Wednesday, 20 February 2013

To my dear Fin...

Seven months on and my little boy has grown up so fast. I am trying to soak in and savour all of what’s still a baby about him. Before long he will be a toddler, too quick for a long cuddle and much more interested in the world around him.

So, I wanted to write a letter/poem so one day we could sit down and remember these precious baby days together.

To my dear Fin,

 There’s nothing sweeter than cradling you in my arms, a tiny baby no more, you are growing so big and even a little tall.

It’s still dark as you wake for a feed. Your plump rosy cheeks, soft as cotton wool balls, brush my face as I kiss your cheek.

As the sun begins to quiver above the horizon, your room begins to dance with the soft light of dawn.

It warms your face and your eyes begin to open. You look right at me, deep into my eyes with wonder. Our gaze meets. I smile and your face lights up. You gurgle and squeal in delight. It now doesn’t matter that I haven’t slept much that night.

Mother and baby, it’s a bond that won’t be broken. Our connection is deep.

As I make you breakfast you take your favourite seat, upon my hip, resting your little hand on my shoulder. From here you can see the world up high and can stay near to me.

When your daddy and sister come and join us, you grab for their faces, smiling and babbling, “Dad-dad-dad-dad.”

It’s a busy household but you don’t mind too much. You’re also happy to play on your own, sitting up with your legs outstretched, reaching, grabbing and mouthing every toy and object in sight.

When the day gets going we venture outside, you, your sister Isabella, and I. As Isabella plays on the swing you sit back observing, your hands gently pulling at the soft grass beneath. Digging in the dirt and scrunching up the leaves is your new found hobby.

Sleep time comes quickly and you love being wrapped up tight, snug in your cot, you gradually close your eyes. I can hear you from just outside, soft breathing and little sighs.

When you wake again, we take a trip in the car; you love to get out and about. You enjoy the little swing at the park, the see-saw and slippery dip with the help of mummy, holding you tight.

When Daddy returns home from work in the afternoon it’s more fun to be had. Shoulder rides, tickles and gentle rumbles on the lounge room rug.

Then later on its dinner time. A bowl of mashed pumpkin, pear, and broccoli is never neat – you love to get your hands in the bowl and rub the sloppy food all over your seat.

Bath time and your face lights up, it’s time to jump in the tub with Issy & Daddy. You can’t stop kicking your legs as your face is cleaned free of all the grub.

You giggle, splash and play, and then it’s time for a story. Two books, a cuddle and then time for milk and a snuggle with mummy.

Your room has darkened and the house is beginning to quiet as I lay you down to sleep. It’s here that I often gaze back at you. I stare in wonder & awe at this little boy who I love so deep. A blessing to us all.


Love Mama xox




Sunday, 3 February 2013

Freed by imagination

One of my favourite things to do as a little girl was enter the world of my imagination. When I was four years old I was obsessed with Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.
In my make believe world, our pink-walled lounge room with its 1970s inspired brown, shaggy carpet became the Yellow Brick Road and my imaginary friends and I would race around the lounge chairs trying to escape the Wicked Witch. My eyes no longer saw the ordinariness of my home but a glittering world of adventure, fantasy, and possibilities.

Now I see my own three year old daughter entering this captivating world of make-believe. But she often doesn't just want to play by herself, she wants me to join in. She will say, each and every day, "Mummy i have an idea! Lets be princesses together! (or some other imaginary character).Want to play?"

For some unexplainable reason, when she asks me this I am suddenly more tired than ever. My stomach becomes a knot. My head starts to throb. My legs feel heavy. All I can think is, "Please, anything but imaginary play! I have so much else I want to do right now. I don't want to be a bloody princess in my rice cereal-stained pajamas and ugg boots. I just want a shower!"

Nowadays I find it very difficult to enter into this imaginary world. I see the pile of clothes that need to be washed and toys that need to be put away, but my three year old sees a mountain we have to climb, and a rainbow castle of toys to explore.

However, lately I have decided to say "yes" more often to her requests to enter into this world of her imagination, and of my own aging make-believe mind. Overtime I have come to realise that the longer I actually choose to stay in the game, the easier it becomes. I start to get into my princess
character. I slowly forget about my badly-in-need-of-a-wash pajamas, my oily hair and the messy house. Together we sleigh dragons, take care of babies, dance for the king and drink cups of tea. Before long we are laughing hysterically and lost in our own little world.

Children naturally know how to escape reality, blur the boundaries between what's real and imagined and see life in every animate object. By escaping to their imagination kids can control a part of their world. I recently read that over the last seventy-five years a number of researchers have found imaginative play to be a vital component to the normal development of a child. It fosters things such as curiosity, social skills, communication, empathy and problem solving skills.

Apart from imaginative play beneficiating our kids, I also think it benefits us as parents. It's important to know how to switch off from our busy, messy reality and remember once again what it feels like to be a child - freed by imagination.

So next time your child asks you to play an imaginary game, give it a try. I guarantee you won't want to leave your castle, cake and prince to return to your home of mess, lists and routines for good while longer.