The eve of the end of an era

Greetings, friends. I’ve neglected you. I’m sorry. It’s been one thing after another: Visitors, play dates, parish council work and a multitude of horrible bugs that caused a half-term wipe out.

This evening marks the end of an era. A very special era. An era when a tiny pudgy hand in mine was omnipresent; wherever I went, she went. A magical time when I could tell her the sky was green, and she’d believe me. When cleaning out our chickens was the highlight of her day, and the delight on her face as she was handed the scrubbing brush was tangible. The tiniest things have pleased her: A bowl of washing up and soapy water, a tea set with some water to pour, paints and play dough and being able to play with her sister’s toys when she’s out.

But tomorrow she will be out, too. Tomorrow, Medium starts pre-school. She’s only doing two mornings a week, yet it feels like a colossal change. My little friend is going to be taking her first steps towards independence, and I’m not sure I like it.

Medium is brilliant. She’s inquisitive, brave and friendly. A natural leader with bags of confidence. She’s excited about “Goin’ a pee-schoo” with her Buzz Lightyear backpack and her glow-in-the-dark dinosaur plimsolls, although she’s not worked out that I won’t be there yet. Big has promised to do ‘good big sistering’ and look after her. I think it may end up being the other way round.

I wonder if pre-school know what trust is placed in them when we hand our tiny littles over to them. Do they realise that they have our whole world inside those four walls and how hard it is that we are shut outside? I have nothing but admiration for Big (and now Medium’s) pre-school. They’re wonderful ladies who truly care about their charges, but what if they can’t settle my Medium if she gets upset? What if they can’t decipher her two-and-a-half-year-old patois? The tiger in me is curling her lip and ready to snuggle my cub back in our cave and never let her go (do tigers even live in caves?). She’s such a special little girl. I’m going to miss her.

Tonight I will go in and look at my Medium sized baby as she sleeps. I will burn the image into my memory. My little lovely the night she was still all mine, before new influences entered her world. I will still be holding her hand as she takes her first steps as a little girl tomorrow. The day might mark a new stage in her ‘growing up’, but she’ll always be my baby.

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The eve of the end of an era

An open letter to Medium

Dear Medium

When Daddy and I decided to try for Little, everyone said, “But that will make Medium a middle child.” My answer then was the same as it is now: If ever there was a child that should be a middle child, it’s Medium.

You, my darling girl, are the glue. You look up to your big sister and look after your little one. You love them both with such enthusiasm. Everything you do is with such enthusiasm. You’re a joy. You’re brilliant. You’re the one that will keep the three of you close. You’re the one that means I can worry less.

Every day, you amaze me. You’re only just two but you’re speaking fluently… And loudly. You were born without a volume dial, but do you know what? That just adds to your charm. The second Little cries, you find me to announce, “She wants her Mummy Mulk (milk).” You can’t bear her being upset. If I say she’s been fed, you tell me she needs a ‘Tuddle’. You just want everyone to be happy.

You smile all day, every day – just showing your bottom teeth. You’re out in the garden in your pyjama top, nappy and wellies as soon as you get up to go for a bounce on the trampoline. You crunch your little chubby knees up as high as you can, laughing as you bounce as high as possible. It’s ever better when Big joins you and you play chase. I’ve never known anyone smile and laugh as much you do, my happy little soul.

You eat. Boy, do you eat. All day. Everything you see. But I’m not surprised; you don’t stop moving. Big will sit down and watch a film. You? Never. There’s too much to DO. And too much to eat.

You’re no picnic though, Medium. When things don’t go your way, you’ll lie on the floor and protest like any other two-year-old. Often silently, but you’ll refuse to move and it’s best to leave you on the floor. Otherwise it really does get loud. That said, you adjust amazingly. When I felt it was time to limit your doh-doh (dummy), I expected a fight. I didn’t get one. You just shrugged your little shoulders and said, “Okay, I’ll just have it at bedtime.’

You’re hilarious. I never know what you’re going to do next. It’s not uncommon to find you wearing Little’s hat, Big’s wellies and my coat. You draw on Little’s head, call random numbers on my phone and climb anything and everything. You’re inquisitive, clever and just great fun. As Daddy says, you’re good value. You have a fan club. I actually get emails asking what you’ve been up to because you’re so funny.

You are just awesome, Medium, and I love you to the moon and back. I can’t wait to see what your future holds and I can’t wait to be there with you.

Love, Mummy. xxx

An open letter to Medium