#520 Coffee time with my girl

“Out,” she said. “Go out.”

I could have quite happily stayed at home and put on the coffee machine: but alas, I listened to my daughter, and decided to make her happy on this occasionally grey day.

Occasionally, because as we headed out the door, the clouds parted and the sun peeked through, helping us along on our babycino break.

We ended up at The Filling Station, where we have been many times before, and which is slowly becoming a favourite. We were actually headed for another café, but its one-week closure decided on the aforementioned café instead.

The coffee is strong, the cakes are unique and delightful, and though the interior space is small, it is cosy, and baby girl had her babycino in true little-girl café-ready style, as we have taught her so many times before.

Her routine:

Eat one marshmallow.

Pop the other marshmallow in the babycino.

Drink some of the babycino.

Fish out the marshmallow with the spoon and eat it.

Drink more babycino.

Eat some cake.

Finish off the babycino.

Eat more cake.

Let Mum wipe my face, patiently.

I love her ‘I-know-not-to-argue’ face as she allows me to wet wipe her mouth, cheeks and forehead (yes it gets there too) from any milk/marshmallow/chocolate dusting remnants. Gold.

And she enjoyed a read while there too. So much a mini-me, combining written material and coffee, tsk tsk tsk. She will be a big Smiggles fan one day no doubt.

🙂

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#507 From the inside out…

I really try to enjoy the time I have with my family when we enter a café. For two of us to be there at once, is normal, but when it is the whole 3, our little family unit, all huddled up at a corner table and making waves, with all the bells and whistles, well it’s extra special.

Sure, we’re constantly keeping a certain princess monkey in check.

Sure, her voice is far too loud for cafes.

Sure, we are in and out pretty quickly.

Sure, sometimes the effort feels like more than the gain…

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But then I catch sight of a serene view, and all is calm. Calm in my mind, calm in the café, and calm in my family.

Because family life, IS chaotic life. They are one and the same. And I realise in these serene moments, that I wouldn’t change the crazy, for the world.

I always wanna be in, looking out, with them. Whether we are in a café….or whether we are in our World.

 

#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 🙂

#470 Coffee with Cinderella

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Straight up, that was my coffee experience today.

It was special because my parents have been staying with us for a little bit, and so today while out and about, showing them our ‘hood,’ we stopped for a café latte break.

Parents, baby girl, me… and Cinderella.

Because that’s how the coffee breaks are nowadays. And it’s important that I capture them as they are, now. Because these days of mini figurines, kinder surprises, play-doh creations and smiley-face biscuits, will not last forever. Baby girl will grow out of it, and soon will be way too cool for any of that kiddy ‘stuff.’

The stuff that now makes her clap her hands with unrestrained glee, a wild smile spreading across her face in the moment that she comes face to face with a little packet-ed princess wearing a blue gown.

So, it was a cool little coffee date we had. I share these moments with baby girl, but my parents being there as witness to it all, is extra, extra, cool.

That’s a coolness, I won’t ever grow out of.

#467 A coffee break in my Parents backyard

It’s a lovely full circle moment when you are a visitor in your parents’ house, enjoying it in away that let’s face it, you never really used to enjoy it.

My parents have a pretty beautiful back yard. Lots of fruit trees, lush green grass, plenty of shade from the old trees’ branches to protect you on sunny days, and just a serene place to relax, and appreciate nature.

Do you think I spent that much time ‘taking it in’ when I was a teen? Hell no. Sure, I have plenty of backyard memories, of climbing up trees, jumping in piles of leaves my Mum had just swept into a pile, picking an apricot straight from the tree and devouring it. Playing with my cats, having my friends over, and then ALL of those parties!… the list goes on and on and ON.

But it’s not until you don’t live at your parents house anymore, that you start to really appreciate the little things.

While over near my parents side of town today for an appointment, following that baby girl and I swung on by to visit, and after the customary lunch upon arrival, we all headed out to the back.

The Autumn skies were clear, and sunny. Still, not a wisp of wind. Soon Mum was manoeuvring a garden table into the middle of the lush green grass, positioning chairs, taking out sweets, and I was making coffee.

Dad, Mum, baby girl, and I. All 4 of us, sitting in the middle of their backyard, having a great family moment.

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(Check out original Ridge on that soap opera mug – MINE!)

Of course it didn’t last long. The sitting I mean. I was up and at baby girl, following her or something. But it was still bliss.

Moments with your family are never enough, not for me anyway. I always feel like I need more, I want more, want to appreciate and experience and enjoy and live through MORE. I guess that’s just how it is with those you love. It makes me  grateful for these moments, these moments that are never enough, so much more.

Soon after the skies turned grey, and we all headed inside…

To more FUN. Dancing in your parents house with your loves, well, that’s another gratitude post right there…

#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 🙂