Someone to watch over her

I woke up to a message from a friend on the other side of the world this morning. In short it said that I shouldn’t worry about Love Bug’s future as they would be there for her. Not that there’s anything wrong with me or any specific reason I should be worried, just a comforting note to remind me. Amazing.

Another friend called me a little while ago to say that she could pick her up and look after her one day each week after school. Fantastic.

Love Bug has guardian angels and angels who still walk this earth. I need not ever worry that she has someone to watch over her.

someone to watch over her

There have been other times when I have had a call or message from another of our friends far flung around this planet letting me know that should anything ever happen to me that they would always still stay in touch with Love Bug: so that she knew her mumma’s people as much as to be there for her. I had to have the talk with some of them – those who know a little too much {*winks*} need not necessarily share it all!

Of course our family would look after her every need, but it is very calming for this mumma to know how many people {some of whom have not yet met my little love face to face} love her and think of her.

We are so lucky to have such people of goodness in our lives. Today I am grateful for them.

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Anyone else getting dizzy?

I am a mumma who works full time. I work from 8:30 until 4:30.

Love Bug goes to school. The school morning starts at 8:55 and her day finishes at 2:45 for now and 3:00 in another couple of weeks.

No need to think about it twice. You were right the first time – the math does not work.

Anyone else getting dizzy?

What about out of school hours care you ask? Waiting lists. Long. Very long waiting lists. Which we are on, but the suggested time frame until we are at the top of that list? Some time next year! It’s only February.

Thankfully we got into before school care, which opens at 7:15. By the time I drop her there and get to my office it will probably be 8am. As long as Sydney traffic is behaving and it’s not raining. Because if it’s raining Sydney traffic has a total tantrum.

Yay, half an hour up my sleeve. Great, so now I can {technically} finish at 4pm.

Which still leaves a shortfall of about 90 minutes each afternoon, if we include the time it will take me to get from work to school.

Our local council is trying to get an after school program running at the community centre near our home. They have a provider to run it and a council bus to pick the kids up from school. If/when that happens, Love Bug has a spot there. If only the government department responsible for signing the paperwork would get their act together.

Sure there are after school activities I could register her for. But these aren’t free. Not that out of school hours care is free, but it is reasonably priced and can be subsidised if you haven’t run out of child care rebate.

Get a nanny? Sure, but not. Too expensive.

See where I’m going with this? Need to work more to be able to afford care. Care not available so need to work less. Anyone else getting dizzy?

Lucky for my my manager is very supportive. But there’s a limit. Cue: guilt. Guilt that you are not being enough to anyone, anywhere.

Awesome.

 

 

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First day of school

We got here! Love Bug went off to big school this morning. There were tears {her} then there were tears after she went {me} but we made it.

 Thanks to grandma, Aunty Shannon and Uncle Kieron for coming with us. The start of an amazing new adventure.

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On the eve of big school – a letter to my Love Bug

 

Dear Love Bug

I’m not sure where to start. At the beginning maybe? Because it feels like yesterday. Everyone says to hold onto the every moment with your bubba because time will fly. What everyone neglected to tell me was that time occurs at the speed of light. Or maybe even faster.

You ran around the playground with glee on Friday having just spent an hour alone with your new teacher. I hope that wonder, excitement and joy continues throughout your education. I hope you are challenged and rewarded and supported, cared for, care for others and remember to have fun.

There will be times you feel overwhelmed. Talk to me when those times happen. It’s a mumma’s prerogative to allocate one day each term as a mental health day. A day when a kid needs a break from the world of school. That day we might stay in our pj’s all day. Or we might go to the beach or the park and run, ride bikes, scooter and do cartwheels. Whatever you need that day, I’ll be by your side. Remember to have fun. I know I have just repeated myself but it’s really important. Really important.

Speaking of being in the park, being outside is essential for us. Run, skip, jump, climb, hang upside down on the monkey bars. If you fall I’ll kiss you better. Put your feet on the earth, dig your toes into the grass or the sand or the dirt. Lay on your back and watch the clouds go by, or count the stars. Wade in the water. Sit and listen to the waves crash on the shore.

Be one with this incredible world that you love so much. Be kind to it. There is no back up plan. I’m sorry we are leaving it in such a state for you kids, but when I watch you and the way you are, I know it is in wonderful hands.

I’ll do everything I can to foster your love of all animals. Continue to stand up for them in the way only a gorgeous five year old can. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to have different belief systems to other people. I hope no-one ever puts you down for your choices and, even if they do, that you are able to respond with kindness.

It pains me to my core so to know that at some point in the first part of your school life you will learn what true heartbreak is. If I could protect you from it I would without hesitation. I’d take your heartbreak and mine if I could. Dogs don’t live as long as we do. It doesn’t seem fair, and it isn’t. Bella and Beary adore you, as you do them. The three of us are looking forward to picking you up from school and walking you home.

Now, about school. Learning is important. Applying yourself is important. Trying your hardest is important. Sometimes all of those things don’t add up to amazing grades though. For whatever reason. Sometimes things just don’t click. We’ll try to work it out together but I don’t want you to ever worry if you really can’t do something. That is okay. It really, really is. I will always be proud of you no matter what. Because I will know that you have tried your hardest and done your best.

Your new teacher {and all of the other kindergarten teachers too} are so lucky to have you in their class. They are kindergarten teachers because they LOVE having a room full of bright, enthusiastic kids like you starting off at school. We’re super lucky to have them too. You’re going to a great school where there is a wonderful sense of community, for both of us.

I cried today when Luke and you gave each other a cuggle goodbye after your play date and wished each other fun for school. We have been so incredibly lucky that you have made such gorgeous friends at preschool. Some of them we will be friends with for always, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a whole lot of me wishes that you were all going to kindergarten together. You have other friends going and I know you will make lots of new friends, but I understand it is all a little daunting and unknown right now.

Keep talking to me. Talk to me about anything. The good, the bad, the funny, the sad. I’m all ears and all yours. There are also a couple of fuzzy heads at home who really love your cuggles and {trust me on this one} they don’t mind if you cry into their furs.

As I ironed the labels on your school clothes tonight {yes, we do actually have an iron – it’s in the laundry cupboard if anyone’s looking for it!} I wondered how this came about so soon. I looked at those uniforms which in my hands look so small but on you they seem ridiculously big and I had to bite back my tears.

I’m not sad that you are five. I’m actually really proud of us that we got to five and for the most part we are in awesome shape. I am sad that you are about to enter a really big world that I will no longer be the centre of. Oh, I know I’ll always be your favourite mumma, but there are other people who are really going to blow you away. As much as that’s a good thing, it still makes me a little sad. Because you’re my Love Bug. You’re the kid I have always loved ferociously. The kid I wanted so much that I went out and did it on my own so that I wouldn’t miss out on being a mumma. That I wouldn’t miss out on things like ironing labels on uniforms.

I’m also a little sad that this is the only time I will be a kindy mumma. I wish so much you could have had a sibling or two. You would make a wonderful big sister. I know other people think that too, it’s probably why your friends say you can share their younger siblings. Keep being that beautiful friend.

Putting you to bed tonight, 30-something hours before you start school, was an epic battle. We have been through quite a bit of this lately. I don’t know the reason for this change in behaviour. I try not to let my head take me anywhere awful. I have changed your diet to cut out things that might not be helping. We talk. We practice our breathing. We lay still and connected to the moment we are in. We are talking a lot about school. Are we talking too much about it? I don’t know.

There have been times lately that I have wondered what the hell I’ve done wrong to make you so cross. But we are on the same team. I am your team. I will always be your team. We will get through this together. We will battle in future I’m sure. You will look at me and wonder what ancient world I am living in to not understand the one in which you are currently existing. You know what, though? I will do my very best to understand. I will support you, empathise with you, listen to you, consider you. Sometimes we’ll find a happy medium. And sometimes – because I’m the mumma – I will make a decision that you don’t like but that you are just going to have to deal with it. I will make it with only your best interests at heart. Just like I’ve made every decision so far. Those times you might want to talk to anyone other than me. That’s okay too. That’s when grandmas, aunties, uncles fairy godmothers and mummas of your best friends come into their own!

The world ahead of us is amazing and wonderful and terrifying and scary and funny and bright and cloudy and filled with rainbows. Some days it’s all of those things at once. Embrace it my precious girl. Hold your arms wide open and wrap them around it as tight as you can.

I am insanely proud of the phenomenal kid you are. Continue to be brave, bold and kind. Have a great first day at kindergarten my lovely school girl. See you at pick up time!

Moon and back. Infinity. Infinity.

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Happy birthday to me

  
If only this photo were a true representation of my morning and not only a glimpse of it.

Being terrorised for an hour and a half by a stellar five year old tantrum wasn’t exactly at the top of my wish list.

The only way is up though, right?

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Flashback Friday {tears in Target}

Walking around Target aimlessly. Here to buy underwear for school, having just dropped Love Bug to kindy for her last day. 

I can’t seem to keep focused and as I walk down the baby aisle and find myself choking back tears.

  

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The unknown

Love Bug has been tricky of late. Some days a breeze. Some days she has put every one of the tools in my mumma kit to the test. Then pushed the limits of that testing over the edge!

For a while I’ve thought she might have an issue with some foods. Like mine, her body doesn’t tolerate too much gluten. She doesn’t have a lot of dairy – in fact none at home other than lactose free yoghurt. She is desperate to be a vegan like her mumma, but baby steps. I’ve noticed a few hours after eating certain things her moods change. Or a few days after eating some things regularly. So I started reading. And talking to other mummas about my gut feeling. And reading some more. Then I spoke to our doctor and we’ve just had some blood tests done. Our doctor thinks my mumma instinct is right.

This week I started keeping a journal of her food journey, and her moods.

This week is also her last week of daycare.

Love Bug and I talk. A lot. Despite this, some things are really tricky to say out loud. Even when you talk so much. Some things are hard to put into words so they come through as emotional reactions. I think this end of one chapter and the looming start of a new chapter is really playing on her mind. She’s much more clingy than ever before. Home with her mumma and dogs she’d rather be than almost anywhere else.

The unknown

Beary & his vet. Taking his temperature underarm because: eeeiiiiw yuk to the alternative.

THE UNKNOWN.

Filled with change. It’s a scary place.

Big School is a building she’s visited a couple of times and a place filled with new routines, new people, new smells, new clothing, new playgrounds, new rules, new everything. That kind of change is complex for anyone {hey, I’m even struggling with it all} let alone a kid who has just turned five.

She knows nothing of my uncertainty about how we’re going to get it all together to have our routine sorted, lunch box filled with things to help her have energy, concentrate, not make her sleepy or out of sorts {all derived from a very limited list} at the same time adhering to all of the school rules about what you can’t take to school because of allergies.

She knows nothing of my uncertainty about her personality and how long it takes her to come out of her shell in new situations.

She knows nothing of my fear she will be bullied for only having one parent. Or not eating meat. Or being shy. Or any other of the myriad things kids bully each other about.

She knows nothing of my biggest wish that I could drop her off at the start of the school day and pick her up at the end. Every day. That I wish I didn’t have to rely on out of hours school care.

I wonder if she knows that I will protect her, and fight for her with every fibre of my being. That I will use all the strength I have against any injustice shown to her.

She knows I think she is bright and kind and caring and funny and precious and generally just a pretty terrific kid. And she knows that I love her. More than I ever thought it possible.

And I couldn’t be more proud to be her mumma.

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