Remember in December when I packed off my not so little boy and sent him to pre-school a whopping 9 hours a week?  And for those 3 hours on each of those 3 afternoons I would cry when I got home because I thought I was breaking him.  I thought that my already anxiety ridden ball of WhoNeedsToLeaveTheHouseToHaveFun was going to turn into the toddler version of that guy who still lives in his Mom’s basement when he’s 45 and just does a Butthead type giggle whenever any female speaks within 20 feet of him.  And honestly, the outside world needs his cuteness in it, so I couldn’t be turning him into a hermit.

Everyone tried to be supportive and offered up their own anecdotes about when their little Alfie or Olivia first started and how they would cry a bit and didn’t want to go.  The only thing is that their children weren’t having full on panic attacks at the sight of the school shirt.

So I crossed my fingers and started to bribe Noah.  Each day he went through the whole three hours without crying he’d get a treat.  Some days he’d score a little car and on others he would get a special snack.  And just when my momma expressed concern that he’s start expecting the reward for doing something ‘normal’, he started to change.  He’d still get a bit nervous before going, and sometimes there would be sniffles when we got there, but one day he just up and walked away when we got inside and went about his day.

Hello?!  Where’s your detachment disorder?! Where is your need for one more hug.  Just one more!!  And why don’t you want to take your school shirt off?? It was like a practical joke.  I’d be dreaming of the moment to arrive but couldn’t believe it could actually be here.

 

21 june school

Then different key workers would say random things when I would drop him off or pick him up: “Noah’s so lovely” “It is great to have Noah back from holidays. I really missed him. ” “Noah had the all of the kids laughing” “Noah is the sweetest boy” .  Of course, I wanted to be able to just believe everything because it’s a wonderful feeling when someone else says things that reflect what you think about your own child.  But I am me.  I smiled and nodded and gave a “a ha haha” when I thought appropriate and figured that everyone got the same lines, because I am cynical to the core.

Plus, I’d never seen Noah at school beyond the drop off and pick up.  Parents are welcome to volunteer, but not if you have another child with you.  I had to rely on their word for how each day went.  Not that I don’t ask Noah as soon as we get in the car, but some days I get told he had an alligator sandwich for snack, so his word isn’t really worth that much.

The first time I got to see him in a setting with other children and an authority figure he wasn’t related to, was at Mini-Strikers.  Oh the joy that came over him as soon as he walked into the village hall.  It was like a whole different child crossed the threshold when I opened the door.  Okay, his listening skills… need work.  But it wasn’t a disobedience thing as much as an overflowing with excitement.  He shares well (until someone snatches his ball/racquet/beanbag and then sulks a bit), interacts with the other children, adores Mr. Andy and wants to include Amy in every activity.  It was and continues to be an amazing thing to see.

 

22 june Mr. Andy

So I shouldn’t have been, but totally was, overcome with emotion when at a Teddy Bear’s Picnic that the pre-school was part of, I got to see Noah interact with the staff at the school.  My little Nervous Norman was so comfortable with them, so happy to share his excitement and achievements.  And the responses they gave to him completely warmed my cynical heart.  Their smiles were genuine, their affection honest and they were as happy for him as he was for himself.  The best part was that they didn’t even know I was watching since I was with Amy trying to keep her from jumping off of a balance beam.

My baby boy is growing up in so many ways.  I am so proud of him and so so happy for him.  We’ve got roughly 3948 more anxieties to work through, but this has been huge.  I have no idea what happens when he walks through the doors of his school, but whatever it is … works.   I am so sad now that he will be leaving at the end of the month.  Let’s hope I don’t break what they’ve fixed because Noah 2.0 ROCKS*!!!

 

22 June race

 

22 June balls

22 June run

*Noah 1.0 ROCKED too.  But this version is even better!

Amy

1 and 1 is 2

Dear Amy,

We made it!  Phew.  I would love to be able to say that I do not know how you’re already two.  Really, I would.  But lady, there is not one day that you do not make yourself known.  From the day you were born when the midwife said you’d be out by noon, and you were all “noon? You think I’m slow? HERE I COME!!” and all of a sudden it’s PUSH! PUSH! waaaaaaaahhh .. “it’s a …. GIRL?!”. All 9lbs 4oz of Look At Me, I Can Roll Over And I Am Not Even Half A Day Old Yet!.

 

Birth Day

In the first year of your life we got to know your personality and there is a lot of it.  We also go to know that if anyone had a birthday coming up, you would do whatever it could to land yourself right in the hospital.  First it was Noah’s, then came mine (hello!? do you not realise how much I love my birthday?!) and after pretending to be healthy for a while, along came Kadie’s birthday and you were all “Quick Quick! I need to come up with something!!”. Holy shit did you ever come up with something.  Only it took us over 3 months to find a doctor who actually had a clue what they were doing and who would take responsibility for diagnosing you.

Don’t worry, it’s not terminal, but it is not pleasant either.  We’ve been managing to keep you out of the hospital now since I am obsessed with catching any occurrences by looking into your eyes ALL of the time.  And not in the Oh My Baby Girl Has Such Big Pretty Eyes (which you actually do) way, but more in the ACK! Is That A Spot? Is That A Tear? WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!! kind of way.  You have gone from UFC style grappling with me when it comes time for medication to actually going to the fridge and getting the bottle when you think it is time for more.  As much as I love the mature way you are starting to deal with it, it breaks my heart that you have to.

1 In the Sun

Don’t get me wrong, the journey from one to two was not all doom and gloom, even if you still don’t sleep through the night.  You hear me Moms of the Internet who complain about things like “Persephone didn’t go down until 7.30pm, it was just dreadful” or “Tarquin was up at 6.30am, if you can believe such a thing!”. My daughter is TWO and has slept through the night less than a handful of times.  Those dark circles under my eyes? No, they aren’t some new fashion statement and even the wonders of Smashbox can’t hide these suckers.  Let her cry it out, you say?  Oh she does. And then some.  And then some more.  Capping it off with a scream and a thump and WAIL.  All the while her poor brother is asleep in the next room separated only by a paper thin wall (okay, slightly thicker than paper, but seriously pushing it by actually considering it to be a proper wall).

Right, I said it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Umm, where was I going with that?  Oh yeah!

You have become so much warmer and cuddlier and no longer take 3 days to warm up to someone you just saw yesterday.  In fact, you hadn’t seen Kadie and Zed for months when you welcomed them to Vegas with open arms!  That’s right, you got to go to Vegas before you were two.  I know so many adults that would and are envious of that fact!  You’ve been to Caesar’s Palace, the Bellagio, Planet Hollywood, The Rio, Treasure Island, the Venetian … you’ve seen ’em all!   Even better than that, you got to taste In-N-Out!  Could you top that?   Only if you were sat in front of a buffet of raw fish.

Seriously, you are the only 2 year old I have ever known who would choose sushi above almost anything else for dinner.  I love you for that.  I love that you will try things.  Sure, sometimes you spit it back out into my hand, but at least you try.  And you LOVE fish.  Your big brother; not as adventurous.  He used to be, so I fear that you will lose this sense of foodie adventure too, but I am going to keep trying to give you more things to try before you totally bail and return to a child’s life of sandwiches, hamburgers and spaghetti.

You have become obsessed with Princess Everything.  Wait, I take that back.  You are more obsessed with you being a princess than actually watching a princess movie.  You’d rather watch Peppa Pig.  But you do actually think you are a princess and will often carry a wand around or wear a tiara to drop/pick up Noah from school.  You’ve got tutus which you definitely think is part of the princess uniform, possibly even more than the actual princess play clothes that you have.  The only problem with dressing up, is that you’d rather be naked.

 

grassy 2

It is so hard to get you dressed these days.  Not because you’re too independent and would rather do it yourself (though you so would), but because you don’t want to wear clothes.  When I say we have to hurry up and get dressed to go somewhere, you whip your shoes on and then throw a wobbly when I mention that your outfit is lacking the clothing portion.

This you inherit from my side of the family.  I don’t know if it was solely something to do with living in the Caribbean, but your grandfather used to wear as little as possible when he was in the comfort of his own home too.  Something which I carried on and have passed on to you.   A lot of other parents actually feed their children breakfast and then get them dressed for the day.  Have you ever heard of something so insane?!  Getting dressed when you don’t have to.  It makes me laugh every time I think about it.

Aside from becoming a semi-naked, tantrum throwing, cuddle giving, knows what she wants and won’t give in until she gets it kind of girl, you have also started to talk.  Not just a word here or there, but actually using two and three words sentences.  I know a lot of other mommas that would be all .oO(what?! She’s two and she’s only come that far?  Wonder if she excels in anything) and they can eat it.  Because you are doing amazingly and we have no worries.  Well we have some.  We worry that your use of ‘Mine’, ‘NO!’ and ‘Mami’s!’ will continue to be the theme of our conversations for the next 30 years.  Other than that, you’re all good with us.  And we’re sure that one day you’ll figure out how to maneuver your Mich Jagger sized tongue so you can touch your top lip.

And please, keep the hugs and kisses coming.  When you are not busy trying to prevent Noah from receiving any positive attention from us, you will stop what you are doing and ask for hugs or grab our faces in your chubby fingers and pucker up waiting for a kiss.   Your affection for your brother needs work as it seems you only like to give him cuddles and kisses when he is asleep.  That is equal parts sweet and equal parts mean since when he is awake you treat him like he’s covered in super contagious Boy Cooties.

Overall, I have to say that you are currently a perfect blend of grown up little girl with just a bit of baby and a whole lot of crazy toddler.  A little less of the attitude and more of the sleeping would be a dream come true, but you are you and even though you’ve give me more grey hairs in the past two years than it took to accumulate in the first 33 years of my life.  You are smart and creative, athletic and funny, and equal parts drama and comedy.  Your smile is as wide as an ocean and your dimple as deep as wishing well.  You are a princess to you and so much more to us.

two

You keep us living on the edge of our seats, even when we want to relax.  You bring so much energy, excitement, drama and love to our lives. Thank you for being every everything a little girl should be and more!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Baby Girl!

 

3rd Birthday

 

Momma loves you.

xx

Jerry Seinfeld owns his own parking garage full of cars.

Imelda Marcos had 2700 pairs of shoes.

Amy, if she could, would be the Queen of hats.

5.11: Princess

Not the just Philip Treacy does Princess Beatrice kind of hats (though I’m sure she’s give them a go), but anything that will fit on her head. A pasta strainer: check. Metal bowl: check. Mama’s bra: check. A towel: check.

In fact, for public outings she is quite partial to a tiara or her sunhat.  Not just your run of the mill, floppy cotton hat (RIP beautiful simple reversible hat from Jamaica, We miss you) but a lovely stripped straw number that she NEEDS to wear to pick Noah up from school or to go grocery shopping.  Most little girls have a doll or a blanket, but our daughter fancies herself as a mini Queen Lizzie and likes to have her hat and purse.  I hope she doesn’t realise that she wears gloves too.

5.11: Beach bunny

 

But being mostly me, with a splash of Lee, her absolute favourite hat … excuse me while I pause for a hard swallow as the pride within me rises … the humble and noble toque (or tuque if you prefer to stick with the French Canadian beginnings).

Lee Cam Misc and May 132

 

5.11: Logger

Seriously.  The girl will wear a toque all day.  Take it off every now and then to check just which one she is wearing and then readjust it and carry on with whatever she is doing.   The best part, to her, is that since we’ve started going through all of our belongings, we’ve discovered that we have a plethora of the fine woolen headwear.  It is Toddler Toque Heaven around these parts and she couldn’t be happier.  Yellow, red, stripes, dongles, loose, tight, soft, itchy.  One for every mood!  No, really.  There are that many!

5.11: Skier

It is an odd fascination, bordering on addiction, but the way we see it .. it could be so much worse!  So hats off (feel free to groan) to Amy’s ‘new thing’.

And let’s hope that Noah’s ‘new thing’ is more of a fad than a fixation.

Lee Cam Misc and May 175

No, that’s not a tan.. it’s a tiger. Can’t you tell? No? You mean you don’t take a blush brush and spread brown eyeshadow all over your face when you’re in the mood to ROAR?

Someone should maybe mention that to Noah.