Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Vingt-et-unième mois avec Mademoiselle Eloise


I have recently been reminded of how precious and fragile this life is, and it makes me all the more thankful for you, and for the chance I have to write these letters to you. You have been a wonderful distraction while I mourn a friend, wiping away my tears and helping me to laugh again.

You seem to have shot up in size once more, I just noticed today how your legs seem to dangle from your highchair as if they should belong to a much older child. I could spend my whole life (and indeed I plan to) studying the different expressions your face can make. Every once in a while I catch you making a face that gives me a glimpse of the young woman you will become and it makes me equal parts ecstatic and scared poopless.

You are starting to build proper relationships with your little friends - calling them by name, shouting No! No! No! at them when they don’t play the way you want to, giving them unprompted hugs to say goodbye. At the moment I can safely say you run with a good crowd. I’m sure all parents worry about their children’s choice in friends - I know first hand how much damage a manipulative friend can cause - but if your early choices in mates is anything to go by, your Father and I will have nothing to worry about (ha!).

Some changes are going to happen around here soon, and it breaks my heart that I can’t sit you down and explain it all to you, that instead one day you’ll just see less of me and you’ll wonder why. To make the most of our time together before I become a full-time working mother, I took you out on a date, just me and you. You were an absolute star and I couldn’t have had a better time. In homage to your namesake we spent the night at the (Park) Plaza in Nottingham (the Presidential Suite Daaahling). We rode up and down the elevators and ordered roomservice with giant linen napkins wrapped around our necks. We went shopping and went out for lunch where all the grandparents sitting around us commented on how well behaved you were. We walked around the castle grounds, chasing squirrels with security guards and playing with little boys in school uniforms. In the morning we had coffee and milk in bed while reading the paper, then went down stairs for breakfast where the hotel staff fawned all over you. We went to the Museum of Nottingham Life and had the whole museum to ourselves, playing with dolls, opening kitchen drawers and walking through caves. I think my favorite moment was buying a copy of Vanity Fair for me and a jug of milk for you and watching you walk down Maid Marion Way carrying your milk and weaving in and out of the people trying to get home from work.

I feel so fortunate to bear such close witness to the person you are becoming, to see you stand taller and taller as you make your own path through the crowds.

Je t'aime.

Maman (Mummy) (Mama)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Mothering style in 1000 words

This picture perfectly demonstrates my parenting style. There's clutter. There's a "cubby" where I apparently think it is appropriate to store bubbles and booze. There's a pile of recycling that only needs to be taken a few feet outside but still hasn't made it out there. My kid is wearing a cardigan with her name tag on from a song class she had been to a few days prior. Her hair looks like Pebbles from the Flintstones because some days I feel like making her (and me) look spruced up but I'm not actually that good at it (though far better than her Father). She has apricot jam on her face but she's also eating homemade spelt bread and local honey. And the person taking this picture is a little bit tired and a lot happy.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Mummy Eloise

Ah, remember the early days of being a mother to an infant?

Having to carry your baby with you everywhere.

You could barely find time to feed yourself, let alone keep your eyes open while doing it.

Having to constantly help prop their heads up.

And don't get me started on how old and tired it made you feel.