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Stolen time

January 7, 2015

I don’t know what’s happened recently, someone has stolen my time … days have vanished, literally, and not just any old days, but Christmas, New Year, small person’s birthday … sunshine, showers, fog, cold, friends, family, book, work, health, ill health, oodles of toddlers, one incredible toddler, mountains of washing, mountains of washing up … it’s all been there, only someone has stolen my time … I don’t think I’ve had the chance to sit down with my feet up, or even tucked neatly under my desk, for longer than 3 minutes since mid December… and now it’s 2015 …

Dear oh Dear.

I’m a believer in mindfulness, but of late I’ve been suffering from a severe case of mind-full-ness, make that mind-too-full-ness.

So many magical moments have been swamped … so important to sift them out before they get washed away in the tsunami of the last few weeks.

Father Christmas came to playgroup and gave her a lovely hardboard book about the nativity, and she got to sing sleeping bunnies with all her friends. She was slightly suspicious of him and made me collect her present, but only because she was one of the first called out, once a few more had been up, she was off encouraging the more cautious …

We went to the pantomime, Aladdin, her cousins were staying, all boys, all older, she’d been playing in the garden all afternoon with them, she was tired and she was overwhelmed to start with, “TAKE me home”, but we went out and had some water at the bar, she chomped crossly on an ice cube and did some twirls in the corridor, then she heard laughter, “people laughing Mummy”, then music, “go see music Mummy”, and we went in and from that moment on she sat bolt upright in my lap, she beamed, she watched, she cheered, clapped and in the end got down and danced, perfectly reflecting what was going on stage. Her youngest cousin was invited on the stage, she was put out when she wasn’t allowed to go up with him. In the end I think she enjoyed it more than her Uncle, cousins, grandmother (well maybe not her grandmother), and I did … and remembered character names, the songs and detail of specific scenes.

We went and stayed with her Auntie and her other grandmother … she fed ducks, she fed fish, she played, she watched Peppa Pig (they’re more generous in their TV watching than I am which she exploits to the full), she made cups of tea, she curled up with the dog on her grandmother’s bed and she went bowling, and scored a strike with the very first ball that she pushed down the small metal hill they provide for small people to use. From there we rushed back and she enjoyed (eventually having been woken from a deep sleep) a candle lit carol service which culminated in all the children (in their nativity costumes – her angel wings shone in the candlelight), rushing forward to be given golden heart shaped helium balloons … it was beautiful.

We went with her best friend to see Father Christmas on a miniature railway … there was a very chilly looking dancing penguin, and a wonderful reindeer, and in a clearing in the wood, there was Father Christmas … he gave her a present, a wolf, and her friend a mouse … they were thrilled .. their tired mothers smiled and enjoyed the moment of togetherness. A time to put painful situations aside and revel in the joy of simplicity, and the wonder that Christmas can bring to a child.

On Christmas Eve she developed a temperature of 100 and picked up my vile cough, the GP observed her temperature was the record for the day, and put her on antibiotics … when she was tiny she refused point blank to take medicine. Something has changed and now she reaches out, pushes the syringe herself and asks for more … even with the vile yellow antibiotic … she did well with constant medicine over the next few days, but really wasn’t herself.

She was delighted on Christmas morning to find that Father Christmas and Rudolph had eaten the carrots and her home made mince pies “they have one each”. This really was the high point of the day, and she kept going out to the hall to look at the crumbs left on the plate, and the bits of carrot Rudolph (it was he for sure) had left on the floor “naughty Rudolph”. She sang carols in church, we visited my father in his leafy graveyard and left him a wreath, we opened one or two presents, shared lunch with an elderly friend, opened a few more presents and watched Miranda “this my favourite”, and Call the Midwife … very quiet, but special … Hope and Granby so enjoy each others company … so often I’m irrelevant, and just fade into the background of their play together … I love sitting watching.

We visited a friend from overseas with a little girl, we had walks in the cold sunshine and the dank rain; she and a chum enjoyed pretending to be cows on Grantchester Meadows and walking over the cattle grids on their hands and knees or hands and feet shouting moo at passers by. We drank hot chocolate, she enjoyed the odd babyccino (her staple favourite especially with marsh mallows). We recovered from our horrible bugs, she played with her cousins, they taught her tricks with a football and new jumps on her little jumpoline, she learned their songs and their games. We looked after Granby, getting stronger but still less mobile, and we enjoyed looking at the Christmas tree and her clump of blue baubles (all in one area “mine decorations mine”). We got muddy, we sang, we played, she scooted, we had picnics by the river, we got chased by geese, and we pulled the house back together having had a new downstairs shower fitted for Granby. She seems more up for breastfeeding than ever, and we’ve had some peaceful moments together, and some rather funny ones where she’s just suddenly decided she was hungry and randomly lifted up my shirt and tucked in!

Then it was time for New Year … we had a repeat of last year, we watched Mama Mia, the fireworks and Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, only this year we were both exhausted, and having woken up at 9 following a 3 hour sleep, she had curry for supper and then fell asleep breastfeeding ontop of me about 20 minutes before midnight. We stayed like that for a while, and then I carried her up to bed. Her bed was full of her furry friends and several books, so I put her in mine, she generally ends up there anyway in search of milk. She starfished immediately and I curled up on the edge of the precipice and lay there listening to her regular peaceful breathing. She then followed me around in her sleep and we both ended up asleep sideways on at the bottom of the bed. She woke up on New Year’s Day and smiled at me and demanded “milky Mummy”, then sat back, patted my chest and told me “you have beautiful milkies Mummy” and carried on slurping.

She can recognise, recite and assign words to all the letters of the alphabet, she has an ever expanding song repertoire, and she dances now, constantly … and was absolutely delighted to have a tutu for Christmas which went to dance class and took over from the Father Christmas dress as her dance outfit of choice. She’s developed a fascination with body parts and bodily functions and regularly commentates on not just her own but everyone else’s toilet habits, “Granby doing a poo”, “lady gone in toilet to do a wee”, and notably to my brother over the kitchen table during a quiet supper one night, “you got willy?”. She is kind (generally) to her friends, she is keen to make people feel included, “you want tea? / wine / juice”, “you ok?”, and has tremendous empathy when anyone else has something wrong, “oh that’s terrible, poor you, make knee better fast … need go hospital?”

We then went to a third birthday party … which led to another and then to hers … but the parties are a post in themselves! So let’s stop at New Year’s Day …

So much else happened and I so wish the time thief would restore unto me the many magical moments that now and probably for ever more will elude me. Taking this brief time to reflect makes me realise more and more quite how much we lose, and how important it is to cherish and celebrate every magical moment.

It’s been a tough month in many ways, but the golden joyful thread of Hope that has held it all together shines just as magically and strong as ever and she has enjoyed so much.

Now then, time thief, I resolve to catch you and to stop you from doing this to me again!

oh and Happy Christmas … and Happy New Year!!

Father Christmas and Rudolph

Father Christmas and Rudolph on the railway

2014-12-28 15.38.42

scooting in style

two small cows delightedly conquering the cattle grid

two small cows delightedly conquering the cattle grid

marching through the mud

marching through the mud

 

looking ahead to the new year

looking ahead to 2015

 

 

 

Happy New Year from both of us

Happy New Year from both of us

 

 

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