Today, You are 2

Tuna,

Today, you turn two years old.

25638435 Birthday candles burning on a seashore

It’s been exactly two years since that day we met in that freezing operating theatre. I lay there, with your Papa standing in his chalk blue scrubs by my side, when, although numb from the waist down, I felt the exact moment they took you out and you took your first breath. Your first cry was moments later. And although it felt like an eternity at the time, in a couple of minutes they had wrapped you up in blankets and placed you in my arms.

In those early moments with you, one of the thoughts that kept crossing my mind was that at one point, I thought I’d never get to meet you. Continue reading

Confessions of a reformed helicopter parent

Today it really hit me that my baby girl is no longer, a baby.

Glimmerings of this suggestion have flitted across my mind over the past couple of months, but today, it was a full-blown, feel-like-you’ve-been-hit-by-a-bus, Oprah-aha-moment, realisation.

Recently, I’ve been consciously trying to quash what I have accepted are my helicopter-parenting tendencies. You don’t even realise you’re doing it sometimes. Hovering close by no matter what your child is doing, ready to catch them if they slightly lose their balance, ready to defend their little toddler rights from other toddlers who may remotely upset them, trying to get them to do what you think they’d enjoy. I’m not trying to be self-deprecating; we all know it’s out of love and the instinctive need to protect our little people.

But the last couple of days have taught me just how beautiful those moments are when you give your child space and allow them to show you what an independent and confident little one they have become. Continue reading

A tribute to a daddy

{If you know A, you’ll also know that he is going to be less than thrilled with the attention from this post. But it’s something that needs to be said. Plus, it’s his birthday tomorrow and Father’s Day on Sunday so really, this post couldn’t be more timely.}

After the birth of a child, so much of the attention goes straight to the mother. And understandably so. However, with 18-months’ hindsight, one of the truths I’ve really come to believe is that fathers often don’t get enough acknowledgement that they too have gone through an enormous life change. They transform from husbands to fathers, and this transformation is sometimes totally underestimated. They too are wandering into completely unknown territory, and a lot of what they go through perhaps feels like it is not seen. And we, as mothers (well, I can only speak for myself) sometimes expect them to read our minds and just figure it out already!

That’s certainly how I feel it went for us. Continue reading

Tonight, I’m thinking about my mother.

As tonight’s insomnia started settling in, all I could smell was the sweet scent of my Banana Republic Rosewood perfume which always makes me think of my mother. It’s one of her favourites, and always reminds me of the time she travelled across the world to see me get admitted to the bar, and then nonchalantly left a bottle of this perfume in our guest room, so that every time I missed her I would smell it and feel like she was close.  Poetic as this all sounds, the reason my senses were treated to this luxury is that earlier this evening, Tuna decided it was necessary to pull down my perfectly organised little shelf containing all of my favourite choking hazards and uningestable substances (jewellery and perfumes, and actually, no joke –razors [WHAT WERE THEY DOING IN THERE?!]- she clearly saw that the entire set-up was a health and safety violation so actually, I owe her for bringing this to my attention). She is totally fine, but my Banana Republic perfume is not.  The glass bottle shattered everywhere, and its contents spilled across my bedroom floor.  I managed to clean it all up but the scent feels like it’s going to linger for a while.

So it got me thinking. About my mother. And how, after becoming a mother myself, I am starting to understand so many more of the mother-daughter dynamics which I previously took for granted.

The dynamic I’m particularly aware of at the moment is the one where I act like an inconsolable toddler whenever I’m with her. Or a moody teenager.  Or basically any stage of a child’s life that a parent finds more challenging than others. My dad doesn’t get much of this. It’s all smiles and jokes and laughter with him. I actually remember a Skype conversation, pre-Tuna, but not that long ago, where I spent the first half of the call crying and complaining like a little baby, and then the instant my dad appeared, he started cracking jokes and managed to make me smile. Mama actually commented on this and asked me what she had done to be the lucky recipient of all my grumpiness.

I was never really able to answer her. Continue reading