Dear Dave

Monday 20 July 2009

The green-eyed Hula monster

Dear Dave,

How's Daisy doing these days? What's she getting up to? Although at the time it felt like nappies and sleep deprivation were enduring facts of life, my memories of having a nearly-two-year-old around have become somewhat hazy. As unlikely as it must seem to you in your poo-tastic, zombiefied state, it's hard for me to recall exactly what it was like. This is probably some kind of genetic survival trait in the species to introduce the possibility of kids getting siblings but it's a little weird nonetheless. Somehow, a couple of years ago, Marie went from toddler to little girl and I don't remember how.

I suspect it was tiring and messy.

You should be able to see the bed at the end of the tunnel soon, though. With luck, Daisy is approaching that lovely age where children are not too slimy but are still cute and relatively obedient. Hang on in there...

Of course, even the memory of that is beginning to fade for me now. They get older, they stop believing a word you say and then their teeth (the ones that you've only recently lost so much sleep to oversee enter their mouths) start falling out again. With boys, anyway. If Marie is anything to go by, girls develop slightly differently - they stay cute for longer but it's merely a cover for their subversive plans:

While at the kitchen table yesterday, Marie smiled sweetly at Sarah and said, "Mummy! Doesn't my tea look yummy?"

Sarah nodded. "Yes, it looks very yummy."

"You, eat it then," said Marie gleefully. "I don't like it."

Hmmm... I've mentioned before about her obsession with jewellery and the colour pink. She's now developed a fashion sense as well and threw a strop while getting dressed this morning because her pants were 'too boring'. Alongside this passion for appearance, she's gaining some devious social skills at a very young age:

We went to a Hula dance workshop at the library the other day. It was truly awful. There was ten minutes of swaying to some fake Hawaiian music apparently copied from a skipping record onto CD, followed by some random stories, a lot of colouring in and then another few minutes of swaying. Half the children got to wear garlands of flowers and grass skirts, the other half got to glare at them enviously FOR THE ENTIRE HOUR. There was no swapping or sharing, and Marie was not one of the chosen ones. She wasn't happy. She was so annoyed in fact, she made me do the colouring in for her.

In an effort to distract her and escape from my forced crayoning, I pointed to one of the other children. "Look at the beautiful butterfly hair clip that girl is wearing."

The little girl in question immediately went wide-eyed in horror, planted both hands firmly on top of her head and ran away. "You can't see it!" she screeched. After that, she refused to do anything her mum told her. I got to punctuate my colouring with abject apologies.

Later, when the girl had recovered, Marie went over to her, smiling sweetly. "That is a beautiful hair clip," she said with real admiration. Then she grinned evilly. "Ha ha! I saw it!" she cackled and skipped away looking smug.

As the other girl went into meltdown, I was reduced to more apologies, a sheepish expression and a hasty retreat.

Marie was in trouble until we met the girl and her mum in a shop a few minutes later. "That's my friend from Hula club!" shouted Marie excitedly. I expected a catty brawl to ensue but, as it happened, the girls were delighted to see each other. The two of them were all waves and smiles and began admiring each other's bracelets.

I think I'm out of my depth...

Yours in a woman's world,


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