#1093 The Goodbye kiss lives on

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.

“Mum! Kiss!”

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.

“Mum!”

I ran over quickly and leaned in for a hug.

SMOOCH!

“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 = √

 

#1081 The first day

Oh man. What a day.

Such anticipation.

Such excitement.

Such hesitation.

Such nerves.

Such anxiety.

Such BIG FAT TEARS.

And it was ALL me.

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Why does our mind play tricks on us? Play silly games, and make us want to sob even harder when all I am trying to do is pull a very-watery poker face?

Watching her walk into the classroom with the other students, it asks me “look how she has grown. She used to be sooo small.”

Sob.

Walking away from the school. Regret. “It went too fast… you didn’t get to take a photo with her there.”

Sob.

Drowning my bittersweet sorrows with Hubbie over strong coffee. Our eyes are glistening. I verbalise my thoughts.

“Remember when she was born, and how she entered the world all curious, looking around the room?”

I then looked up to the bright blue sky, and proceeded to –

SOB SOB SOB.

It has been a day of the pendulum swinging one way, and thenveryquickly swinging back again.

And I have to say, with this emotional roller coaster, I am so glad the first day jitters are over.

For both of us.

When we picked her up, she saw us and ran forward excitedly.

And in that moment I realised that my silly fears were unjustified. Sure she would grow. Sure she would learn and develop, change, as every person on this planet continues to as we go through life.

But she will always be our beautiful, caring, happy, loving girl.

She will forever be, our baby girl. ♥♥♥

#1080 The day before prep

I didn’t think I would be too bad. We even bought school shoes this morning and everything, and yet no overwhelming emotion struck me at what the next day held…

I thought, ‘I am going to be ok.’

It didn’t hit me, until I was at the Coles check out.

Baby girl started to squirm and bounce around a little, and before I verbalised the feared signs I knew so well, she told me she needed the loo.

I had just unloaded all our shopping onto the conveyor belt. There was a lady being served in front of me, but she was with her elderly mother who was in a wheelchair, and had groceries of her own she was paying for, and was then divvying up her mother’s groceries, so that it was taking some time for the check out guy to work it all out.

I hesitated. For a moment, I questioned…

‘Should I let her go to the toilets alone?’

It was a mini shopping centre we frequented weekly, if not more often. Baby girl knew where they were. She wouldn’t get lost, surely.

But there were so many people that day. It was packed, being the last day of holidays for so many… Mums and Dads and kids and grannies and grandads, all milling around like chains and locks were going to be wrapped around the shopping centre’s entrance the next day.

I pondered it, for a few moments. I even asked baby girl how she felt about going on her own.

But then I realised, strongly. HELL NO. She was 5. Regardless of that… I could not let her go.

I explained to the check out guy I had to take baby girl to the toilets, and amazingly we were back in time as the two ladies finished up and he started setting up my reusable bags.

But the grocery shopping, or the toilets, wasn’t EVEN the point.

I was suddenly filled with anxiety, dread, fear and paranoia, all at once.

I could not let her go… but I had to.

I saw that the contemplation of letting her go a couple hundred metres on her own, had filled me with such unease, but it was a situation that was completely unavoidable.

Because at one stage or another, I had to let her go. And suddenly, my time was up.

Because tomorrow is the start of prep.

Most of the day has been spent preparing for it. In between ironing on labels to her school clothes, I’ve spent the other moments just staring at her with a frozen smile, willing her face at that time into my memory forever.

Setting up her lunchbox and bag, and then playing with her, letting her drag it out for another minute, then another minute…

Telling her how proud we are of her…

And then bursting into tears the next minute.

Get a grip! I told myself. You are picking her up at 12:30! After the half-days, you will still be together from 3:30!

But I can’t kid myself. It’s not just the time. It’s the beautiful moments shared. The slow wake-ups together, the kisses and cuddles in bed… her asking me what the plans are for the day, and me surprising her with promises of babycino café visits or the beach.

It’s all the little moments. It’s not even anything momentous or eventful. It’s the everyday occurrences, which will be replaced by routine, and order, and responsibility…

And she will be exposed to people, environments, and things that I can not control.

It scares me.

I am excited by what is to come for her, for us… really I am.

But I am so afraid, that the innocence in her that I have loved, and nurtured, and seen thrive… will be lost.

Will she change? Will she be the same?

What will this new life stage bring?

So much happiness has come before us, and I am terrified it will end.

Friendships might change her.

Harsh truths will be learnt.

Tears will be shed.

And I am freaking out about it all.

I don’t even know how this is a gratitude post, other than to say this day before prep, was a beautiful one. Telling each other how much we love one another… and now the tears won’t stop rolling, so I think it’s time I go.

Wish me her luck.

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#1025 That he also had a tough day

It may seem awfully cruel and mean-spirited for me to be happy, grateful even, that today, Hubbie had a trying day with baby girl.

But you really need to see it in context.

A couple of days ago I was sitting at the dinner table, my head in my hands, telling him how I wanted to rip my hair out!

Baby girl was in a weird way lately. Talking back constantly. Arguing at my every request. Putting up a fight for any little thing possible. It was insane. I didn’t want to let her get away with it, so it meant me constantly telling her what she was saying or doing was wrong or not nice, and this in itself created more of a cycle of stress!

He chuckled to himself while watching me.

“You think this is funny? I’ll ask you on Wednesday if you think it’s so funny. GOOD LUCK.”

It wasn’t a wish. It was a challenge.

Today, Wednesday, I got home from work – LATE. I had had to make a stop on the way home, and leaving so much later meant I was on the Monash freeway later…. and I crawled, I swear, for the entire stretch of freeway. I had left the city at 5:10, and I got home before 7pm.

ARGH.

But I was happy. I was home. The sun was out. I moved towards the front door, and as I turned the corner –

swoosh! a butterfly had been hanging around on our fly screen door, and as I came closer it flew off, almost colliding with my face.

It gave me such a shock, and rattled my nerves so much, that it took me several minutes to calm the fuck down still my beating heart.

Inside, I went to give baby girl a kiss. As I leaned down to kiss her head, she went all baby girl on me, and jumped excitedly…

OUCH! Her head hit my lip, and the pain seared all over.

I stomped upstairs, to find a red bruise on my lips.

Great. Just fucking great.

I was now seriously peeved. I had come home, wanting respite from the mammoth traffic jam that had been my route home, and instead was assaulted by winged insects and young girls. I may as well have stayed at work.

Instead I sat down with Hubbie and baby girl to eat. He had made pan-fried chips with our dinner, as I had requested last night. This made me happy, as when I said it I hadn’t seriously expected him to do it – but he did. We ate in silence, as he was breathing heavily with his own shit weighing upon him, and I had my own reasons as to why I was major cranky-pants – and then there was baby girl in between us, chowing down on her pasta.

Once enough food had gone into us, we started to open up, and talk…

And he began to tell me all the ways in which she had been difficult that day.

Arguing at the park. Falling over. Crying. Having it her way – ALL DAY. Making him buy her stuff. Squirting him with water when they washed the car. Insisting she went out to ride her bike in the maximum heat of the day at 5pm.

He said he had gained 10 grey hairs just that day.

“Ha!” I exclaimed. “And you were laughing at me days ago? Now do you see why I am the way I am???”

He didn’t say a word, instead a small grin coming onto his face. He knew I was right.

“Sorry, but not sorry…. suffer in your jocks.”

And though the most juvenile thing to say, it was actually the most fitting and he took it well… after all, the hose had gone in that direction.

(And then we proceeded through all the nagging talk to still bestow upon baby girl a million kisses by bedtime 🙂 She always wins.)

#989 The f*&king application

I sat at my desk today, trying to write.

Here is my desk:

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Hold on. Let’s take a closer look, shall we…

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Yep. It was that kind of day.

I had held off on a to-do list item for a while now. And it wasn’t just ANY to-do list item. It was a writing one, one that involved applying for a writing course that I was hoping to put concerted effort into if approved – not only because it was a long-held passion of mine, but because I had to find something to do next year when my 11-year job came to a halt.

In applying for this course, I had to write a cover letter detailing the stage and progress of my novel, as well as include 1500 words of prose.

But, what would I write?

“Uh, so I wrote this book, about 20,000 words too long. And then I sent it out to agents with no luck, so I kept re-writing, and then I got it down (slightly), but then by that stage I had a baby.

I totally went off the ‘pitching book to agent phase’ because you know, said BABY and all, and then found another avenue to express my love of writing – in blogging.

And you know blogging is sooo much easier. No one is there correcting my work or telling me I can’t get published. I write what I like, and when I hit post, the whole world gets to see what I’ve written, whether they like it or not, think it is smart or not, and whether they agree with me or not.

But I really need to get my head out of the sand and start doing something with my novel, hence why I am here. SO. PLEASE. HELP. Accept me into this course before I start yet another blog.”

Or, something like that. Like, how could I actually put into words the last 6 years of my writing life?

I did my damn best. I put something together, I was honest, I added the words “cringe” (because I really was cringing as I put it all together) and prayed that it would be received well.

How horrible would it be to actually be rejected for a writing course? Like can you imagine… you want to pay someone a considerable amount of money to teach you stuff, and they go “no sorry, we don’t want you to pay us.”

Shudder.

To their benefit, the programme wants to make sure that the level you are writing at is best suited to their course, or else they can suggest something else for you. They don’t want to waste your money, which is actually admirable.

Still, I need help. And today I was so glad and grateful that I finally got around to writing those few pesky letters and emails I was putting off for so long, because I couldn’t actually put down in words, what I had been doing with words, all these years.

But I got there… and I hope that I actually, get there.

#987 The stage she is at, 5.2

We walked on over to the table we were meant to be sitting at. We were at a family friend’s daughter’s Christening, and my eyes scanned over the empty chairs, trying to work out where the lot of us were sitting.

I counted in my head. ‘1 for sis, 1 for me, 1 for Hubbie… there’s that spare spot over there, but that’s for the old lady coming back…’

Where would baby girl sit?

I headed back to the table list at the entrance, to see that her name was not listed anywhere on our table. In fact it appeared on number 7, several tables away…

ON THE KIDS TABLE.

Dum da dum dum.

Crap. She wouldn’t sit down there, no way. She had been strongly encouraged (and I’m being diplomatic) to come inside in the first place, as she didn’t know many adults or kids there, and sure, although she was currently getting reacquainted with the kids she had played with VERY few times before, I couldn’t foresee her sitting down at a table with them, away from us, so far from her parents.

The table was tightly spaced as it was. Could she sit on my lap?

And so I wondered if it was going to be a LOOONNGGG afternoon.

But then, something happened. I told her that there was a special table, just for the kids, just as one of the girls her age called her over there. I thanked my lucky stars for her kindness, and got baby girl to sit down amongst a table full of kids that she rarely ever sees.

I put bread on her plate. Chips and calamari. I cut it up, with the 3 other Mums fussing over their own brood. I poured her some water. She watched everyone on the table. She started eating her bread. She stayed still, and me, being the overly-watchful Mum, stayed on, reluctant to leave in case walking off would result in a dramatic display of ‘MUM DON’T GO!’ –

and then it would be sit on Mum’s lap time.

But… she stayed. I reassured her of where I was sitting, just a short distance away.

I walked off. I watched as she ate. She looked over at our table and waved, even blowing kisses to us all… and although she made a few visits at times to give us hugs and kisses… she still went back to the kids table to sit and eat.

No drama. No fuss. No objections. Total maturity and complete willingness.

And in shock and surprise and happiness, I realised I was stressing over nothing.

My girl was growing up. She had this all down pat. Like she didn’t eat with a large group of kids 3 times a week at some place that was called, kindergarten? LOL. I was concerned she would whinge, go shy and retreat into herself and not come out.

But she was used to this. She was used to order when I wasn’t around. I saw that again as the ‘Magic Man’ came out to entertain the kids. She sat obediently on the floor, cross-legged beside all the others. She put her hand up to participate, calling “me me me!” and was then chosen to sit on a chair and pat a dove, stroking it so gently and happily.

You see, I don’t see this. I don’t see how she is at kinder. I don’t see the progress she is making. But in these moments, these events away when in company that isn’t our everyday kind, I become witness to her happy ways… thanking the magic man for her flower balloon… asking the other kids if she can join in with playing chasey… going back to her table to eat, and not complaining that she isn’t with us.

She spent the entire day running around with her new friends and having a ball, and came to us a couple of times, almost like a check in 😉

I am loving this stage, because not only do I get to see her develop and become, truly a big girl… but as she becomes independent, so too does my role, as her Mum.

And it is pretty cool. Getting to be there with her, for the fun stuff.

I can say happily, that I am really enjoying this stage. Sure the bed time routine is still hell at times…. but like all in Parenthood – BALANCE!

#981 Movie date

Oh God I have missed the movies.

It may come as no surprise to fellow parents, but I may just be able to count on my 2 hands, the number of times I have watched an ‘adult’ movie AT the cinemas, since baby girl has come into the picture.

I love being a Mum. But I actually love movies too.

I miss them terribly.

I think I love the previews almost as much as the movie itself. There is something terribly indulgent about watching snippets of movies, and making an internal list of all the future movies you will hope to see, as your arse is firmly planted in a reclining cinema seat in preparation for getting numb over the next 2 hours.

I still, love it.

Sis and I are constantly telling each other that we will catch up more, or will do more movie sessions together.

IT WILL HAPPEN ONE DAY TRUST ME.

But as with all the best people in your life, even when we think we have had enough, we probably won’t feel like we have, because you can never have enough catch-up time with your loved ones, right?

Well, our very long overdue movie date happened today. After LIFE got in the way one too many times, we finally headed out to watch ‘A Simple Favour,’ and it still has me thinking! A movie that started out as a great thriller, with many twists and turns and sordid secrets, and a very healthy dose of scandal and shocking revelations… but then it went a bit tacky in the last 10 minutes or so.

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Damn. Oh well. Sooo close. Just gonna have to go watch another movie then… 😉