A hand hold.
A reassuring hug.
It doesn’t matter what the answer is. Sometimes the affection a loved one shows to you when times are tough, is enough.
A hand hold.
A reassuring hug.
It doesn’t matter what the answer is. Sometimes the affection a loved one shows to you when times are tough, is enough.
I’m really enjoying watching baby girl grow and develop into a young girl. It gets me all misty-eyed MANY times, but what I am enjoying most of all, is also our relationship growing and developing.
I’m finding lately we are really laughing together more. I become her equal in those moments, and she mine, and we end up cacking over something totally hilarious or totally trivial, doubled over in laughter…
It can be us playing dolls and Mister F will walk past, and I act out the dolls – “Argh! A black and white monster!”
Or she’ll be sooking about something silly and I pull a weird/funny face, and she can’t help but laugh and pull one back, and then I do it again, and etc until we are totally losing it.
Or like tonight. She does this thing every so often at bedtime, and it is part a delay mechanism, part because she is so affectionate. But she will grab me as I am kissing her goodnight, her arms firmly around my neck holding me close, as she counts –
“1!” and then plants a kiss on my cheek.
And then yells out “10!” before blowing a massive rapsberry on my cheek.
I always brace for impact, but let her do it anyway… she has a ball. Tonight however, she got up to 10… and kept going.
Each time she pulled back to count further I pulled a confused, exaggerated expression. Her counts became incoherent as she burst into laughter, so that at 17 I was like “what number are you even up to?”
She kept kissing me in hysterics as she counted something in a muddle, and I fell onto her laughing and trying hard to breathe normally.
Ahhh. It’s in these moments I let go of everything.
I let go of trying to make everything right.
I let go of being the parent.
I let go of rules.
I let go of routine and order.
I let go of worries.
I let go of the past.
I let go of what ‘should be.’
I let go of all those knots within me, and in the tremors of laughter vibrating off me, they untie and go loose, and waves of happiness and love pour out.
It is magical.
She counted up to 25, somehow… my cheek was wet… and then she yelled “10!”
And I got my raspberry. Though my insides were fuzzy too, not just my cheek. 🙂 ♥
I didn’t expect it would happen so soon. Nonetheless, when the first bell rang at 9am, the kids on the playground did their momentary pause, before running at full speed towards the coloured caterpillars painted on the concrete, where they would line up.
I watched baby girl jump up from the bark-filled playground area, and start to run past me.
“No kiss?” I called out.
But she was GONE. I walked slowly, getting closer to her caterpillar, similar parents around me also coming closer for a look, kiss, and a wave goodbye.
Don’t get sad. You knew this day would come. I swallowed and tried not to think about it as I saw her line up. Don’t make a scene – she is happy.
Don’t make a scene.
The second bell rang. A couple of teachers were now present, and they started to lead their lined up preppies into the building. I watched as baby girl’s class was led forward, saw with happiness she was holding hands with one of her friends, and smiled at her when she looked my way.
Suddenly, a wave of horror washed over her face. As if in slow motion. Walking by near me, following the other kids in –
She realised she had not gotten a goodbye kiss!
I watched her, amused yet alert, knowing her sudden anxious reaction may spell bad things.
She had stopped, and all the kids behind her stopped abruptly too. Her friend kept holding her hand as she stood still, with the kids in front of them still heading on into the building. I blew her a kiss, but it wasn’t enough.
I ran over quickly and leaned in for a hug.
“Okay, now go!” I urged.
I leaned back. Ok, drama kind of avoided…
Who am I kidding. We totally made a scene.
But I don’t care, because my girl still wants to kiss me.
Gratitude = √
We spend so much of our lives, rushing from A to K to Z, thinking of the future, reminiscing about the past, and constantly in a state of planning, that we often forget to live, engage and be in the present.
It’s synonym is gift for a reason.
I always have things to do. I guess, duh Fred, EVERYONE’S life story. I guess my point is, in my spare time I rarely am lounging about watching hours of TV on end. I try to limit my social media use when it is just aimless trawling trawling trawling through news feeds. Recently I’ve begun planning out my days meticulously, so I can get in the maximum number of productive seconds, minutes and hours out of it that I can while baby girl is at kinder. This usually involves Zumba, some kind of writing, and then doing some sort of house-related organisational activity, a work in progress that is 18 months growing following our move (still!)
But just as I am always trying to tick things off my never-ending eternal to-do list, so am I realising I need to sometimes, just stop. Sit and DO nothing, for like, 5 minutes. Go through that mag that’s been sitting on the coffee table.
Play with baby girl.
I am very aware of her words to me. I am also aware of phrases I use like “I’m too busy,” “I can’t now” and “after.” I don’t like to use them, and then again, at times you can’t avoid them. You will be in the throes of something, let’s say dinner, and if I were to stop and go and play with baby girl’s barbie dolls, well our dinner would end up being blackened chicken schnitzel with burnt mini pizzas and soggy vegies.
But as was the case today, I stopped. Baby girl asked if we could play an exciting game, and I paused – I am so used to thinking of what I am doing next that I didn’t even realise that there was nothing I had planned for that moment – and said “sure. Let’s play.”
She was to be sleeping beauty, and I was to get her Anna, Elsa, and another barbie doll, and wake her up by presenting to her the Prince. I did just that, getting the dolls to wake her up off of the carpeted floor, but she did her trademark “no, like this,” and showed me by kissing me on the nose, that she was expecting a kiss from Prince charming himself.
I smiled. Okay then.
I instructed her to stay there on the floor, then ran off to her room to get something. Back I came, with her dolls, and doing some pretend doll voices, the dolls then presented the Prince to a sleeping, Beauty. He leant down, gave her a kiss… she woke up…
And it was her Captain Feathersword doll.
The look of wild hilarity and fun spread across her face as she refused his ‘advances,’ and we doubled over on the floor cacking ourselves silly. I took the turn of being Sleeping Beauty then as she presented the feathery pirate to me, and then in my subsequent turns of finding a Prince for her, I presented to her my original 90s Ken Barbie, who honestly I thought was as good a Prince as any, but she said “yuck!” and on second thoughts and looks I realised that in his 90s bow-tie suit he looked more like a 40 year-old Dad figure than a suitor. Fair enough.
The last dude I found for her was also Wiggles themed, palm-sized Lachy doll from the latest group incarnation. “Here you go,” I mimicked the dolls, placing him on her face for a lip smacker.
“No Lachy, yuck!” she squealed, and we doubled over again in laughter, laughing more because we were there watching each other laugh and cry laughing. It was GOLD.
Tonight after all the cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the next day, I miraculously found some spare time. And I didn’t fill it with stuff on my to-do list. I turned to my private ‘me’ list, and sat at the table to read the Peninsula Kids magazine we had received at kinder that day.
Sure, I was reading articles written from fellow bloggers I knew and people who I had read about online. It was kinda like homework. But still, I was reading, I was engaging, and I was growing. And all the while a few metres away, Hubbie was creating his own game with baby girl – chasing her around the table, pretending to be distracted by something else and then running for her, until he would catch her in a bear hug, pull her into the couch, and then it would start all over again.
I sat there, reading amidst the laughter and the love, glad that she had had a full day of games, memories and love. I wasn’t in complete peace amidst the noise, but also somehow, I was.
It was chaos at Bayside today. A bit insane. Almost as if Christmas were tomorrow, instead of next week.
It was ok though. We had found parking on the top, and it only took us 10 minutes.
We made our way through the centre levels and stores, going up and down the escalator and lifts a dozen times, trying to find those last few Christmas presents to tick off our list.
One such time as we were heading up, we happened to be on alternating escalator steps – baby girl on the highest one, me on the middle one, and Hubbie behind me on the lowest step.
As we rode up and up, Hubbie leaned in and kissed me sweetly on the shoulder a few times. Sometimes baby girl gets possessive and tells him to back off at moments like these, promptly letting him know that I am her Mama!
This time though, she smiled sweetly.
“Mama,” she started. “Tato like you.”
Awwwww. The sweetest thing EVER.
“You think so?” I asked with a broad smile. “He likes me, a bit?!”
She won the quote of the day, HANDS DOWN.
I am forever grateful for her insightful, funny, clever, entertaining, and touching quotes. She always wins the gratitude game:)
Sleep-coma was threatening to win me over at any moment.
I was so tired as I struggled to fight the fog, reading baby girl a book in the dark of her room, against her dim Skye lamp.
But soon it was done. She wanted some face tapping, which I promptly followed with, and then she was going to do it on me, so I closed my eyes and settled in for some random and non-parallel taps from her gentle fingers all over my face.
She ended by kissing me on the forehead, just as I always do for her.
I quickly tucked her in, getting comfortable sitting on the toy box beside her as I did every night, waiting for her to fall asleep. Then –
She wanted another kiss. I leaned in quickly – do not fight the requests, it only delays everything that much more – and we gave each other kisses. To which she then said,
“Mama best friend.”
“You’re my best friend too,” I whispered to her giving her another kiss.
“Yeah best friend, in whole world!”
Awww. I mean, that there. I’m done.
Tick tick tick. I’ll remember that moment, these memories, and this age, forever and ever and ever.
2 in a row.
I am settling her for bed.
“Mama, one more blanket.”
Our heater has died. Bad enough when it was working, the Winter chill would creep in immediately as soon as the warm air had stopped flowing, but now, there was no warm air at all to blow and warm the house at an even level, bar the little portable heaters that have been placed in a few strategic corners around the place, bringing warm pockets to generally icy cool areas.
I take another thin blanket that I keep beside her bed. There is actually a stack of about 8, of varying thickness that reside here on a permanent basis, but with the onslaught of Winter, this pile has now dropped to 4, with the heap on her bed rising instead.
Dropped to 3.
I lay it across her, making sure all the blankets are evenly spread across her, and there are no open areas to bring cold air into her bed.
“Thank you Mama.”
Oh, clutch my heart.
“No worries Princess. I love you baby girl.”
Big hugs and kisses ensue from both of us as I bend down for more affection.
She holds me in a firm bear hug.
Eventually we part, and I go to take post at the end of her bed, until she falls asleep.
She waves to me.
“Goodnight honey, I love you princess.”
“Goodnight Mama, I love you.”
Kill me now and I’ll die happy.
Oh that girl pulls at the heart strings.
One of the best milestones your child reaches is the one where they sleep through the night in their own bed. And once that happens, you are okay with them joining you in yours, in the morning.
If it’s super early, well I’m like “you sleep on Daddy’s pillow,” since he is usually at work by then. A little bit of “this is your dance space, this is my dance space” – style. However if she comes up at a ‘decent hour,’ once we are both well-slept, she will reach out and cuddle in close and we’ll kiss and hug.
This morning however, it WAS a decent hour, but we were both sooo tired, still. She snuggled in close, and I did not protest. She found a nook, a groove in me, and lay there, breathing peacefully, her eyelids closed and creaseless, and I had my arm around her and holding her tight.
Like a little baby bear, cuddling up close to its Big Mama bear.
Or like a lion cub, finding support and comfort, strength and solitude, in its Lioness of a Mother.
Or like baby girl, finding love and affection and fondness and attention, with her Mama.
Same same. The snuggles are all the same. I love them so, and cherish them always XO
I mean, of course I was going to be grateful we had bought baby girl a trampoline, right?
Well….. (breaths out) let’s discuss the last week.
Firstly, last Sunday as we finished putting the ‘thing’ up over 3 hours, Hubbie said to me “I never had a trampoline as a kid,” and then proceeded to jump as high as he could in the middle of the mat while baby girl and I bounced around crazily around him.
“I know, right?” I said. “it’s like we’re fulfilling our childhood dreams through her!”
So bloody cool. When you give your kids things you never had as a child, you feel more than proud… you feel fulfilled. Special. You feel like you’ve come full circle, and now that you have a 10 foot trampoline in your backyard, you are somehow complete.
I had also thought, now that her day naps were mostly gone, that the trampoline would give me that little bit of ‘me’ time while baby girl went crazy outside, prepping herself for the most awesomest of awesome sleeps that night. I was like ‘this will be great, I can write again.’
Then on Monday, she was jumping… and wanted me to jump with her.
On Tuesday, I sent her out there on her own, and yet again – she wanted me to jump with her.
Wednesday I started work late, and sure enough, as Hubbie was checking out our gutters around the side of the house that morning, she was pleading with me: “please please!”
Now, I don’t know about you, YOU being any other person out there, or if YOU is a fellow Mum or parent, but I ALWAYS have shit to do around the house. Cleaning, food prep, washing, do this, sort that, we still have boxes here, catch up on writing, grocery shopping, and the list goes on and on and on. I don’t really have time for jumping. I wish that was all I had to worry about – how much bloody jumping I can cram into one day. But I don’t. I start with a rough list, and if I’m lucky I complete it. I don’t usually have time for much more.
Today, AGAIN. Now on all these other occasions I complied, and jumped with her for a little. I told her I was cold, sick, had to go to work, whatever. And all those times I wasn’t lying. But I also told her that she had to jump on her own – we had bought this trampoline for her to jump, not for Mummy to jump!
(Just thinking those words again makes me realise how lonely that thought is. Jumping alone).
I was going to try and sneak in some writing while she watched TV in the other room. And of course as soon as the laptop was fired up, round the corner she came, saying “Mama?”
She wanted to jump. It was after 5, and darkness was falling upon us. She only had a little bit of time left, and quite frankly I was concerned she would rope me into it.
“You can jump, BUT… Mummy is staying inside, alright? I’m not jumping. Just you’re jumping. Mummy is sick, she has a sore throat, she’s cold… ok? You understand me?”
She nodded obediently at me, just as she had every other time before eventually pleading with me to jump with her.
She headed out and I turned back to my laptop, and after a minute or so, she started to intermittently call out.
It was more sing-song than anything, so I ignored it. But soon she came to the door again, knocking loudly, and opened it so I could see her.
“NO!” I had had it UP TO HERE (the sky). I went over to the door and locked it behind her so she couldn’t go back out. “Baby girl you just don’t listen, you can’t always have your way!” I seriously was feeling under the weather, and besides, this girl needed to learn rules! This was not on, we couldn’t cave in every time she wanted something.
I headed back to the laptop with her throwing a tantrum behind me, yelling, and then crying in a pleading tone. As I sat back at the desk, she came from behind, and poked her head forward from the side, trying to get me to look away from the laptop.
I turned to her. These big, brown, pleading eyes, tainted with tears, a hopeful face, parted mouth, wishing and praying that Mum would not be upset, and Mum would come around and jump.
How could I say no? I followed her out and strictly told her I would stay seated on the mat while she jumped around me – I wouldn’t jump myself.
(What follows are some highly-skilled and photogenic shots baby girl and I took of each other)
And yet it was pretty fun. She jumped around me, into my lap repeatedly, and I ‘ate her up’ with kisses. We had an absolute ball, and then it turned dark, and it was time to go inside.
So in answer to my question… yes. Yes I am grateful we got her a trampoline… I just don’t know what we’ve created in the process.
A jump-a-holic, stubborn, cheeky and clever girl who will go to any lengths to get what she wants.
We’re in trouble.
I still had an ample collection of folk songs on my ipod back from my Dad’s 70th birthday. Yes. I love being super-organised.
I sat on the floor beside the stereo, making sure these songs could definitely play out of there… you know, you do these ‘tests,’ ‘in case,’ before any big event.
Suddenly, loud folk music started blaring out. Pass.
And then baby girl responded in her true nature: she started to dance.
It’s funny how you can completely love a song, or as was this case, songs, and yet never listen to them. Hearing the songs I used to hear around my parents home as a child, brought back the warmest and fondest memories. I love these songs, they remind me of such joy, a naïve and innocent and beautiful time, and yet I never listen to them.
I probably should.
And seeing my daughter dance with such glee to them, well, it touched a very special part of my heart.
Baby girl ran circles around the kitchen, laughing happily, and every so often went over to the stereo to turn the volume dial right up. She then added an action to her circles, and blew a kiss to me, her fingers touching her lips every time she came near me with a loud “mwa!”
I did “mwa!” back, and soon the kitchen was filled with running, delirious laughter, and a lot of air-kisses.
Oh, and also folk music 🙂