#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.’

#470 Coffee with Cinderella

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Straight up, that was my coffee experience today.

It was special because my parents have been staying with us for a little bit, and so today while out and about, showing them our ‘hood,’ we stopped for a café latte break.

Parents, baby girl, me… and Cinderella.

Because that’s how the coffee breaks are nowadays. And it’s important that I capture them as they are, now. Because these days of mini figurines, kinder surprises, play-doh creations and smiley-face biscuits, will not last forever. Baby girl will grow out of it, and soon will be way too cool for any of that kiddy ‘stuff.’

The stuff that now makes her clap her hands with unrestrained glee, a wild smile spreading across her face in the moment that she comes face to face with a little packet-ed princess wearing a blue gown.

So, it was a cool little coffee date we had. I share these moments with baby girl, but my parents being there as witness to it all, is extra, extra, cool.

That’s a coolness, I won’t ever grow out of.

#456 Baby girl’s comic timing

Baby girl ran into the family room, wearing only her birthday suit. I looked up at her.

“Too too hot” she told me, waving her hand in front of her.

Hubbie had been running her a bath, and she must have just tested the waters. Meanwhile I was on my hands and knees, picking up all her toys and quickly trying to stuff them into somewhat appropriate places before I met them in the bathroom.

“Yeah?” I said. “That’s ok, Mummy’s just packing up a bit.”

“Good good job!” And baby girl outstretched her hand with a big thumbs up and a grinning smile to me.

I immediately burst out laughing. I wasn’t annoyed that I was packing up her things, or shitty that she was congratulating me on a job that was hers… it was the perfect timing of a quote that I use often with her in encouraging good behaviour (obviously packing up isn’t one of them!) and to see her return it to me, in so hilarious a way…

It was comedic genius. My little girl 🙂

I laughed all the way to the bathroom…

#451 A girl that sleeps

Zzzzz.

Zzzzz.

Zzzzz.

That’s all any parent ever wants, right? A girl that will sleep. A child that will sleep. That has to be the greatest gift, from God to parent.

And if you don’t ‘believe,’ well then that has to be the greatest gift, from your child, to you.

Sleep.

You know you have reached a turning point, a pinnacle of your parenting lifespan, when you start to wake your child.

You get out of bed before them.

You make noise around the house in an effort to wake them up.

And when you walk into their room, their head goes up begrudgingly, before slumping back into their pillow.

Then you walk away, with a laugh. Because you know, the tables have turned.

Mwa ha ha.

Today, after waking up in bed for over 30 minutes, I forced myself out of bed just before 10am. I had gone to bed at 1am, I’ve been under the weather, baby girl has been sick, and this in turn has had her waking and crying from her harsh coughing and rough feeling throat. We’ve had interrupted sleeps for the last 3 nights.

I went downstairs, and was opening blinds, banging cupboards and taking out dishes, when a disheveled looking baby girl, hair all over her face, ran wildly from her room, looking to see where the source of the noise was coming from.

She found me in the kitchen. She beamed, we hugged warmly, and then we started our day.

After 10am.

I love these days 🙂

 

#417 Easter egg hunt

One of the most rewarding parts of the day…

was not when we had hot cross buns for brekkie, that had been baked fresh in the oven minutes earlier (they were delicious but this new oven I’m working with, actually, OLD oven, burnt the bases of all my buns so that they had to be sliced off – minor annoyance)

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was not when I surveyed the satisfying end result of 2-3 days of baking and preparing, all my lovely cakes presented on pink plates to be taken to family and friends (I spent a lot of that time also being grumpy, stressed and rushing about like a mad woman)

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was not when we arrived at my parents place later in the day on time (we had been driving around for hours already)

was not when we cheers’d as a family and had a good swig of the strong stuff to commemorate yet another beautiful family Easter dinner together

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… But, it was in the morning, during our Easter egg hunt with baby girl. Because even though we did it with her last year on Easter morning, she did it then in surprised awe, like she was still working things out. It was more wonder at why all these little eggs were in our front yard, more so than excitement.

Today was much, much different.

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Hubbie scattered little eggs around the front and back yard, and then showed baby girl where he saw the Easter Bunny hop about, thereby directing her to the right spots.

She carried her green Easter bag with her, excitedly filling up the bag with chocolatey goodness, exclaiming in excited happiness, popping the eggs confidently into the bag, and listening ardently as her Dad and I seriously spoke about where else the bunny had hopped to, and what else we might find…

and then we came to the ‘piece de resistance,’ which, hidden amongst a bush, was this

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A Frozen-themed tin chest. Filled with more chocolate eggs of course.

Seeing that smile on baby girl’s face, why, we could almost do an Easter egg hunt every day, just to see that beautiful face light up with happiness the way it did.

Happy Easter All 🙂 Hope yours was a special and memorable one.