Sometimes life with toddlers can be beyond frustrating. Then, sometimes, they can do something that makes all of the frustration melt away.
Pickles came into the kitchen where I was feeding Pords. He was dragging a sleeping bag overflowing with an assortment of items.
And he was looking exceptionally pleased with himself.
“What have you got in there, Mr Pickles?” I asked, trying not to sound too concerned.
“Things that I don’t play with anymore.” He replied. “To give away to people who don’t have lots of stuff.”
I was astonished. When I had suggested this activity a few weeks ago, he had been rather vehemently opposed. He’d obviously been mulling it over.
“That’s a wonderful idea. I’m very proud of you.” I told him. “Let’s see what you’ve got in there.”
He emptied the contents onto the kitchen floor. I was mildly alarmed to see some of his very favourite toys. I wondered if his newfound generosity was indeed this self-sacrificing, or if he didn’t quite understand the concept. Then he started talking about each item.
“This is for Pords because she likes it. This one is for Nanny. She likes green” And on it went, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, acquaintances. None of the recipients could be considered in the category of “people who don’t have lots of stuff.” Nonetheless, he had clearly put a lot of thought into it and his heart was in the right place.
Then he held out Blueberry Muffin, his favourite teddy bear since birth. “BBM is for you Mummy, because you’ve been sick.”
He could have asked for anything then and it would have been his. If only he could find some way of bottling up that moment, his teenage self could have secured his first car.*
I’m recording it here so that I remember, despite all of the frustrations to come, that this little person has a big, beautiful, generous heart.
*If this post still exists when Pickles is of blog reading age, this in no way entitles him to a car. Gorgeousness of the moment notwithstanding.
You call for me at midnight,
You call for me at four.
Sometimes with a gurgle,
More often with a roar.
The night is big and lonely,
And you are oh so small.
You’d like to see your mummy.
And so, my love, you call.
It’s late and I am sleepy,
And so, my love, I grumble.
And as I pick you up again
You hear my tired mumble.
But nonetheless I hold you,
Rock you back to sleep.
I promised I’d be there for you;
A promise that I’ll keep.
Then maybe later down the track,
(In eighteen years or more!)
You’ll call me once again, my love,
At two, or three, or four.
And once again I’ll grumble,
I’ll moan that it is late.
But I’ll always come and find you,
I’ll never make you wait.
And there might come a day,
When you’re a parent too.
And in the middle of the night
Your child will call for you.
And then you’ll understand
That precious love so deep.
You wouldn’t trade it in
For a thousand nights of sleep.
Yet sometimes you’ll be tired,
You’ll think you’ve had enough.
Then you can call on me, my love;
Sleepless nights are tough.
Whether you’re a baby,
Or when you’re fully grown.
You can always call on me, my love,
You’ll never be alone.
And though there’ll come a day
When we will be apart.
You still can always call on me;
I’ll live on in your heart.
When I was a kid, I was a pretty good chess player. Between about the ages of ten and twelve I travelled a fair bit to play in tournaments. I got to go to some fairly spectacular parts of the world.
These are perhaps tales for another day. Right now the chess and the travel aren’t the point.
Often when I was travelling, I would be without my mum. To ensure I knew she was with me in spirit, she would give me little notes printed on cards with inspirational quotes, pictures, and messages like “I’m on your side.”
My pockets were always stuffed full of them.
Somehow if I looked at them, or held them, or even gave them a little kiss, it was like she was there with me.
I think Christmas cards can have a similar power. Lots of people have stopped sending Christmas cards for all sorts of reasons. But I think it’s nice to have that little gesture just to say that I’m thinking of you enough to have actually put your name on this and sent it; even if there is not much in the way of an actual letter inside.
Thank you cards are another disappearing pleasure. Again, it’s just knowing that someone was touched enough by what you did for them that they wanted to actually send you something to say thank you.
Perhaps I’m being old-fashioned and ridiculous, but what I want is to recapture that feeling of having something physical to hold onto that says that someone is with you even when they’re far away.
So I’ve been designing little postcards to do just that. I’ve saved them as pdfs so they are downloadable cards that you can print for yourself if you want to use them. I’m going to keep adding more and I’ll put them on a separate page – maybe a Christmas Corner or a Gift Corner where I’ll also put recommendations for gifts. Far apart Who you are to me You helped me to grow Flamingo Happy New Year – gratitude card Christmas cheer gratitude card Gratitude card – seasons greetings
I’d love to hear what you think. Do you think that there’s something special about receiving a bit of love in the letterbox, or are just as happy to see something new in your inbox?
A sleepy morning kiss,
A tiny-armed embrace.
No amount of coffee,
Could beat that little face.
And thus the day begins
With all its ups and downs.
The work, the rest, the play.
The laughter and the frowns.
But when the bold moon rises
To herald in the night.
A happy bedtime ritual
Makes everything just right.
Cuddles in the morning,
A big hug before bed.
A smattering of kisses,
Atop a tiny head.
Nothing else around,
Could make me feel this way.
Those perfect little moments;
Bookends to my day.
Last night I couldn’t get to sleep. I wasn’t worried about anything. I hadn’t had too much caffeine. I was excited about today.
Why today? It’s not my birthday. It’s not Christmas. I’m not even going out for a fancy lunch.
I was excited about today because I wanted to see what new things my babies would do.
Pords is eight and a half months. What an age to be alive. She is much more mobile, getting into everything. Perhaps today will be the day she gets up on her hands and knees crawls properly.
She’s also understanding more, vocalising more, trying to say words. I remember getting this same level of excitement about tomorrows when Pickles was about this age. Every day brings new wonder.
Pickles has been trying to sell me tickets for a couple of days now. He’s been saying something very enthusiastically over and over again but I haven’t been understanding him. Then yesterday I got it:
“Welcome! Welcome, everyone, to the Pickles show! Tickets please!”
Every day he does a little performance, or comes out with a new word or phrase, or is excited to learn something. I’ll always buy tickets to the Pickles show. Front and centre.
Our days aren’t always sunshine and lollipops. Sometimes we all drive each other crazy. But this is just a little post about this moment in my life when I have trouble sleeping because life is just so wonderful. Hopefully when the world turns and I’m losing sleep for a less joyful reason, I’ll be able to look back at this time of happiness insomnia and smile.
It was well passed my bedtime. Well, ok, it was 8pm. But I was eyeball-sore tired and I was drinking wine on the couch.
I’ve become addicted to watching those how-to-be-a-good-mother themed parenting documentaries. They don’t make me into a better mother. They just make me realise all the things that I’m doing wrong and subsequently my wine slightly salty because of all the tears.
And yet I just can’t look away.
One day there’ll be the little nugget of gold that makes me into the queen of the parents. Well, this show had a nugget alright but it sure wasn’t golden.
A very shiny looking lady said: Until you have a child of your own, you don’t really know what love means. “Say what!?” The wine sprayed from my mouth. Actually, that reminds me, I better clean that up.
Before I had Pickles and Pords my life wasn’t a barren, loveless wasteland. To suggest as much not only diminishes the lives and loves of those who are childless or childfree, but also any other great loves in a parent’s life. It limits the selfhood of the parent to simply being a mother or a father, disregarding all of the other incarnations of self that they had prior to children, and continue to have for their whole lives.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that you might never love any children at all, or even like the little buggers very much, and still know deep, soaring, eternal love. Love that consumes you and changes you and crushes you while making you feel whole.
Or you might not have children of your own, but love nieces or nephews, or the children of a close friend. I’ll always remember where I was when my brother called me to tell me his baby girl had been born. I’ve loved her and my nephew right from the start. Babysitting is not seen as a favour for my brother and sister-in-law because spending time with them is happiness.
I didn’t have my own children and think ah well, that wasn’t really love at all. I didn’t suddenly see my husband as a mere passing fancy. The feelings I had for other family and friends did not cease their importance.
Being a mum has been a remarkably wonderful experience so far. My love for my children is immense. But I’m not mother-nothing-more. And my friends who are not parents are not incapable of knowing love.
What do you think? Was the lady on my tv crazy, or am I crazy?