Monday, 16 April 2012

Grace four years four months, Daisy twenty-two months, Bliss six months

So Bliss is six months old. It's gone so fast... but then alot of my time is taken up by Daisy. You can't really take your eye off Daisy for a second. If you do, then when you look back she is naked and wedged in the washing machine, or halfway up the garden in a pair of James' giant trainers. She empties cupboards and smashes plates, pushes the TV over, pokes Bliss in the eye, does a poo on the floor and eats leftover cereal out the bin. All before 6am.

Meanwhile, Bliss has been quietly getting on with things. She sits, she holds her own bottle, she rolls. She almost crawls. We call her the jolly ginge giant. "Ho ho ho, ginge giant" we sing (to the tune of the old sweetcorn advert). And she grins. She is so jolly it's untrue. We wake in the morning to her huge red-cheeked face beaming at us.

The most simple things delight her. A spoon, a pair of Grace's pants, her own hand. She entertains herself for hours. Which is just as well. But when she is picked up, she wraps her chubby arms tight round your neck and gives the most incredible cuddle ever.. She clings on like she knows she is about to be parked somewhere else again.

Daisy is talking at last. "Dace, Dace" (Grace) she calls up the stairs in the morning. "Dace, dinner" she shouts (at breakfast). "Beeba beeba" (Bliss) she cries (then pulls her hair)

Mummy mummy mummy, mum mum mum mum mum mum mum mum mum" she chants for hours on end (Normally in the car, and she does not stop till I turn round and look at her).


She pronounces socks "shocks" and milk is "ulk" and can also mean juice but the main thing is she is talking. It feels less like we have a dog and more like we have a toddler.


We took the girls to Longleat (or longleaps as Grace called it) Safari Park over the Easter break. Daisy was very taken with the Meerkats and wanted to say "bye bye" to them for a long time.


Grace only cared about the train ride, as the Easter bunny was somewhere on it's course and she was desperate to see him. She ignored all the animals we passed on the way.. her eyes searching endlessly for the bunny.... and then she found him, and then she screamed, and then demanded to be taken home...


Turns out, Grace does NOT like people dressed up with "big heads on". Imagine her distress then, when the train stopped so the Easter bunny, with his ginormous head, could skip up to each carriage to hand out a colouring book.


Daisy did not really know what it was all about, but she never passes up the chance to have a wally fit... so they both screamed together while James and I tried to pretend they belonged to someone else and we only had the jolly ginger one.


Driving through the safari park was fun but scary, as Daisy is prone to opening her window at the most inopportune times.



We made it out in one piece, but my car did not. The monkeys which I had thought so charming, pulled various bits of my Multipla off and everyone in other cars laughed at me.



At first I did not understand why. Driving a car that sounds like a tank and looks like it's for the elderly and disabled, I'm no stranger to ridicule. It was not till we got out the car later that I realised why everyone had been pointing and guffawing. There were bits sticking up and bits hanging off and the whole car was covered in poo. It was like some kind of dirty protest.


So life is good. Busy, sticky and shouty, but good. Night time is perhaps the hardest bit. If Bliss does not want breastfeeding then Grace wants a cold drink, or Daisy wakes with night terrors... or Fiona au pair starts sleepwalking and shouting in German. I don't think we are ever all asleep at the same time.



We find out if Grace gets into the school of our choice soon. I'm not looking forward to school days. Right now we can do what we like with our Gracie girl, but soon, we have to do things by law.


Soon we are going to have to watch her walk off across a playground in a starchy school uniform and we won't be able to rush in after her and say "Actually, you can't have her today. I'm taking her to the zoo."


We won't be able to control the friends she makes, how popular she is, or how easy she finds reading or writing or show and tell. We will have to hear about these things from teachers we don't know. When I think about it my throat aches. My baby. My prototype.


I don't want her to get bigger and stop saying things like "I know all about aminals" or "Are we having turnups for dinner?". I don't want her to count past "eleventy".

Already she borrows my handbag, and car keys, then charges round the house playing "me".

Right, come on Dais" she shouts (and points.. and claps). "Get your shoes on NOW or you can't go to the park. I need to stop at the shop and get Bliss some nappies and Daddy some sausages. Come on Daisy, I said NOW."



Daisy ignores her. I cringe. Bliss beams.


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