“I want four bits of bread”
“Four? That’s a lot!”
“No mummy! What’s two add two?”
“See! It’s only two add two, so it isn’t a lot!”
I was so taken aback by her persuasive prowess that I gave Catrin four slices of bread, as requested. It is possible that she will remember this victory, hone her blagging skills further and grow up to become a used car salesperson or an MP, but I’m so proud of her rapid development in confidence and use of language.
I recently realised that, outside of discussions with close friends and family, I don’t often vocalise how proud I feel for fear of appearing to cross the thin line into bragging territory and annoying others. It feels a bit sad to hold back expression of such a positive feeling, particularly when I have no intention whatsoever of claiming that anything or anyone I am proud of is superior to the subject of anyone else’s pride…so I will, on this occasion, share a few things which made me proud during the past couple of days.
Since she started school in September this year, Catrin has amazed me with the speed at which she has learnt to read and write…she always loved books but recently something just ‘clicked’. Last night, as she decorated her homework with a colourful array of sparkly shapes (which she arranged with meticulous precision), I checked her school contact book to find she had moved up another set for reading. I am so proud of her hard work and proud of the lovely girl she has become too…yesterday I practically had to run up the steep hill to school while pushing the heavy buggy with Bethan in the seat and Catrin on the buggy board in order to get Catrin to school on time (thanks to some badly timed nappy action on Bethan’s part and a pushchair which refused to unfold, in accordance with the Law Of Sod) and, having consumed a few too many biscuits recently, it was fair to say I was out of breath by the time I reached the top of the hill (and I totally failed to ‘style it out’ amongst the last of the queue of parents who were nonchalantly and not breathlessly sashaying through the gate in their leopard skin prints and principal boy knee-high boots when we finally arrived). Catrin could clearly hear me wheezing and muttering as we approached the gate and tried to cheer me on…”Nearly there, Mummy! You can do it! Well done, Mummy!” This morning she stepped onto the buggy board ready for the morning school run, but then stepped off it again and said “You know what, Mummy, I can walk. I don’t want to hurt you”. How thoughtful of her (or maybe she didn’t want me cramping her style by turning up at school looking like I had just come last in a marathon whilst dressed in a novelty ‘stressed mum’ costume).
Bethan does, of course, make me very proud too. She has such a cheeky and funny character (which she uses to her full advantage whenever she has been naughty and wants to get away with it)…this morning after tipping a whole box of tiny Lego pieces onto the floor, she ran towards me with arms outstretched calling “‘Ummy! ‘Ummy!”. She has never done this before and I instantly forgot about the Lego spillage. Yesterday she tried to find my husband inside my phone after I had finished a call with him and kept saying, in a soft voice “‘Addy? ‘Addy?” She is making sense of the world around her and doing so with a constant mischievous grin on her face and smiley eyes (well, mostly constant apart from moments of protest due to food envy or removal of control of the iPad). Today she spent a few hours playing at Catrin’s former preschool while I attended a committee meeting and was completely happy to trundle about, making a Christmas decoration out of lollipop sticks and cotton wool, splashing in puddles until her soggy trousers needed replacing and consuming a fair amount of jam sandwiches and banana without being at all concerned about where I was. She has become much more confident and chatty lately and will soon be a ‘big girl’ like her sister.
I very rarely say that I am proud of myself, but I was quite pleased with two little things which I achieved yesterday. Firstly, I made a bracelet out of sea glass which I collected from a beach in Jersey earlier this year (I have recently rekindled my love of jewellery making, but more on that another time); I remembered the enjoyment I felt in searching for little items of ‘treasure’ on the beach and I was proud to be able to turn them into this:
I also had a little triumph last night in that a photo which I had submitted in a report to BBC Weather Watchers was shown on the BBC London News weather forecast! I love weather and only joined the Weather Watchers scheme a week ago (you can join too here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/weatherwatchers ) so I felt so privileged to see my photo behind the weather lady’s left arm. It was the icing on the cake end the end of a good day.