#554 That I have a Mum, and doing ‘Mum’ things…

I was shocked, and then immediately saddened, to learn today that the Mother of one of my oldest and dearest friends, had passed away last night.

I knew she had been sick, but still I had had no indication that her condition was getting worse. I knew it might be a long road ahead, which is why I didn’t see this coming.

I called my friend, and told her if I were closer, I’d give her a big hug. We cried. I sent her my love and support.

Then I got off the phone, and sat, with some more tears, before baby girl found me and took me into her play area.

I was grateful. Grateful I could do these ‘Mum’ things, and even just as grateful, that I still had a Mum.

I called my Mum and told her the news. We spoke some more, and it was so nice that when I called, I could hear her voice.

Later on I made a cake with baby girl. I used some sponge cake that had passed its use by date, and also some cream that was weeks old, but had been unopened.

Both were perfectly fine.

I threw in some melted chocolate, and melted white chocolate, that I had used for recipes weeks and months ago, that had gone hard again in the fridge, and melted them again.

I whipped the cream. Added berries.

And the cake was pretty damn good.

How is this at all relevant? There’s a metaphor in there somewhere. About re-using what you think is no good, and holding it all together…

That I have a Mum, and doing ‘Mum’ things.

 

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#515 Their deepening bond

I can say with much confidence, that as a Mum, I have always been the flavour of the month.

Week. Day. Hour. Second. You get what I mean. And I don’t think it’s anything special about me… it’s just a Mum thing.

A Mum thing that is even deeper, because I share a special Mummy-Daughter bond with a fellow 3 year-old cheeky monkey princess.

That’s just how it is, and I think for many (not all, but many) Mums tend to be closer to their kids because in most cases, they are the ones with them the most, raising them, teaching them, playing with them and making memories with them.

The Dads are there too, doing ALL of those things and much more. But alas, the Dads sadly miss out, since they are usually (not always, but usually) the breadwinners, and while they are bringing the bacon home, the Mums are getting all the delightful smiles and whines, hugs and tantrums, kisses and tears.

Mums cops all kinds of attitude from their young brood. And consequently they get all of their sweet love and attention too.

I feel for Hubbie. He and baby girl have a great relationship. He is the big prankster, and in typical Dad/guy mode, will deliberately rev her up, antagonise her and stir up trouble just to get a reaction, smiling at the mess he’s made, thinking ‘this will toughen her up,’ while baby girl yells running from him, screaming “no!” because he has picked her up when she didn’t want it, roughed up her hair as she was playing lego, or just plain spoken to her when she was not in the mood.

Our girl is 3 going on 13, by the way.

He thinks it’s hilarious, while I stand referee, telling the both of them to calm down, exclaiming “I have two kids! I have two kids!”

It’s fun and games, ALL DAY LONG.

She’s always run to me when hurt. In trouble. When something is bugging her. I’m the one to put her to bed, I’m the one to take her to the loo. Even when we are enraged with each other, yelling and screaming, we come back to one another within seconds, both crying and apologising profusely, kissing and hugging each other and promising we won’t ever get to that point again.

Yes, I apologise. It kills me when we argue. I know not many would agree and say I need to be tougher, and in other areas I am, but… I love our bond. She is learning love from me. And I wouldn’t change our relationship for the world.

But lately, I see her relationship with her Dad, changing. And I think it is the sweetest thing.

Just today there were three events which showed plainly how much she is relying on Dad for comfort, fun and support. She got upset when he went to have a shower, sad he was going to be missing for 20 minutes, something she always does with me; she sat on his lap as she drank her nightly milk, again something she sometimes does with me; and as I took her to bed, she had to go upstairs and kiss him goodnight one more time, and see him off for the night. As he was headed up, she followed and I called out “someone has a fan!”

It is adorable. I think it’s the best, and am not in the least bit envious. This is my husband for goodness sake. As much as a daughter should be close to her Mum, it is just as important for her to have a role model and look up to her Dad – because it is from him that she will learn how to regard herself, and it is from him she will learn how she should be treated by others. There are many important lessons the Daddy-Daughter relationship will teach a young girl, and seeing the strengthened bond tonight, makes me excited and moved, by what is to come.

I am supremely grateful. 🙂

 

#505 Home-made food

Baby girl was hell-bent on some sickly sweet treat from the bakery today, so I succumbed. It was a pink meringue, and looked something like this

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but it was long, like a plait. There were two m&m blue eyes, and sprinkles throughout. At home, I broke it into chunks for her, and popped a piece into my mouth to see what was so good about it. I tasted some kind of bakery taste, but not necessarily a pleasant one, and something oily. It WAS sickly sweet. I didn’t think baby girl would last with it, knowing her palate, and yet I left the room and left her to it…

I was making my Nutella-filled baked cinnamon doughnuts. I too had a disposition towards sweet things today – maybe it was the cold, dark and dreary weather, and the menacing clouds hanging over us and threatening to spill with rain at any second, that made us need the sugary pick me up.

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As I was near the end of the process, my doughnuts now out of the oven, and close to buttering and sugaring them up, baby girl ran in.

“Yuck!” she was saying. She appeared to be spitting, and needed some kind of help so I went over to where she had been eating her meringue while watching endless Nickelodeon in the other room.

A few pieces had been eaten, yet several chunks were still there on the table, with one wet, clearly chewed up and spat out piece.

“This is too sweet baby girl. I knew you wouldn’t eat it.” I told her we would pack up the uneaten pieces for another day, and I cleaned up her spat out piece. She needed water, and it was here that I crouched to her level.

“You know baby girl, this stuff is no good. What Mummy bakes is the best. You know when Mama was a little girl, she only ate the cakes that Baka made? Home-made food is the best honey, know that.”

I went back into the kitchen with such conviction, with baby girl happily gulping down water and converted, behind me. Home-made food, no matter the dish – savoury or sweet – was always going to be a fresher, healthier, and smarter option compared to store bought or processed ANYTHING. Even as I finished off my Nutella doughnuts and reviewed the ingredients in my mind (caster sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon, milk, egg) they were all pantry/fridge standard staples, and though yes butter and sugar prevailed, I’d rather that than artificial colourings and sweeteners. This is the stuff the old, old, old generation used. This was the stuff to eat, when you ate sweet. Anything home-made, ruled.

Anything home-made RULES.

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It’s a lesson I knew I was always going to teach baby girl, and today I was grateful in the knowledge that I received that much-necessary education from my own Mother, by her words and strong example, so many, many years ago.

Thanks Mum… as always, you are totally right 🙂

 

 

 

#486 Early morning view of the water

It’s nice when your gratitude of the day comes in at an impressively early 7:51 am.

It’s impressive that I was up at that time, even more so that I found reason to be grateful, at that time…

But I know the time, because that’s when I took the below pics:

It was a busy day for the 3 of us: me, Hubbie and baby girl. We had a chock-full day of appointments and places to be and drop-offs, and that was all before my work shift started later this afternoon. But as I got up early, opening blinds and getting things ready to start our day, I spied the above views out of our front window.

The view of the water was more of an exciting novelty when we moved in, I won’t lie. But now, we are used to it. Over time, we have found ourselves sometimes forgetting to look out and enjoy what lies naturally before us.

But just because we forget, doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate.

And this morning, in the cold stillness, the heater ramping up in the background, with the only other sound being my breathing, standing alone looking out the window with Hubbie and baby girl still in their respective beds, well, it was lovely.

A beautiful, peaceful, still and serene moment, enjoying the calm of being at one with myself.

Now I know why my Mum loves getting up early all the time 🙂

 

#477 The sixth sense is still there

It can be kind of cool to have a Mum that just, knows stuff. I don’t mean knows as in the way Mums just happen to know the answer to everything – well, that too, but my Mum goes a step further than that…

She has this sense about her. It’s more than just that ‘Mum’ thing where they go “I know why you’re upset,” giving you K, L, M backstory and X, Y, Z reasons why, leaving you going “WTF?”

How did she know?

And then the laugh, the casual response: “I know you better than you know yourself.”

But my Mum truly gets a feel for things. It’s so normal that it’s not even odd anymore when it happens. She will guess something before it happens, or I’ll tell her some news she has no idea of knowing and she’ll say “I knew that!” I think it’s just more than an accurate estimated guess: yes she can read things and situations and people with her emotional empathy, and I’m sure experience plays a part too, however I just know, with all of her telling dreams and signs, that with her, it’s so much more.

It’s special however, when I can share in this ‘sense’ with her. I am the apple from her tree, after all.

But it’s something that many people who are close to one another share, and you too, may have had many of these encounters with your loved ones… just last night as Hubbie rolled over in bed, he said “what?” and I replied “I said nothing,” before adding that I had just wondered at something, and almost asked him a question but refrained, before he spoke up.

So let me explain further.

Today I came home from grocery shopping with baby girl to find a flashing message on the phone. I was fairly sure of who it was even before I played it back.

But no, that wasn’t the ‘sense.’ After hearing my Mum’s message, I unpacked the bags and started on lunch, and once I was underway I grabbed the phone to call her back.

Ring, ring.

Ring, ring.

She picked up. “Hello?”

“Mum, it’s me,” I replied.

“Is it possible that we were calling each other at the same time?” She went on to explain that she had just gone to call me from her mobile, and was pressing the numbers when their landline rang.

I smiled, thinking of the lovely symmetry of it all, but knowing that it was so much more.

I know it happens a lot in everyday life, but it is still infrequent and special enough to only occur sometimes, with the people you love most… and that’s pretty cool. That’s enough to make me grateful 🙂

#471 The Box of Barbie Memories

“Why don’t you take home that box of dolls you have?” Mum had asked me. “You said when she was younger that you wanted to wait a bit more, but now she might enjoy it.”

I could see where she was going. When she had asked me about a year ago if I wanted to take home with me an old box of Barbies I had packed away at my parents house when I was a pre-teen, I had said that I’d rather wait until baby girl was older, and ‘into’ dolls more. Also, I didn’t want to be adding another box of stuff to our household, when we already had so much ‘stuff.’

But I realised today, that baby girl was not only older, but she was definitely into dolls: she had two of her own Barbies, given to her as pressies over the last 6 months, and she loved the whole figurine, dress-up, pretend-play games she did with them. It was actually, perfect timing.

When at my parents place, they started looking for them in a wardrobe, and it almost looked like they wouldn’t be found for a little while. When they almost gave up, Dad stumbled across the box.

Just looking at the box, brought back memories: both the box, and the packing of it. With the latter, I actually had the faintest memory of packing it – in that room where it was found, my old ‘first’ room (before my sister moved out and then I moved into her room because it was front-facing and bigger), I remembered placing the barbies neatly against one another and on top of each other, before gently packing it all away… for good.

For another day, another time. I didn’t know then what I would be doing with it in 20 years time. That I would be giving it a new lease on life.

Secondly, the box.

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The Kraft box. My Dad worked there for a good couple of decades, and each year for their annual Christmas party, each employee was invited to the party for a lunch, bringing home a festive box full of Krafty goodies – cheeses, spreads, biscuits, and any other new product that wasn’t even on the shelves yet. I was always so excited when Dad came home from these Christmas parties – I’d come home from school, looking around the kitchen and dining room table, hoping to see a Christmas-y coloured box, with tinsel bursting from the sides. And Dad knew I’d get so excited about it, smiling just as much as me when I finally saw the box. Going through the contents of the box, was a happy, pre-Christmas tradition for me.

Even after he stopped working there, he was still invited, along with other long-standing employees of the company, to a former employees Christmas Party… that sadly, soon stopped fairly soon after, after new management came along. I remember the sadness and disappointment I felt in discovering the goodie box, was good, no more. So this box that I was staring at today, was quite possibly, one of, if not the, last boxes he ever received.

And I’d put my Barbies into it. Memories upon memories.

The only way I got baby girl into the car today was the promise of playing with Barbie dolls at home. So once there, I complied.

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Finding all my dolls, some just that, plain dolls, ‘wannabe Barbies’ and others the very real deal, was seriously like stepping into a time capsule that I myself had buried 2 decades ago. I found dolls I had forgotten about, costumes and shoes I didn’t know I had, and also the barbies that I faintly remembered – and then of course Ken. Who could forget when one got a Ken doll? That was a special thing back in the day.

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(Some funky outfits they had)

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(Check out the blonde ‘fro – yeah yeah!)

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(I won this Ariel doll in a kids mag comp, and I was STOKED… but one of her legs broke as soon as we lifted her out, maybe she should have stayed in mermaid form…)

I told baby girl that she must take extra care with these dolls, and pack them away gently as they were found. I think she knows what to do, but still, I have to make sure these Barbies are under supervision by me or Hubbie when she is playing with them. Even he agrees, saying “they’re old enough to go on club reg.”

Too right.

But even though I’m happy for baby girl to play with my cherished old Barbies, there is one thing I think I’m going to have to change – the box. Old and flimsy as it is, and with the addition of a piece of paper that was on the bottom of the box, where my Mum scrawled Dad’s last day of work at Kraft… I don’t know, but I think I need to put away this box, this special box of so much history and memories, and use it for my own good, and get a new box for baby girl to put all her old/new barbies in.

I know it’s just a box, but it’s what it represents that is priceless.

#455 A smaller Mother’s Day

I had this fleeting thought cross my mind sometime Friday, or Saturday. I was thinking of the upcoming Mother’s Day, and how we had ALL this stuff we were planning to do… go to the shops and buy outfits for ourselves for my parents’ upcoming wedding anniversary; go to visit my MIL on the other side of town; AND of course, visit my Mum also on the other side of town.

This was meant to happen after a late Saturday night, a normal sleep-in, and trying to get a never-sit-still baby girl to go along with it ALL.

Yep. It wasn’t likely to go smoothly.

Still, that was the plan. And yet, with all this impending busy-ness on the horizon, and knowing it was all for fun, a little voice inside me said ‘wouldn’t it be nice to just have a little Mother’s Day, just our family?’

Just baby girl, Hubbie and I. No running around. No 15 tasks. Just us.

Sometimes, you need to be careful what you wish for. Sometimes, little voices make a large ripple.

In a quite funny turn of events: my MIL stayed back late on Saturday night, and with her own plans for Sunday, we kind of had our unofficial catch up with her late yesterday evening; and my sister and bro-in-law were under the weather, and having had an up and down baby girl and Hubbie battling cold symptoms as well, we all decided to keep away from Mum and Dad, especially in the lead up to such a big event next week – which suddenly meant, that on Mother’s Day it was just –

Me, baby girl and Hubbie. Just US. As I had thought, so, so innocently.

And as much as I missed seeing my Mum and my sister terribly today, the quiet was quite nice:)

We had a lovely sleep in – no rushing around trying to madly get out of the house. We took some photos at home, drove to the shopping centre, then spent almost ALL DAY there. Not a brief 90 minute session.  I’m talking over 5 hours. Hubbie got some sneakers and shoes, baby girl got some toys, and I got not 1, but 2 outfit possibilities for next week.

That’s because I’m a Mum, and for us Mums, we can’t just go shopping when we like, and likewise, finding something we like in the limited time we have, is even HARDER. As it was it took 3 hours just to find those 2 outfits, so next time we have another event, at least I know I’M SET.

So, this year, a different kind of Mother’s Day. But it seems like my thought came true…. so a word of warning… be careful what you wish for…!

P.S Happy Mother’s Day to all Mums out there 🙂