This little girl. She is a champion. We have put her through so much change lately, and she has tackled it all with grace and cuddles and laughter and trust. Every morning, she and I sit side by side on the little step outside her room that leads into the bathroom, and brush our teeth in tandem.
When we go for walks, she cannot pass a particular daisy bush a block or so from our house without picking a flower, which she then gives to me.
Little hands reach up for me and big, blue eyes beseech. When I lift her into my arms, she lovingly pats and strokes my shoulder, just as if I am the one needing comfort and reassurance, and she is the old soul. Which is frequently true.
She can push her baby doll in her toy pram for six blocks, even with hills. She likes to paint with a brush in each hand. She drinks unsweetened herbal tea. Balloons and bubbles are pronounced the same way: “Baloobaloobaloo!” Not to be confused with flower, which is pronounced “Faloolooloo!”
When you ask her what sound a dog makes, she sticks her tongue out and pants. Cats make a sound kind of like a siren (which, if you’d met our cat, you’d know is annoyingly accurate). Ducks say “quack” with gusto but, then, apparently all birds say “quack.”
After breakfast this morning Madeleine figured out how to climb onto the old chair where the dog likes to sleep, and rested her head on his belly with glee. The poor puppy will never know peace again.
When her dad and I kiss, she grins and pushes our faces into each other to make us kiss again. (At other times she tries to make me kiss other people, which can be socially awkward, like that time she tried to make me pash the owner of a local café. I’m not kidding. He was disconcerted to say the least.)
Madeleine is learning to sleep in her own cot instead of our bed, and she is doing incredibly well. She is getting so much more sleep and is so much happier during the day, it warms my heart to know I’ve been brave enough and tough enough to give her this gift. Because it is HARD, and I really miss her snuggles at night.
When she wakes up in the morning we tell her we are so proud that she slept in her cot, and she gets to pick one (colourful, puffy, glitter) sticker and put it on the “Hooray for Madeleine” poster that I made for her door. She loves this, carefully choosing a sticker each day and placing it on the poster all by herself.
First thing in the morning and last thing in the evening she likes to sit on my lap in an arm chair and just relax. She reaches her arm up behind her and gently strokes my hair. Then she turns around and wraps both arms tightly around my neck, planting big sloppy kisses on my face with an open mouth.
I love her so intensely. I am really looking forward to seeing her become a big sister, and to knowing this love all over again with little Baby B2. But these precious days of just me and Madeleine. Oh, I am the luckiest mama in the world.