While my blogging has turned from regular to sporadic at best, there is one feature I’m going to try to keep going for as long as possible, and that’s this, writing to my daughter every year.
As she gets older I find it harder to hold onto those little memories. You know the ones, the ones that you say you’ll never forget, but time passes and they’re gone. So, here I am writing about the last year so that I can remember a little, and she can know a lot.
It’s been an interesting year, my moo. This year has had massive highs, and some challenges that I just wasn’t expecting at your age. Yet you continue to be a hilarious, cheeky little personality. Your intelligence continues to astound us. This year, all of a sudden, you are a little girl. You hold conversations like an adult (seriously), and you delight in making people laugh.
Childcare tells me you go out of your way to make people happy, which brings me joy and fear – I’m scared you’ll be a people-pleaser like me (which I’ve spent my entire recent adulthood fighting)! They also tell me that you are caring and kind, which makes me so proud.
This year saw you learning how to manage conflict, and learn resilience as you dealt with what has been described to me as “games” getting out of hand. I didn’t think I’d have to talk to my three-year-old about how to handle bullies, and yet it happened. With this came tears of frustration from me, and a feeling of helplessness and failure that I have never known before. It was all I could do from quitting my job and staying home with you always and forever. Yet, we go on. I realise that this is one of many challenges like this you will experience. All I can do is hope that we are giving you the skills you need to handle difficult people with grace, good humour and – sometimes – a bit of fire yourself!
This was also the year you started riding your bike. The day you got it you rang your bell up and down our street for an hour – and it was very early in the morning! I’m so proud of your growing independence. You’ll even help yourself to my credit card to pay for our coffees in the morning (I’ll have to keep an eye on that one!).
This was the year you saw snow for the first time. Who would have though England in May would yield enough snow for a snow man, but so it happened. And with that trip came first sleepovers at Grandma and Grandad’s, fuelling what I believe will be a lifelong love affair with French pastries, your first wedding, double-decker buses and your first three-course meal (in a French bistro in Lyon!).
The tantrums have started to abate now. Though what has arisen is a stubbornness and a rage you have never shown before. Now when you dig your heels in on something it is accompanied by clenched teeth and your head shaking in rage. It’s all I can do to not laugh when you do it!
You may not strop at every little thing anymore, but when you do get mad it’s epic – like the 20-minute tantrum you had over a dress you didn’t want to wear. I thought you were going to be sick!
Yup, you know your own mind. You still love your Thomas trains (the collection is ridiculous), but you also love stopping to pick flowers (any flowers), dressing in princess dresses and anything the colour pink. You also love Octonauts, Frozen and Shaun the Sheep. Recently you watched the Shaun the Sheep Movie and cried – you were sad when the farmer didn’t recognise his own sheep – it broke my heart, but showed just how kind-hearted you are. You could spend half the day drawing now (a welcome new distraction), and your colouring in is almost better than mine!
Your friendships continue to blossom, with your mothers’ group buddies still so prevalent in your life – I don’t know where either us would be without them. And there are new friends at childcare (including C, who you pretend to be married to sometimes); an obsession with your cousins; your special bond with your Gran; and so much love for your soft-hearted Dadda (I’m sure I’m in there somewhere too but he’s a softer touch than I am).
I am continually surprised by the love I have for you. Sometimes I worry that it will fade, but it doesn’t. It just grows. Never has there been a more wonderful girl. Never have I been prouder. Never have I known love like this.
And now, as you get older, and family life starts to feel more permanent (because yes, even four years in it still feels so new) we are starting to find our little groove. We are going on weekend adventures, we are traveling, we are enjoying time together.
This year, we decided to just have you. And I just hope that’s going to be OK. We want to give you everything we have, because you give us everything we want. I love you my little poss.
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