#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!

#984 Painting day means meals away

I found myself in an odd predicament today.

Odd being 4-Balkan-men-standing-outside-the-front-of-my-house-while-paint-dried type of odd.

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Well, two of them I knew. They were our painters. And then, because you’re on a professional job, you like, CALL YOUR FRIENDS OVER TO WHERE YOU ARE WORKING for a brief chat.

???

Despite the abundance of Balkan men, of which I am all too acquainted with in my life, I actually felt out of place in my house. I had returned home from doing morning jobs to find the kitchen completely covered in drop sheets, with walls and ceilings and floors either in paint, or with plastic.

It was part of the final, FINAL stage of our kitchen reno, the painting touch-ups.

FINAL-ly.

But, I could not move. Let alone have lunch.

It suddenly seemed to me that I was being presented with an opportunity. And because I would usually feel guilty about just doing it without purpose, I realised that I had a very real reason to get out of the house for lunch today.

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I ended up at a café just down the road, like literally. I sat on my own, in the sun, sometimes on my phone, listening to the sound of dogs from the grooming shop only a short distance away, and making sure those full-grown Magpies didn’t venture too close to me.

It was great.

But, I got my opportunity again, in the afternoon. They still weren’t done when baby girl came home from kinder, and I have to say, paint mess and residue is just about the worst kind. I couldn’t handle it.

So, again, out we went to escape.

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Two times today, two opportunities to get out, relax and enjoy.

And all because of the painting. Annoying, necessary and yet gratifying, all at the same time.

#979 Saturday night out

I told you I’d meet with my ol’ friend red again.

It was simple, and good things that had me grateful tonight.

Great food.

Happy wine (the Pinot Noir is called ‘Kuku’ for a reason – it makes me so 😉 ).

My family ♥

And amazing views.

 

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Happy Saturday y’all.

#706 Kirks perks

This is beginning to become a thing now. Kirks, those gorgeous coastal views, and a casual beach stroll…

It definitely wasn’t planned, but we headed over to a fave local of ours tonight for dinner. It was very low-key, since Hubbie has been feeling worse for wear post New Year partying and following all of these long Summer days and nights of continuing the rage, but even so, when they seated us towards the back of the restaurant, it just didn’t feel right.

Thank God for speaking up. Honestly, telling people what you think in a courteous way works wonders. We asked a lovely wait staff member if there were any closer seats to those gorgeous Port Phillip Bay view windows. No, it was a packed house tonight. But…

We could sit outside?

Hold on a second. The night had just gotten substantially better.

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And so we sat. We drank, and we ate. We had the warm and mild, then cool and breezy air, waft around us.

And then I put on my $4 Kmart thongs from the boot of the car and we crossed the road to get a closer view of the beach.

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Baby girl leading the charge.

From sun setting on the left, to the rocky coast on the right.

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The water was actually warm, and if I were dressed better, I would have gone in deeper. Baby girl didn’t care how she was dressed, and still got a decent amount of the bottom half of her dress wet, but that’s kids for you.

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And Hubbie wandered.

It was a brief, though truly captivating way to end dinner, the day, and the night.

… so could Kirks, and those beach views, possibly if at all surpass the quantity of my posts which express the various ways in which I am grateful and dedicate my days to coffee?

Hey, here’s a thought… I’ll have a coffee next time, AT Kirks, while enjoying those beach views. Now we’re talking. 🙂

#660 A new find

It’s always nice when you and your family go to a new place to eat, and you see yourself going “yeah, I can see this working.”

Though it didn’t necessarily start off with good vibes. Fussy Butcher Hubbie’s beer glass was chipped; baby girl would NOT STOP WHINING because she wanted to go outside; and the service I got from one waitress was colder than the iceberg that hit the Titanic.

But then, there was a shift. Without going into too much detail, because, future Food Review (which you will probably get to read about in 6 months’ time –  I know, Queen of Suspense), but baby girl was happy running in and out – because of the closed off play ground outside she had access to; Hubbie, was well, happy regardless of any chipped glasses; and other waitresses were especially lovely. All round with food and noisy family-appropriate atmosphere, we were ALL pretty happy.

They were decked out in Christmas spirit too which helped.

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It wasn’t the best place we have eaten at. But the thing that hit the nail on the head? Because the food was decent, and baby girl was really content running in and out, we were… relaxed.

A 4 minute drive from home helps too.

Lots of gratitude for this new place today. 🙂

#653 After dinner views

We headed over to Kirks tonight. It’s been a while, but we love it there. The food is great, the atmosphere more so, and the staff are lovely.

The food $ is on the up-side… because you are paying for the view across the road too.

Which is…

Yep. Stunning ain’t it?

We knew we were going to head on over after our meal and walk about a bit, taking in the mild Spring air, and just being.

Also, I am totally a proper local now, I came prepared with thongs!

And then by the water, we just stood, and stared. And baby girl splashed.

I don’t even have to say it out loud. The photos say it all.

#637 Hubbie’s kindness

Today was a real Sunday.

It was the Sunday dreams are made of. No plans, aimlessly going here, and then there.

Gloriously sunny skies stretching out ahead.

Bustling roads and people out and about, making the most of the day – and us with them.

And overall, relaxing.

I had many things to be grateful for as I made my way through the day, and photo evidence was created along the way.

Relaxing with a coffee on the front porch in the mid-afternoon sun:

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Having a bite out – burritos:

Then some berry dessert to follow:

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And lastly, park play, with long admiring glances at hundred-year-old trees:

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It wasn’t until this last stop that my real gratitude came forward. Baby girl had gotten wind of the suddenly available swing, and was going absolutely mental on it. She has learned how to swing on her own, her legs going under and then out in front, as she takes herself to the sky, in her sweet words.

Beside her on the swing was another boy, trying to do the same thing. Hubbie and I watched from a few metres away, me still polishing off my melting ice-cream in the mild evening air, as baby girl squealed with joy, confidently, with strength, and pure happiness, while the boy, at least a couple years older than her, sat fairly still on the swing, trying to move about, but not getting much wind behind his swing.

We heard him call out to his Mum a couple of times. She was just behind us, her back to him, chatting to another Mum.

We glanced at each other. Hubbie made a few comments alongside the vein of “she can’t even hear him.” We were not Mum-shaming, and nor am I doing it now – I am just repeating the stone cold facts of the day.

We watched as this boy looked on at baby girl wishfully, at the same time calling out to his Mum with no hope in his voice – she had already said something dismissive as she had continued her chat with the other woman.

Hubbie said some more ‘interesting’ words… and then stood up. I urged him on with “I feel sorry for him,” but reminded him to be cautious too: you never know how a fellow parent will act when you start to parent their child.

Hubbie moved behind baby girl, pushing her (even though she didn’t need it!) while asking the boy if he needed help. The boy was alright on the seat, and I could hear Hubbie telling him “put your legs under… and then out. Now under… and then out. Great job.”

I smiled as I watched in amazement at the boy immediately responding to Hubbie’s instruction. He started to gain some speed in his swinging, and as he got up higher and higher, Hubbie gave him a swift and strong PUSH.

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The sun was setting behind them as I watched, and so I could only see their outlines – but I swear that boy’s face lit up with the biggest smile as Hubbie gave him that huge push, helping him get to baby girl’s height. She yelled in delight to be swinging so high alongside a fellow ‘friend,’ and Hubbie made a few more pushes behind the boy’s swing, urging him to keep going “legs under… then out.”

At the boy’s beaming face, my heart surged with pride at Hubbie’s selfless act. Hubbie couldn’t see his face. He was looking towards the boy’s Mum, with some amount of disappointment on his face, as she obliviously kept chatting.

The boy soon came to a stop, and as he shuffled his feet onto the ground below to stand up straight, his Mum now looked behind her. She laughed and said to her friend:

“Oh Alistair’s just sitting there, he’s fine.”

Oh, lady. You have no idea.

The boy soon got out of the swing and hurried off to another part of the park, while I went over to Hubbie and told him about the expression on the boy’s face.

And baby girl continued to fly up into the air.