Dear Girls, Choose What’s Right For You

Dear Girls*

I want to tell you something about this world I brought you into and I want you to remember that it’s love that brought you here. Love, and destiny, maybe, or purpose. For some reason, it was you that made it earthside. Here’s the thing I want you to know about this world:

No matter what you do, it will be wrong to someone. So whatever you do, do it because it’s right for you.

I know that I am doing the best I can in raising you. I know that I’m trying to teach you to have manners at the table, and to run barefoot through the woods. I am trying to teach you to play nicely with others, and to hold your hand up and say “stop” when others aren’t playing nicely with you. I am trying to teach you to sit like a lady and to run screaming through the woods howling like a banshee. I’m trying to teach you to clean your ears and brush your teeth and I’m also trying to teach you to camp with no ablutions for a long weekend and come out from the trees looking like a feral wolf.in-the-eyeRead more: Dear Girls, Choose What’s Right For You

Dear Ameli – Letter To A Big Sister (2 Years 6 Months)

Dear Ameli

You, young lady, are the new benchmark for sisterhood in my world. You have surprised me, blown my expectations out the water and a few tough days aside, have made our transition from three to four so much easier than I thought it would be.

During Aviya’s birth you were such a star. We baked a cake, then you were in the pool with me, and later, while I was giving birth, you were next to the pool, busy with Nana sticking your stickers, building your puzzles, and every now and again looking up and checking in to see what was going on.

I loved having you close by. I loved being able to see you. While we were in the pool, before you got out, I pulled you closer to me and I gave you a huge cuddle. I don’t remember what I said, exactly, but I know I was crying. I was saying good bye to my only child.

After we raised Aviya out of the water, you came around to have a look, and the first thing you asked was “Can it walk?” We did laugh at that.

After the birth, you were the first to want to cuddle your ‘baby sister’ and over the weeks that have followed you’ve taken every opportunity to cuddle her, hold her, kiss her, and lie with her. When I put her next to you in bed, you put your arms around her, when I tandem feed you both, you hold on to her. Your affection is amazing. Hearing you say to her, unprompted by us, “I love you so much baby sister..”, well, it melts me and I feel like the most blessed mother in the world.

In the weeks since her birth you’ve been so helpful, and considerate. If I’m feeding you and she wakes up, you’ll finish before you’re really finished so that I can feed her. When I tell you I’ll do something with you once she’s asleep, you’ll play quietly (most of the time) so that I can get her down. You really have accepted her in so wholly, it’s been incredible to observe.

The health visitor came along when Aviya was two weeks old and asked how you were adjusting. When I told her how well you were doing, she said it was a massive compliment to us, and to how we parent you. She said it means that you’ve not felt threatened or replaced, the way it should be. It was vindicating and incredibly nice to hear, especially at such an uncertain time.

Having a sister has definitely impacted on you. In the weeks leading up to her birth, you finally at almost two and a half, started sleeping through the night. It lasted for about three glorious weeks. Then you reverted to four times a night waking and nursing. That’s more than your newborn sister!

On the up side, after a few days of attempting to get you onto a potty, then giving it up again for almost a week, you woke up one morning and went on the potty all by yourself. It was a fantastic week with just two accidents. Then, for no particular reason you regressed again and we have as many hits as misses right now. Never mind… it’ll take as long as it takes, I guess!

You are so incredibly outgoing and friendly. Sometimes it scares me a little, actually! This week we walked out of the house and I said ‘Now where did daddy park the car?’ A lady happened to be walking past and you said to her ‘Do YOU know where my daddy parked the car yesterday?’. No, she said, but what colour was it? “Silver and black is our car”, you said. We found the car, in the end, but it made me laugh.

A few days later we were on the train to London. You asked to hold ‘my sister’ – whom you sometimes call Missy Pops! – so you were holding her while I folded up the sling. There were two guys sitting opposite us, and you turned to them and said “This is my sister. She was born in the swimmingpool and I was wearing my red swimming costume.” They asked you if you’d been at the birth, and you responded: “Yes, my sister was in mama’s tummy.” I was happy to stop the conversation there!

I’m trying to get better at things like crafts and so on with you, but I do find it hard. I hate mess, and I get really frustrated that you’re still too young to draw in the lines and so on, but that’s totally on me – you do perfectly well for your age.

It’s been quite full on since Nana left. We do okay, but I’m tired a lot. I work a lot to try to keep this here roof over our heads and food on the table, but it means I’m tired and very, very busy. I wish this part was different. I wish I didn’t have to work so much and I wish I could give you both more of myself, and of my time. I wish this babymooning phase could be more babymoon and less stress. But, we’re all doing the best we can.

I’ve felt quite acutely, the addition of another to our little unit. I’ve gotten into bed with Aviya at night, and reached over to your spot in the bed, knowing that you’re not there, but with daddy, and I’ve cried for missing you so much. I miss the closeness of our relationship, and I’ve missed our one on one time together. I really look forward to having some of that again down the line. Today, with Aviya almost six weeks old, you and I went to the shop on our own together for the first time. It was nice. I love my baby, but I do miss my little girl.

Well, that’s all for now, as I can hear you stirring upstairs, and I need to get our lunch ready and feed Aviya too.

I love you Ameli.

For all time, Big Girl.

Mama

Letter To A 28/29 Month Old – Last Letter To An Only Child

Dear Ameli,

I’m a few weeks late with your 28 month letter – so late, in fact, that it’s nearer to a 29 month letter now, but I really wanted to write to you one more time as an only child. I suppose technically you haven’t been an only child for almost nine months now, but you’re just not aware of it yet. While Daddy and I have been making space in the home and our lives, hearts and thinking for this new baby, you’ve been blissfully unaware of how everything in your world is about to change.Read more: Letter To A 28/29 Month Old – Last Letter To An Only Child

Dear Ameli – Letter To A 27 Month Old

Dear Ameli,

Happy 27 months my girl. I was putting you down for a nap this afternoon and lying there, watching you I thought, “this is a kind of magic”.  You had your one arm under my neck and the other on my waist and as you were drifting off you whispered, “Don’t leave me, Mama.” I lay with you for a little while and stared at your face. This is a kind of magic.Read more: Dear Ameli – Letter To A 27 Month Old

Dear Ameli – Letter To A 25 Month Old

Dear Ameli

You’ve become a whole little person. Wilful, feisty, funny. You have strong opinions, and a strong will. You have shown me, this month, what trial looks like, and patience. I had an incredibly hard time, at the start of the month. I struggled to cope with what you were going through. You were aggressive, busy, noisy, and so incredibly stubborn I could bang my head against a brick wall and get more reaction.

It took me a while to figure it out: You’re the toddler. I’m battling wills with a two year old. I’m throwing tantrums because you’re not doing what I want you to do. You’re exerting your will and gaining independence of thought – and that’s not something I want to stifle.  When I realised that, and made peace with it, and became okay with it our days have changed. We have more fun. We laugh more. We fight less.

Don’t get excited – it’s not smooth sailing.  You still scream several shades of murder if I try to change your nappy, or if Daddy and I try to talk to each other. But about two weeks after coming to the conclusion that all this amazing “self” that is being developed in you has to come at a price.Read more: Dear Ameli – Letter To A 25 Month Old

Dear Ameli – Letter to A Two Year Old

Dear Ameli

I’ve started this letter to you so many times already, and keep deleting what I’ve written because what I’m writing just doesn’t quite match up to the intensity I’m feeling. This has been a full-on month in our story.

You are two years old. We had a birthday party for you at home. It was a Winnie the Pooh themed party and despite being really tired, weak and still somewhat ill, I put on my best face for the day, and tried to make it a good day for you, whether you’ll remember it or not.Read more: Dear Ameli – Letter to A Two Year Old

Dear Ameli– Letter to a 23 month old

Hello beautiful girl.

You are 23 months old! In just one month, you are going to be a two year old. I can’t even begin to tell you how that fact flabbergasts me.

We’ve spent the last month in South Africa, and you’ve just blossomed. Aunty Deshaine saw you four weeks ago, and this week again and she can’t believe how much you’ve changed in just that time. You have new words, many of them, and your comprehension is phenomenal. You know what things mean – like if I say we’ll see aunty Desh on Monday, and you see her, you will ‘remind’ me, that it’s Monday and there’s aunty Desh. It’s amazing. You amaze me.

I guess being here, being played with, being in the sun, active and involved with the world around you has made a big impact, since you have been so much better at sleeping this month. You normally go down for a nap in the day, and at night there’s no fight about sleeping. It’s been wonderful. Refreshing, and wonderful.
Read more: Dear Ameli– Letter to a 23 month old

Dear Ameli – Letter To A 22 Month Old

Dear Ameli,

 

This is just a short letter to you, to celebrate the fact that you turned 22 months old today. It’s short because I am really tired, sitting in front of a roaring log fire, and you are snoring away on the sofa next to me. I want little more than to snuggle in bed with you as soon as possible.

 

We’re in South Africa again. It happened really fast – I was really very sick and struggling, and you weren’t coping well with being cooped up at home every day. Daddy was trying to work full time, and still look after you and me and it was all getting a bit much for all of us, so Oupa invited you and me to join him and Nana on their farewell road trip before they immigrate to Australia.  I agreed, not because I am really in the mood for travelling, but rather because I really need someone to give you special attention, and run and play with you on a daily basis – something I’m really not strong enough to do at the moment.
Read more: Dear Ameli – Letter To A 22 Month Old

Letter To A 21 Month Old – Dear Ameli

Hello beautiful girl,

Yesterday you turned 21 months old, and right now, I think of you and little butterflies flutter in my heart and bring a smile to my face. I wish I could formulate words to tell you how perfect I think you are. Of course, you’re a toddler. You refuse to pick up your toys when I ask you, and turn your head away pretending you can’t hear me when I ask you to go call Daddy for me. You’re by no means ‘perfect’, but you are my perfect little girl.
Read more: Letter To A 21 Month Old – Dear Ameli

Dear Ameli- Letter To A 20 Month Old

Dear Ameli,

The days go by so fast. I can’t believe so many things: We’ve been back in the UK for two months, you’re twenty months old, all but your nappies have changed from baby to little girl.

Your development is out of this world. I’ve been taking little videos of you almost every day, just to try to keep up. New words enter your vocabulary all the time, and honestly, sometimes you come up with the cutest things.
Read more: Dear Ameli- Letter To A 20 Month Old