My eldest daughter S, entered the world at around 18.00 on a Sunday afternoon in March 2014, in a hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, after a rather traumatic birth. (I will spare you the details) The relief when she was born and when I finally got to meet my little baby girl was immense, and something that I will never forget. Literally from that moment the responsibility of what I was about to embark on me hit me, I was now a mother and was responsible for this little person. Even crazier, was the idea of myself and my hubby being parents. It is the best feeling in the world, yet at the same time it is the most daunting.
Fast forward to the end of March 2018, and I am now a mother of two, who’s eldest daughter recently celebrated her fourth birthday a couple of months ago. Fourth birthday! That just feels like such a big number to me. I can’t believe that I entered the journey of motherhood four years ago. They have been crazy and wonderful years to say the least.
As mentioned in previous blogs, we lived in Geneva for five and a half years. It was in year three when S was born. We were away from friends and family in the UK and myself and S had an intense relationship, as we were very rarely apart from each other. There were obviously negative and positive sides to this, but hand on heart, S being my first born and living away from our loved ones, taught me more than I ever could know about being a first time mother; the good, the bad and the ugly.
We have always celebrated our eldest daughters birthday in some way. Up until last year when we were living in Switzerland, she had double celebrations with her friends in Geneva and then we would always fly back to the UK, so she could celebrate with all of our family. Saying all of this, they were never big parties, more just a birthday cake and a gathering. However, this year was different. S was now older and was very aware of her birthday and she could not wait to turn four years old. From January, she was asking me, ‘How many days until I am four, Mummy?’.
As we recently reached our one year mark of being back in the UK, S has made lots of friends within nursery and requested a party to celebrate, which we did. This included, hiring a hall, sending out party invites, ‘Monkey Music’ for the entertainment, and party bags.. the lot! This took a surprising amount of organising from myself, but I strangely enjoyed it. However, I don’t think I will be doing that every year, especially as I now have two children who will both want birthday parties! Who knew what a big deal party bags were?
On the morning of the birthday party, S stood up on her tiptoes and looked up at me with a rather serious but proud expression on her face and said, ‘Look Mummy, I am taller now, because I am four.’ This comment both made me so sad that she’s growing up but so sweet at the innocence of her. As I looked at her, I know longer saw a toddler, she was now a little girl, full of personality and chatter. She is my little companion, who I love spending time with. I absolutely love the little chats that we have together. Everyday when I collect her from preschool, she is so excited and chatters to me for the entire journey home, excitedly telling me what she has learnt that day. She is like most four years old, and has such a thirst for knowledge and learning, which I would love to be able to bottle up. I will not pretend that we don’t still have to deal with tantrums occasionally, but without them life would be dull. Well thats what I tell myself. I am very much looking forward to the day when they just stop, but tantrums and all, this little girl of mine has taught me an awful lot.
You Can Find Fun In Most Things
S is like most four year olds and is a ball of energy. Bar the tantrums, she is enthusiastic about everything. This is something that I would love to be. Even if it is a horrible rainy day, S will find something to entertain herself, even if it is just jumping around in puddles in the garden, or making a house for her dolls from an empty cardboard box. I have come to realise that it really is the simple things that work.
Imagination Is A Wonderful Thing
When S is playing at home, she is always in her own little imaginary world, either on her own, with her little sister or friends. Whether it is with her little sister and playing mummies and daddies, roaring like a dinosaur, hiding from monsters, dressing up, you name it, she gets completely lost in her own little world.
This type of imaginary play can be spurred on by anything, like something she has learnt at preschool, a television programme that she has watched, or a book that has been read to her. I personally just love sitting back and observing her when she plays like this but sometimes she wants me to join in and I do. Just yesterday she decided that her, myself and her little sister would build a rocket and fly up to the moon for a picnic, so that is what we did!
Sometimes You Have To Put Yourself Out There
As previously mentioned, we moved from Geneva in Switzerland just over a year ago. This meant that S would obviously be going to a new preschool here in the UK.
At first it was very difficult to get the correct hours for the preschool that we wanted, despite being on their list for months before. To get the hours that we needed, S ended up splitting her time between two different settings. This obviously meant, two lots of teachers, two very different environments and two lots of friendship groups. I was initially quite anxious about how she would feel and get on, but I needn’t have been, as she wasn’t phased at all and just jumped straight in.
Now she just attends one of them and again, I was worried that she would be sad, as obviously this means yet more change, as well as saying goodbye to her friends. However, she was surprisingly fine and took it all in her stride.
She is the same with making new friends, if she likes the look of somebody and wants to play with them, wether thats at nursery, on holiday or in the park, she just goes up to them and starts chatting and before you know it, she has made a new friend! I am always so impressed with this and I personally find that it’s her willingness and confidence to go out there and just do it, that inspires me.
Take Fashion Risks
There is no denying it, S absolutely loves clothes. In fact, most people that know her would say that she has a huge passion for it. The first thing that she does when she gets home from preschool is run upstairs to get changed, this can be up to three different outfits changes; then before she goes to bed she will decide which outfit she will wear for preschool the following day. This takes ages, as she um’s and ah’s. Unfortunately her school in September does not have a uniform for reception class, which frustrates me, as I am so looking forward to the day that we have no outfit dramas.
S not only puts outfits together for herself but she will lay out clothes for her little sister. Most of the time I am actually impressed as the outfits look great, other times not so much. However she always stands there with such confidence and just runs with it. She wears what she likes and doesn’t care what anyone says about it.
Don’t Keep Your Emotions Bottled Up Inside
S wastes no time at all in showing us how she is feeling, if she is sad she will cry, angry she will stomp and shout, happy she will laugh, you get the gist. So far, I can read her like a book, wether that carries on who knows. What I do know, is that emotions are better out then in and she certainly does it very well. (Maybe less of the tantrums though please!)
It Is Okay To Get Dirty And Make A Mess
I like a tidy house, but sometimes I have to accept that their will be a mess. (I have to admit that I do find this quite hard, as I am a bit of a neat and tidy freak)
However, I do love collecting her and seeing the little girl who I dropped off at preschool neatly dressed, with her hair up in plaits, now looking messy and happy, with maybe a paint stain here and there. I know that it just means that she’s had a lovely day.
I won’t pretend that this doesn’t mean lots of washing and sometimes the odd stain or even ruined top, but I have learnt not be too precious about her clothes and also that Vanish is now my best friend!
Get Excited About The Small Things In Life
Last weekend, my hubby came back from the shop on Saturday morning, with croissants for breakfast. S has loved these ever since we lived in Switzerland and when we maybe eat them a bit more frequently. Now, S really sees having one as a treat and you would think that she had won the lottery when her Daddy returned. She was running around the house and squealing with excitement. All of that for a croissant!
S turning four has been a big deal, as I can’t believe how much she has grown up and changed in those short years. As I previously mentioned, she spent the days leading up to her birthday constantly asking me the question, How many days until I’m four Mummy? Then once she was four years old, she told anyone and everyone that would listen, that she was now four and bigger than her sister, and now its the question of, ‘Mummy, when will I be five’? School is on the horizon and she will start in September and is more than ready. I am so happy for her and I have and will continue to learn so much from being her Mummy, but I do just wish that life would slow down a bit.