In terms of progress this week, it has not so much been the big things, but a series of sublime snapshots of baby bliss.
Who knew mundanity could breed such contentment.
Things such as daddy introducing Little to a light green balloon on Wednesday afternoon, and her being mesmerised by the gracefulness of its movement as the three of us gently tossed it to one another.
Alternatively, mummy and Emily literally covered from head to toe with food after our two and a half hour high-low tea on Friday afternoon.
Low because we were on the kitchen floor. High because we are ladies. And ladies have high tea – everybody knows that.
This week has been all about intimacy of family. Our companionable silence of an evening, propped up in bed, bathed in the softness of the side table lamps, while Michael reads his paperback book of short stories, and I catch up on all those years of not being able to read trashy how to or ten ways to magazine articles by reading every mama blog I can find.
The warmth and weight of a sleeping Little in daddy’s arms, as he carries her from the car to her bed after an afternoon of playing with her friends.
Her head nestled into my shoulder as I carry her upstairs to her cot after a bottle.
The unmistakable smell of scalp cream on her head.
The sound of her cooing mid-morning when she is supposed to be asleep.
Her excited squeals at the clothes line as daddy hangs the sheets.
The feel of her fingers up our noses any chance she gets.
Alternatively, her new trick of pulling mummy’s top down, and then pulling on her own, as a sign of recognition we have the same.
Unfortunately, the weather has not been the best, so we have missed our quota of park playing.
However, Michael and Emily are there now, in a bid to remedy the situation.
Monday saw us stay home, and play on the lounge room floor.
Miss Emily continued to work on her strength and conditioning in preparation for crawling.
Each day she has woken up with a new micro skill. Be it lifting herself up a little higher, bringing a knee to her hip, her hands to a new position, or her belly ever so slightly off the ground.
We have gone from cobra to upward facing dog, to downward facing puppy, and to confidently and consistently rolling from her back to her belly.
She has two directions, circles, and backward.
But not only has our little caterpillar been wiggling and wriggling her way around the lounge room, but boy oh boy our little love-bug is hungry.
Her appetite has bloomed this week into something amazing. Anything we give her, she will take it, and at least try it.
Cucumber is her new favourite. However today for example, raw broccoli was the winner.
Wednesday was chasing the smallest freshly picked by daddy and Uncle Randall cherry tomatoes around her trey.
And Friday, Friday was of course vegemite toast day.
Moreover, the only place for that is with mummy, in bed.
As I said earlier, we are ladies. And ladies have tea and toast in bed whenever possible.
Given we have such an inquisitive little girl, by Tuesday she was climbing up the wall, so Michael and her headed off to one of Emily’s friends’ houses, which from now on, we will refer to as toy heaven. Where apparently Emily had the best time.
Not only did she get to see her friends, and play with all Abagail’s toys, but also there was kid’s music playing in the background and everything.
I was so proud of Michael for taking her. Because not only it was raining, but also because I knew it was a big step forward for him to go on his own.
However, what surprised me was when he came home and told me all about the colours and resources in toy heaven; I began to question whether we were doing the right thing by Emily regarding our own toy collection.
We don’t have a lot of toys, mostly because we don’t think she needs them, partly because we can’t afford them, partly because we can’t think of what to buy her, and partly because the less we have, the less there is for me to trip over.
We try to make up for it by spending a lot of time outside, or making our own fun. Hence, the balloon, the coloured ribbon tied to the clothesline, the old-fashioned cloth nappy for peekaboo, the Pavlova egg with the rice, the bottle of water with the food colouring, the saucepan lid with the teaspoon, and several other homemade make shift stimuli.
Michael and I love making small things for her, and now it is becoming a point of pride to see who can come up with the best new thing.
I am thinking his find of two Razor scooters today is definitely the toy to beat. One for Little, and one for daddy.
I need not worry about their adventures when she is older I see. He is such a great dad.
However, of course there are the endless trips to the park. We love the park.
However, I had never questioned our parenting style from this aspect before. What if we aren’t giving Emily enough?
I felt guilty for about five seconds, and then decided that if Emily needed more toys, we would simply make the most of toy heaven’s hospitality.
It may seem selfish, but I like we do not have many things. Because the more clutter there is, the less my eyes get to rest. And the less my eyes get to rest, the more tired I become, and the more tired I become, then the less I can give to Emily.
Therefore, in a weird way it all works out.
Thank God, for toy heaven and other such undiscovered places of fun and fancy.
After all, it takes a village.
Michael says if I need a toy fix, we can go hang out in the toyshop.
I have actually asked him if we can have a family adventure to Bunnings hardware.
Hello sandpit cubbyhouse, swing set, and outdoor furniture…
I can dream about kitchens, bathrooms, decking, and vertical gardens full of herbs.
Then because we are doing well, maybe he will take me to the supermarket, where I can touch everything, and we can play what’s that sign say… Yep, now that is sexy.
Wednesday was another stay home day, where Emily and I played quietly.
On my days off Michael usually goes for a swim, or a visit to his best friend’s house, or some such secret Solo man business. And we lap up the girly time.
Do you remember when I used to get upset with him leaving, because I thought he did not want to be with us?
How ridiculous that seems now.
I do not like leaving her, but admittedly, it does make the time we have oh so much better.
I thought I appreciated every second we had before I returned to the workforce, but not being there all the time is like adding the smallest pinch of salt to the chocolate cake, even though it sounds counter intuitive, it brings out the best in the chocolate.
She is a very climby baby at the moment, and although mummy would like to think she is not Rapunzel, according to Emily, oh yes I am.
Our cutie cute cute cute strong girl has taken to lifting her entire body weight using anything she can find.
Mostly this involves a clump of mummy’s hair in each hand, and then hoisting herself from her bottom to her feet.
She is so strong she can lift her rocker, hold her next size seat trey in one hand, carry a full packet of wipes all the way down the stairs without dropping it, and any number of other things, which surprise me.
Thursday I missed Little terribly, but again the weather was horrible, so daddy and baby girl did not get too many big adventures in.
The only thing, which made up for it, was I got a good result at work.
Friday brought Emily and Michael back around to story time, where Emily completely ignored the book, and held hands with her friend Ronya instead.
Ronya and Emily love one another.
After the library, Michael dropped baby girl off with Lucille and me, and we all had ladies lunch together in what can only be described as a farcical Faulty Towers type café.
Thanks Lucille, we loved it.
Yesterday we continued on our park pilgrimage, whereby we found what will now be called the xylophone park.
A great local place, definitely built for the big kids.
However too bad, they do not quite have the drainage right, but that might have to be a blog in itself.
Emily went on almost every swing, and we played peekaboo in the steam train before having lunch under one of the big old trees residing next to the playground.
Peekaboo is our new game again. Between it, and raspberries on my belly, we get lots of giggles.
The difference now with the raspberry game is it is not so much the raspberries, which make her giggle, but the theatre leading up to one.
By the way, in case you are ever with her, bwwwww means she wants to play the game.
Michael and I spent half an hour tag teaming the other morning, as we got ready to leave the house. One shoe on, blow a raspberry, two shoes on, blow a raspberry, tag you’re it, blow a raspberry, brush your teeth, blow a raspberry, tag your it, blow a raspberry, where’s my coffee, blow a raspberry…
It was a miracle I made the train.
I do not know why we worried so much about tummy time. Now she will not stay on her back.
Michael says he finds her in all sorts of places. However, to my mind, her progress is perfect. If she moved any faster any sooner, I would be a mess.
I can see we are going to have to pillage the bells from her jingle bell rattle to tie onto her personage in some way.
Sometimes when I call her to ask where she is, she will answer by making a noise, or kicking her legs, but mostly she stays quiet and smiles knowingly.
She is so clever and cheeky.
Her frustration at not being able to get to point A from point B is palpable.
Moreover, it occurred to me as I watched her struggle and squirm and get further from her chosen toy today, sometimes life is like that.
Actually, a lot life is like that. You actually think you are moving backward, when really you are moving forward.
By this I mean, she is learning to crawl, but backward is where her body is taking her first, and this is no accident, as it is still learning the fundamentals of what she will need in the future to propel her forward.
I can only hope the same is happening to us with the business, because at the moment, it feels like we are further than we ever were from where we want to be.
However, maybe we too are learning to crawl, and everything happens in the way it is meant, we just cannot see it yet.
On the I am such a big girl front, Miss independent is no longer accepting food from the spoon from her mummy. Apparently, she can do it by herself.
Therefore, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen these days.
Me on the floor, she in her next size seat and us with an array of tiny food samples for her royal cuteness to nibble.
Thank God we make our own everything, because at least when she refuses it, I do not mind eating her cast offs.
Today we spent so long in the kitchen, all she had time to do between sleeps was eat, drink a bottle, change all her clothes, and go back to bed.
Largely we let her sleep cues dictate how and when this happens, and admittedly, it took me a little by surprise, until I looked at the clock.
I even made biscotti as we long lunched it.
They are double choc, in case you were wondering. They will go great with coffee.
The combination of the sweet and the bitter will complement one another beautifully.
That’s right, ladies do long lunches.
Bring it on universe…
I love baby land.
However, Thank God, daddy can still get that spoon of puree in that tiny little smiley mouth. Because she certainly is not getting much nourishment from me.
I feed her once a day if I am lucky.
Usually it is an afterthought for baby girl.
If she does get on my breast it is ten seconds on, fifteen seconds off with her head back as far as it can go laughing at upside down world.
I wonder if upside down world will always be funny.
Every day I wonder if this is the last day, I will have the privilege of feeding her from my body.
I try to take it in my stride, because after all it is a nice problem to have. But… but… but
There I go again forever chasing this ghost of Christmas past.
She is going to grow up whether I will it or not.
Oh, my God I cannot believe I am this mama.
For the record, this was not part of the plan.
I am not sure what the plan actually was now, but being six steps behind, and wishing Little would stay little was not it.
I hope she does not pick up on my insecurities and reservations, because that would suck.
I do not want to be the mummy who inadvertently holds her daughter back because of my need for the unreasonable.
In other words, I really need to get my shit together, or learn to hide it better.
One of the bigger steps this week has been Emily’s newfound ability to sit up by herself. Well almost.
We are not game enough to leave her to her own devices quite yet, but she is getting better at it, and she is so proud of herself.
Climbing all over mummy and daddy is a good way to pass the time.
We are amazed at how quickly an afternoon between naps can pass with our in built entertainment system.
Picking things up from in front of her and flinging them beside her is one of her new skills.
That girl will be having a fashion crisis before we know it.
Goodness gracious, the pink tutu, or the other pink tutu?
She is still trying to figure out how her rocker goes together, and how her pram straps work, and even the trey of her next size seat.
Who knows, we may have an engineer on our hands.
Michael likes to know how things work, so I have visions of my coming home to a disassembled toaster, or some serious renovations to the dolly’s house, as they discuss and discover the details of such things.
She is such a curious little soul.
Michael has been taking on the night feeds ever since we got sick a month or so ago, and it was not until last night when I had her in my arms, I remembered how night feeds were the time I used to treat her.
Therefore, last night as she quietly drank her milk, I loosened her left foot, realigned her right knee, and softened her belly.
That last one paid off, because we had two dirty nappies before 6:30AM.
Speaking of which, project accidental potty is going really well.
I am not sure if it is luck, or whether she is actually getting the hang of this, but the last couple of days we’ve only had to wait a couple of minutes for a result.
Although you know, how I was never going to have a potty, which played music if they went? Well now, I am wishing for one, because it would save me putting my finger in to see if she has indeed done a wee.
Friday she even did a pooh. However, that one was definitely, our reading the signs, ripping off her nappy, and plonking her down just in time.
I still have not figured out what oyoyoyoyoyu means when she is upset. However, there is a new sound for when she wants me to pick her up. I am not sure if she uses it for Michael or not, but it definitely has a come get me vibe and tone.
As I mentioned before we have been playing balloons.
She also likes to read books, and now we have a rattle each, so we can copy one another.
Early in the week, I taught her how to bang on a saucepan lid with a teaspoon.
Maybe not my best idea, but I want her to get the idea of cause and effect.
Banging is most worthy, but she still prefers to rattle.
Moosie made an appearance this morning, and we found Zebra and other mini in the car, but Cheetah? If anyone sees cheetah, send him home.
We try to use the proper words for things instead of this or that, so she gets the most out of our language.
Would you like more carrot, do you want the keys that is daddy’s ear, can you please stop pulling single strands of mummy’s hair because it hurts…
I have to watch my tone on that last one though. Sometimes it comes across as less of an explanation, and more of a complaint.
We are also conscious to use come to mummy or come to daddy when we lift her up, or when she indicates she wants to be picked up, so she learns to associate good things with the phrase.
This will be particularly important when she gets older, and we need her to come when I call.
It must be working, because earlier in the week I got a hello as I walked in the room, and Michael got a but daddy, when he was dressing her.
These are two of our most common sayings.
Keeping madam wrapped the way she likes is proving quite a challenge. Somebody has had us up very early this week.
3:50AM is too early sweetie. 4:20: AM is still too early sweetie. 4:45AM is also way too early honey bunch. 5:15AM is not acceptable for little girls to drag their daddy’s out of bed, but it happens.
Since when did 6:00AM become a sleep in?
What happened to our 7:00AM+ baby? It does not seem to matter what time we put her down, she is becoming more and more of a morning person.
So like millions of other parents around the world, we’ve each taken to staggering down the stairs, putting her on her rug, giving her some toys, and worshipping the coffee machine.
To be honest, Michael has been taking the lion’s share of this on lately, and I do not know how he does it.
I simply cannot find the energy to move most mornings.
Even though once I am up, I enjoy the crispness of the dusty grey dawn.
What we all need is one good night of unbroken sleep, and that will restore our equilibrium.
Well, you cannot blame a girl for dreaming.