Oftentimes now, while she’s dressed in some sort of get-up for her own amusement, she’ll sidle into the kitchen where I’m tidying up, or getting dinner prepared, and she’ll casually set upon a stool at the island and play make-believe with me. It’s her new thing. Kinda like this:

IMG_8131

Hello.

IMG_8132

The other day, she sat down in a fancy dress, with rings on her fingers, (and probably bells on her toes,) and as she put her purse down on the counter, she asked me for a club soda, and took a seat. I opened a can, threw an ice cube in a glass, and poured some out for her. “Would you like a bowl of nuts, Miss?”

She: Oh, yes please. It’s been such a long day…

Me: Has it?

She: Well, yes. So much travelling. I’m from New York.

Me: Are you?

She: Yes. And I have three children. Two of them are twins. One’s a boy, and the other is a girl. They’re three years old.

Me: Oh!

She: Yeah. And we have a baby sister too.

Me: You mean they have a baby sister.

She: *blink*

Me: I mean, it’s not your sister, right? It’s your child?

She: That’s what I said.

Me. *shakes it off* Okay. So… you’re visiting from New York?

She: Yes. We’re staying in a big apartment near the park, and it has a two hot tubs and a swimming pool.

Me: That’s amazing!

She: *nods* The twins are learning to swim this year.

Me: Who’s teaching them how to swim?

She: I am!

Me: Wow! *cocks brow* You look kinda small to be a mum of three kids in an apartment in New York with two hot tubs and a swimming pool…

She: I’m not small. I’m… a dork.

Me: Pardon?

She: I’m a d-… I’m a … dorrrk. Dwork? Dork.

[It should be noted here that our household is tres Sandler-esque, and not so much Disney-esque.]

Me: You mean dwarf?

She: *eyes round* Yessss. I’m all-the-way big… *tilts head for emphasis* but I’m just small to look at. *tilts head the other way* Like the little person-man at Home Depot.

I run my tongue across my front teeth to maintain a straight face, but then I actually have to turn around. This kid kills me.

Me: Mmmm. Dwarf, is what you mean.

She: Oh. Did you know babies shouldn’t have nuts?

Me: Yes, well… you have to be careful of allergies.

She: And mostly, babies don’t have any teeth, so… that’s dangerous.

And then I died laughing. Because fancy dresses and purses and rings, and moustaches and fake tattoos, and waggling eyebrows, and blankets stuffed down the back of her pants, and making faces, and being delicious. She is so… very. And recently, that baby I had just a little while ago turned SEVEN.

* * *

This little light of mine learned how to swim last summer, after being sidelined during the camp pool days for not being able to swim the width of the pool without floaties. She cried that whole afternoon, and was still hiccoughing and wiping tears down her cross face when I came to pick her up. But she made up her mind that day that she wasn’t going to muck about in the toddler pool for the non-swimming babies (which was the only alternative on pool days) because fuck, no — I’m learning to swim right now.

And learn she did.

By the end of the summer, she swam sans floaties in the big lake at the cottage, which is over 300 feet deep. Because she was ready.

IMG_5462

* * *

IMG_1421

IMG_1422

I don’t even know…

IMG_1425

IMG_0821

I knew this little dress would be too small by the end of the winter. This adorable short-sleeve brown wool garment had chocolate brown felt circles laid like sequins in a heart shape on the front. She didn’t love it at first, probably because it was brown, but good lord, was it ever adorable.

IMG_0878

IMG_0879

It’s sometimes heartbreaking to watch them grow so quickly… I’m often a bit sad to pass these clothing items along, but there’s no sense in keeping them. That’s what photos are for.

IMG_0968

And then, I don’t know how… but she just grew. And with that came new favourite clothes, like this herringbone jacket from Zara on ridiculous-can’t-leave-it-behind-clearance-sale that is the new Adorable Thing, especially when worn over a jean jacket (which is both practical on chilly spring days AND hip as hell) so she become all about the jacket for a while, and not so much about the dress? What dress?!

IMG_3080

IMG_3236

She lost her first two teeth last year – the bottom two in the middle, and though the top two have taken time growing, they’re on their way out within the next few weeks, I reckon.

IMG_1616

All she wants to do is draw. She tells me she wants to be an artist when she grows up. And to take care of people. And to be a helper-person in case people are lost somewhere and they can’t find their moms. And she wants to have a small farm but she’s not going to eat any of the animals. And she wants to go and watch the salmon swim upstream sometime, so she can see it with her eyes. She says it’s better to run to places you’re going so you get there faster. But that when you sit down, it’s nice to have someone to sit beside so everyone has someone to talk to if they want. She likes options.

IMG_1745

IMG_1227

IMG_3443

She worries about going to university. She worries she might not be allowed to come back to us. She wants to live at home with us until we’re all really, really old. Because she loves us so much and is afraid we’ll be too lonely without her.

She: How long am I allowed to live here, in this house with you and daddy and Oliver?

Me: *deadpan* Um… until you’re about twelve and a half. But I’ll help you pack, don’t worry.

She: *looks stunned and horrified*

Me: Oliver’s leaving too. Don’t worry.

She: Mummy?!

Me: Daddy and I are going to have dance parties without you…

She: MUMMY!!

Me: *laughs ass off*

She says in the worst case, daddy and I can leave, but she’s going to remain in this house forever. She rapped the table with her little index fingers for emphasis. “And Oliver’s staying here, too.”

I guess we’re gonna have to stay then.

* * *

IMG_3596

Most of the time, she’s the opposite of terrified. Which sometimes terrifies me. I actually forget how it feels not to be afraid of anything… I envy her. May it last forever.

IMG_3888

She always wants to help.

IMG_4897

When she draws pictures for him, or leaves him love notes, she always prints M A R T I N on the envelope. And inside it always says, “I love you Martin” even though she calls him daddy or papa – both equally interchangeably, depending on what language she’s speaking. She’s been spelling M A R T I N on things ever since she learned how to make letters. She’d sing, “M-A-R … T-I-N. Daaa-ddee.” With such confidence, and with all her love. Always. She loves this guy more than anything.

She pounces on him when he arrives home from work each day. And every time she kisses him, she glances in my direction with a smirk on her lips, and I bellow, HEY! Git your hands off my husband, kid! And she throws her head back and shrieks with laughter.

IMG_4945

IMG_4950

She’s that kid.

IMG_4951

Q: Which would you rather have… all the Barbies, or all the cake?

IMG_5477

IMG_5478

IMG_5479

IMG_5480

A: Why can’t we have both, and share with everyone who wants? 

IMG_5481

She is thoughtful and generous. And she always, always asks me how my day was. If I say anything other than great thanks she suggests that I might take a nap, so I can manage better. And then she pats me on the back or kisses my arm. JESUS.

IMG_6856

Thumb-sucking and that blanket tho…

IMG_7173

IMG_7175

…no signs of quitting that action at all. But she’s content.

IMG_7348

IMG_7349

IMG_7350

IMG_7788

Total ham.

IMG_9738

I mean…

IMG_9739

WHUT.

IMG_7685

IMG_7687

IMG_7693

IMG_7694

IMG_7695

IMG_7697

IMG_7699

IMG_7701

IMG_7678

She’s all notebooks and glitter pens and stickers and nail polish and hair accessories and dressing up and play scarves and shoes with sparkles and candy and gum. She leans on me and tells me she loves me, with warm baby breath right into my ear, and I put my nose in her curls and breathe her into me and let it break my heart because I know how much she means it. This tiny girl is still weightless in my arms.

She helped me prepare dinner recently, and wanted to be in charge of beating the egg we’d need to dredge the chicken breasts in before pressing them into the herbed breadcrumbs. She carried a little chair over to the fridge to retrieve the egg, and asked, “Can I choose any one I want?” to which I replied, “Of course!” And after a moment she said, “I’ll choose a brown one, because I love my mother.”

*blink*

I gave her a little smile and asked her to crack it into the bowl.

Me: Did you know that eggshells come in all kinds of colours? Different shades of white, different shades of brown… speckles… I’ve even seen pale green ones. They’re all exactly the same on the inside though. Just like people.

She: I know.

Me: Okay.

We’re still working it out.

* * *

She has excellent rhythm, but there is this “happy dance” she does… lord. She must take after Martin.

Imagine watching a person take a giant step over something big, like a fallen log. Or imagine climbing into a giant pair of pants. And then again with the other foot. It’s a bit like the “running man” but soooooo adorably dumb, and more grabby with her hands out in front, and in fast-motion.

IMG_0165

IMG_0163

IMG_0164

IMG_0166

IMG_0168

It’s like her touchdown dance, and it’s HYSTERICAL to watch. And the whole while, she just howls with laugher. It’s pretty much my favourite thing she does these days, holy balls. So. Funny.

But birthday time…

IMG_9481

We went out for sushi because it’s her favourite, and she wore the sparkly dress she got from Martin’s sister for Christmas, which she’ll wear at ANY remotely appropriate occasion. Because sparkles. And the ladies at the sushi place served up complimentary bowls of ice cream with tiny cookies on the side, because birthdays. And because she’s just that goddamned adorable.

IMG_9556

IMG_9560

She was too tired for cake that night, so we ate it the next day. And then at the weekend, we took some little dudes to the movies to celebrate, and had moar cake. She loved everything.

Because she loves everything.

IMG_9628

IMG_9664

IMG_9729

Hello SEVEN.

IMG_9908

Wow, do I ever love you, little person… I hope your laughter always sound like an explosion. May your heart always love as fiercely as it does now. Let your light shine, shine, shine.

Keep on being your bold self, girl-child. You make me so very proud.

Love, mummy. xox

PS – You need a haircut.

{ 3 comments }

Going Forward, Looking Back

January 12, 2015 Random Grumbles

I do love the birth of a New Year, unspoiled and still shrouded in some mystery about what might lie ahead… I love it. I feel the New Year differently than I do on my birthday, which is it’s own time of renewal and reflection for me — and November 24th isn’t so long ago, […]

Read it all →

Spray It, Don’t Say It

November 18, 2014 house stuff

Okay so, you know I hate ironing, right? I do. For me, it’s right up there with vacuuming… though to be honest, I loathe vacuuming just a little bit more. (Okay, a whole lot more.) So, what does a lady trying to curb her perfectionist ways do about all the wrinkles and things? She gets […]

Read it all →

Kickin’ It

November 13, 2014 Conversations With Oliver

Oliver plays soccer. For the first time this autumn, there’s indoor-soccer activity organised by the city we live in, where all kids could join — the boys were sorted by ages 8-10, and 11-15. He’s ten and a half, but smallish for his age, so he was originally grouped with the younger kids, but as there […]

Read it all →

Fully Loaded

November 5, 2014 Random Grumbles

I read an essay about what it’s like to be a stay-at-home mother the other day, which was really one of the best pieces I’ve read along these lines. Everyone knows it’s hard. Though this woman’s story wasn’t mine — for instance, I only have two children, and they were intentionally spaced four years apart […]

Read it all →

Break. DANCE!

October 17, 2014 entertainment stuff

My kids watched School of Rock maybe fifteen times this summer, which pleases me to no end. The soundtrack is pretty good, and Oliver’s been hooked on this particular tune by The Ramones ever since… I can’t help but smile about it. He’ll say, “Can you please put on that head upside down song, please?” (Yes, […]

Read it all →

All You Need Is Help

October 9, 2014 Conversations With Oliver

On Facebook, my friend Fiona once wisely stated: Homework — Kill it. Kill it with the fire of a thousand suns. I wanted to kiss her because I couldn’t agree more. (And she’s Irish, which would make the sound of this statement that much richer-sounding. That lilt, you know.) But oh, how I loathe homework hour(s). […]

Read it all →

The Things I Keep Getting Asked to Play

September 10, 2014 Random Grumbles

Perhaps you’ve noticed all these memes flying around the internet lately. Frankly, I don’t love playing them at all, but that’s just ME… enjoy your Internets any way you wanna. I donated to the ALS fundraiser after I’d been challenged by a caring friend of mine, though I was a bit reluctant to do so. […]

Read it all →

Both Strange and Familiar

September 4, 2014 Random Grumbles

I’m getting back into the groove after hanging with my little homies all summer long. They didn’t have a whole lot of camp, so we mostly walked and we walked, and we took the metro, and we walked some more. These fools would skip and sing and chat to me about endless amounts of things […]

Read it all →