Saturday 13 April 2013

Tuesday 31 January 2012

Good Morning Miss Eloise!

Post bath in our bedtime routine, The Frenchman and I found ourselves sitting on her bedroom floor, a diaper clad Eloise running in front of us. She suddenly took in her captive audience and went into Teacher mode. She grabbed a book, reminded us to stay seated, and then asked The Frenchman "What's on this book? Buh Buh Buh..." she encouraged.
"Baby" he replied.

"Yes!, Here's a sticker" and pretended to hand her father a reward sticker. She then turned to me and asked the same question. I in turn received a sticker. If either of us attempted to stand up, she said, "No! Sit DOWN". If we laughed, she said "No Laughing! Stop Laughing". She had to tell us this quite often. We got lots of stickers as she took us through the book, but we also had lots of stickers taken away - for not sitting, for laughing, for not listening. "Hey! You're not listeninging!"

At one point, her father and I both in tears from laughter, trying to pay attention and win stickers, but also in awe of this stern, diapered little dictator we created, Eloise stopped and turned to us, finger pointed and uttered out of pure exasperation at her unruly students: " I am NOT happy! NO Laughing! You. Just. Listeninging!"

Kid runs a tight ship.

Sunday 11 December 2011

What I think about when I'm away on business

I think about how insanely relaxing and liberating it is to travel without a child who is wont to run down the aisle screaming to try and open the airplane door and "get off de plane!". I think about how nice it is to have a drink and not have to worry about being responsible for the life of the person you love most while mildly inebriated. I think about how peaceful it is to fall asleep knowing that the only culprit for a potential bad night's sleep is mine and mine alone - no toddler at 2am calling for mummy. I think about how great it is to have a meal that is hot and without worry about what my toddler might do to put in question my parenting skills.

And I think about how you are growing without me, how your accent sounds that much more English when I speak to you on the phone. I think about how my heart breaks when you tell me: "see you tomorrow!" and I know you won't see me for 5 more days. I think about what your grasp around my neck will feel like when I come home and pick you up from nursery after more than a week away. I think about the tears that will sting my eyes at how more worried you seem about where I am and when I'm leaving than you were before I went away. I think about the single parent mode I am putting your father through. But mostly I think about how much I miss you. I miss you calling me a pretty princess when you like what I wear, I miss you pretending to fall asleep and snore and making me laugh so hard I have tears in my eyes, I miss you holding my face in both your hands when you sleep next to me, and I miss you telling me that you love me.

Saturday 23 July 2011

2 ans avec Mademoiselle Eloise

Oh Eloise. My Eloise. No. Not my Eloise. You are very much your own. I know how commonplace and slightly boring it can be listening to parents go on about the mundane tasks their mini person can achieve, but it is hard to explain just how rewarding and inspiring it is to see someone who you created, who went from not being able to keep their own head from snapping off their neck to a little girl who tells me that a cow goes moo and puts her shoes on her own feet and who not only washes her own hands and dries them, but wipes down any drops of water she spilled in the process. A little girl who makes me laugh - intentionally and often unintentionally. A little girl who can challenge my patience, energy levels and priorities. A girl who can make me feel like the most beautiful and cherished woman in the world with the most gentle of cuddles.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll keep up these letters. I am more and more aware of the person you are becoming and I worry that you’ll be angry with me for over divulging our lives. But while I’m not sure how long I will keep this blog out there for the world to see, I do know I will always write you. I am the mother who will cry each time I see you sing in a choir. I will cry when you give me your first handwritten mother’s day card. Hell, I’ll probably cry the first time you get your period, so we both have that to look forward to. I’m a heart-on-my-sleeve, emotional sort, and becoming your mother has simply made my sentimental heart expand ten-fold. So I will always need to put my feelings for you into words. To not only let you know how much you mean to me, but to help me figure out how to handle having my heart live outside of me.

I wonder where we will be living, what you will be wearing, the day you start reading these letters. What will your voice sound like? What will your hair look like? What size shoe will you be wearing? What music will you be listening to? What will you feel when you read all that I have written about you? I just...well, to quote a man that makes far more money than me for the words he writes: I hope you don't mind that I put down in words how wonderful life is while you're in the world.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Vingt-troisieme Mois avec Mademoiselle Eloise

Eloise -

Man, on your bad days you push me to limits of patience I have never been pushed to before, by far the most challenged I have ever been is during one of your tantrums, but on your good days? There is no one else in this world I would rather hang out with.

Your language is INSANE. All of the sudden you are speaking in sentences, bossy slightly caveman-esque sentences, but sentences none the less. Sit DOWN mummy. Daddy, no sing. Eloise singing. Eloise no like it. Mummy dance. Mummy running. Shhhh,Rabbit sleeping. Thank you Mummy!

And then of course there is the ultimate: I love you!!! ( I loff OOOO)

As these tantrums get more intense, you find a corner and just loose your shit - throwing whatever you can get your hands on, banging whatever surface is within reach, producing strange frustrated sobs, I am becoming aware that while the hard bits get harder, the good bits get AWESOME. To hear you tell your father and I that you love us? Makes the tantrums worth it. Ok, maybe not worth it, but tolerable. Really completely tolerable.

You are becoming less and less Eloise, my baby, and more and more Eloise the Person. Eloise, the half French Amercian born in England. Eloise the little girl who asks for cereal in the morning and ham at night. Eloise who loves Snow White and owls and cats and dogs and Nancy Sinatra's Sugar Town.

And yes, there are moments when I miss Eloise the baby, the little being so dependant on me, but that is eclipsed entirely by the pure elated joy I feel every day at meeting a little bit more of Eloise the person.

You amaze me. Je t'aime.

Mummy, Mommy, Mama, Maman,

Thursday 26 May 2011

Vingt-deuxieme mois avec Mademoiselle Eloise

(Photos to come soon(ish) - still working on this whole job/home/blog balance)

Thank you Eloise. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You have made this transition between stay-at-home mom to “working mom” (starting to hate that term - like what I did with you the past 21 months wasn’t work?) (incredible work by the way - best job ever) so much easier than I thought it would be. And sure it hasn’t been entirely smooth, but I was expecting far worse. I should have given you a bit more credit, for being the adaptable and curious child that you are.

So far you haven’t cried when either your father or I have dropped you off at your nursery (By the way BIG UPS to your Daddy for doing more than his fair share in getting us all to our new jobs on time and back home in one piece each night). You’ve been clingy, which is fine, because let’s face it, I’ve been clingy too. But after you’ve stayed in my arms for a while, wrapping your arms tight around my neck, you take a look around, and I talk about how good the breakfast is going to be and how much fun it looks like your friends are having, and oh! Did you see those jungle animals hanging out and being awesome over there? And then you slowly release your grip and get swallowed up by different loving arms.

You have however had a handful of more difficult nights. It’s like you bottle up all your frustrations at having to deal with this change and save it for when you get home and you can unleash it on the two people you’re closest to. I guess we all do that. But to see you so angry with me was a hard pill to swallow. We’d finally wrestle you into your pyjamas (some nights literally wrestle - 2 against 1 and even then it would take your father and I 10 minutes to get you dressed, you got some moves kid) and then after reading 8 stories I’d turn out the light and hold you while you finished your glass of milk. You would pull my face close to yours, so that our cheeks were pressed up together, and then you’d keep pulling and pulling. Trying to get me even closer. I mean, I would have had to swallow you whole to get any closer. And then you got mad. Mad that we weren’t more together. And you started clawing at my face and hitting me - things I would normally scold you for doing, but this time I just let you do it. Let you get the frustration out of your little body and into the scratches on my face. And then you called out for Daddy and he came to finish putting you to bed while I went into my room and cried.

Luckily we’ve only had a few nights like this. On the whole you’ve been an absolute star and I can see in your social skills and language skills what a great effect nursery is having on you. And I’m really enjoying my new job, it is interesting and challenging and creative and I love that I am pushing myself in different directions. But make no mistake Eloise, the worst fucking part of this job is being away from you.

Je t’aime. Super hard kid.