11 December 2013

Dear Molly....who's nearly 3

Sometimes a single event can change your life so profoundly that you can't quite remember what it was like before. You did that to me.

You are such a funny little girl and, as you will be three soon, I am writing to you to freeze frame some of my Molly who is two ("and half" as you proudly tell anyone who'll listen).

I don't want you to not be two anymore but I can't wait to watch you grow up. I want to see how you interpret the world and who you become. As your parent I face the eternal battle of my impatience for you to do new things versus my desire to stop time and keep you small. I want so much for you but am determined to influence by example and not by pushing you where I think you should go. Another of my own daily battles with myself.

Right Bunny is still a big part of your life. We still can't leave the house without her. You call her "my friend Right Bunny" and you really do love that scruffy pink rabbit. Your attachment to her is unbelievably strong. I have to clean her face when I do yours but if I try to feed her you call me silly and tell me that "Right Bunny's mouth doesnt open Mummy." You know she's not real yet you shower her with your very real human emotions. You earnestly look at me and ask if the people who love you also love Right Bunny and I love that that matters to you.

You walk up to other children in shops and at the park and you tell them your name and that your Mummy is over there. I love that you are proactively social. A quality that I want you to hold onto and take through childhood into adulthood. It will serve you well everywhere you go. You look to me for explanation when when other children don't reciprocate and it breaks my heart a little bit. It takes everything I have not to intervene and tell them to talk to my little girl. You will learn as much from rejection as you will from acceptance so I know it is important to stand back. It is reminiscant of when Joy and George Adamson had to watch Elsa holding her own against a wild lioness for the first time in Born Free....maybe not quite as dramatic, or dangerous.

Your ability to reason is coming along. When questioned as to why you might have just thrown a toy on the floor your stock answer is "that's why I did Mummy." It seems to work for most scenarios. "Come and jump in puddles Mummy. That's why it will be fun." The addition of "that's why" in a sentence satisfies you that you have explained yourself adequately. One day you'll realise that the world demands a little more. For now, that will do.

You are singing more and and more and I think my early over-exuberant delight at your little solo performances has led to your use of singing as a defensive weapon. If I get cross or upset, you sing a song and then look up at me expectantly before asking "are you happy now Mummy?" You're a bit tired now and you just shouted at me to let you have your strawberries in the lounge. I huffed a bit. You asked if I was happy. I said "no, because you shouted" and you said "oh please be happy Mummy. I love you" You are either a sensitive and lovely little girl or quite the manipulator. I think you may be a clever and wily mixture of the two.

I try to keep you safe, to help you grow and to give you an environment in which to develop your views and personality. I don't want to shield you from the world because I want you to grow up empathetic and caring about the people around you. Hold on to that visible desire you have now for everyone to be happy and safe. It's a lovely quality.

See you in the morning.

Lots of love, Mummy xxx

"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." ~ C S Lewis

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