Growing Pains.

Realising that my little kiddies are no longer all that little is a tad weird.

They’re all so different and unique and I can’t really say that any of my children are alike, they all have different ideas and different perspectives and they all have different styles and tastes.

Sometimes good, they think and act for themselves alone. Sometimes bad, one meal is never ever liked by everyone sitting at our table.

Gives me a good excuse to have a diverse range of interests!

Bella turned 11 september just gone but I feel like I have an undergrown teen on my hands. She’s got a real big thing for boys. Ergh. She’s taken up soccer and handball and guitar I’m pretty sure all because of a boy. I guess I can’t complain about her learning new skills regardless of the motivation.

For Movember, last friday they went to school in mufti and wore mustaches and gave donations to support the cause. I swore at the bus stop that morning, that I had watched my little 11 year-old girl hop onto the bus wearing an eyeliner mo. When she got off that afternoon I was a bit shocked. Her moustache was gone however she did replace it with bright red lipstick and dark mascara.

She did look a bit more grown up than I care to admit.

She also was telling me all about ‘Dean.’

“He’s just sooo dreamy. And he is so funny. He’s just so cute mum!” She gushed. (This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about dreamy boys either!)

I kept driving, saying the odd, “oh that’s nice” nodding as if I didn’t really think it was a big deal. In my head I was thinking “seriously? really?….no……what the?!”

She spent the weekend drawing in her art book, later revealing that just about every page contained love hearts and arrows and the word DEAN pounced from every page.

Glen told her to stop, that it was weird and she should think about something else. I agreed but wouldn’t have made out like she was in pre-fatal attraction mode.

Maybe she is?…

Glen and I then got onto the topic of crushes….I think I probably obsessed over cute boys at some stage or another, but I’m not sure I would have put it down in SO MANY words and I know for sure I’d never have sat and poured my heart out to my mum.

I asked Glen if he’d had crushes and he said that he did, but he’d never told them. He’d kept it to himself. Probably the same way I had.

I suggested we be gentle about the whole topic with her, I mean it’s highly likely that this ‘dreamy’ young Dean may totally and utterly break her delicate heart so there is no need for us to step in and do it for her.

Monday she got off the bus with lipstick again, I asked her to perhaps borrow lighter shades from her friends, reminded her that she has many, many years to wear make-up and impress boys and that perhaps school should be a place to learn and concentrate. She also had green fluro texta all over her arms and face.

Love hearts and ‘Dean.’

Of course.

Tuesday she got off the bus all blushing. Dean had hugged her and given her his hat!

Man, it’s getting a touch too serious for me.

Should I call the school and ask them to stick them under surveillance?

I do know that she’s really happy.

So that’s good right?

He apparently has also asked her on a date. I asked her where he was thinking he’d take her, how and why and with what money would he be paying for this date with. I mean we kind of live far out-of-town, is he going to turn up on his BMX?…..take her to maccas for a happy meal, pay for it with his lawn mowing cash???….

Dates, for my 11-year-old means going to one another’s house to watch a movie, perhaps mum or dad could provide popcorn.

I said no.

I mean I had to fight black and blue with my parents to allow me to go to a boys house and that was when I was 15, and I was only allowed during daylight hours….That bit never did make sense to me….

It made them feel safer.

So I imagined the ripple effect of saying yes to a date at 11. She’d immediately think that boys were welcome in our house from that moment on and by the time she was 13 she’d be breast-feeding triplets!

Maybe not…..

But she’s certainly a lover…and a feisty fighter…..ergh. Boys!

At least she’s super eager to head to school each day, I just wonder what it will be like when they decide that they don’t like each other…

They got married in the school yard the other day so maybe it will last….maybe they’ll be primary school sweet hearts?…

Maybe I should meet his mum?

If this is what 11 is like….what’s 15 going to be like?

OMG!…..HELP!!!

Anyway….Sophie will be 6 in January coming. It’s crazy, she’s my cuddle baby. Even though she’s quite bossy, constantly telling everyone else what to do….sometimes she makes me feel slack, delegating tasks and telling the others what needs to be done.

When she’s not playing mum she’s usually quite happy to do her own thing. She loves being out in the bush, I thought she’d have a bit of a rough time when we moved. I mean she’s a self-declared princess. It is the only answer she gives when you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up “I think I’ll just be a princess.” She’s always got bruises up and down her shins, her feet are almost as tough as mine, she doesn’t complain about getting roughed up while riding her bike and falling off, or a stick scratching her on bush walks.

I thought she’d be too ‘girly’ and ‘delicate’ but I was wrong and I should listen to my own advice and not assume….

I guess she’s a little like me….A girl living in the bush and I don’t own a single pair of pants!

She found some lavender in the garden which I thought was very clever of her. She remembered the smell, if not the name of the plant. I’ve always taken them to the herb area of botanical gardens, pick leaves and bits and pieces of plants I recognise to let them have a smell.

Last week we found a sensory garden where we took home some rosemary, chamomile, lemon grass and thyme to dry and use in the kitchen. Sophie found the lavender all on her own in our overgrown garden. I gave her some little organza pouches and she took her basket and sat for ages, picking little stalks and flowers and making sleepy bags for everyone.

She took them and put them on our pillows.

She loves our baby chicks, she sits with them in the chook house which is finally built. She just puts on her lap and talks to Rosie our bunny or to Chuck the duck.

She’s helped me nurse Ollie, Uncle Matt’s dog back to health. 12 days ago I found 4 paralysis ticks on him after he became wobbly in his back legs. I thought he was gone for sure.

I was devastated.

The next day he was totally immobile.

The next foggy morning I sat with him in the wee hours crying and stroking his head thinking that any minute he’d take his last breath.

Only he just didn’t.

He kept fighting to suck in his next breath. I had to force water and small amounts of food into him, I got up to him every couple of hours during the night, after 4 days and still going, even though he’d lost all muscle control I knew he’d make it.

Each morning Sophie would be up joining me to try to give him water and a bit of food, patting him and talking to him. She’d make him get a bit of a tail wag happening.

Anyway…now finally after being more demanding, messy and time-consuming than a newborn he has gotten better, still a little weak but getting stronger and I’m 100% positive that he’ll be immune from further tick bites for at least the rest of this season.

I can’t get over how tough Ollie is, there was a lot of poison coursing through his body. I know Sophie has been a big part of his recovery. Her mummy-ness and soft nature always brightens anyones mood.

She’s so happy he’s better.

So am I!

Violet is going to begin school next year. I had thought about keeping her home instead of sending her. She’s 5 in April so it’s been a bit of a tough choice. She’s spent two days a week of this last term in pre-schooling and loves it. She’s a totally different kid in pre-school. Mature and clear with her needs and wants. communicates well with her friends and the teachers, mature, responsible……all of which I wouldn’t really describe her as myself.

Personally my choice of words would something like whiney, clumsy and loud.

If anyone is going to get hurt, it will be Violet. If something doesn’t go right immediately, she has a massive sook. If you hear a high-pitched, ear piercing squeal. Yep, it’s Violet.

She’s a great little girl, fun and bouncy always happy to play any game you can imagine. I can picture her as a little blonde babe hanging out at the beach, sun baking or doing some other care-free irresponsible thing….She too worries me when it comes to boys, she is naturally drawn to them. Her best friend in our last town was an adorable little red-head named Jake and now her new bestie is also a boy. Being only 4 I know it’s not a ‘love’ thing she’s just a little more rough and tumble than most girls.

She likes the action.

I was worried that she wasn’t ready for school. I worried that if she couldn’t work something out, tears would pour forth, or if she couldn’t fix her school shoes or if she couldn’t un-wrap her lunch there’d be squealing and sooking non-stop.

Apparently none of this goes on at school.

Well that’s a little annoying.

She’s spent 3 weeks doing orientation with her kinder teacher for next year and she also agrees that Violet is well and truly ready.

Hmm…ok, she goes.

I think my only worry now that I’ve decided to send her is that she’ll share a class and teacher with Sophie for the next 2 years.

I wonder if they will fight and argue the way they do at home. I wonder if Sophie will try to get all mummy on her and follow her around ‘helping’ and not allowing her to learn and try for herself. I wonder if they’ll be able to share friends. Or at least stay out of each others way.

I guess there’s not all that much longer until my wonders are truths.

Molly, she’s so beautiful. Such a pretty little angel, the way her hair is so ashy blonde it always looks aglow. Tiny little ringlets bouncing at the ends. Big blue eyes with that interesting slanty thing she was lucky enough to inherit from her nanny. Puffy red lips. Oh my…we’ll have trouble with that little lady. She’s totally sassy, and feisty but so angelic all the while.

She dropped out of pre-school a few months back. I think she went a total of 4 days and decided she didn’t want to go. It was totally fine with me, the only reason I’d sent her is because I thought she’d feel left out if Violet went and she wasn’t allowed.

She went, had fun, decided not to go anymore so that’s that. I’m glad actually. I was so lost with only Buddy at home, I mean we had fun and got so much more time together, but I constantly felt like something was missing or that I’d forgotten something.

I was on edge.

Horrible!

She loves to sleep with me when dad is away for work. She refuses to sleep anywhere else, and I couldn’t be bothered fighting too hard. She’s so small anyway and the bed is so big and empty when Glen’s gone…but yet as soon as dad is home she knows she’s to in her bed.

Doesn’t even question it.

She loves to talk to dad on the phone. She’s developed a cute and funny habit too. When we’d skype with Glen during our 6 weeks apart, he’d be sitting on the steps of our old house after a long hot day shirtless, but on the screen you could only see his top half. Molly would demand that he show her his pants ‘to make sure you’re not naked.’

So now when he calls she pesters me so much I cannot even hear Glen until I finally put her on the phone to him.

If I let her talk first I’m promised at least 5 minutes chat time myself.

“Hello daddy, I’m talking to you. *giggle* Are you naked?”

It’s the cute little voice she says it with that makes it all the more sweet and innocent.

Two things which never last all that long.

And little Buddy.

Oh Buddy, where do I start? He’s getting closer and closer to 2 years old! My special man. I could just squish him, he’s just the love of my life. I can’t say I love him more than my beautiful ladies but I can say I love him differently.

With my girls I feel like they are a part of me.

With Buddy I feel like he isn’t….how can I describe it?

I don’t know; I just never thought I’d have a boy, so I appreciate him just a little more.

Everything about him makes me happy. He has a full mouth of teeth now so when he smiles his cheeky grin it’s all so toothy and grown up. His massive blue eyes are so smiley.

Even when he cries he makes me happy.

I just get this heart swell that makes me want to make him smile again.

His hair is getting longer and a little curly on the ends. Glen told me he won’t be having long hair, but the longer it gets the more it suits him and Glen hasn’t once suggested a hair cut…so I think I may get away with it.

He just is so care-free, and so gentle. He isn’t demanding or impatient. His tubby manly hands and thick fat feet, his mini man stature just makes me proud.

I feel that he’ll be a very good man some day.

No doubt along the way he’ll stress me out, worry me and probably make me cry like they all do and will….

That’s all a part of it.

I’m just so happy and proud of where all my babies are at right now. I can’t imagine life without them, each are their own person and it’s nice to watch each of their personalities develop, not every quality they have is a positive one but I am positive that they’ll learn and grow and change further.

Even their tougher more difficult traits I can see as great adult characteristics.

I wish they’d stop growing so quickly.

Well I’m off….

How are your babies doing?

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