And she just keeps giving me reasons to be prouder and prouder! Today there were no tears at preschool drop off... When I think about how brave and independent this makes her I want to cry! What a little warrior!
But keep the pouty bottom lip when I leave please Euna... I'm not ready to feel totally unwanted. ;) xxx
Other little anecdotes I want to remember about her right now: she calls Bow "Bow-Bow", she reads books to her dolly, she's obsessed with Winnie the Pooh, she just learnt to draw a tree and an owl, I think her favourite colour is orange and this morning Steve went to get her up and she'd taken off her vest and onesie and by what can only be called a stroke of genius she managed to put her onesie back on inside out and back to front... The vest is still MIA.
After a rocky few unsettled settling in sessions Euna took a big leap today and stayed for her first full morning at preschool. The leaving her was typically horrible. She cried, I put on a brave face, ran home and cried all over a bemused Bow. I doubted our choices about a million times and can say with all confidence that this has been, by far, the least confident I have ever been in a parenting choice.
But oh... Picking her up. Seeing her there on "the mat" with her key worker and the other children, her hair a mess, her clothes and face filthy with orange remnants from snack time, pen and mud all over her hands... All clues of things she's done without me. Mini traces of adventures gone solo. I'm so proud of her and so excited! Here she goes! Here it ALL starts! All the things she's set to do without me and outside the home we've given her.
No one prepared me for the pride I'd feel when she surprised me on this scale for the first time. I almost feel a little guilty for feeling something that felt like doubt in her abilities. Faith must've superseded it or we'd never of left her, but there's a lesson here and it's something to do with dreaming big about her abilities and being led by those dreams so she has opportunities to do herself proud.
This wasn't just another first, it was a new type of first. It's her first step out and the first time I need to trust others with my baby. And by trust that's not in a "please keep her alive whilst I go to the hairdressers" kind of way, this is an ongoing "you will become a constant part of her life and development" so I reallllllllyyyyyyy need to trust you. I'll keep you posted on that, I'm very aware that I am totally intimidated by the prospect of having to speak up if I think something about her care is less than ideal. Maybe it's something to do with this whole situation making me feel like I'm only playing at adulthood. Shouldn't my Mum be taking me to take daughter to play group?
We're learning and moving fast here. Too fast for habitually forward thinking me to anticipate everything, so *excited air punches* for good surprises and *nervous foot shuffles* at things that make me feel like I'm playing pretend mum.
It still surprises me almost twice a day that he's a boy and that he's mine. Bit by bit my education in all things boy related is coming along... Brio trains and match box cars have resurfaced from Steve's childhood. It's all so new and exciting! <3
Things I want to remember... He finally doesn't need to be swaddled anymore. Somehow he's still fitting in to his moses basket. He still has the biggest eyes you've ever seen on a baby and smiles constantly. He has a red patch between his eyebrows when he cries. His upper arms are still so skinny. If I sit him on my knees and bounce him whilst reciting my own version of The William Tell Overture (that classical song you always relate to horses galloping) he laughs. He'll rarely sleep in his bouncy chair and still loves his spot between Steve and I on the sofa. He loves being in the wrap carrier. My absolute most favourite thing is when he smiles so hard he scrunches up both arms and legs and squeezes out a squeal. I miss him now he goes to bed before me. And I wish there were more hours in the day just to work out all the things that make him do the scrunch-up-and-squeal-smiles.
And how could you possibly see those baby blues in black and white..? ;)
"The Tiger Who Came to Tea" is a firm favourite in this house. Euna appears totally convinced that all tigers do is drink tea and is forever holding her own tea parties with her stuffed tigers and I love reading an old retro classic from when I was a kid. So having it as theme for her second birthday party was a no brainer, especially when I found this easy party kit!
So here's what our version of a tiger tea party looks like...
Oh the negotiations to not have this as her party outfit...
Phew! How she humours me... :D
Party girls ready to go!
Just add friends...
Suffice to say tiger tea parties make for easy bedtimes.
As birthdays go it was textbook. A relaxed family morning. Presents in our pyjamas. Real coffee for big people and Weetabix with candles and paper windmills for the birthday girl. Family and friends gathered for celebrations and I felt very lucky and very proud.
It's rarely ok as a parent to say out loud I feel proud of myself but, as sadly unpopular a statement as that can make a Mum, I did feel proud. The human being we made and put on this earth is two years in to a life that we have sustained. We've worked hard, made sacrifices, poured our whole hearts in that little soul and I spent a lot of time on her big day looking at her and thinking we did good.
That's why birthdays are such good anchors. We forget the small stuff and take a wider view of that person and our relationship to them. For a child's birthday that means we forget that not all their meals are nutritionally balanced and often they watch too much TV and we remember they're happy and healthy and beautiful and we think about everything we've already showed them about the world. It was like a little holiday from the day to day guilts about little things and we pitched up with some perspective and thought happily about all we have done and all that they are. Felt wonderful. I had a wonderful day and I can say with the most confidence that I've ever had on a big occasion that Euna also had a bloody brilliant time.
Here's a few snaps from the morning... A post on her "Tiger Tea Party" is to follow...
This blog started out so I could record it all. I started it when I realised having babies would always go too fast for me to ever remember it all and I needed a means to get the best bits of it down. Maybe we'll look at it together one day, maybe just the act of doing it will cement it in a little better. Either way this blog is built especially for recording these milestones, milestones like second birthdays...
So... Two. Years. I see being one was all about turning baby to child. She became such a person this year. Words, steps, skills, lessons learnt. She went and got her teeth, a head of hair and first shoes. How carefully and delicately she learnt to walk. How her feet are only just big enough for real shoes. How she has favourite books and has had them read to her so much she can "read" them to herself. I think my favourite has been the talking, especially all the words she's personalised and entered in to her own little dictionary of Euna-isms. "Gagas" are bananas. "Ralph" was toast for a while. Steve's personal favourite are "durkadurkadies" for butterflies. Mine would be her impression of a cat "wowaaaawowaaawowaaaa".
Now two with more firsts to come. Starting Tuesday her first stay at preschool. I'm not cool about it either. Whilst I am on board with it being 100% right and healthy that she starts to take small steps in to the independent world every fibre of me wants to bundle her up and sweep her off home and never ever let her go. Because it's scary and I've never practiced trusting anyone but Steve and my mum with her.
Regardless of how I feel, to preschool she will go. Onwards and outwards to the first of many places where I can't be. It feels like we spent two years nesting down at home. Being safe, feeling cosy, feeding up, getting strong. Now it all starts. She'll reach out and I'll have to let go.
Here's to you Euna. How brilliant you are and how lucky the world is to have such a wonderful new person ready to bust out in to it. We are so incredibly proud of everything you do and are and everything you are to do and be. You couldn't of convinced me I'd be able to love you anymore than I did the day you were born, but I do, everyday. Happy 2nd Birthday Darling <3 xxx
My favourites from your past year... Her first birthday...