#972 Resting after the parties

I took the day off work to take baby girl to two kids parties today.

I had been informed well in advance of one, and then when I found out about the other, well I thought “that’s well timed.”

But can I just say… I work less and am more rested when I am at work, working, then when I am home for the day, with baby girl, driving around to first a 5 year-old’s, then a 6 year-old’s birthday party.

Sheesh.

I was ruined by the end of it all. It had been a full, fun day, but boy oh boy was I wrecked. As baby girl went to take her Dad out to the trampoline in the evening (because she somehow had not spent enough of her energy during the day) I took a deliberate 5 minute time-out on the couch.

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Can you see my toes, shining from the glow of the late afternoon sun? Can you see that water far off in the distance? It was a splendid day, and yet having been running around through the whole of it, I could actually not care less about it.

Yes it was beautiful out there. But lying by myself in peace for a few minutes, was more beautiful.

Then I heard baby girl and her Dad yelling and mucking about and talking from the yard… and I guess I am a sucker for punishment. I followed them out. πŸ™‚

#954 Park Days no. 6

It’s been a pretty ordinary start to the school holidays, to say the least. I had all these plans and had even written out a to-do list of all the exciting and fun places I could take baby girl… but then, LIFE happened.

As it does, like ALL THE TIME. Plus it has been dreary and grey.

But today… RESPITE.

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We went to catch up with one of our usual school holiday friends that we try make a point of seeing every end of term. The sun was peeking through the clouds, and I relished the feel of the biting cold air on my skin as we ran up the hill towards the playground.

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It’s really nice to have someone who I get along with, but with who we can watch our kiddos play and have fun together, swinging and jumping and climbing and running about. The phrase of a ‘2-way street’ applies strongly here. It is no fun when only one party is making the plans. Also it is lovely to be wanted, to be included, to be remembered.

Something others fail to do.

And like the cold slap of wind against my face, I really needed that acknowledgement, that realisation… I accepted it. I embraced it.

#872 The school holiday ‘regulars’

To a non-parent, the school holiday period may seem like a generally quiet and peaceful time, lacking any of the early starts and school running around that typically consume the Monday to Friday, 9-3pm timeslot.

Yes, that is true. There are no lunches to pack. There are no early starts, no rushing around like headless chooks, and no shouting “COME AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH NOW!”

The amount of times I yell “come on, we’re going to be late!” during the school term, is mind-boggling.

So, yes, in one aspect, I do relax during this school-free period. L o n g sleep-ins. Bedtimes aren’t rushed. A sense of freedom and ‘who gives a s*!t’ follows in this routine-free part of the year.

But, where relaxation comes in ‘some’ aspects of the school holidays… the busy-ness makes up for in others.

Because during the school holidays, you gotta keep the kids busy. You gotta find novel, and entertaining, and exciting things to do… just the other day baby girl woke up very early morning, calling me from her room, asking

“where you take me tomorrow?”

She woke from her sleep for that? The expectations are HIGH.

And of course, in finding things to do, the catch-ups naturally follow.

Once your child has been in some form of childcare/kinder/schooling for a year or so, you start to develop connections. It’s with other kids who they play with, whose parents you also don’t mind spending so much time with – hey, you might be lucky and have family and friends with their own kids, so you join forces and force your littlies to be best friends as you all whole-heartedly gasbag together.

But at the end of the day, you see a trend forming.

Or should I say, at the end of each term. Because you start to see the same people.

You might catch up at their house, or they might come over to your place. You might frequent the play centres, parks, and shopping centre activities where the favourite character of their choice pays a visit…

The kids will usually love one another, and ask about each other repeatedly during non-school holiday time. They are never far from each other’s minds, and when you ask your child for an inventory on their birthday invites, you know who their close friends are from the names that pop out of their mouths.

You also get along with the parent. You will catch up over coffee and tea, pizza and chips, and find things to do with the kids that are fresh and inventive each and every time.

Oh, and the important one… you BOTH make an effort to catch up.

Because that’s what it is, isn’t it? It’s not just one party chasing after the other. We all have shit going on and problems and things that just aren’t working out the way we like. But the mature and adult thing is to freaking push it aside for the sake of our little prides and joys, and make a damn date to make our little sunshine’s happier than ever over a catch up with their ‘bestie.’

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Baby girl has been lucky this week. Two days ago we had a play date at our house with one old kinder friend, and today she caught up with her third cousin… safe to say, both girls are firmly planted on her birthday list πŸ™‚

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And that is who I pay tribute to today. The ‘regulars.’ The ones who are always there. The ones who think of us when we are not around, and who make plans with us long into the future, knowing that sometimes we may not see each other for months – and that is ok. That is life. And that is comforting.

To the people we think of every time we think of our kids having a good time… I salute youΒ β™₯

 

#839 Saturday night friend vibes

The night started off as a catch-up between old friends.

Dinner, antipasto, and a fireplace beside which baby girl could draw.

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Ahh, so soothing for a cold Winter’s night in early June.

And as with old friends, things can change suddenly…

Delightful tea mugs…

To cuddle time between bestie and baby girl…

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To then full-fledged passionate essays about the greatest artists of all time as shown on the YouTube channel!

Shouting! Standing from sheer inability to sit still! Fist bumps! We went from an easy cruise down a scenic coastal road to speeding down a tight and narrow laneway at over 100km an hour!

Success in a night is evident in that the vibe can change from mellow and easy to loud and boisterous, and yet the love, respect and admiration for one another in the room still remains.

It was one of those “we’re leaving now” nights… where we left 3 hours after the first mention.

But coming home late from a great night out, is a problem I am happy to have πŸ™‚Β β™₯

 

#835 4 year-old kinder progress

There were a lot of notes I made in my head today. All while watching baby girl.

Firstly, I love it the most when she doesn’t know I am watching her – this is for anything. Whether it’s playing with her toys at home, or playing at kinder, I gain so much by watching her nature and character unfold when she doesn’t know I’m there.

Today I watched her interact with others. AsΒ I walked towards the kinder gates, I watched her learn in the yard as she dug in the garden. I watched her run around and bolt from kid to kid, even more excitedly so since there was a visiting choir from a nearby primary school come to show off their talents, and let’s face it, try to gain more enrolments from our kinder kids in the process.

I watched amused, as she put up her hand with few others to volunteer and play some instruments – this is a room of primarily grade 1 to grade 3s – I was impressed. My girl, not intimidated? Wanting to go up there and give it a go?

I watched as she later found a friend, and they wrapped their legs around each other in a hug so that they were swaying back and forth on the swing together. I hung back, smiling, as it reminded me of my own neighbours and I at that age, swinging at our local park.

I watched with OCD-pride, as she found a toy in the sandpit, and promptly took it to its correct location at the dollhouse table.

And then as I was leaving with her for the day, I threw in a casual line to one of the teachers: “How is she going?” We were alone in the foyer. There was no one to distract her from answering.

“She’s excellent.”

Phew. Sure, she paints more than she cuts up bits of paper she said… but that’s a fun thing I’m sure we can work on together πŸ™‚

A day where I was made grateful for my daughter’sΒ  progress. In confidence, in learning, in playing… and in Life.

(This post comes a day late due to technical difficulties posting it from home πŸ˜‰ )

 

#831 Friday night friend fun

You don’t need cocktails.

You don’t need food.

You don’t need a happening hotspot.

Nor do you need lights, crowds, people and ambience to fill the scene.

All you need are your friends…

And now I’m going to eat my words (along with tonight’s not-so-mild curry) and say that I had ALL of these tonight!

But seriously, I might as well have been eating fish and chips from a dodgy booth somewhere for all I cared. Sure the surroundings were cool, and I love heading out to different and new places… but when you are in certain company, and you realise that where you are doesn’t really matter, just THEY do…

That’s a good sign. πŸ™‚

 

 

#830 Kinder kid cuddles

As she was walking down the path out of her kindergarten today next to me, there were shout-outs from behind her.

“Bye bye (boy name!)”

Baby girl turned, and despite her name not being called (instead it was the boy in front of us) she yelled back “bye bye!”

I laughed at baby girl’s selective hearing, and then was even more amused when the girl who had called out yelled –

“Wait baby girl, I need to give you cuddles!”

I watched, smiling, as the girl ran to baby girl and enveloped her in a hug from behind, almost lifting her in the process. The tallest in her class, baby girl stood there smiling, not moving or responding to the hug… but just enjoying the moment of being loved.

Her classmate ran back to her Mum, and baby girl spotted another boy classmate of hers – she ran up to him and hugged him from behind just as she had been, giving him a tight bear hug.

“Bye (insert boy name!)”

Oh man. Hilarious yet slight embarrassment. She’s starting young. But then again so did I (I didn’t say that… πŸ˜‰ )

I’m really loving these kids πŸ™‚