Simply. My Daughter.

I was going to write down boring thoughts about my first day into my second week back at work, about my new £800 orthopaedic chair that arrived with a little blood pressure type thing at the back to adjust my lumbar pressure, about how spun out I was on my medication that I struggled to focus on conversations with colleagues and just hope they did not notice thanks to my fab think rimmed glasses (I knew there was a reason for this style of glasses).

I did not feel particularly inspired about it all. So I asked my 6 year old daughter what I should write about. ‘ME!’ she gushed and then bounced over to sit with me so she could see what magical words I was going to type. ‘what shall I say about you?’ ‘you can tell them I am beautiful and clever!’ she grinned. Well, I can, and I will. She is both beautiful and clever.

So this post is for Bella. She is the most adorable girl in the world.  She oozes fun and character. She beams her smile everywhere she goes, her hearty wild laughter and bold confident character reels people in and they fall in love with her. She is not big on tantrums although we have seen more of those in her 6th year than in any other year so far, she is great at arguing her point, questions and knows almost everything, but not as much as her teachers.

She loves fairies and all things princess, she loves pink things and fluffy things, angel wings and sparkles. Sometimes she loves nothing better than quiet time on her own with some of her small dollies and her dolls house, making up stories. She loves dancing and ballet. She also loves gold and silver which are her favourite colours, loves climbing up slides the wrong way, climbing trees in her favourite dress, riding her bike down hills as fast as she can go, even though she is still learning. Her favourite ‘celebrities’ are Tom Daley as she wants to be an Olympic diver, and Moe Farah because she thinks he is handsome.

She is a risk-taker – she broke her arm aged 5 trying to climb ‘big boy’ monkey bars, snapped both bones in her wrist, luckily straightforward to fix without surgery. Admittedly she shed some rare tears then, but not for very long. After the initial shock of the fall,  being brave when they pushed the bone back in place, only using gas & air to help with the pain, she was more upset about not getting a pink cast and not going to sleep for an operation and it did not slow her down. She loves adrenalin rushes, fast things, high things, crazy things. She gets very excited very easily and sometimes has to be asked to slow down as she wants it done now. not tomorrow. not next week. now.

Bella is a bookworm. We have read to her from the moment she was born. R loves books too and reading bedtime stories was something he was able to do during the first few months of newborn breastfeeding and Mummy Hogging The Baby. She reads everything now ‘the switch has clicked’ she reads signs, graffiti, magazines, books and I now have to hide newspapers from her, so she does not see the whole “JS” business, or guns,or photos and stories stories of death and violence. Although I am not sure how much longer I can keep things in the news from her as she pays a whole lot of attention to things around her and takes more in that I realise.

Today was the first day of her half term and while I spent it at work checking out my new fancy gadgets on the Expensive Chair, she went horse-riding, with one of her best friends, her best friend’s daddy, R and Roo. Her best friend’s nanny lives on a farm and owns two horses and she gave them both a ‘lesson’. She got soaked and muddy and had the ‘best day ever’. This evening she had the biggest bubbliest bath that even I envied, although it was short lived because her two-almost-three year old brother shared it with her and inevitably ended in tears. After her bath she snuggled with her mama for a story , a lovely story about a mermaid from a beautifully illustrated book – ‘Magical Fairy Tales’.

But not before she brushed my hair and massaged my head for much longer than she wanted. That was The Deal. I write about her and she massages my hair. Not a Bad Way to end my day.


Tonight My Husband and I Are Sleeping in Position No.2

There is no noise. It is hushed as my children settle down to sleep. After getting up several times as they often do when their daddy goes out for the evening. Playing Up  – isn’t that how the Behavioural Books scientifically refer to it?

Then I hear the tiny ‘th-th-th’ of gentle creeping footsteps on the deep soft carpet that leads to the loft room which is Mummy and Daddy’s Bedroom. The bright pink door (used to be Summer Girl’s Room) swings open and there in the dark of the doorway, silhouetted by the hallway light stands my two-almost-three-year old Winter Boy, one hand rubbing his eyes. He casually walks over to me at the computer desk and announces ‘I can’t get myself to sleepees, I tried an I jus can’t do it’. ‘do you want me to tuck you back in?’ ‘noo. I really can’t get to sleepees. I wan to sleep witchuw’ he says in his sing-song, Cant-Be-Resisted voice. I never let him sleep in my bed first thing at night. Not unless he is ill or R is away, then sometimes I do and then he stays there all night. Usually though I tuck him back in to his own bed and stroke his hair. And Repeat.

This evening, I look at him and my heart melts. How can I resist that little coy smile and angelic voice?  I say ‘quickly, get into bed and go straight to sleep, I don’t want to hear a peep ok?’. Before I even finish my sentence he has scampered across the bedroom, onto MY side of the bed I note, jumps into bed, tucks himself up neatly in the duvet and smiles sweetly at me. I walk over to kiss him goodnight. He does not fuss or fidget, but unusually lies completely still. By the time I return from popping down to turn Winter Girl’s light off, he has both arms spread eagle, one hanging over the side of the bed and is gently snoring, in a deep, happy sleep. It has taken him less than 2 minutes to go from standing by me to fast asleep in exactly the same position as when he climbed in. Why does he look far more content there than he ever looks in his own bed? And did I say it was My Side?

R is going to be less impressed than I was, when he returns home later. He will need to make a decision whether to wake a sleeping boy and somehow get him into bed without him waking and realising what crime is being committed against him, adopt The Position Number Two, or accept that through the course of the night Winter Boy will likely assume most of The Positions. Unless he finds himself in Position Number Two that is.

Maybe I should make up the spare bed now…

Out of the Mouth of Babes…

‘Please will you sleep with me?’ said my two-almost-three- year old adorable boy, eyes pleading, little plump fingers wandering gently over my face, as I lay down beside him way past his bedtime. How can I resist? ‘just for a little while’. ‘Yey!’ he said sleepily and nuzzled his face into mine. Then, he held my face still with his gentle hands, his face almost touching mine, and whispered ‘mummy, I wish, I wish your back would be better, I wish it not be ouchy any more’. My heart almost broke as I said ‘it is getting better my sweet boy, you make it better by being my wonderful son’ and he sat upright ‘I give your back a kiss now mummy’, leant over, lifted my t-shirt and kissed the small of my back ‘is it better now?’ ‘yes my sweet lovely boy, it is so much better’.

This is the boy whose wish when a friend’s chinese lantern drifted into the night sky was that it would come back. Two hours later a chinese lantern drifted across the same sky in front of his very eyes. So this wish, touched with a magic kiss, must also come true. That innocent belief, and that love heals me more than medicine can. And tonight I go to sleep with very little pain.

Too Grumpy for Hugs

Wow what a pretty bloody awful start to my day.

Prior to 8 days ago, I usually woke several times a night – a light sleeper and a tiny one wanting something in the dead of night. 8 days ago I started taking nerve blocking medication. Goodbye light sleeping. Goodbye tiny one in the dead of night.

Last night after going to bed with my concoction of painkillers I am woken at some ridiculous hour by a lovely almost 3 year old Winter Boy crawling into bed. I stay awake, being battered in the head by an arm, a foot, a head of the boy who likes to rotate like a spinning wheel in his sleep for what seems like hours before I doze off. Only to be woken by a herd of elephants running up the loft stairs. OK not a herd of elephants, just Summer Girl. She heard a loud noise, it scared her, and before I know it there are 4 of us in the bed, two of which are very much awake and chattering away.

Of course I am grumpy! Who wouldn’t be grumpy this time of night? Except when R checks the time, it is 6:45am and time to get up (and probably my tiny rooster woke me at a half respectable hour). I apologise for my grouchiness and the children, ever forgiving, give me wonderful hugs and tell me it is ok. R does not. He makes a point of hugging the children, gives me a perfunctory kiss, gets up and then after cross words about the lack of hug he informs me that I am Too Grumpy to Get Hugs. A shocked outburst from me and the morning continues mostly in silence. I realise in hindsight I should have asked him if he Meant To Be So Rude.

For the millionth time this week I am in tears at how much damage my back problem continues to do to me and those around me, cry silently in the car to drop him off at work, on the way to school, hold it together to drop children off, cry all the way home and back to bed where I stay for the rest of the day and cry myself to sleep.

Thank God my children don’t think I am too grumpy for hugs.