Thursday 15 September 2016

When Did That Happen?

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I love my girls, but I am trying to find those years that seem to have rushed by whilst I wasn't looking. You know, the ones where they suddenly went from baby to independent tween/ teen. I've tried checking behind the sofa, but they're not there, nor are they hiding under any of the beds. I've even checked in the chaos of the garage, and yet those elusive years remain just that, elusive.

Victorian Day at School
 And now they are big. Miss D was in Year 5 when this photo was taken, she is now in Year 9, about four inches taller than me (to be fair, this is not a particularly difficult feat, given that I am rather vertically challenged at only 5' 1'') and Miss L is now in Year 6.

Sometimes, I yearn for those days when they were tiny and everything was new and exciting, but as much as I miss them being little, I really am enjoying them now. You see every age has pros and cons. When they were young there were the tantrums and the excitement of doing something new for the first time. Now there are the tantrums and the camaraderie. Yep, we still have the odd tantrum, although they tend to be more sulky now.

Miss D is now 13 and has never been easier. Now, I realise that there are not many parents of teens who would say this, but trust me when I say this child was an absolute nightmare from the age of 2 to 8! She could tantrum over the smallest of things for anything from 20 minutes to 2 hours. The house would often be filled with the sound of Miss D shouting and screaming, throwing things in her bedroom and kicking the door. I could often be found in tears and would regularly phone her nursery to see if they had a free session, just so I could get a bit of respite. School teachers couldn't believe that the quiet, hard working, polite little girl could possibly turn into a tantruming monster at home. So you see the transition to the dreaded teenage years has been rather pleasant. Rather than a stroppy teen, I generally have a polite, happy, fun, kind and considerate teen. Don't get me wrong, it's not all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, but it's a whole lot easier that those early years.

Little Miss L is still the same as she's always been really. I've always said that had I had Miss L first, I wouldn't have had any other children. Wow, this girl is into everything! She is and always has been a complete fidget and is constantly on the go until she finally falls asleep of an night.Oh, and let's not forget, she has no volume switch, but she is fun. She makes me laugh with her funny thoughts. I often wonder what it would be like to live in her world for a while because I think it is probably a crazy, bonkers, fun world. The problem with her always being so busy though, is that potty training took the best part of a year to accomplish; really, how inconsiderate was I to expect her to stop what she was doing and use a potty? All I can say is, thank goodness for giant chocolate buttons and the use of bribery.

I'm looking forward to the coming years. I enjoy watching them grow and watching them become their own person, but it's worth remembering that in doing this we have to let go a little bit and give them permission to explore a bit. I remember the first time Miss D wanted to walk to school on her own. Oh my goodness, I was so torn. Part of me was wanting to say, 'No absolutely not, you're far too young!' and the realistic part of me was saying, 'Yes of course, you're Year 8 now, you are old enough.'

I'm learning that part of letting them grow up is not just letting go a bit, but giving them instructions, clear instructions of what they need to do to keep themselves safe whilst they're not with me and then trusting them. It's a big step for everyone, but so far we're doing well and it's working.

So this is our little family now. They are growing up far too fast for my liking, but whilst I know I can't stop that, I can embrace who they are now and look forward to watching them become beautiful young women, whilst giving them all the love and support I can.

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