#658 My Girl

She sensed my mood and melancholy. She followed me up the stairs eagerly.

It wasn’t until we were on the bed, that she saw my face, wet. Her face mirrored mine within moments.

I calmed her down, though I should have been calming myself down. A stray tear rolled down my cheek, and she pointed to it.

“Tear,” she said. “Mama no cry… I get tissue.”

And off she went into the bathroom, only to come back and dab at my face with it.

“Thank you honey.”

“Better?”

“A little bit,” I said with a faint smile, mimicking her common phrase.

She then proceeded to try a variety of tactics in making me ‘better.’

  1. Kissing me 100 times.
  2. Cuddling up close to me.
  3. Being silly to make me laugh.

and then the clincher:

A game started, where I said to her “you’re the best,” and she responded “you’re the best,” and we were going back and forth for ages laughing and cacking up, until I said –

“Hold on. What if we’re both the best?”

But that wouldn’t do. Suddenly her Dad was the best. We roared with laughter.

“Are you stubborn?” I cheekily asked her.

“No!”

What an answer from a stubborn girl.

Only baby girl can turn my frown upside down, my sadness into laughter, and my tears into ones of joy.

She really is the best.

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#584 Beautifully treacherous lookout

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

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They say. And they are right.

Moments before I took this photo, I was crying. Not from happiness at the gloriously serene, glistening, and picturesque bay water before me.

My tears stemmed from fear. Intense, sudden and wild fear, that manifested into acute anger and overwhelming sadness.

It all started after our lunch. We were spending the day together as a family, mid-week, which was reason enough to celebrate. So we lunched of course, on pretty meals like this one:

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and then we headed over to Mornington Park, where baby girl let off some toddler-steam on the slide and swing… and after a while we let our feet lead us off into uncharted territory some more, and followed the sea view, all the way to the point of the pier, heading up up up to the rocky lookout which faced the beautiful image of serenity above.

Hubbie had to go as close as humanly possible to the edge. Baby girl followed him. I instructed firmly, that he MUST hold her hand. I couldn’t keep up with them because I had small heels, and was trying not to break my step in amongst the uneven dirt and rocky path. They headed on towards the edge, as I watched helplessly, yelling out to him “hold her hand!”

He did. But I was slowly dying inside. Here was a 4 year-old, curious toddler, letting go of her Dad’s hand every so often to peer over the rocks at the edge of her feet, rocks that in my mind could give out at any moment. She didn’t understand danger: as a toddler, they are not wired that way. It’s the reason toddlers get into so much trouble, they have an inability to judge what is before them, and the obvious consequences that come with it that usually, adults are equipped with by the time they are, you know, adults.

Usually, adults. I say that because Hubbie, is STILL a child.

This is why I was so concerned. He laughs in the face of danger: hangs over far too much over a 25-storey railing; he’ll walk along a brick wall where one side is a path, the other a dangerously high drop to breaks-ville; he will jump and climb up and off of any kind of climb-worthy apparatus, without so much as a care, second thought or slow deliberation.

Also, he had just had two double-shot coffees – and that with his childish and wild genetic composition, was a BAD combination.

Here he was, with our pride and joy – MY pride and joy – standing casually, a bit too TOO close, to the edge of a rocky drop where the other side of the steep descent was dangerously pokey rocks, and smooth, still, ENDLESS water.

I was dying.

As I approached them, I was in a serious state of panic. They were so calm, so chilled about it all. Peering over the edge, getting closer to the descent. I started to cry. And I yelled out some choice words to him. I painted a stark picture, and it got his attention.

He took baby girl’s hand, and they started to walk towards me. “Come on baby girl, Mama is upset,” he said.

“Sorry Mama,” she said.

“Just go over there,” I said breathlessly, as I ordered them back up the wooden steps and to the stable, safer, lookout point.

I turned back to the water, and breathed.

And breathed.

And soon after, I snapped that picture.

And I was grateful. Because the beautiful image before us, could turn ugly in an instant. l am an eternal dreamer, but a realist too. And though I am a glass- half-full gal, I have seen too much sadness to stick my head in the sand anymore.

Life and everything in it, terrifies me to no end, ever since baby girl entered our world and made it so precious. I am grateful for the beauty in it, but I always look behind me, I always check my footing, to check there are no uneven rocks.

I love views like this. And I will continue to photograph them. But under still, calm waters…

 

 

 

#569 My nurse

Not only do I have a cheerleader.

Not only do I have a monkey.

Not only do I have a princess.

Not only do I have a clever cookie.

Not only do I have a mini me.

But I also have a Nurse.

I was very worse for wear, emotionally speaking, today. I had a good cry, and baby girl saw me in this state. I waver between wanting her to see me in all my facets and understand that adults get upset too, but I also worry about stressing her out and placing undue worries on her sweet head, and so I try to hide it from her at times too.

She saw me covering my face and wiping away my tears.

She wanted to make me happy. She rubbed my back. She pulled me over to her toys and got me down to play with her.

My mind was weighing on me too much. I went to lie on the couch.

Soon she found me. She got a lip balm she has recently discovered, and promptly applied it to my lips.

Then she took her flowery-framed toddler sunglasses, and put them on my face, to make me, in her sweet words, “more happy.”

Next she took the throw draped over the couch, and covered me in it. By this stage I was feeling better with all of this attention, and was starting to lap up her dedication to the cause.

She then lay down next to me under the throw, and we cuddled there on the couch, while the wild weather that has been shocking Spring, unleashed through the windows outside.

She sat up, a thoughtful look on her face. I was about to launch into a gentle spiel of how big people can also get upset sometimes, just like little people, but decided to ask her a question first.

“What are you thinking baby girl?”

A pause.

“A toy.”

I actually burst out laughing. Here I was thinking she would be scarred from seeing her Mum so upset, and instead she was thinking of a God-damn toy.

I laughed, and she laughed with me, mimicking my airy/breathless/cackly laugh.

We went to the shops soon after.

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This girl, wearing a Unicorn skirt on top of her trakkies, a Unicorn headband, sunglasses as if it were 30 degrees out (it was like, 3) and her Olaf band-aid on her forehead from where she had busted her head nicely days earlier from bashing it against a glass coffee table, got her God-damn toy.

She totally deserved it. She had literally saved me. If it weren’t for her, I would have been in that funk for a long, long, long, sad time.

She can have all the toys in the world. My nurse.

 

#554 That I have a Mum, and doing ‘Mum’ things…

I was shocked, and then immediately saddened, to learn today that the Mother of one of my oldest and dearest friends, had passed away last night.

I knew she had been sick, but still I had had no indication that her condition was getting worse. I knew it might be a long road ahead, which is why I didn’t see this coming.

I called my friend, and told her if I were closer, I’d give her a big hug. We cried. I sent her my love and support.

Then I got off the phone, and sat, with some more tears, before baby girl found me and took me into her play area.

I was grateful. Grateful I could do these ‘Mum’ things, and even just as grateful, that I still had a Mum.

I called my Mum and told her the news. We spoke some more, and it was so nice that when I called, I could hear her voice.

Later on I made a cake with baby girl. I used some sponge cake that had passed its use by date, and also some cream that was weeks old, but had been unopened.

Both were perfectly fine.

I threw in some melted chocolate, and melted white chocolate, that I had used for recipes weeks and months ago, that had gone hard again in the fridge, and melted them again.

I whipped the cream. Added berries.

And the cake was pretty damn good.

How is this at all relevant? There’s a metaphor in there somewhere. About re-using what you think is no good, and holding it all together…

That I have a Mum, and doing ‘Mum’ things.

 

#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) 😉

 

 

#401 Wiggles Band-Aids

I should really be grateful for my parents and my sister coming to visit us today. It has been way too long since my parents were over, and I was so excited to show the fam around, and head out by the bay into the still and fresh air, and say “here’s home.”

But no. Instead I am grateful for freaking Wiggles Band-Aids.

Because not even 15 minutes after their arrival, baby girl decided to bolt, Usain style, around the corner of the house, for no other reason other than she is a toddler and running is as normal to her as is refusing bedtime, wanting to eat chocolate, and deciding that Mum must not shop in peace. (For any non-parents that are confused, that means all of the above are NORMAL).

She tripped and fell on the uneven path out the back (one of our 1 billion to-dos on our no-existing to-do list) and scraped both her palms, so much so that skin was now missing. It didn’t look too bad – sure there was blood – but still, knowing that the skin had ripped off, even if ever so slightly, I knew it would be stinging.

And then there was the crying. Sure, she is a dramatic one, but she is also a trooper. She is tougher than some boys, and will normally get up after a fall, dusting herself off. That is how we raised her – ‘no fuss, up you go.’

But she would NOT stop.

I don’t think she was use to the constant stinging pain. Nothing would help, yet eventually after screaming the house down, we tried washing her hands, and also, applying Band-Aids.

She has never to this day, allowed Band-Aids on her. Which has made my life hard at times, because when I want to help cover a wound she’s gotten, she will scream “no!” ’til red in the face, and continue to wail. And cry. And moan. And scream.

While I rip my hair out trying to figure out how to help a girl that doesn’t want help.

But, after the application and removal of 8 Wiggles Band-Aids (this was due to the fact that as soon as they were on, they had to come off), we succeeded. Her last pair went on about midday, and thank God they’re still on. She’s napping with them.

Thank F&^% for themed Band-Aids. I don’t know what I would have done without them today.

#291 She comforts me

I was really upset. Crying made it better. Well, it was more sobbing, the kind of body-shaking, throat choked up, watery squinted eyes, high-pitched squeaks escaping from my lips type sobbing.

I hate to cry in front of her. Not because I think it shows weakness. No. I worry that she will worry too much about it, about me, and she is so young, so innocent and naïve about the world. It kills me to think it, but she will come across her own disappointments, letdowns and frustrations, to have to worry about mine now.

But baby girl climbed up on my lap. She grabbed my face and held it still, willing me to look her square in the eyes. Almost like a “hey! calm down, look at me” type action.

We met eyes. Mine were sad. Hers were curious and testing.

But within moments both our gazes matched. Happy. Relieved. Thankful.

I’m so grateful for what this inspiring girl brings to me on a tough day. She is little, yet no one else can turn my frown, upside down 😦 🙂