Category: Parenting

Sleepless nights

Sleepless nights

It seems we have reached the night-terrors phase.

At around 3 this morning Elizabeth screamed, as in damsel in a horror movie screamed. Attentive parents that we are we naturally leapt out of bed and ran to her – no jokes, we live in an area with many venomous snakes, and one regularly hears of people, and especially children, being bitten by a snake in their bed, so naturally we assumed the worst.

When we got to her she kept saying “fork, fork” inbetween sobs – fork is currently her word for anything sharp, which only increased our fears. While the wife held her I took all her bedding and mattress out of her cot, but nothing there, and we couldn’t see any bite or sting marks on her skin, so assumed it was just a bad dream.

So I lay waiting the next two hours for my alarm to go off with the Minion’s feet in my kidneys (not taking chances on invisible snakes we took her to our bed where she promptly decided lying in a position perpendicular to us was most comfortable).

Come morning the missus takes her to her room to get dressed, and she start speaking of the fork again, except now it sounds more like pig (if you’re horribly confused right now, the Afrikaans words for fork and pig differ by only one syllable – “vurk” vs “vark”). Apparently a pig was trying to smell her, and she wasn’t having any of that.

(Your guess is as good as mine where she got the idea of a pig sniffing her – the only pigs to which she has regular exposure is one with a last name Bank and another with a first name Peppa…)

Anyway, come bedtime all goes well – getting dressed, storytime, the regular routine. Until the wife tries to leave the room. Total hysterics. The pig mustn’t smell her. She wants to sleep in our bed. She wants us to stay with her.

Apparently this is a phase they go through, which means it will pass (hopefully soon). Pigs, though? Wherever did she get that one?


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The Minion says…

Came into the house (my home office is in an outbuilding) and The Minion came running saying “Daddy, Daddy, I’m watching the sun-story!”

That would be Tangled.

Other favourites include the ball-story (Inside-Out) and the balloon-story (Up). (The balloon-story causes no small amount of distress once the balloons start popping.)

And Moana, but for some reason that’s just Moana

A letter to my daughter on her second birthday

A letter to my daughter on her second birthday

My dearest Elizabeth,

How time has flown. Once again it feels like I last wrote a letter to you just the other day, but it’s already been an entire year! Two, now, since the first time I’ve held you.

Since the last letter you’ve learned to walk, and run, and crawl (in that order), you’ve learned to talk, you’ve learned to throw a ball and catch it, and to jump and to skip. It is amazing to see how fast you learn and pick things up – your mum and I have to watch what we say around you these days, as you’re starting to repeat everything you hear. You give the best hugs ever.

You are fearless, in a way that both awes and terrifies me – I constantly need to remind myself my job is to teach you to get back up when you fall, not to prevent you from falling. Seeing the way in which you seek out new experiences, the way you go off exploring on your own without us holding your hand…I wonder if I was ever that brave. Never lose that. The world is there for you to conquer.

One piece of advice – when you don’t succeed at something, take a deep breath, and try again. Frustration is natural, but that way lies the dark side. Don’t give in to the dark side. One day we’ll talk about when it is okay to quit and walk away for good, but for now, keep calm, keep trying, and figure it out. You are unbelievably smart. I’m sure there’s nothing you won’t be able to master as long as you set your mind to it and keep at it.

 You’ve made a phenomenal success of your second year, as I knew you would. The next one will be even better, and I’m glad I can be a part of it. Happy birthday.

Love,

Dad

The State of the Minion, Birthday Edition

The State of the Minion, Birthday Edition

The Minion…is TWO!

Elizabeth Jun 2018-044When did that happen? Really, when? Just the other day she was still falling asleep, her entire little body curled up on my chest. Now she’s a freakin’ toddler, speaking, and toddling, and imitating everything we say and do. This is going too fast.

I haven’t done one of these in a while, so let me catch you up.

Continue reading “The State of the Minion, Birthday Edition”

A letter to my daughter on her first birthday

My dearest Elizabeth,

I can’t believe we’re here already. It feels like yesterday that I got to hold you for the first time.

You are growing ever more beautiful, and you’re smart – I stand amazed at how you figure out new things each day. You’re becoming your own little person, and as difficult as it is to admit you’re my little baby a little less every day, that is something incredible to behold.

As the Psalmist said, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

The world has become a bit more scary in the past year, but every day good things happen as well, if you know where to look for them. This past year we’ve embarked on a grand adventure, moving to a new home with new things for you to see and do. I’m sorry for all the stress and disruption it caused you, but you did brilliantly. I’m so proud of you.

You’ve learned what it is to be hurt, tired, uncomfortable, and frightened. But I know you also know what it feels like to be loved, to be cared for, and to be safe, though you can’t name those feelings yet. You’ve learned that if you call, someone comes, and that’s much more than many people know.

You were born knowing how to cry, but you’ve since learned to laugh, something you do every day, and it’s the most beautiful sound that exists in this universe. I understand why that’s the sound the story says gives birth to fairies…

There’s a big year ahead of you. A year in which you’ll learn to walk and talk, and start to take care of yourself in little ways. You’ll learn to make choices, and with that you’ll make mistakes. It will be a while still before you’ll learn about regret, but in the coming year you’ll definitely start learning about consequences, even if you won’t quite understand them yet.

I want you to know that I’ll be there each step of the way. I won’t always do the right thing. Some days I’ll act without thinking. Some days I’ll hurt you without meaning to. But I’ll do everything I can to be there when you need me, to teach you and guide you and protect you.

This parenting thing is very much a case of making it up as you go along, but you seem happy, so I think we’re doing it right. I can only hope one day when you read this that you’ll agree with me.

Happy Birthday, my child, and good luck with the next year of your life. It’s gonna be awesome.

With all my love,

Dad