#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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#540 Her phrases

We are driving home from Spotlight. In the car, and it has just started to rain.

“Mama! Wipe wipe wipe!”

Baby girl wants me to put the wipers on. I flick the wand, and the wipers move across the window.

“Good job Mama.”

(!)

We are driving to another shop.

“Mama, one more toy, and finish.”

She says this ALL the time. Every time she says “one more toy, and finish,” it actually NEVER EVER EVER finishes. It’s the never-ending finishing toy story, which never actually finishes, unlike the movie, which DID.

I give her a look, trying not to smile. “Baby girl, don’t be cheeky.”

She cocks her head to the side, imitating my amused smile, and laughs. “Mama,” with the same tone I used on her.

(How do I win with this super-charming and cheeky girl?)

I am cleaning up after having made a cap and babycino for baby girl and I this afternoon. She takes the empty milk canister I have on the side, placing it in the sink.

“Be careful! The milk can drip.” I try to convince her, with my own hands full, to get her to leave the canister alone. She doesn’t.

She places the lid on top, in an act of ‘packing up,’ and then starts to walk away.

“Thank me Mama.”

She wants me to thank her.

“Thanks baby girl… not that I asked you in the first place,” I mutter.

(Sigh).

She has just finished brushing her teeth. We make a HUGE deal out of this, every single time.

“Great job honey! You did so well! You are a superstar!”

“No, a rock star.”

Geez! Where did that one come from?! ;-D

(LOL LOL LOL)

Sitting on her Dad’s lap, drinking her nightly milk. She is slipping off his lap, and repositions herself on him, resulting in extreme discomfort for him. He winces, but he is well-used to this wiggle worm by now.

“Ahh,” she says, taking the milk cup from me, now that she is more comfortable.
“Much much better.”

🙂

I write these things, not only because they make me happy, and grateful for these moments that display her growing humour, personality and maturity, but also as a snapshot into our life, into her life and world, and in particular the moments captured on August the 7th 2017.

It’s the reason why I write and document life so much. I want to remember, and for my children to one day read back, and go “wow… that happened? Wow.”

Life is precious, and life with a child is a wild adventure and bag of tricks that is almost necessary to note down… because they are memories to treasure forever.

#538 Her first haircut

It took 4 almost years, a not-so-stressed-out Mum, a laid-back Dad, and a girl that not only allowed her parents to put any kind of accessory into her hair, but also wanted hair as long as Rapunzel’s, before this happened:

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Tonight! Our baby girl’s first haircut, and days before her 4th birthday. Although naturally a little unsure when the scissors came near her head, the novelty was in the fact that her grandma was doing the cutting (albeit just straight across the back, but it’s something), and also as I had reminded her aplenty of in the last few weeks, ALL of her friends had had haircuts and LOVED it… or so she was told.

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As soon as she was assured it wouldn’t hurt, and it was fun fun fun! she jumped up on the foot stool and let her grandma get to work. A couple of minutes later and a good inch was gone, and a really pleased and grown-up girl remained.

Awww. My heart. This little girl of ours is really growing up.

😉

#508 Singing in the car

I mean, who needs the rain, when you have the terrific shelter of a car as you drive 80kms through bushy terrain, the sun shining down on you, and Taylor Swift/Ed Sheeran blasting out of your radio?

I found myself in this delightful disposition this morning on the way to the shops with baby girl. We had this view

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and suddenly, baby girl was like “more,” indicating to me that she wanted the volume to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” to go right up, and soon it was blasting, we were shaking, and we were laughing and singing our heads off.

“Shake it off, shake it off!”

Some more views

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and then it was Ed Sheeran singing about “The Shape of You,” and again the volume was blasting, baby girl was babbling/singing, and we were grooving to

“I’m in love with the shape of you.”

I love when we get these unexpectedly happy moments. Not only are they appreciated so much more when they arrive with no prior pretence of joy, but when they showcase to me how baby girl is learning, developing and growing into a young girl each day, it just warms my heart even more.

Awww, shucks 🙂

 

#494 Her manners

Baby girl continues to astound me. Sure, through all these years of her growing up, I’ve encouraged her to say “Ta” to whoever deserved it – the kind lady at the grocers offering her a free biscuit just ‘because’; her grandparents when they slip in a note for any future babycinos; and anytime food or drink is brought to her, she knows to smile and give thanks.

Yet it still comes as a surprise to me that she is now saying “Thanks!” so much, so often. Well, it sounds like “catch!” but same same. I’ve been telling her to give appreciation for the last few years, whereas now she is doing it of her own accord, which I had absolutely no expectation of at her age – and yet I am rapt.

Tonight for example. Today while in the post office, I came upon the most fantastic surprise for her. One of her many, many loves at the mo, is Paw Patrol, and so when I saw a nightlight in the shape of one of the characters, Skye (I mean, baby girl was even wearing her Skye hoodie to kinder while I was eagerly rubbing my hands in anticipation of this purchase) I knew I HAD TO buy it.

Hubbie and I told her there was a surprise, but she wouldn’t get it ’til after dinner. You never give a child anything before they eat their vegies. NEVER EVER EVER.

She did well though, and we sat her down and gave her the paper bag to peek into. She fished out the nightlight pup, her grin still painted on her face, and took in all of its pink, girly, doggy glory.

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SHE. WAS. RAPT. I don’t know who was more excited, she from her surprise present, or us from anticipating, and receiving, the sheer joy that was so apparent. She then hugged the light, and said

“Catch Mama, catch Tato!”

Oh My God. Where does she get these things? Does she have to be so freaking adorable so we buy her MORE presents? Darn it kiddo, you get away with tooooo much.

And then moments later, because she just couldn’t contain herself, again

“Catch Mama, catch Tato!”

LOL. Oh man. I just love this girl. And truly, really, completely, I do not lie when I say watching your child grow and develop, is about the greatest thing in the world…

 

#492 Park Days no. 2

It was a very good day today. I was emotional, teary, and super-proud as punch as the kindergarten teacher told me how well baby girl was doing during her mid year parent/teacher mini-interview.

She is 3, in a predominantly 4 year old class. Not intended – that’s just how it happened. There weren’t enough 3s for a class of their own so they separated them into the 3 classes there are per week.

Every child has their own personal talents, and their own personal challenges. Baby girl does not differ. And yet, to hear such beautiful and encouraging feedback, about her positive self-esteem, sharing nature, ability to play well in a group, and to listen in group story-time, well…

IT MADE MY HEART SOAR.

As we were leaving the kindergarten, heading over to the park beside it that she hadn’t yet been to, I felt like I wanted to give her the world. I know I do already, but to hear such happy and positive news, I felt like I wanted to give her everything.

I know I already do. I was just so bloody proud.

So I pulled her aside and said “baby girl, look at Mummy – I am so, so proud of you. Mummy loves you.”

She smiled and then charged forward towards the playground she has been eyeing off for 6 months.

And so, we had a splendid park day.

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And for anyone thinking their Mum-kid relationship today was nothing like the above scenario, I’ll provide you with the humbling addition that we ended the day crying, exhausted, and angrily threatening “no book!”

Balance. It’s key. Still proud though 😉

#488 The tree in Their yard

Still on nature.

There are many things we take for granted in life, and many that we act as if it will be there forever.

For me today, that forever thing is my parents’ home.

It was the place I was brought home to when a newborn, days after coming into the world. I grew up in that house, and only left years and years and years later, when I got married. It may seem confined and claustrophobic to some, but the years I spent there were some of the most memorable and happiest years of my life. I love that house.

Likewise, their yard. I’ve never really taken much refuge, notice of, or practiced much gratitude towards it, only because well, ‘taking things for granted’ note as above. Assuming it will always be there. Thinking that I will be able to visit it FOREVER.

Things don’t always turn out the way we envision them to be in our little fantasy-lands. Often our fantasy-lands are just that, images in our head.

So today while over there visiting on yet another Friday, drinking a coffee my Dad made me out in their yard, from a coffee pod machine I bought them one Christmas (of course I would buy them something coffee-related) I came upon, and noticed for the second time that day, the spectacular nature of a tree.

It’s the only one in their yard that still has part of its leaves on, and visually striking is the fact that it is prime-centre in the middle of the yard, surrounded by all the other leaf-less, stark grey branches around it from neighbouring trees. I looked at this stunning hybrid Pear tree (my Dad is a supreme Gardener and Handy-Man, so don’t ask) and observed to myself, that it was beautiful. Stunning even.

‘Pear, hold on.’