followed that with several hugs and kisses.

I was tidying around the house and went into baby girl’s room when I heard my Mum’s loud laughter. I moved around the room, and it happened again. I grinned. “You ok in there?”

She had done her bid: she had caught my attention.

I went into the dimly lit room and sat on the bed with her as she proceeded to tell me some things that had been on her mind, kind of funny, kind of not, but nonetheless I listened and lended her my ear.

Baby girl soon realised I was missing and came charging into the room. She disappeared during our conversation to bring along some Wiggles figurines to the party, and soon, there were 3 generations on the bed… alongside Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony of course. Talking to my Mum like that reminded me of our conversations of old, when I would have 3 hour D&Ms with her on a Saturday morning as a teen, sitting across from each other at our old round kitchen table.

I smiled with much content, as baby girl repeatedly hugged her Baka, watching their reflection in the opposite dresser mirror, while my Mum casually returned the embraces and kissed her while not missing or pausing for a forgotten word. When my Mum laughed, so did baby girl, mimicking her characteristic tone.

I was very happy. It is lovely indeed, when you find precious and beautiful moments amidst such uncertainty. It was heart-warming to see such love between them, and seeing how they related to one another, along with the physical resemblance, makes it all the more appropriate that baby girl is her namesake 🙂

 

 

#285 It’s the big/little things

It’s the big things for her, that are the little things for us.

But actually, they are the BIG things for us. Because by being big for her, they make her happy, and a happy child, usually always without question follows (and by hell yes we literally follow) a happy parent.

That Wiggles themed doona I purchased online for baby girl a while back? Yeah well that arrived a while back too. I saved taking it out and showing her, wanting to wait until I changed her bedding and sheets and all, before doing the whole ‘Ta Da!’ routine.

Because if she had seen it, there was NO WAY she would have let me wait.

That was made so apparent today. While she was in another room, I started to strip bare her bed, and pull out the pink-themed dancing Emma and Dorothy doona cover and pillow case.

I was about to start assembling when she walked in “Oh!”

Let’s just say, when I was all done with it, she jumped on her made up bed with sheer glee, and didn’t even let me put any of her stuffed toys from before, BACK on it. She indicated that only she were to lay in her bed.

Hours later, and she willingly went in her room for a nap.

Woah. Like I said. Initially a little thing for me, soon became a BIG thing.

I think if you, or anyone, starts to lose joy and pleasure and gratitude in the everyday little things, you lose that childlike sense of self that is so important to nurture, no matter what age you are.

I hope like her, I will always be grateful for the little things.

 

#271 Laying in bed together

‘I think’ I may have mentioned that some things have been difficult as of late. One of these things has been the changed routine to baby girl’s bedtime.

You see, before we moved, I would go into her room with her… we’d do a little sing-song of the ABC displayed on her drawers, followed by her turning off the light and subsequently finding me in the dark… then I would stand by her cot and gently prod her to come over… when she did I would pick her up, put her in the cot, and then wait another few minutes while she got the last shred of energy she had out by jumping about the cot like a maniac… and then she would request some water, so I would bring some to her…

And then, she would lie down, I would kiss her forehead, whisper I love you, and creep out of the room while she fell asleep on her own.

Any non-parents wanna become parents after that description?!

Wait, it gets better…

After moving, things have clearly changed. Not only are we in a new house, but she is in a new room, downstairs, while we are upstairs. And also, I decided to start afresh and plonk her straight in a proper bed and out of her cot.

When I tried to leave her room in this house, she would simply follow me out. Well, she could. So why not? It’s a game of course, bedtime that is, and staying up and aggravating your parents is the most natural thing for a toddler to do…

So I had to change things up. Introduce a wind-down routine. We read books. At the moment, our nightly quota is 5 books. Here’s how it goes:

We read 5 books… then I tell her I’m getting her a sip of water… I get the water, while she looks around disinterested, pretending to read, staring at her Dora bedsheets… when I leave the room, she suddenly comes charging after me, now wanting the water…  I go back in her room, giving her water… she reacts very slowly, as if she has just had 10 litres of water… she eventually has water after I threaten her with something, like no more babycinos/no more beach/flies will come into her room if she doesn’t behave… one of these tactics works and after her water she lies in bed… I then turn off the light and sit at the edge of her bed until she falls asleep, and I only can guess at this by the sound of her breathing… and then I proceed to creep out of the room as stealthily as I can, Tom Cruise Mission-Impossible style, my heart racing intensely and breathing a sigh of relief when I am out.

Don’t ask me what happens if she wakes up while I’m creeping out. It’s happened twice, and it’s so frustrating.

You know, the above would actually be funny if it weren’t happening to me.

The huge difference between the two, other than the obvious varying routines from old house to new, is the fact that in old house, I could leave her to fall asleep on her own since she was in a cot and couldn’t get out… in the new house, if I leave her to fall asleep on her own, she follows me because she can… so to counteract I sit there until she is asleep.

I lose about 30 plus minutes sometimes waiting for her to fall asleep, and then subsequently acting like Tom Cruise on my exit out. That’s 30 plus minutes of writing time, catching-up-on-anything time, me time, lost. It’s not like I’m spending those 30 plus minutes doing something special, or bonding with her. I’m just hunched over, getting cramps in my legs and thinking there is no way I can keep this up when I am eventually pregnant again.

But, lately we’ve been doing something different that makes it all the more bearable.

The last couple of nights I’ve climbed into bed with her to read, instead of sitting on her toybox beside her bed. And tonight, she moved over to make some room, and patted the spot next to her as if to say “here Mum.”

It didn’t change anything about the routine itself, it still played itself out like every other night… but somehow, lying next to her and pointing to animals and letters and colours in her books, was made that much more special by our heads being so close by.

You know non-parents, you should have kids… moments like that are what we live for, and they’re the sweetest gifts there are to receive.

 

 

#239 Her bed is complete

Even though it is, it was actually more intimidating for her to sleep on her Dora the Explorer-sheeted bed tonight, surrounded by her stuffed animals, than it was to sleep the last week on her old mattress on the floor.

imag1558

I know these things take time, and not only is baby girl in a new bedroom, in a new house, in a new suburb, but we’ve now upgraded her from her cot, to a king single bed for goodness sakes.

She walked out of her room 3 times tonight, after repeated attempts to get her asleep. I know I’ll get a middle-of-the-night visit like I have been getting the past week, but still… I’m grateful.

I’m glad her room doesn’t look like a mess anymore. I’m glad we’re moving forward and she’s progressing to a big kid bed. I know the transition will be difficult for all, yet still, I am happy.

And I know by experience, these things get better, since the hard times don’t last forever…