Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

There once was a girl with a Strawberry curl...

Right in the middle of her forehead
And when she was good
She was very, very good...

It has probably not failed to escape your attention that my daughter has red hair and this has always been a source of great discussion among family, friends and even complete strangers. 

Take today for example, whilst being served in the chemist the woman commented on Emily and her red hair, informing me that her niece also has red hair. I smiled and responded in my usually way, something along the lines of

 "Yes it's lovely isn't it?" whilst patting my daughter head. And although people would have you believe that red hair is a dying gene, it would seem it is still a conversation starter. Although whilst in afterthought I realised that I may know the father of the niece in question, however it was early and I had forgone my morning coffee to rush myself and Emily to the doctors to deal with a suspicious rash that had appeared on both our hands. So in my caffeine starved, early morning haze, I did not make the connection, even when she told me the name of her niece. I blame lack of sleep (see 'Big girls don't cry' for more details) and my 'blonde' hair for this. Although lets be honest had I clicked am still not sure I would have shared this mutual connection with her, 

 "Right so that's £3.09 for the cream...oh and by the way, you don't know me but I think I might know your brother because he has a little girl with red hair too"...hmmm maybe not eh! 

Emily's red hair comes from Gavin's side of the family, his mother to be exact. I think she is extremely pleased to have some company being the only red head in the family prior to Emily's arrival.  So red hair, a dying gene? And why such a hot topic of conversation? 

Well according to Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge, red heads still constitute 4% of the European population and in Scotland 13 % of the population have red hair and around 40% carry the recessive gene. 

A history of red heads, as relayed from Hubpages, is that they have been feared, loathed, degraded, revered, adored and exalted. The ancient Egyptians believed that red haired animals and people were associated with the god 'Set', many of their Pharaohs had red hair, including Ramses who was the most powerful of all the Pharaohs. However they also regarded the colour red as unlucky and many red haired maidens were burnt to death to wipe out the tint.  What a fickle bunch we are those of us lacking the red gene!

Typically red heads are meant to have fiery temperaments and are prone to hot headiness and many songs have been written about red head. Mostly by men favouring the long red tresses, in particular Mr Springsteen who seems an extremely avid fan of the crimson haired lady...I won't repeat the lyrics of his song!

So no matter what you think, whether you ridicule reds or revere them it has to be said that the colour of their hair is certainly a topic of interest and I am now and have always been a huge fan of our auburn haired brothers and sisters. Particularly because one of my best friends is a red head, as feisty as they come and would have kicked my ass if I'd ever dared say anything against them...ha, ha, he, he!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Big girls don't cry...

So in a vain ( actually probably lame) attempt to psychologically prepare Emily for potty training and the transition from baby girl to big girl I have been slowly introducing her to various activities that I class as "Big girls...... (fill in the blank)"

So pull-up pants have become "Big girls pants", very similar to mummy's pants in that they go up and down and have an elasticated waist, not in the sense that they are nappy lined. I know I turned thirty last week but I am not quite in need of incontinence pants or adult nappies just yet!

We have also removed the lid from her Tommy Tippee cup, so she is learning to sip her juice. Invariable this comes with it's own set of difficulties, there is the chance of choking on the intake of too much juice. The fact that she has taken to coughing just before she takes a sip, therefore meaning she is more likely to inhale the juice rather than ingest it.  Also she does get rather over zealous at times and we end up with a certain amount of sloshing and splashing. However after pouring juice all over herself on several occasions she has started to comprehend the importance of slow, steady drinking and using both hands to hold her cup. Although even big girls still spill from time to time! Hot coffee on my new carpet...opps!

However the biggest and most important step in our journey has been the removal of her cot sides, the transformation from cot to bed. Allowing my daughter the opportunity to escape at will. We are on night three and so far we have only been disturbed once each night, which I think isn't bad going, considering some of the stories I have heard. I am yet to experience the sensation of being smacked in the head with an aftershave bottle in the early hours of the morning or find that my daughter has redecorated her bedroom with sudocrem and baby wipes. 

Although she has taken to crying as a form of verbalising her dismay at being left alone, inconsolable, heart-wrenching sobs only normally reserved for when she has seriously hurt herself, my daughter is obviously learning the art of manipulation. However timing, it would seem, is everything. She will wait until we have tucked her into bed, where she must now have both Bob (the cross dressing teddy) and her "book mama" old copy of Noddy, that of course she cannot actually read. So we tuck her and Bob and the book into bed, we turn down the light, say "night, night" about a hundred, thousand times, leave the room, close the door, wrestle with the ridiculously awkward safety gate that won't shut properly unless you jiggle it about in a certain way...the gate that I actually believe may be quite lethal if left in the wrong 'open' position, observing it nearly taking my daughter's eye out the other day. So you turn to begin your descent down the stairs and there it is...that moment right there, that is the precise moment that my daughter chooses to cry! *sigh*

So the next lesson I absolutely must teach my daughter, and very, very soon, is that "big girls don't cry..."

Well actually that's not strictly true is it? Big girls do cry too, especially when they have horrible, ghastly, ridiculously painful tooth ache!!! Grrr... please someone, quick, hit me over the head with an aftershave bottle and put me out of my misery...

Friday, 4 February 2011

It's a blogging birthday to me...

I managed to miss my blogger birthday by one day!!!!!!!!!!!!

As of yesterday, 3rd February, I have been officially blogging for one whole year! And I would like to say thanks to my family and friends for all their (reading) support and not minding the odd cameo appearance! 

I would also like to say thanks to all the people out there reading my blog who have no idea who I am, thanks to blogger stats I am now able to see that my little old blog has started to get a little following of it's own. People from as far as the US, Canada, Poland, Russia and lots of other places have been reading and it's great! I am truly amazed that anyone other than the people that have to read it because they love me (ha, ha) would be interested! So thanks to all of you and I am more than happy to return the favour if you have a blog to share...

But the biggest thanks goes to Emily for providing me with so much inspiration and potentially wonderful writing material! I think that our journey has only just begun!  

And finally to Gavin...who is yet to read a single entry...shame on you!!! No really he has never read a word, the world is weeping with me...well okay maybe not eh!! Ha, ha, ha. 

Happy blogger birthday to me and many more to come I hope x

Thursday, 3 February 2011

P.S I love you...

In a week full of revelations and some startling realisations, we all have to re-evaluate our character at times... humbling as it might be. There was a moment, one of those lovely little milestones that become rarer and rarer the older your child gets. My daughter told me she loves me...well okay technically I asked her if she loves mummy and she smiled and said 'yes'! I still like to think that this counts though. Especially because upon asking the same questions before this morning I would be met with the same answer every time 'no'.

Up until recently this question was tied into a game of sorts. I would ask her if she loved me and she would laugh and say 'no' and then I would say 'What do you mean you don't love me?' and tickle her, then we would repeat the whole thing.

Love is one of those funny things thought isn't it?! My sister and I were discussing this earlier in the week, we expect love to be this huge realisation, this moment of clarity where you suddenly shriek 'Eureka...i've got it, this funny feeling i've been feeling well it must be LOVE'. But in reality that isn't really true. My sister had an interesting analogy. She said it's like all our other emotions, it's there all the time it's just we feel it stronger at certain times, like sadness or happiness, anger, grieve etc...I like to think that love creeps up on us, unexpected, until one day you can't keep the words in anymore. It's when you are not thinking about it that love will find you, it's when you want to say the words to someone without knowing why or how, it's when it becomes an involuntary action...almost like a freudian slip. 

So did my daughter just wake up this morning and suddenly realise a) what the meaning of the word love is and b) that these were the feelings she had for her mummy? No probably not but I like to think that one day she will understand, one day she will say it for real and until then I will take all the positive responses she is willing to give! Besides I don't say I love you very often, but that's because I think it loses it's meaning if you just throw it out there all the time. Afterall it's just three little words and the important people in my life know how I feel about them. When I say it I want it to be involuntary, for the words to just come out because in that moment... I just can't possibly hold them in!