#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 😉

#466 When they say her name

Hubbie and I still clearly remember the first time we heard another child call out to baby girl. Well, I’m a bit hazy on the place, but I remember the feeling. A friend’s daughter called “baby girl!” in a playful, happy, inclusive and friendly tone, and my heart melted a little. Later on Hubbie said to me “Did you hear such and such’s daughter call out ‘baby girl?'”

He too had melted. I guess there’s something that pulls at the heart strings when a fellow child calls out to yours. Parenthood has a lot of fear and stresses in it, and one of the zillion of them is hoping your child will be liked. That they will have friends. That they will be included. That people will be kind to them.

And every time since then, when a child has gone “baby girl!” my heart beats a little more.

It’s been a big thing for me since our Sea Change. All of us are starting again in a new town, and I’m keen for baby girl to meet as many people as possible. Sure, we have lots of family and friends scattered all over the place, but this is the town she will grow up in. This is the town she’ll make those crucial childhood and teenage memories in. These are the times that will shape her, and I hope to God she has a few decent friends during her journey.

But in the meantime, we are all just getting to know each other, aren’t we? And I’ve already heard a couple occasions where a child from her kinder has called out “baby girl!” to my surprised and delighted observation, to which I usually lowly instruct “baby girl, say hi to your friend!”

Today it happened in the sweetest way.

I had picked her up from her kinder session, and as she had at the start of the day when she had prolonged walking into the foyer for sign-in, so too was she now walking slowly along the step in the railing on the side of the footpath, while I held the child-proof gate open up ahead for her.

“Baby girl, come on,” I willed her. She eventually followed, and we were both on the other side of the fence, when I heard the faintest “baby girl.”

I turned, unsure I had even heard her name, when I saw a girl from her class behind the gate, her Mum still talking to the teacher behind her.

She stepped closer and held out a little pink pony, and baby girl stepped forward to claim it. I was hesitant, trying to work out if it was baby girl’s or this other girl’s, as I didn’t want her taking a toy from another child, but also, trying to figure out if somehow it was baby girl’s, since the kids aren’t allowed to take their personal toys to kinder – in case they get lost.

Baby girl was sure it was hers, and we walked off while I worked out eventually with baby girl’s indication, that it had been in her coat pocket, and fallen out. As that became clearer and solved, the previous encounter came forward in my head and –

Melted My Heart.

Not only was it the kindness of this other young girl to return the pony toy to baby girl, but it was the sweet and gentle way with which she said her name. It struck a cord so deep, and I was happy even more so, because I have seen this girl in class and she is as cheeky as baby girl (also as cute as!), and I have spoken to her Mum on a brief occasion and gotten along with her well enough to think

‘we could be friends.’

Which feeling do you think I liked more, that I might get a friend, or that baby girl might already have one which I didn’t know about?

What do you think???

The answer is in the above. That little girl melted my heart when she said baby girl’s name, and I think it will be melting for a while yet during these school years…

I think it might be butter by the time she’s 18.

 

#452 First Mother’s Day celebration at kinder

Oh man. Another Phil Collins moment.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment, all my life.”

True story. Like I have literally been looking forward to the day that baby girl brings home artwork and painting, after artwork and painting, from her kinder days. Like, actually, the very first painting she did at kinder, Hubbie and I were so excited, we decided we would FRAME IT.

So it comes to reason that when I heard they were doing an afternoon tea in celebration of this Sunday’s upcoming Mother’s Day, well, I was in my element.

And so that afternoon happened, today. Upon arrival, I was first given a hand massage by baby girl (heart tearing open)

We then did a shared hand-painting exercise, where we painted each others hands in varying colours and pressed it onto some paper as a future keepsake (our hand size comparison – so darn cute!)

We shared in some scones and biscuits as a little mid-activity treat (because sugar makes everything better)

The kids ran around, before they sat down with us parents to hear a story of a Mummy, turning into a monster when her kids don’t listen to her (highly, highly appropriate)

The kids then sang an “I Love you Mum” song, and I nearly burst out into tears at baby girl’s actions of hugging and blowing a kiss to the song’s words (I was tickling the roof of my mouth like CRAZY here*)

And then finally we got goodie bags, which contained a pot plant, and a handmade card from our kids (finally, presents!)

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There was also the portrait our littlies drew of us, and can I just say ‘Picasso!’

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Totally, no. She is 3. Still, I will cherish those squirls on a round face as my humanly representation, for a LONG time.

And like she really knew what it was all about… at two moments during the book reading, baby girl left her spot on the floor with all the other kids, and came to sit on my lap, and gave me a deliberate, and distinct, KISS on the cheek, accompanied by a great big warm hug.

And just like she does so often, in every day of our lives, she stole my heart all over again.

My heart is all torn up today, in the absolute bestest way possible :):):) And tonight’s sunset is a perfect metaphor for its blushing state.

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(*To prevent yourself from crying, tickling the roof of your mouth with your tongue is said to keep you from bawling like a baby… does it work? I think I am always too busy trying to inconspicuously do it, that my mind immediately becomes preoccupied with being so-not-obvious, and in doing so I forget I’m an emotional wreck… so there’s your answer) 😉

 

 

#438 Kinder days no. 3

A week or two ago I was looking up local cafes, and came upon an awesomest of awesome cafes, with the most awesomest of awesome-looking meals, that had me immediately concocting how I was going to eat said meal.

The idea came to me quickly: ‘next time I’m free after dropping baby girl off at kinder, go there and EAT.’

Today, I went. And I ate this:

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It tasted as extremely beautiful as it looked. This acai bowl had me in love at first sight, and though I got brain freeze when I took in more than necessary in my first spoonfuls, of the icy blend beneath the surface, I very quickly learnt my lesson and ate the rest of the meal, s l o w l y.

Although I love socialising, I often need the timeout to recharge and refuel, and yet I never would have thought, 10 years ago, that I would now look forward to eating out on my own.

Hint to my future Food Review from today’s experience? ‘In a nutshell,’ I will be back. 🙂

Acai bowl made me happy and grateful this morning. Goal accomplished.

#421 Kinder days no.2

….. and we are BACK. Back from school holidays, and back to kindergarten.

(Mwa ha ha).

Even though baby girl only goes one session a week because she is 3, those 5 hours mean a lot to me, let me tell you. If only for sanity, for catch-up, for myself, those few hours make such a difference, and the absence of them over the past few weeks has been sorely felt.

Today I did grocery shopping, alone.

Today I recommenced Zumba – my body needed and wanted it, BAD. (My left leg not being able to perform a particular movement towards the end of the session, showed me how badly my body was out of whack).

I ate well, having extra time to prepare a healthy lunch.

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(No that’s not cucumber, that’s broccoli stalk – shop your vegies finely, pop it into a Microwave safe container, fill 1/4 to a 1/3 with water, and put in the microwave for about 2 minutes with the lid ajar, or if you have the above Tupperware contraption, even better. Mix with tuna, carbs, or all of the above – done).

I cleaned the house – let me tell you it was very necessary.

I completed and ordered online invitations for my parents 50th wedding anniversary – sis and I are extremely excited.

Ahh, there’s nothing like catch-up. Getting ahead. Feeling accomplished.

I love Kinder.

#400 Watching, she unaware

I don’t know WHY I was tuning into the daft conversation of the other kinder Mums. I stood there in the foyer of the kindergarten this afternoon, my eyes wandering around, hearing what the two were talking about, while myself and all the other Mums in there, pretended we didn’t, in lack of social invitation.

And then I looked over. I realised I could peek through a side window of the teacher’s office, and could see right through into the room where the kids were surrounded around the teacher. They were sitting, and I immediately spotted baby girl: up the front, right in front of the teacher. They were making some noise, a song? They all began to clap and make fast lap actions, the noise escalated, and I watched in happy surprise, the excited demeanour of baby girl, as she moved fast, her face wrapped up in the happy moment, grinning her face off so hard I was sure her muscles would hurt.

I smiled broadly. I could see my princess having an absolute ball, and looking in like this, I knew there was no way it could have been faked for an audience. My heart swelled with love and joy.

That tiny moment, was almost enough to move me to tears. I tried to compose myself in that tiny foyer.

Seconds later she ran towards me, and we headed home 🙂