#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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#662 Kinder days no. 5

When you have 5 hours to spare after dropping off your child at kinder, Christmas shopping becomes a WHOLE lot easier.

That’s where I headed today after giving baby girl a hug and a kiss before doing the excited stroll out the kindergarten door. To be able to shop alone, is bliss. To be able to do Christmas shopping alone, is well…

even better.

It was great in that I was able to tick more items off my list, have good and long hard thinking processes about others without a certain 4 year-old taking up all my time and attention… oh, and then there was Kmart.

I had a few things to look at in there, and thought to myself casually when I first walked in ‘I shouldn’t need a basket.’

I shouldn’t need a basket. Like geez. The question should’ve rather been ‘do I need a trolley?’

Luckily for me common-sense and past experience prevailed, and I got a basket, which half an hour later looked like this:

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I headed to the registers QUICKLY before I found something else I had to have, and have to convert to one of those pull-along baskets, when I saw something very, very important.

Only the day before was I talking about the Christmas Wishing Tree appeal with a group of women. As we spoke about how great of an idea it was, and how the presents went to less fortunate children and people, I realised that this year I would definitely do it. Each year I genuinely have wanted to, but opportunity and remembering to actually do it, as well as being near a Kmart about December-time, meant I never did.

I didn’t realise how soon the opportunity would present itself.

I bought a dress-up kit for a fellow 4 year old girl, and wrote that it was from my baby girl. I was actually teary as I headed over to the tree and placed the gift down, thinking

how fortunate are we to be able to buy presents for one another and give?

AND

how sad is it that there are people out there that do not celebrate Christmas like we do?

It was a sobering and humbling thought. There are those who cannot afford gifts. They are in life situations, dire ones, that are out of their control, and that they have little power over, and all they can do is watch those around them celebrate the most joyous time of the year.

I always figure: if I can buy presents for those I love, and things for myself, surely I can spare $20 here or there to give to someone in need?

I do this throughout the year when I can, extending a charitable hand to various organisations. But the thread becomes prevalent at Christmas-time, where we pointedly send off letters to organisations that have struck a chord with us, or who are doing work in a field that we feel needs more help and support.

Some people think Christmas is about getting presents. The real meaning of Christmas is to give, and to give with your heart and soul, thankfully and humbly and with gratitude.

So today I am grateful. I am grateful that I was able to get some personal Christmas shopping done for my friends and family. But I am most grateful that someone I don’t know, whose face I won’t see on Christmas morning, will open up a dress-up set and smile gleefully, giving a silent thanks that somehow, through some way, despite all of life’s hardships, the true spirit of Christmas is still alive in their hearts.

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#627 Plaits

The mornings are usually a rush. Even though baby girl is not yet in primary school, we are usually somehow rushing for something.

But in these hectic moments, furtive glances towards the clock, and agonising begging for baby girl to “just sit down,” there is a time-consuming activity that slows us both

A-l-l  T-h-e  W-a-y  R-i-g-h-t  D-o-w-n.

It’s when I sit to do her plaits.

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She likes when I do two plaits for her, like the character Anna from Frozen. And today was no less an exception, since it was dress-up day at kinder, and who should she choose to dress up as of course?

None other than the fiery freckled brunette with plaits.

I realise often as I’m doing this activity, that we both pause, and go very still. And it has less to do with the fact that I actually need her still, and more that we are in this beautiful moment, where she is allowing me to get to work, and I am relishing the crazy, busy, and yet so so precious moment where she is dependant on me to make her hair all pretty. Where I can help her, and she needs, and wants my help.

I remember the days when my Mum would do my hair (my Dad even took to the task a few times when Mum was not around!) and I see with clarity how fleeting, and transitory life really is.

And so I sit there. I ignore the clock. I divide her hair into parts. She goes quiet.

And we sit in this moment of Plait-itude.

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#623 Ice-Cream Truck joy

It was the perfect thing to do on a sunny Sunday. Especially after the late night that was, which is why we ended up at the Community Kinders Fair just before 1pm.

It was a gathering of a whole bunch of kinders from the area, with many of them holding stalls where the respective teachers sat beneath the shade of their tents, activities out for littlies of all ages to enjoy, while a few major attractions were positioned here, and there. Like the animal cage where the kiddies mingled with goats and chickens; or the massive tent in centre-field that housed magical performances and tricks and games for both young and old; there was a small stage set up for local up-and-coming singers to put their vocals to the test amidst the family-friendly crowd; and then there was the long, LONG line leading to…

The Face Painting.

After a quick stop over at the animal cage

and then a hello to baby girl’s teachers in their tent stall, we headed over to the stage area where we knew a friend of hers was nearby.

Upon them meeting it was immediately agreed that both wanted face painting. NOW.

So, I stood in line with baby girl, her friend, and her friend’s Mum, for a good hour. In the strong sunshine-y wind.

Thank God we had company. We talked kinders, life, jobs, kids, and all the in-betweens. We even made friends with a lady in front of us, all the while silently and loudly willing the line to go faster.

The thing that puzzled us though, was the fair ended at 2pm, with stallholders packing up and the crowds dissipating quickly from that mammoth scenic park we were in. But at no stage approaching 2pm, at 2pm, or even just after 2pm, did the two ladies, slowly and meticulously and precisely doing the face painting, look up at us to indicate they were done.

For sure they would call out at some stage, and tell us ‘beyond this line, no more!’ We waited and waited. But also, surely they wouldn’t tell us they were done, and we all had to go home, after we had waited so very long to fulfil our kids desire?

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They didn’t. The two ladies worked brilliantly, not taking face painting shortcuts just because it was now 2:20, and they were still there, while 4/5 of the grounds had up and gone. Baby girl and her friend made their way to the star seats soon enough, and we were all VERY happy that we had waited, for something.

After my profuse thank yous to the woman who had painted baby girl, we said our goodbyes to her friend and her Mum, and started to make our way to the car. I looked longingly at the seemingly empty ice cream truck still on the ground, next to a hot food truck. I had been in line and watching people all about me eating ice creams for the past hot, windy hour, and wishing that I too was indulging in some cold and sweet goodness.

Occasionally a man passed the interior window of the truck, but there were no other signs or activity to support the fact that it was still operational. For all we knew the dude was going to rev the engine and drive off the park grounds at any moment.

“Man, I would love an ice cream,” I wished out loud.

“Let’s see if he’s still open,” Hubbie responded. We followed, myself not too confident of the sweet-treat outcome.

He called out as we approached, the man now visible again behind the open window. “Can we still get ice creams?”

The man smiled, and responded in a way that made me think both yes, and no: “what did you want?”

We quickly placed our 3 orders: Hubbie’s gelato, baby girl’s soft serve with sprinkles, and my soft serve dipped in chocolate.

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It was heaven. Never has an ice cream tasted so damn good.

I’m putting it out there. You don’t need no fancy-schmanc ice cream café to have me flocking to their doors. Just give me an old-school truck, and I’m as happy as a lassie.

The consensus amongst us, was we were definitely in agreeance. Hubbie’s comments of his gelato being “insanely good,” and baby girl’s slurps and “mmmm’s” told the rest of the story.

Oh, and just so you know… baby girl is currently more a hand painter, than a face painter type of girl.

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Butterfly and bee. The bee is a bit shonky, but the waiting in line was worth it, if only for the ice cream at the end…

 

#571 First Kinder photos

I can’t begin to tell you how much it made mine and Hubbie’s day, to receive baby girl’s kinder photos today.

“Be strong,” the teacher had told me this morning as I perused the photos of my darling girl with adoration. “You don’t have to buy them all.”

Lady. I bought them ALL in my imagination before I even heard about photo day.

What made it all the more sweeter, was the knowledge that I had almost taken her home that photo day, since at the time she was going through a difficult period at kinder drop-off: not wanting to enter the class, not wanting to play with anyone/anything, and truly dreading the part where I would walk off and leave her.

The photos seriously nearly didn’t happen. She was not into photo-taking that day, AT ALL.

But then, a miracle. Or her teacher. Same same. But we both convinced her, slowly but surely, to go into the classroom and stick some string on a piece of cardboard (this was apparently novel stuff).

And then, bit by bit, she got more relaxed, until the point where she was going up to the photographer and photo bombing other’s photos.

That’s my girl.

It’s reminded us a lot of our own kinder photos, taking us back to that youthful, innocent, sweet and darling time of our lives.

And we are just stoked, to now have another album to add to the collection. What makes it even better???

She was smiling happily IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

I almost can’t stand the cuteness. It is too much.

Thank God I didn’t give up and go home that day.

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Gratitude in every way.

#550 Chaddy shopping day no.3

Today Hubbie and I had the rare luxury of heading to the shops together, without baby girl! I may sound horribly evil at the amusement of leaving her at kinder while we went to do so, but when you are a parent and have lived through the hardships of completing any shopping at all, let alone personal shopping when child/baby is in tow, well then you will understand my delight.

He bought a linen white shirt for beach days.

I bought a couple of tops.

And then I also bought these:

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I was really inspired when I picked up the Rebel Girls book. My first thought was to buy it later on, when baby girl was like 5 or 6 and could actually understand the stories more when I read them to her at bedtime, but then Hubbie was like “buy it now and just keep it!” and of course that was all the ammo I didn’t need to change my mind.

I even read a couple of entries on some of the influential and inspirational women when I got home, those of Jane Austen and the Williams sisters, and they blew ME away. I think this bedtime storybook is suitable for women of ALL AGES, not just young girls (and that’s my thoughts before I’ve even reviewed it!)

And the other book? Well it was timely that a book about things going wrong and not giving a flying f&^k when they do so, would pass before my eyes the day after I posted about birth-days not going to plan. I’m all very ‘think positive’ and ‘look at the brighter side of life,’ yet found freedom and relief in the premise of a book that was telling me to JUST NOT CARE.

I’ll let you know how I go. I’m grateful for it all, nonetheless.

 

#543 Café-ing with Hubbie, ALONE

Oh wow. Like this has not happened, ever ever ever, since before we had baby girl.

In 4 years, have we not sat down at a café opposite each other, just us.

But today, it happened.

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It only happened because Hubbie and I are on leave together, and today was baby girl’s kindergarten day. Score. It was a quick stop, as we were super busy and in the midst of weekend birthday preparations for baby girl… but still, it was a great break, just the two of us, as we sat outside Store Fifteen feeling a decent breeze, with a stronger sun pulsating on through, and a stunning and shimmering beach horizon in the very close distance.

It was amazing, and I can only imagine what we’ll get up to next week during her kindergarten session, when we have NOTHING to plan, and NOTHING pressing to attend to.

…!