Tag: open letter

An open letter to the Little Mister.

Hey dude,

I know it’s not your birthday or any particular milestone, but I’m your mum and I reserve the right to be mushy at any time I like. I think it’s just this stage you’re at, which makes me feel particularly sentimental. I thought I’d write you a letter to tell you what it’s like to be your mum right now. Spoiler alert, it’s pretty cool.

You’re five and a half. You’re in pre-primary at school. You’re so little, but you’re so grown up. Your thirst for learning is amazing to me. Even though you spend five full days at school a week, you spend every other moment you’re with me asking questions about the world and how it works. You want to practice writing and drawing and finding out about numbers. Sometimes it’s exhausting and I might occasionally tell you to take a little break, but I am grateful you want to practice what you’re learning. Your enthusiasm for life in general is just amazing. I’ve learned a lot just by trying to teach you!

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how special this time of your life is to me. I realise you’re growing up so fast, but you still need me in so many ways. It’s actually a pretty sweet spot. Like you can wipe your own backside (haha sorry to bring that up), dress yourself, take care of some chores (often with a bit of nagging/bribing/bargaining/disciplinary strategy haha) and play independently, but I still have an important and active/hands on role in looking after you emotionally and physically.

You jump all over me because you need to be close to me. You will spontaneously explode with “I LOVE YOU” at random times. You’ll say, “Look how much I love you, Mummy!” and you’ll reach up as far as you can, arms stretched, tippy toes in full effect.

“THIS MUCH!”

Your eyes search for me in a crowd with such an urgency that it makes my heart want to burst (dude when you are old enough to watch the movie Lion you will understand why I bawled during it). It makes me feel so good to know that you don’t have to worry – I’m right there (in a not creepy, not too helicoptery way of course).

You want to be seen with me. You’re so proud that I’m your mum. You introduce me to people like you think I’m the most amazing person ever. Even though we both know I’m far from perfect! I mean, you’ve met me during the bitching witching hour. You’ve seen when I’ve forgotten things for school or when we’re running late. You know I sometimes slip up and say ‘naughty’ words. Oops! We both know what’s up haha.

I know that one day you won’t even want your friends to know you have a mother so I’m treasuring this!

You can walk alone without me worrying as much as I had to during the toddler years, but you will still hold my hand and let me keep you safe. Sometimes you will put your hand in mine just because you love holding hands.

You compliment me when I wear something new. You always tell me I’m looking beautiful or pretty. Even though I will always want you to know there’s much more to a woman than her looks, it really does melt me. Never hesitate to pay compliments when you feel them bubble up inside you. We need more kind words in this world!

There’s just something so freaking endearing about seeing a little boy behaving in such grown up ways, but also needing his teddy bears, all of his sleepy toys and his cuddles with his parents.

It means so much to me that you tell me you want to grow up to be a daddy, husband and a teacher (also a rock star – I guess your mum’s taste in music has rubbed off on you a bit haha). You see all three of those things as equally important and noble. Holy shit I’d love to take credit for that, but I think this is all you and your beautiful soul. It’s so gorgeous when you look at me with a furrowed brow and say, “How am I even going to be able to do it all??”

Oh, buddy. I can’t even begin to tell you the half of it!

I know this letter might be quite flattering to your little ego, but try not to get too big a head. Don’t forget to stay humble, be a little less of a busy body, don’t throw your weight around when you’re tired, use your inside voice and CLEAN UP YOUR DAMN LEGO.

I love you so much,

Mum.

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Four.

 

Dear Little Mister,

I can’t believe you’re four today. FOUR. That’s such a big number. I’ve always thought of FOUR as a pretty big deal. I mean, that’s pretty grown up. You’re like a fully fledged KID now. Not a baby. Not a toddler. A KID.

A kid who loves the colour green and is starting to become interested in dinosaurs. A kid who is incredibly caring, bossy, affectionate, creative, inquisitive and NOISY.

Right now, you swear that you do not like chicken. At all. You think chicken is just so not an option. Unless you’re eating chicken nuggets. I mean, duh.

When my mum is on holiday, you ask Siri to search for Nanna (like you literally want to find her). You think everyone can see you when you’re talking on the phone so you try to show people things around the house and they have no idea what’s going on. You still call my iPad an OurPad because I share it with you when you’re being good. It makes sense to you, I guess! Nice try, buddy haha.

You’re the biggest dibber dobber on the planet. You call Daddy out when he’s sneaking chocolate from the top shelf of the fridge (where we keep the good stuff). Nothing gets by you. NOTHING. I think I only JUST got by with hiding your birthday presents this year. Santa is going to have to be really really clever this time around, I think.

You’re always singing. Whether it’s a song you learnt at school, something that’s popular at the moment, or something you’ve made up. You literally wake up singing some days. I hope that’s a sign of a really happy kid. Some of my own happiest moments are the times you burst out into song when we are least expecting it. It’s still freakin’ adorable when you mix the lyrics up. I COULD JUST EAT YOU. Well, figuratively speaking.

Can I just say that I am very proud of the toilet training progress you’ve made in the past year? It was a big milestone (for me) when you started to go to the toilet on your own. So much of my day is freed up now (no joke) and I love how grown up you feel when you can take care of it all! We still have to remind you to work on your aim sometimes, but hey, things are going pretty well! I remember being so scared before you started toilet training. I think almost every parent gets worried their kid might still be in nappies by high school at some point. It’s so awesome to see how far you’ve come. I love that you can dress yourself and that you pick your own outfits. Yesterday’s Hawaiian shirt was something to behold.

You’re cheeky and you have the best sense of humour. Your comedic timing is spot on. You’re such a natural performer. I can see we’re going to have to find ways to channel that energy as you get older!

You start 4 year old kindy at the ‘big’ school in a few months. I can’t believe it. It’s so bittersweet for me! You’re growing up so fast! I want you to know that I don’t just love you but I really really like you. Even when you’re losing the plot and the house is a ball of noise and everybody is tired, we get by and we learn some lessons together. There are always some more laughs to be had, soon enough. I hope I’m a good teacher, because I’ll tell you this – I’m learning all the time too.

I hope that the year ahead is full of brand new, wonderful memories.

Lots of love,

Mummy.

Three.

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Dear Little Mister,

Today you are 3. You are also the best little buddy I could ask for. I read somewhere that you should never call your son ‘buddy’ or ‘mate’, because then you are not setting the boundaries between parent and child firmly enough. Well, that’s crap. I know that you know I’m mum. I’m very clear about that!

BUT…you are my little buddy too. You make boring things interesting. You come with me everywhere I go (OK so it’s not ALWAYS ideal but I love ya). You keep me company, while I wait. For anything. You make me laugh. I love love love that you’re young enough to think of me as your best friend too. I shall cherish this for as long as it lasts (which I am sure is not long enough).

You’re a threenager now. That’s for sure. For the first time in your whole life, I’m finding my patience pushed, stretched and tested. You will scream ‘no’ fifty times to a lovely snack I’ve provided for you, then a few minutes later I’ll find you munching on that same thing when you think I’m not looking. What tantrum, Mum? You’ll boss me about, interrupt my adult conversations, look me straight in the eye as you do something I’ve just told you not to do…because you want to see what happens. Each growth spurt, each new development, you will spend days extra tired and…hangry. Really hangry. You’ll wake in the night all worried and bothered.

But damn it, you’re cute. This is a cute age. You’re definitely your own little person now! We have conversations. We walk alongside each other. We disagree on things, because you have your own opinions. Sure, they’re rarely based on fact or logic, but we’ll get to that. I assure you, little man, that Granny really is Nanna’s Mummy just as much as I am Nanna’s daughter…but for now we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

I love the way you snuggle in close to my neck when we hug. I love the way you are always looking out for everybody. I love that you are so friendly. I want to jump up and down with happiness when I see you saying please, thank you and sorry. You say each word with such sincerity. You really mean your manners. It means so much to me. I’d love to take all the credit but really, you are just one good little guy.

You’re sensitive. You take things to heart. You can be quite dramatic (gee I don’t know where you get it from). But you rarely hit out. I once witnessed you walking up to another toddler who had smacked you in the arm, saying firmly, “Ow. You hurt me.” with such impressive (for a 2 year old) articulation of your feelings. Sure, he hit you again for your troubles (intervention was necessary), but in that moment I have never been prouder of you. You stood up for yourself and you were not mean. I love you so much. Your communication skills impress me.

I love how you dance. I love how you sing. I love watching you play when you think I’m not watching. I love your wicked sense of humour. I love the unintentionally cute things you say every single day – you’ve never let me down with the hilarity. I love the way you laugh and the way you try to communicate with me with silly made up sounds. I love how observant you are (although it keeps me on my toes). You always know when I’ve done something with my hair, painted my nails a different colour or bought a new pair of shoes (the ladies like that). I melt when you think I’m beautiful and I laugh when you say my face is yucky because you don’t like my make up. Your honesty is fantastic (it’s lucky you’re cute)!

You’re always trying out something new. Lately you’ve been telling people to have a nice day. You sound like you work on the check outs at the supermarket, but at least you mean it haha.

For a while you wouldn’t let anyone call you anything but your first and last name. Your full name at all times. You’re slowly softening your stance and I secretly fist pump when I can sneak in a cute nickname. I totally called you ‘sweetie’ like five times yesterday and you didn’t even correct me. You’re slipping in your old age!

You like things a certain way and you are always trying to rearrange chairs or cushions or something. One day our couch is a boat in crocodile infested waters, another day you’ve built a barn filled with imaginary farm animals. You’re amazing with your Duplo now. So creative. I know because you show me every single creation you’ve ever made and I’m always being told (not asked) to fish around for all the stray pieces that have ended up under the couch.

You love playing outside. Any chance and you’re barrelling out of the sliding door, big red bubble car at the ready. You especially love time with your dad. You have taken to calling him ‘my daddy’ and it melts my heart. He’s not just any daddy, he’s your daddy.

You love to pretend to be a dog. That’s pretty funny. You call yourself Heidi-dog because that’s the name of our dog. You love her so much. I have photos of you pretending to be one of the dogs, waiting for your dad to throw a stick at the beach. Just letting you know in advance, before they come out at your 21st birthday.

Yesterday we were lined up at the council offices to pay a couple of bills. The queue was kind of long and you looked at me, confused. You asked me where everybody’s suitcases were. I had to explain that even though everyone was lined up, it wasn’t an airport (to the amusement of the lady in front of us). I could have eaten you right up at that moment. So freakin’ adorable. It’s those little moments that just make my day. If anyone ever asks if parenthood is worth the trouble, I say yes. Just for the silly little moments like that. They are priceless.

I love how well travelled you are. You have so many stamps in your passport and you’re only 3! Japan, Korea, Singapore. Even a couple of trips to Tasmania – that’s technically overseas, right? You’ve experienced stuff that some people take a lifetime to ever have a go at. Dude, you’ve sat in a genuine Japanese restaurant and have eaten real, honest to goodness gyoza dumplings and sushi. MADE BY JAPANESE PEOPLE IN JAPAN. You’ve napped at the Shibuya crossing like it’s no big deal. You’ve walked the streets of Korea. That is just so f*cking cool. Sorry for the swear words, but I figure by the time you read this, you’ll be old enough to handle it.

For all that cultural experience, I secretly love that you think poo is a hilarious word. That when you fart, it sends you into so many giggles (the kind where you’ve lost control of your laughter). Toilet humour starts early, folks. Once you announced to complete strangers that you ‘done a wee’. So there’s that.

We’re working on toilet training. We’ve had some setbacks but I know you’ll let me know when you’re ready to go all the way with it. You’re a bright kid. I have faith. Eep! Next year is day care once a week, buddy. As much as I am ready for this stage, don’t think I’m not a little irrationally nervous!

I can’t wait to see what the year of 3 brings. As much as it can be bittersweet at times, I love watching you grow. Each new milestone is genuinely exciting.

I hope you have a fabulous day. I promise there will be cake.

Happy birthday, my ray of sunshine.

Love,

Mummy.

A letter to myself BC (Before Child).

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Dear Kez Before Kids,

Future Kez here – Kez with Kid. Reporting from 2014 as a mother of a very gorgeous, active and bright 2 old. See, even as you’re reading this letter, you’re thinking, “How do you know your kid is gorgeous and bright? That’s a little bit up yourself. When I have kids, I’m not going to describe my kid like that. It’s probably just a normal sh*tty kid. You’re just one of those mothers who’s gotten sucked into thinking that your child is the best ever. Yuck.”

Well, I’ve got news for you. You will be biased as f*ck once you have your own child. I’m not kidding. You’ll know your toddler is not perfect and you’ll endeavour to keep him grounded and disciplined, but seriously? You’re going to think that your child is sooooo cute and sooooo smart – even when their answer to everything is currently “no” and spilling snacks on the floor is their favourite hobby. Just maybe keep it to yourself around certain people 😉

Here is my advice to you – stuff you don’t know right now, that you will need to learn very fast when you become me (Kez with Kid)!

You’re skinnier than you think you are

Seriously. You don’t believe me? While you’re moaning and whining and wearing clothing that covers you up, you’re missing out on the best you’ll look in a while. I know you’ll get back to something really fit looking one day with a bit of hard work (we’re still not there yet), but trust me on this one. You CAN wear a bikini. You do look cute in that outfit. You just don’t know it yet and if you don’t read this letter, you won’t realise until it’s a bit too late and you’ve got these weird love handles, faded stretch marks and a C-section scar that is not as subtle as you might expect.

Live life to the fullest and stop worrying about your looks. Your vanity will fly out the window (of the maternity ward at the hospital) quicker than you can imagine. You’ll be tired. You’ll have less time to get ready each day. It will be harder to buy clothes (trying them on is near on impossible with a toddler in tow and did you know kids cost a lot?). You’ll learn to love yourself with all the extra scars, lumps and bumps, but you’ll also realise you wished you loved yourself before those scars, lumps and bumps came into your life.

Right now you have (easier) access to any groceries you want, any time (and all the time in the world to plan great meals). You have no excuse for not eating healthier or exercising. Trust me, it will get harder. You’ll be time poor and at times you’ll be so exhausted your motivation to exercise will be much lower. The full on, heart pumping exercise you enjoy right now (Zumba at the gym and your exercise bike) will only be possible if you can have time without your little one, which is another challenge. Don’t worry, you’ll find a way around it – even if it seems sporadic and harder to plan for. Wii games and exercise DVDs (you will find a couple that aren’t completely obnoxious) will be your best friend when you can’t get out and about! x

You’re going to have a rough pregnancy riddled with mystery rashes and gestational diabetes, so enjoy your free range of movement and comfort NOW!

Don’t take simple things for granted

See what you’re doing there? You’re wandering about the house alone in a t-shirt and undies (without a small child loudly asking where your pants are). On your lazy day off, you’re home alone just wandering from the TV to the computer to the fridge. You’re getting some yummy food, preparing it (taking as long as you like – you’re in no rush), you’re eating it in peace. You’re going to the toilet when you need to (ALONE). You’re watching movies/TV shows that feature sexiness or violence or swear words – in the open area of the house. You’re napping occasionally when you need it. Later you’re going to get ready for a night out on the town. Just you, your cute little purse clutch – containing your lip gloss, phone and keys. Off you go in a big rush at the last minute! Climb in the driver’s seat of your car and zoom you’re out of there! Tomorrow, you’ll sleep in. As long as your body needs.

Now don’t get me wrong, you won’t turn into that cow who loves to tell people without kids that their lives are sooooo easy and they have no right to whinge. You do have that right. I am not judging. You are studying hard a lot at uni and throwing your whole self into it. In between that you are working. You and Mr Unprepared go through some hardships and life throws some challenges at you that you wouldn’t wish on anyone. Life is challenging either way (kids or no kids). You’ll lose sleep over university assignments and you’ll fret over relationship/family stuff. You’re tired now and I validate that. Just so you know. I hope you’re relieved about that. I mean, we all hope we won’t be THAT person. Take comfort in knowing we are not one of them. At least I don’t think we are and we try our very best not to be.

Housework? Oh, I hear you thinking that can wait. God, you hate housework. So boring. Put it off all the time. Yuck. Well, one day, going to the supermarket alone and having time to do housework without a little person hanging off you and whining will feel about as exhilarating as a tropical holiday. No joke. So will driving in the car alone. AMAZEBALLS.

Sounds boring to you, right now, but one day you’ll look back on these weekend days off and think – WOW. I HAD IT AWESOME! None of the activities I’ve described above will be the same again for a VERY long time.

Enjoy your pre-parenting life to the fullest. Find joy in everything. Get rid of the things that make you unhealthy or unhappy. Those things won’t matter to you when you become me (Kez with Kid). You will enjoy your new life with a child enormously but it will be a different enjoyment.

You will do almost all the things you swear you won’t do as a parent

Right now you’re so optimistic. So full of great ideas and ideals. I think that’s awesome that you dream of being a wonderful parent, that you’re already thinking of things you can do to be the best parent you can be when the day comes. You’ve been watching other parents you know and weighing up the different things they do and even though you’re not prone to being an overly judgemental person, it has helped you form your own ideas of what you’d like to do and what you don’t want to do when raising your future child.

I know you want to be one of those ‘cool’ parents who doesn’t skip a beat in their social life, but did you know that your child’s nap time will quickly become the most important part of your day and come hell or high water you will not want to skip that? Which makes it difficult – especially when your future boy (yes – it’s a boy!) naps right over lunch time (from about the age of 1 onwards). Those SAHM (Stay at Home Mum) lunch dates you’re dreaming of will become almost impossible – except for those days you just don’t care anymore or the universe seems to give its blessing for (which won’t happen often)! Sometimes you’ll be just too damn tired to have a big girls’ night out. Other times you will find that plans aren’t always so child friendly and babysitting is not as ‘on tap’ as you might have once imagined (although all the grandparents are so helpful whenever they can be).

You’ll occasionally be so exhausted that TV is a tempting babysitter. You will give in. Your child will eat cake, ice cream and other ‘bad’ stuff (especially around the grandparents haha) – although, you’ll be pleased to know you will not completely abandon your will to keep him healthy. You will realise these things won’t kill him, but that moderation is important too. You’re doing an OK job!

You’ll start a blog and somehow it will become mostly about the fact that you’re a parent. Just accept it. In fact, you’ll meet a lot of other bloggers and parents through it and they will make your journey so much more enjoyable/enriched as you learn about each others’ lives and parenting stories/advice.

You’ll struggle to be on time. Yes you. Punctuality queen. You’ll find there are only two options with you. Too early or late. There is no in between. Just keep doing your best. I’m sure one day you’ll figure it out.

You’ll surpass your own expectations

Don’t worry. It’s not ALL worse than you were imagining before you got this letter from me (Kez with Kid). Sometimes you’ll surprise yourself with what you can achieve as a parent (or woman who just happens to be a parent).

After we cancelled the Contiki tour on discovery of our pregnancy (yeah – sorry – bad news I’m afraid – Europe is off – don’t cry), I thought that I would not travel on a plane until my children were like 10 years old. As someone who sadly missed the young adults’ rite of passage with drunken overseas travel tours (but luckily at least you’ll fit in a couple of trips to Thailand), I thought we were doomed, Kez Before Kids. Not so. Circumstances sent us to Tasmania twice with the Little Mister (do you like his cute blog moniker?), you make it over there once without him (and you are sorely disappointed with how sad and tired you are instead of revelling in your freedom) and right now I have a trip planned with the family to Japan and Korea! Yep! With a 2 year old! Who would have thought you would get so brave? Awesome, right?

You’ll grow some muscles. Yes. In your arms. You will be carrying a 16kg toddler in no time. Without even really thinking about it! Who would have ever thought the girl who couldn’t even do one chin up can do such a thing?! You’ll find it hard with a chubby newborn, but you won’t believe how fast your strength will grow with him. This will do great things for your confidence and you will dare to try more things because of this newfound strength. Also? You’ll be able to carry like 15 bags of groceries into the house in one go. Like a boss.

Sure, your life will never be the same and certain freedoms you took for granted will be limited, but the really cool thing? You won’t grieve for those things for very long or very often. You’ll laugh about them more than anything. You will learn to say no to things that aren’t best for you or your family and you will go through a lot that will teach you to love yourself and to be more assertive – something I know you struggle with right now. Also, you’ll be surrounded by supportive people – several of who will be in the same life stages as you – so you won’t feel like you’ve given up too much. You’ll just adapt to a new lifestyle – it’s healthier (apart from the sleep deprivation and occasional comfort food).You’ll be ready to be a mum when you start trying for a baby. It’s OK. You’ll be satisfied that you’re ready to give some things up in order to gain something really new and special.

Also? Your kid will sleep well (for a baby that is)! He’ll have a ridiculous sense of humour from the get go (so you’ll know for sure he’s yours). He’ll be caring and very sociable. He will have a smile that will melt you. He will be very healthy (just disregard the first couple of days of his life – he’ll bounce back better than you). WOOHOO! Now that’s something to look forward to!

Now go and enjoy your skinniness and your ability to use both hands at once! I urge you! 🙂

Love from Kez with Kid.

xoxo

Two.

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To my special Little Mister,

Today you are TWO! I have been excited about this for weeks! Maybe even months ( I might have been a bit enthusiastic at the annual mid year toy sales)! I cannot wait to wake you up, so we can give you your presents and do everything we can to make your day special. We’re going to have morning tea with your great grandparents, Granny and Gramps (followed by an obligatory visit to the park). This is so special, because not everyone gets to meet their great grandparents during their lifetimes and you are very lucky. I really hope you’ll be able to remember them when you are much older 🙂

I must say, I have really, truly enjoyed this past year with you. Toddlerhood has been trying at times (for both of us), but so much fun! You have new ways to communicate, new ways to move and your sense of humour has not gone anywhere (which makes me so happy)!

Now that you’re running around, we can do so many more things and it makes me happy when you don’t have to be trapped in a stroller all the time. You hold your own in the backyard with the dogs, ride in your much loved bubble car and when it’s not too busy at the shops, you love strutting (yes STRUTTING) in while holding my hand. When there are two adults with you, you love to make sure you’re holding the hands of both. Occasionally, you’ll think it’s time to have a swing between us, but you never let us know in advance so you end up flopped on the floor a bit haha.

You love the park. You call slides ‘hee-hee’s’ and I think that speaks to your sense of fun! You get the cutest enchanted smile on your face when you’re on the swings and you’re starting to learn how to climb up ladders with confidence, which is a little scary for me, but makes me proud. You love bike rides with your dad (you in the snazzy red trailer bossing him about and pointing out passing cars) and you get so excited when you know it’s going to happen. I’ve fended off many a meltdown when you had to come home from a ride or when your dad has taken a little longer than usual to get ready for one.

You have become really bossy of late. It both greatly amuses and annoys me! You’ll nod your head frantically if someone asks you a question, “Do you want me to sit down here?”
It’s like you’re just so pleased that people understand what you want. That makes me happy for you, but it’s tough saying no to you (I still do it though – Mum’s the boss)!

Whether it’s, “PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY”,  “SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT”, or “UP UP UP UP UP UP”, you’re always telling me what you want. Sometimes rather loudly. In public. You don’t have much of a concept of time – everything’s NOW (a word you thankfully have not learnt yet). I try to tell you what order we’re going to do things in, to make it easier.

My heart used to melt every time you asked for a “cug” (cuddle/hug), but now I think you’re using your powers for evil haha. When I hear the command (as opposed to request) HUG, I know that you just want to look at something high up or grab something you shouldn’t have!! Yep, you’re learning how to manipulate your loving captors. You keep me on my toes, but I’m secretly loving it – it’s a sign that you’re getting smarter and growing up! I just think, “You little bugger…” and we move forward with our day. Sometimes I’m pretty worn out by the time your dad gets home from work!!

And that thing where you somehow become boneless and impossible to scoop up from the floor? Genius.

Nothing makes me more excited than when you listen to me the first time, don’t spill your milk or when you have a successful nap! It’s awesome. The little things are still the things that make me happiest as your stay at home mummy!

I must mention that you are OBSESSED with cars. Obsessed! We have to acknowledge every car as we walk past it at the shops, you’ll let me know you’ve seen a car on the TV (every single time), and you love toy cars. You’ll clutch one in each hand and still try to carry out your daily activities somehow. I was so proud of myself when I snaffled a pack of racing car toys past you at the supermarket yesterday (to wrap up and present to you for your birthday) – hope you’re enjoying them today!

You’re doing really well at swimming lessons and you’re in the 3rd class up – advanced toddler. I almost had a heart attack the first time you swam by yourself to your dad. Mostly submerged but kicking and splashing nonetheless. So cool, little man!  I am so glad you’ve been visiting the pool since you were 4 months old –  you’re so much more confident now than I was at your age.

You’ve started chatting to your dad on the phone. You babble on for aaaaages when he’s calling from work and has no time, but he always listens to you. We have no idea what you’re talking about but seeing the pride on your face as you tell him something at length, just melts me. You know you’re doing something “grown up” and you just love being a part of that. It’s really quite cute.

While there are things I will enjoy about you growing up, I do wish I could keep you this age a little longer. You still have a nap during the day (although you go down later and sleep for a shorter time), you’re grown up enough to be a little independent, but still little enough to be my “baby” who needs me. Each time you learn something new, it’s just so exciting (for both of us) and I love seeing the world from your eyes and teaching you something whenever I see an opportunity.

You laugh like a dirty old man who smokes two packs a day. You love singing and dancing. You insist on picking out which shoes to wear each day. You love your fedora hat. Yoghurt makes your world go round. Your favourite colour (this week) is green (even though you don’t seem to understand the concept of colours yet). Your favourite number is 8 (you think every number you see written down is an 8). Grapes and sultanas are your two favourite fruits (yes they are the same thing haha), followed closely by banana. You love reading. You love people watching just like your mummy. For a little while you enjoyed carrying a potato around for no particular reason (“Toto!”). You pop up everywhere with a cheeky grin.

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I love your toddler quirks and your sense of adventure (except for when you see a little step and you shuffle down it on your bottom reeeeally slowly). Don’t ever lose that mischievous grin or that sparkle in your eyes. I could watch you pull ridiculous faces forever. I could not have asked for a more happy, sociable and sweet little boy. Of course I’m terribly biased, but really. You’re a gift.

I love you. Happy birthday, Little Mister.

I really hope you enjoy 2.

xxx

An apology.

Today we have a guest post…let’s just say my dogs have some ‘splainin’ to do. 

Dear Mum (aka Kez Unprepared) and Dad (Mr Unprepared),

We are very sorry for the latest incident which occurred overnight at our shared residence. As your first babies, we should have known better. We let ourselves get carried away and we deeply regret our actions.

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We knew we’d made a bit of a mistake when Mum and that little human you guys keep inside, found us snuggled up at the crime scene this morning. It just felt so bushy and warm. We hope you understand that direct eye contact is a little difficult at this time. We are trying to come to terms with what we have done. We were cold and we can’t help it if our instincts told us to make a nest. Sure, we have a big, spacious kennel out back but in all fairness we destroyed our bed too so we needed alternative accommodation. It’s not ALL our fault, you see. I think it would be only right for you to take some accountability here too. It does take four to tango. Not that we know what a tango is. But it sounds like something people do when they admit their dogs aren’t completely to blame for something that may or may not have allegedly happened. Our lawyer told us to say that.

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Our lawyer may or may not be a bug we weren’t fast enough to chomp on.

We know that things don’t look too good for us right now. We realise this isn’t our first offence.

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We just hope that you have a heart and that you will forgive us. And please don’t think that this was Blitz’s twisted revenge plot because you didn’t take her to the beach the other day. It totally wasn’t. We know Dad could only take one dog (Heidi) and that tiny human at one time. Something about us getting crazy at the beach? Ever since you got that tiny human, we’ve been feeling a little bit like we’ve been relegated to a life that is filled with a little less attention than usual. Look, we’re not going to throw around words like “neglect” or “RSPCA” but…let’s just say that you might want to reassess. The day is getting closer to the time when dogs learn how to use smart phones and you might want to think about what we might be capable of. That’s not a threat or anything. We’re just sayin’…no need to start getting all worried about “extortion” or “blackmail”…

Much.

Please accept our sincerest apology, because Heidi is a poor orphan dog who was found suffering in the wild (rough childhood) and Blitz is part Labrador. Well, we all know what they’re like. We can’t help it.

We would offer to pay for the damages, but we’re dogs. Dogs don’t have money. Suck it. I mean, sorry.

Kind regards,

Blitz and Heidi. YOUR FIRST PRECIOUS FUR BABIES WHO LOVED AND KNEW YOU LONG BEFORE THAT TINY HUMAN EVER CARED.

PS. The bug lawyer will be sending his bill to you shortly. Because again, dogs don’t have money. Duh.

PPS. LOVE YOU. ALWAYS.

PPS. *LICK LICK LICK* *WAG WAG WAG* (we don’t know how to not love you).

This post was part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge. 



An open letter to my mothers’ group.

As we (all too rapidly) approach the Little Mister’s first birthday, I have a few posts planned to celebrate not only him, but my first year of parenthood. This is the first one – an open letter to my mothers’ group (I used an apostrophe because it’s totally ours as well as us being a sum of mothers in the plural sense – don’t know why I felt the need to explain…). 

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Dearest Mothers’ Group,

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year of parenthood and almost a year of knowing you ladies. I remember being nervous when I received the letter from the hospital inviting me to meet up with other parents who had babies the same age as the Little Mister. We were asked to attend a six week course of sorts at the community health centre where we would learn lots of helpful things about parenting a newborn. First, I was nervous about what to bring. I was so new and green with everything so I overpacked the Little Mister’s bag every single week! You would think our session was going to be a camping trip, not a couple of hours! You’ll laugh now, but I had packed so many more bottles than the Little Mister would be able to drink in one day, enough nappies to soak up the Indian Ocean and so many spare outfits in case he had a few disasters! My bag was packed to the brim. Funny thing is, I had planned every outing so that the Little Mister wouldn’t need feeding while we were there. I put a new nappy on him at the last possible moment before leaving home, to avoid having to change him on the change table provided in the room. I was so overawed by my parenting responsibilities!

Before I had the Little Mister, I had heard horror stories of big groups of mothers gathering together. I’d heard of catty comments, competitiveness and the pressure to be with the ‘in’ crowd. I’d heard mothers’ groups could be a horrible experience if you were grouped with the wrong people and that it could get cliquey and stressful. I decided to attend these first meetings with an open mind. I would soak up the parenting information as best as I could, but I wouldn’t put any pressure on myself to become friends with you all or to make myself continue to meet with the group after the health centre meetings ended if it didn’t seem right for me. Of course I hoped it would turn out well, and it did. You won’t believe how much pressure I placed on myself as a new mum (or maybe you will). I wanted to be the perfect parent in every way. I drove myself (and my husband dare I say it) up the wall! As you all may know, I didn’t have the best pregnancy, an ideal birth or an easy time recovering. I believe I had fought off depression a few times (getting perilously close), and although I am so proud I beat those negative thoughts and feelings and that I was strong, it left with me an obsession with getting everything right. So much had gone wrong already and now was my chance to be ‘perfect’ and happy. I had to make everything go ‘right’.

I felt embarrassed because I couldn’t exclusively breastfeed and I dreaded the moment the topic would come up in our first meeting together. I was (stupidly) scared to admit that we were feeding the Little Mister formula because my supply never got to a satisfactory level due to several factors (stress, being separated for three days right after the birth and being sick – on intense courses of antibiotics in the hospital). I now know it wasn’t so bad. In fact, I’m proud that I managed to do what I could despite the circumstances, but at the time I was so fearful of judgement from anyone and everyone! What I’m getting to in my roundabout way, is that the defining moment for me was when you all started sharing your diverse birth stories and various feelings surrounding breastfeeding. Some of you were fortunate enough to breastfeed really well (go you guys!) and some of you, like me, hadn’t had an easy time of it. We talked about the pressure we’d felt in the hospital to breastfeed successfully for the prescribed 6 months (at least) in order to be a good parent and I suddenly relaxed. I wasn’t alone. We were all going to get along just fine! My nerves dissipated almost instantly. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart, ladies.

I love how much we’ve all learnt and grown together. Our Facebook page has been a lifesaver. A sanity saver. Have a question? Ask the girls. Feeling confused about an issue, thinking you’re the only one, someone else will post about the very same thing. It’s been very comforting and we’ve celebrated all those special little milestones with our precious bubs together. I love that there is a way to see some of you just about every week – a way to fill our days together and get out of the house, and it’s been so amazing watching our little ones grow (and steal each other’s biscuits)…

I will admit that sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. Sometimes I just have to switch off from all the mummy talk and take a little break from the Facebook page or various meet-ups. I sometimes forget to nurture who I am outside of being a parent (a stay at home mum curse perhaps?), so I have to balance things out a bit more. What I love about you all is that you give me that space if I need it. We respect each others’ space and busy lives. All of us are so different to each other in so many ways, but I think we each bring something unique and special to the group. I don’t know what my ‘thing’ is exactly (besides leaving the longest comments ever on Facebook – I’m a writer and I’m a chatterbox – I am so sorry!!!), but I hope I am a good friend and that you feel my support.

The fact that we break all those mothers-at-war-with-each-other stereotypes warms my heart.

Congratulations – we’re all awesome and we’ve survived the first year with our first children!!! 🙂

Thankyou all.

Love (and cuddles to your bubs),

Kez.

PS. ARE WE READY FOR FIRST BIRTHDAY MAYHEM?!?! IT’S ALMOST UPON US!!!! xoxo

 

Are you a part of a mothers’/parenting group? How has your experience been? Are you from my mothers’ group? Feel free to say hi!

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