Life with a 4-year-old and 18-month-old

26 May

These days, I tend to round down my kids ages as a desperate attempt to keep them little as they shed their baby faces, clothes and mannerisms. The days of wishing time to hurry by to get to an event or holiday are gone (although I still look forward to them) as I realise how precious this time with my kids is. We are at a point in time where life is cast with a golden sheen. If I could pause it and carry on living within these days of 2016 forever, I feel like I would.

Stella began kindergarten in early February and it breathed fresh puffs of life into the parenting game for me. It was debatable as to who was more excited for her first day, me or her, as we met the wonderful teachers who’d share the journey of guiding our 4-year-olds, the other families (high fives for winning the best parent group ever and some pretty gorgeous kids to boot) and entering the creative hub that is Rosalie kindy. The five-day fortnight is ideal with Stella only recently abandoning her much cherished (by me) daily naps, allowing her plenty of freedom to enjoy park days, time with Archie and me and random adventures. Honestly, I’m not ready for five days a week and I think I’m going to be a blubbering mess next year when school becomes real with pre-primary. But for now, she’s loving every minute of navigating the lessons and playground fun (with regularly rotating friends and foes, one of life’s realities). And one of my favourite parts of those days are seeing her earnest little face at the end of class breaking into a big smile when she sees me there, ready to collect her.

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Scooting off to her first day of kindy.

Our fortnightly Wednesday mum and Stella time has been really special as we choose an adventure we’d struggle to do with Archie. The last day off we visited the WASO kids on cushions concert with a babycino/latte date at Moana (not pram-friendly due to stairs) and lunch with Sean at his favourite spot in the city.

She’s changing all the time and likes to surprise us with her own comments and “opinions” when Sean and I are chatting about something to do with his work day at dinner. From “that’s very interesting, Daddy” (which Sean is certain is dripping with sarcasm, but I think she’s sincere) to “hmm, so what are you going to do about it?” which sound very grown up and get a good giggle out of us. She’s still high-spirited, but slightly more reasonable at four than three (she still has the odd tantrum, but they’re few and far between and fizzle fairly quickly), she loves everyone (ask her to name a best friend, you better have ten minutes as the list is a mile long), she loves dogs in a big way (thankfully, she’s content to pet willing recipients at our local cafes and parks), she’ll eat almost anything we put in front of her (spicy food is still not her friend, but understandably with tender, still-new tastebuds), she loves broccoli, crispy-skinned salmon, avocado, the marshmallow aspect of a babycino (why do I bother with the cup of milk?), chocolate (she’s my daughter alright), ice cream (and Sean’s) and will eat ham, cream cheese and avocado sandwiches every day for lunch if I let her (which mostly I do… no prizes for creative mum in the kitchen over here). She’s just finished swimming lessons and advanced hugely from barely getting in before summer to putting her face in the water (albeit briefly), floating on her back and doggy paddling with her floatation vest on. So far no signs she’s going to love swimming as much as I did, but I’m pretty sure it took me a while too so we’ll see! She’s just started Kidz in Sport and it makes my heart explode to see her giving everything a go. Her teacher Opal told me yesterday that Stella never gets disheartened if she doesn’t get something first time round and always keeps trying. This means so much, as it’s one thing to have a child who’s a natural talent but I think it says far more if they have the confidence and determination to stick at something until they master it. In saying that, apparently she has quite the knack for minky with some great speed and skill with the hockey stick so maybe we have a future Hockeyroo on our hands? Ha ha. Regardless, watching her enjoy sports makes me giddy.

Now, my precious little man Archie. I’m overwhelmed with love for this guy because of his joyful nature, sense of humour and simultaneous love for hugs and burgeoning desire for independence. He’s well and truly running now, although he’s perhaps not quite as energetic as Stella (one of his favourite party tricks is lying down for a rest in the middle of playing, whether it’s at the park or home). He’s recently become obsessed with buses (enthusiastically shouting out “BUH” every time one goes by, his little body reverberating with excitement), trucks, trains, bikes and his little matchbox cars. He spends most of Playgroup at the table with the train set, moving the little carriages around the track with concentration. Stella never had so much concentration or patience for one game at that age (only now will she sit and spend time drawing for a fairly long period). I’ll discover him rolling his cars around various tracks he’s created, perfectly content with his own company. He loves pulling funny faces, his round-mouthed surprised face is priceless, as is his severe underbite/British bulldog. He just loves making people laugh and regularly chuckles to himself for who knows what reason, but life just tickles him sometimes! Making him laugh is both easy and addictive, I’m almost like the child around him, doing over any kind of silly joke or face to elicit another of his happy chuckles. He loves sharing laughs with us too, and follows suit if Sean and I are laughing despite no idea what the joke’s about. I also love that when he gets super-excited he does a little jig on the spot while chuckling and/or cheering. Best.

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Having a chuckle with Papa and wearing his new pyjamas from Aunty Erin

We have Tuesdays as Archie and Mummy days, which used to be beach with Leila and Thom during Summer days and park adventures, but now as the weather chills and dampens, we’re hiding out in the fun, open space of toddler gym and sneaking off for babycino dates with Suse, Georgia and Jude. Special times where Archie can be the focus for once and do things at his speed rather than big sister Stella’s.

Although things are certainly rosy, there are always the odd thorns that keep things real. Things I would make better if I had a magic wand;

  • Archie would eat all the healthy dinners I make him, rather than his regular trick of throwing them on the floor while his big sister cracks up laughing #notfunnyforshewhomadedinnerandcleansmessup #weneedadog
  • Stella would have a little more energy after her three-day kindy weeks and not be a little she-devil by the end of them who declares everything in the world is wrong including/especially her mama #turnupthegangstarap #drownoutthewhine
  • Archie wouldn’t take after his big sister back in the day and start beating up on those smaller than him. Whyyyyyy?? Ultimate playground embarrassment lately as he toddles up to little ones looking like an angel before pinching their unsuspecting, chubby cheeks. #gentlehands #gentlehands #GENTLEHANDS #headinhands #mummyshame

But hey, other than that, we are mostly living a very happy existence thanks to the best family ever and beautiful friends who make us laugh when the magic wand never kicked in. No idea when the next blog post will be, but wanted to capture a small snapshot of the fun times of lately because I’m so grateful for them. While my mummy brain is still in full force and much more forgetful than I’d like, I sincerely hope I never forget the way Archie bolts to me as I collect him from daycare with his little arms raised calling “mumma”, how Stella tells me how she loves me soo much and that she’s “a mummy’s girl today” and seeing them in fits of laughter at one of their crazy antics. Also, as Sean comes in the door with his face almost breaking from his huge smile and seeing the thump of little feet racing towards him to get the first cuddle. 2016, you’re shaping up to be quite the beauty of a year not because of big, significant moments such as holidays, career progression or running marathons (although there’s still time #heyuniverse) but because of all the marvellous little ones that baste my heart in pure joy. Right now, they’re all I want.

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The very latest pic taken of Stella and Archie, watching Poppy tackle Grandma and Papa’s front verandah. Totally entertained watching the organised chaos!

May your 2016 be filled with marvellous little moments too xxx

 

 

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One Response to “Life with a 4-year-old and 18-month-old”

  1. Linda Bynon May 26, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    Enjoy all these precious moments!

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