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 â€“ 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.Â 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 â€“ something I’m really not strong enough to do at the moment.
The doctor gave me pills to take to help with the sickness, but I have major concerns over them, so I’ve been taking half the dose once a day, just to stop me throwing up all day. It’s worked, but I’m still very nauseous and don’t feel like doing much most of the time.
It’s been wonderful seeing you with your Aunty Deshaine, Nanna and Oupa again, and although we’re not the happiest of families, you definitely bring a smile to everyone’s faces and encompass a whole unifying front in one small body.
I have to tell you, little girl, that you have made me proud so many times, even just in the last week.
On the plane, despite an hour and fort-five minutes sitting on an unmoving plane, you were so well behaved, and such a little star that people came up to me afterwards to say what a pleasure you were to travel with. As per usual, you made even tired, cooped up people smile with your excited attitude and wonderful spirit.
Since we’ve been here, you’ve displayed wonderful manners, saying your â€˜pleases’ and â€˜thank you’s’ to all the right people at the right time, and manners are a very big deal in Afrikaans society. You’ve been polite and kind and sweet, without my prompting, and that’s made me incredibly proud without feeling like I’ve had to hang over you and dictate to you.
You’ve slotted right in and become entirely comfortable within this family dynamic, and while I’ve not been as sick as I was at home, I am so grateful to Oupa for this opportunity, not only just to have help with you, but also to have a bit of a rest, and to see them before their big move.
You’ve also amazed us all this month with your amazing vocabulary. Not only can you hold a pretty decent conversation, but you can count up to 8, and can actually read the numbers and some letters, such as â€œEâ€. Daddy and I were standing in a bank the other day and there was a box with the sign E4 on it. You read out loud â€œEâ€ and â€œ4â€. We were so surprised. And at the airport you announced that we were standing next to the baggage claim thing number â€œEIGHT!â€ which we were. Then you pointed at â€œSEVENâ€ and gleefully informed the whole room that there was a seven there.Â I think that’s pretty impressive, especially since I’ve not been trying to teach you.
You’ve now started singing the songs we’ve sung to you since birth, with your favourites to sing yourself now being Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Row Row Row Your Boat, although you do have requests sometimes for the others.
As always, little girl, it’s an amazing honour and blessing being part of your growing up.
I love you