Yesterday we went for lunch at a friend’s. They have three children similar ages to the girls and we see them quite a lot. Throughout the afternoon, I couldn’t help but notice how often their children went to them for kisses and cuddles. When they bumped, they went to their parents for help instantly. When they needed something, they went to their parents and asked for it. Big didn’t come to either myself or my husband for the whole afternoon.
I was really upset and came home and wrote a whingy, whiny blog post, then I tweeted about it, got lots of help and remembered it’s not all about me.
My head is beginning to realise that it’s the small things that I need to recognise. (My heart is taking a wee bit of time to catch up with this.) It’s the small things that are going to show us that as a family we are coming together. She might not ever leave me roses by the stairs but there are small things happening.
The small things I need to recognise are:
When Big looks at me when I pick her up from nursery.
When she talks to me on the way home.
When she gets to the table for breakfast/lunch/tea and doesn’t instantly say ‘yuck’.
When she sits next to me when we’re watching telly or reading a story and her body actually touches mine.
When she lets me brush her hair.
When she asks a question because she’s genuinely curious about something and not because she’s deflecting a question of mine or trying to fill the space so that I don’t get chance to ask her anything.
These are things that maybe happen everyday in other homes but they are not everyday occurrences in mine. When they do happen, I need to celebrate them. (Very quietly and without making any fuss.)
And then there is my smallest thing. My Little one. Who barely sleeps, who barely eats, who sees clothes as the enemy and those who try to make her wear them even more so, who eats everything that is not food and who needs everything to be ‘just so’ before she will get into bed. But who is kind and funny and loving. Who can reduce me to happy tears a thousand times a day. Who comes running at me when I pick her up from playgroup. Who shouts across the playroom, ‘Bye bye mummy, I love you!’ Who sleeps on me most nights. Who spots butterflies and birds and who shares everything that she is able to.
My children are very different and their small things are very different. It is sometimes hard to remember Big’s when Little’s are more obvious and more constant but I have to remind myself that Little wasn’t like this when she came. That she would circle round us, not let us help her and was so terrified that she wasn’t going to get any food that she would eat everything on her plate in about three seconds. Little’s small things have changed as she starts to trust and love us. I just have to hope that Big’s will do the same and, in the meantime, remind my heart and my head that, just now, Big’s small things are pretty huge.
The best bits
In the swimming pool on Saturday, Little put her legs around my neck, threw her head back and floated. It was something we’d been building up to and it was lovely to see her go for it. She had a very proud smile on her face.
Big lost another tooth last week. The tooth fairy leaves chocolate coins here. This time my husband decided to leave two coins under the pillow. (I’m not entirely sure he’s thought this through but hey ho.) When Big came in to check, the first thing she asked is if one of them was for Little. My husband said she could choose and she chose to share.