#669 When they say her name no.2

With one more session of kinder to go for the year, you can be assured that the kids know each other’s names by now.

As parents too, I know fairly most of them. They are so sweet, and I feel like I’ve even grown fond of many of them, though we only see them once a week. I even think of the kids parents like “Alisha’s Dad,” and “Sarah’s Mum,” than to actually go by their names.

And hearing someone call out to baby girl, well, the novelty has not grown old, not one bit.

Baby girl was happily telling me what she had done at kinder as we left the building this afternoon, and as we started to cross the car park, she went on to the topic of her lunch.

“Me have little bit wrap… little bit pretzels…”

Sigh, this girl. She is a good eater, don’t get me wrong. But she gets so distracted at kinder, that her lunchbox comes back fairly full every time. I have been on a campaign to get her to eat more during kinder hours, rather than AFTER kinder hours which she has been doing once she gets home (successfully I might add, but you know, teachers want them all ‘school ready’ and everything).

But then as she was rattling what she had had “a little bit” of, she went

“me have lunch outside!”

“Oh?!” I replied. “With who?”

She answered with one of the teacher’s names, and then interestingly, named a boy who was walking with his Mum to their car, only a few metres away parallel to us.

She had named this boy several times before, and had indicated that they had played and he was nice. This made me happy, knowing she had another friend to play with aside from a few girls that she repeatedly mentioned to me,, but also I had to wonder: were these made-up kids games? Was she making up stories to me as kids often do? How could I really know what was going on at kinder, without seeing it for myself?”

At the mention of this boy’s name by baby girl though, I started to say “well, why don’t you say bye to him them?” at the same moment as his Mum looked up at her son’s name being mentioned. This Mum and I shared a broad smile between us as baby girl waved to him with a “bye,” and he did a casual “bye” back.

And then before I could get over that, I heard from behind us “bye baby girl!”

It was another boy calling out to her, and she responded without hesitation and a wave.

OMG. As if she knows everyone, and these little adults that are our kids, are conversing and interacting like 14 year olds when they are in fact 4.

It was the most hilarious yet so adorable and also super-exciting moment to hear her name being called again, and honestly, this little scenario had me almost bursting.

Next week the parents join their kids on the last day for a picnic lunch and graduation ceremony, and already I think I won’t be able to deal with all the cuteness…

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#668 Barefoot and carefree

If you don’t live in our fair and highly unpredictable weather city of Melbourne, you may not know that today was a hot day.

really hot day.

After dinner baby girl and I walked to the front yard of the house. I was hoping to catch some, any, light sea breezes that may decide to grant us with their airy-ness.

I tread across the grass in my thongs. I observed baby girl’s feet.

“Honey you don’t want to put on your Frozen thongs?”

“No.”

“You wanna be barefoot?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re a hippie child.”

“Hippie?!

“Hippie!”

We laughed, and I soon remembered a time not so long ago and yet it also felt very far away. So much can happen in a ‘toddler year,’ and even though ONLY a year may pass, that one year can bring so many changes to both child and parent.

But I do know it was a year ago, because I remember the scene. It was summer, we were at our new Sea Change house location, and I was walking with her to the nearby park and café. She had closed sandals, but as is the case with these style of shoes, there were still holes in the sandals to let her feet ‘breathe.’

And back then, this 3 and a half year old would shriek in unimpressed shock when she felt any strand of grass graze her foot as she walked beside me. Walking in these shoes, on a hot day, through the grass, was so difficult, made more so by the flies.

She HATED them.

She would scream just as loudly for the flies hovering around her as the grass strands grazing her foot. She wanted to be outdoors and have fun and go on the swing, and yet she did not like the feel of grass, and freaked out at the sight of any flying insects.

So then, fast forward to today. She is not fazed so much by flies. Sure she swats at them, and like Mother like Daughter – she is not a fan of any bugs, AT ALL.

And then also, she goes barefoot, all over our grass.

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How a year can change things. I always love my girl, but I am grateful that she is feeling more one with the Universe, and enjoying the feel of greenery beneath her feet…

 

#617 The stage she is at, 4.2

It occurred to me today as baby girl and I walked hand in hand into the local shopping centre to do some grocery shopping, that I am really enjoying the stage baby girl is at.

It comes to reason that parents should always be enjoying ALL the stages their kids go through. True, true. However each stage comes with it its own unique successes as it does its own circumstantial tribulations, and though the younger years are dominated by innocence and naivety of the world, the older ones are shadowed with development, awareness and coming-of-age real world issues.

Each stage is beautiful, though at the time as parents, we probably wanna bang our heads against the wall, more often than not. But, I think I have found a pretty cool age with baby girl at the moment…

She listens. Most of the time. She’s at the age where she listens when I say “hold my hand” as we are heading through a car park, and if she stamps her foot down and says “no,” because she is holding a mini Lego piece, a Shopkin toy or a kinder surprise, I tell her to stick ‘right next to me,’ and she happily complies. I know she will be good, and I know I can trust her.

She listens when I bargain with her too. “We can’t do that now, but I promise you, sometime next week we will come back for a babycino and I’ll let you play there for 20 minutes!”

“YAY! Thank you so much Mama!”

And that leads me to the next thing. She is very easily made happy. Everything amuses her, everything is fun, everything is exciting. The sight of her old fave stuffed toy makes her squeal with delight before holding it close to her chest in a bear-hug, I tell her her Dad is coming home for lunch and she starts sprinting around the house in anticipation… and then, there is PASTA.

The fireworks that begin when the girl realises she is having her fave carb for dinner, I can’t even begin to explain. “Yippees!” “Woo hoos!” jumping up and down and saying things like “best in the whole world” are just some of the catch phrases when she sits down to this. It’s the adult equivalent of winning the lottery, I kid you not.

The phrases too. I say “Dad is at work today,” and she responds with “Oh, come home now. Best friend Dad.” (Awww).

She got further brownie points by saying “Mummy Daddy in my heart.” Girl you want a Ferrari for your next birthday or something? Damn, the heart strings!

And then I close/open the car window as she wishes and she says “yeah, good job Mama.” Big LOLS when she congratulates me on a job well done.

And then there are her food requests. “Mama do banana, no blueberry, no strawberry – ” making sure I get her morning weetbix order right. She’ll be hassling waiters with her food requirements in no time.

She thrives on responsibility. She helps me wipe the water from her trampoline after it rains, she insists on putting items into the shopping trolley, and if I just mention the word ‘help,’ she is immediately at beck and call, on duty, set to impress, and more than ready for all the accolades that follow.

There’s a lot of innocence, a lot of fun, and a lot of laughter at a stage like this one. She is young and carefree enough to not be worried about the ‘real world,’ yet still old enough to be able to go to the toilet on her own, brush her teeth, and even put toilet paper rolls in the toilet when I ask her to.

All of the above happened today, and though I scratch my head at times thinking ‘where did the day go?’ when I look back like I did today, to see the memorable moments making it up, it all comes flooding back to me.

The day went with my lovely 4 year old girl.

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#605 Head of the house and Heater

It happened a few nights ago, and today again, the same thing.

We were feeling bad, for wanting to put the heater on.

Why, you ask? Because it’s Spring. We should have the doors open ’til 5pm until the seasonal fresh air wafts on through at which point we close up the house. The sunnier weather should seep through the windows and comfort our home. The increased daylight savings should also add to the overall light-filled and jovial nature of our household.

But it’s Melbourne weather we’re talking about peeps. Spring just ain’t Spring, and we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.

On average October is a wet month, and so in amongst our starting-sunny days, the rain also comes WITH the cold.

You know those memories you have growing up, when you were just a child living with your parents, and there were days where you were cold, but your parents were like

“It’s not cold, put on a jacket.”

“I’m cleaning the house, we need some fresh air.”

“Here’s the vacuum cleaner.”

That from your Mum, and then your Dad didn’t help you much either, as he had been out in the gardening sun, tending to his vegetable patch, and had no need for a heater either.

“Here, I’ll give you a heater,” he would say as he handed you a garden rake.

Sigh.

Hubbie and I remembered this all in amusement as we were feeling bad for wanting to put the heater on in mid-October. And then he was like “hey, we’re in charge here.”

“We make the rules.”

“Yeah,” I started encouragingly. “We do!”

And just as he put the heater on we high-fived each other.

Damn straight we make the rules.

And just like that, a simple act of gratitude for the day was born.

The ability to put the heater on when we damn well liked.

And as much as people whinge and bitch and moan about the bills, responsibilities, chores and routine of adulthood, can we just stop for a minute and remember that as adults, we get to make rules?

WE GET TO MAKE THE RULES.

High-five.

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Photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha on Unsplash

#604 Shopping with my girl no.6

Yes, material things were bought today. But none that stand out, even close, amongst the heart-warming, funny and charming moments I had with my baby girl.

She held my hand without question and skipped with me through the car park as we headed into the centre, pointing out all the different coloured cars around us.

As we had a bite to eat, she sat on my lap so I could help her with her food, turning to me and kissing and hugging me tenderly as I did so.

As we left the food court, she saw some ice creams with lollies advertised in a Wendy’s: she turned to me, and did her whole routine – “Mama, Mama, Mama, stop, stop, stop. No babycino, coffee, Mama have ice cream, me have ice cream!”

I actually died laughing, walking off and assuring her that yes, coffee would most definitely be had, and we would come back with her Dad and have ice cream all together another time.

And then later as we were having said coffee with sweets, and I pulled out my phone to take some snapshots of my darling girl enjoying her babycino, she pulled one of her adorable

I-am-so-cute-but-cheeky-too-and-I-know-you-still-love-me faces:

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Argh, this girl. She makes me so happy. She is at a stage where outings with her like this have become easier, and even, are enjoyable. We never stopped going out at any phase of her ‘toddler growth,’ but I have to say, being the stage and age she is at, she just gets things more. She listens more. She needs less coaxing and prodding, there are less arguments and tantrums, and much more happy faces while sucking on chocolate-y spoons like the above.

It’s a beautiful stage, and the precious moments from today I will hold with me dearly forever.

I still have my frustrating, want-to-bang-my-head-against-the-wall moments at night when she won’t go to bed, but as in Life, always, BALANCE.

Glass half-full gal tries to focus on the positives. And there are A LOT of them.

You should too 😉

 

#555 Mindful swinging at the park

Baby girl has just learnt how to swing on her own. Today was the second time she had the opportunity to practice it as we headed on over to the local park.

We had just had a babycino and cap, and a salted caramel ‘something’ to share at the nearby café, so we were properly fuelled. As we got closer to the park, I let go of her hand and said “go, run. Be free. Frolic. Be 4.”

Soon she was headed over to the swing, the place of her new-found confidence and extension of never-ending playfulness. She wanted me to give her a big push to get started, and then said “let go Mama.”

(Oh darling. I will never let go).

But then as life would have it, as our children grow up, she wanted me beside her. ( 🙂 ) She motioned to the swing beside her and told me to “sit.”

Soon we were both swinging, sometimes going back and forth simultaneously, other times in opposite directions. It was a still day, the sun sometimes coming out from behind the prevalent clouds of the day. We were silent for the longest time, going back and forth at our varying paces, and my mind wandered over to something I had read the other day.

Mindfulness. What was the quote?

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”  – Bil Keane.

The article had mentioned 7 habits to cultivating a happier life. And one of the points that had captivated me had been the act of living in the present. Not worrying about what had passed, and not stressing about what may, or may not come… but concerning oneself solely, with the NOW.

The technique mentioned was to be aware of your palms and feet, and clenching both while becoming aware of your surroundings. It said to try and concentrate on where you were, and if your mind naturally wandered, to not judge yourself too harshly, but to simply gently steer your attention back to where it needed to be.

So that’s what I did. As we swung back and forth, in the quiet of the local park, I clenched the hands that were around the swing chain, and tensed my feet below me that were swinging back and forth in my white sneakers. I observed my body in the almost-too tight swing seat, breathed in the fresh air, felt the warmth on my face, and tried to think of NOW.

A young teenager was nearby, walking home from school in their uniform, and the image before me made my mind go elsewhere. Suddenly baby girl was also a teen, and there were a multitude of concerning issues flooding my mind. How would I help her with her problems? Would she ask for help? Would she be happy? Would she like school? Would she like her Life?

I suddenly realised my scattered thoughts, and ever so gently removed myself from them, taking myself back to the present.

The beautiful present. Of me and baby girl, swinging at the park, with no concerning cares in the world.

🙂

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#545 Face paint at almost 3(4)

When you write a gratitude blog, you are looking at the happier things in life.

Brighter moments.

Uplifting times.

A flower blooming bright amidst grey concrete.

The rainbow that follows a dark storm.

The perfect coffee to perk you up on a cold Winter’s morning (of course, coffee).

But when it comes to Motherhood and kids, life is soooo off-kilter. There is a lot to be grateful for, but there is also a lot to bang your head against the wall in frustration too.

Take today for instance. We celebrated baby girl’s 4th birthday.

Do I mention how she hid under the table and didn’t come out as visitors came forward to wish her a happy day? No.

Do I mention how she only wanted to stay outside, away from everyone inside, and only came in when she fell and grazed her knee and I forced her to? No.

Do I mention how she screamed with fury when everyone started singing happy birthday to her? No.

No No No.

Because I’m also a glass half-full gal, which makes writing a blog like this, a bit easier, amidst challenging times. Diplomatically speaking.

So, I am grateful that I got a little face ‘decorating’ done today. Of course baby girl refused her face and got her hands painted instead (of course, it’s her birthday after all), but as soon as I organised the face painter to come for the kids, I immediately thought ‘I’m getting something too.’

I thought that, because I am young at heart, and baby girl brings that out in me, even more. And not only do I enjoy her birthday and the fun that these events bring to her, but it is double the fun, because actually…

Baby girl and I share a birthday. What do you know. Double the trouble.

So any excuse for a big party for her, is an excuse for a big party for me. And any excuse to get face painting for her…

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Is an excuse to get face painting for ME.

Bright flowers and blooming butterflies. We focus on the positive things here.

Eternally youthful… I don’t care for growing up.

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