Dreams are made of this

Last night, Peppercorn, now aged two and one quarter years, was having trouble sleeping. Her parents both had work today. So I gathered Peppercorn up in her Grobag/sleeping bag and carried her out to the balcony overlooking the river.

it was raining and we could hear the rain joining the river and see the lights of the high rises in the CBD disappear behind mist and fog. An event centre on the opposite river bank had string of lights, ending in a bright blue light that dazzled Peppercorn.

She cuddled into my arms and we chattered very softly under she started to yawn and rub her eyes, ready to settle back into sleep.

i know she won’t remember our night time moment, but I know I will for it was so precious. The city, the river and the rain as we sat together in the night shadows. Feeling very, very grateful and lucky today.

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me and you, and you and me!

Grandma 1

Watching granddaughter, Petite Fille, grow to be a happy, healthy, curious twenty month old has been a wonderful reminder of just what life and love is, and how we go about it.

Until recently, Petite Fille has passively received all our love and attention. If we hugged her, or kissed her, she happily submitted, but she was not really capable of initiating it herself, or honestly communicating it.

Oh, we knew she loved us, there were those big smiles, and the books brought to Grandma’s knee to be read, but until the last couple of weeks she never honestly communicated pure love of her own free will.

During my last visit, two moments happened between us that told me that Petite Fille honestly felt what we  human’s call the emotion of love.

The first instance was not long after I arrived, when Petite Fille coerced me into her bedroom and once I was inside, pushed the door shut so that we were alone. Yes, poor Mummy had to sit out in the living room, alone! (Secretly, I think she was happy to have some down time!).

cot sleep

Petite Fille lifted her arms and said “Cot.”  We were about to play, tuck her teddies in under the blanket. I would give them to her and she would tuck them under her blanket, then she would lie down beside them, well often, on top of them, but the general idea was “with” the teddies. We had a second of all pretending to be asleep when it would start all over again.

Several rounds of that later, Petite Fille changed the game rules, by pointing at the rocking chair beside her cot, pointing and commanding “Sit”. (Not so much “shitting” these days, much clearer “sit”).  The game was now, when Grandma is settled on the rocking chair, Petite Fille will throw teddy from the cot and Grandma will retrieve. Petite Fille thought this was hilarious, Grandma not so much.

Any attempt by Grandma to open the door was met by Petite Fille needing to be lifted form the cot so that she could close the door again! Mummy was also not allowed in.

You may be thinking that Petite Fille was just teaching Grandma to sit, fetch and retrieve. Well, maybe she was. Okay, she was! However, there was something bigger happening. She was recognising my relationship with her. The closed door was “this is my time, with my Grandma” and to me  it communicated that she was separating from her Mother a little, and creating relationships of her own.

 

The second example was in fact a series of examples. Throughout my visit, Petite Fille would climb onto my lap and hug me, making her soft “ahhhh” murmur she does when anyone hugs her. Or, she would reach her arms up and want to be picked up so we could cuddle. She hadn’t sort this type of contact before. As I said, she was quit happy for me to hug her, but this was her hugging me.

 

At the same time, as I was growing these wonderful moments with my granddaughter, I couldn’t help but think of the many, many children who never receive such moments. I teach many children who obviously have never had the gifts of love, or the opportunity to communicate love in the way Petite Fille does.

I’ve been asked many times by people what I have asked my granddaughter to call me, and I always say, Grandma. Often, I am then told of women who refuse to be called Grandma, or a word that clearly denotes Grandmother, afraid it will “age” them. I am sorry if you are one of those people, for no matter what a child names you, you are still their Grandmother, (and the age you are!) and in my opinion, that is something to be truly valued and nurtured.

In my difficult moments, on those days when the world seems against me, I know I have the love of one special little girl and that is all that matters to me. No one can destroy that love …except me.

gruntled

car Meadows Frisky 1958 to 1961

Saturday I was prostrate on the floor. I found it the best position to build block towers to knock over, pour imaginary tea from musical tea pots, read story books, sing songs, and tickle toes with Petite Fille.

I also introduced her to the thrill of sitting in a the laundry basket as Grandma pushed or pulled it around the floor, making car horn honking noises, and ordering Mummy and Daddy out of the way!

Petite Fille is almost nine months old and has six teeth, and learnt to pull herself up to a standing position this week. It is a grand life!

And the most amazing thing of all? I could still walk on Sunday!

look ma, no hands

baby 5

Granddaughter. Petit Fille, now 15 weeks old, learnt the mechanics of rolling over this week. She would rather be sitting up, as she is trying so hard to sit, lifting her head and shoulders up off the rug anytime she is laid on her back, but she has to be happy with rolling for now. Her Mummy, Daughter1 shared a short clip of her rolling with the family, so we assumed she was off and rolling.

At her Daddy’s birthday party, Petit Fille partied hardy for awhile, but then showed all the signs that like her Grandma (me!) she found being nice exhausting, so Grandpa Mr FD and I went back to her home with her, so that she could distress and have some quiet time.

I placed her on the rug and she started rolling, and rolling, and rolling. Grandpa even managed to make it down to her level on the rug and set her back to lying on her back, and flip, she would roll over again. She performed very happily for us until the physical effort became too much and I put her down for a nap.

Her parents returned and we told them how Petit Fille had entertained us with her rolling skills. Mr Boy was shattered as he hadn’t actually witnessed a full roll as yet, for it seems that her rolls are few and far between. Even her mother has only witnessed a couple!

Grandparents 1; Parents 0.