Monday, 28 February 2011

Dix-neuvieme mois avec Mademoiselle Eloise

Eloise -

These letters to you all read a little more saccharine than our lives are in reality. This is mainly due to the fact that I write these letters when you are asleep and all I can remember when I look back on the last month is what an incredible, fascinating, curious, loving and clever little child you are. But certainly there are moments when we test each other. I can’t say it’s all roses. You are trying to be more and more independent, which I applaud, but sometimes your independent streaks are either ill timed, inconvenient or down right dangerous. So we disagree on many subjects throughout the day. You insist on drinking from your cup without the lid on it. Which normally I let you do (hey practice makes perfect, and I love the way you say “gentle gentle” before taking a sip) but when we’re already on outfit number 5 due to you forgetting that your cup doesn’t have a lid, I’m a little less patient. Or you insist on walking instead of riding in your pushchair - which again, I usually let you do, but when we’ve got 20 minutes to get to where we need to be and not an entire hour, I need to just strap you in and do my best to explain and then ignore your complaints. Or most of all when we are walking and you decide you are just too cool to be seen holding mummy’s hand and I have to explain for the 10th time in as many minutes that you either hold mummy’s hand or you get in the pushchair because there are cars and it’s dangerous and you are too young to realise that holding your mother’s hand is lame.

But your independence has also been a wonderful thing to witness. Brushing your teeth on your own. Attempting to carry the heavy wooden foot stool you stand on to reach the sink back to its place on the bathroom cupboard every night. Having a say in what you want to wear that day (some days you are quite picky I have to say - but I always love your final decision).

While pregnant I remember sitting in the pub (drinking apple juice and soda water - looks just like lager!) and talking with your Father and Godfather about what type of personality we hoped you’d have. I was thinking a confident and loud little girl would be great, mainly because I was an overly sensitive child and I remember how painful it could be some times and perhaps with a extroverted child some of that pain could be avoided. Your father and Godfather said they pictured you being quiet and reserved, which in the presence of strangers you very much are. It took some adjustment on my part to accept that anyone who meets you for the first time will not see the affectionate, smart, funny little toddler you are at home, but now I love that reserved quality in you. I love to watch you sit back and observe your new surroundings and then see you slowly show a bit more of your self as you start to trust the people around you. It may take you a while for you to let them into your world, but as your Grandmother said, man is it worth the wait when you do.

I count my lucky stars every single day that I am one of them.

Je t’aime


PS. These letters are getting harder and harder to post on time, thanks to you my deliciously adorable time suck.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

And we're the three best friends...

Now that Eloise can hug and kiss back, as opposed to the first months of her life where she had to politely tolerate daily overdoses of parental love, I am amazed at how intimate the relationship between parent and child is. How affectionate and loving. A lot of times The Frenchman and I will ask for a kiss or a cuddle from Eloise, and half of the time she will very happily oblige, the other half she is far too busy discovering a congregation of dust bunnies or getting her head stuck in kitchen cupboards to bother with silly things like hugs. And then there are the few moments that Eloise will show affection unprompted, and oh goodness me! I am tearing up just thinking about it. These moments, make up for every sleepless night and every sleepless night to come. When she sits on my lap, listening to a story and in the middle turns her head and kisses my cheek, smiles, then goes back to listening to the story it takes a mountain of strength to not break into a million cherished little pieces at the blessings that kiss brings me.

We are a much more cuddly family than I expected. The Frenchman and I are not a very affectionate couple - I wouldn't say we're unaffectionate but we're certainly not the constant hand holding butt grabbing types. But Eloise certainly brings it out in us. Many a night after Eloise's bath, we go through our little ritual of putting cream on her skin and holding her close and getting her pyjamas on. And on most nights the three of us will somehow end in a three way embrace, smooshing each other close, kissing each other's cheeks, Eloise making sure Mummy and Daddy are kissing enough by pushing our heads together. And yes, some nights we even find ourselves bouncing up and down in embrace, singing that little song from The Hangover.

And we're the three best friends that anyone could ever have...