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Friday

Literary Baby*

  My baby is going to b e a poet when she grows up.

Actually, she could be a basketballer. Or a scientist. Or a hairdresser. Or work in a lolly shop. Or make necklaces out of pieces of broken vintage crockery. 

I don't actually mind. As long as she's happy, I don't mind what job she has (unless it's TOO dangerous - if she decided to become one of those people who disables landmines in scary countries, I might have a few quibbles about that).

But last night, Tiger did show signs of a future love of things literary.

It was The Tall Man's book launch and it was decided that Tiger should attend. Sure, it would mean over an hour of standing around, during which Tiger could not ROLL and WRIGGLE. Sure, much of that hour would be taken up by poetry readings and speeches, during which Tiger could not SQUEAL and MAKE LOUD BUBBLE-BLOWY NOISES. But Tiger needs to get used to going to events like this. She'll be going to many more in the future!

And so we went along, to the upstairs space in the Former Employer Bookshop. And Tiger was duly fussed over by men and women, young and old, who gooed and gahed and stroked her little cheek and held her little hand and were rewarded with stellar Tiger Smiles. And all was good and easy during this phase of the evening because Tiger had Lots Of People to look at and be distracted by.

But then the "proper bit" of the event began. Speeches. Poetry. And Tiger ...

Was awesome. 

She looked up at me, and around, and silently took it all in. When the poetry was going on, she listened intently. When the clapping happened, she kicked her legs and giggled - Tiger Applause. 

There was not one grizzle. Not one squeal. Not in the whole hour we stood still and silent.

And I was so proud. 

My little girl is growing up. And she seems to like poetry. Well, she likes good poetry, anyway. And The Tall Man makes darn good poetry (read more about it here).

And Tiger might end up being an acrobat, or a florist, or a milliner, or a quantity surveyor, but she might also share a love of literature that has been passed down from both her mother's parents and her father's.

One day, we might share our favourite books, the way I do with my parents and parents-in-law.

Until then, I might start interspersing Hairy MacLary with some Auden or Keats or Hughes. See how she goes. Sharing poetry with my daughter could well be another one of the lovely things we do together.

Or it might be a dismal failure. She might just have a crush on The Tall Man. Whatever the case, last night, with my daughter, in a room full of words, was bliss-makingly lovely.

* The title of this blog post comes from this song. Which I will now have stuck in my head For All Eternity.

Thursday

FFS Friday - the "experiment" edition



Yesterday, Tiges and I decided to try a little experiment.

Every day, we go for a walk together to the Tram Place and back. Tiger loves feeling the wind on her little face and taking a stickybeak at life and all its wonder. Flowers are fascinating to Tiger. Trees are marvellous and magical. A loud bicycle bell is the funniest thing Of All Time. 

For Cackle Mummy, it's a daily lesson in taking notice of the small things; the things that might seem mundane and unimportant; the things you pass by without even noticing, when you're in a hurry to get someplace. Cackle Mummy loves these walks for this very reason.

But yesterday, Tiger and I realised something. In noticing the flowers and birds and ladybugs, we were neglecting to notice some things - or someones that we passed every day.

The road we walk along is a busy one and bustling with people. Tiger and I have been so lost in our own little world of Us that we haven't really paid them much attention.

So yesterday, inspired by a blog post from Poppy S, we decided to try out a little experiment. We decided to smile or say "hello" to every person we passed on the Very Long Road.

We were quite excited about our New Little Plan, and set out with smiles on our faces.

And you might be wondering where the FFS (For Fish Fingers' Sake) comes in all of this.

It comes here:

Out of all the people we smiled at, or said "hello" to on the Very Long Road - and there were perhaps twenty or thirty in all - only one said "hello" back.

And no, it was not the old lady in the cardigan and pearls. It was not the respectable-looking businessman. It was not the fellow mother with a baby Tiger's age in a pram.

It was a young fellow, maybe sixteen or seventeen, in baggy pants and a gangster-brand cap, perched upon a tiny bicycle and chugging on a can of Red Bull. Cackle Mummy was, in fact, a bit afraid of saying "hello" to this boy, as he seemed a little bit scary, with the tattoo on his bicep, on display beneath the arm-hole of a ratty "wife-beater".

But, in the interests of the experiment, we did indeed say "hello" and, in return, we received a beaming smile and a cheery "G'day. Good day for a walk, eh?"

And Cackle Mummy and Tiger were chuffed. Finally, someone said "hello". And nicely, too. 

To the rest of those people - the ones who failed to even acknowledge us?

FFS to you!

But we didn't let it get to us too badly, Tiges and I. We didn't slink home, dejected and defeated.
Instead, we went and sat in a sunbeam.


And it was lovely.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

PS: For more FFS Friday, go to http://www.dearbabyg.com/

Wednesday

Thankful Thursday: A sad day for Cackle Mummy

 
Yesterday was a day of mixed emotions for the Little Family.

I was very excited to be going back to my old school, to work with a gorgeous group of talented grade seven writers. It's always super lovely going back to The Best School Ever, and working with young people is always a privilege and a pleasure. This group was no exception. They were super talented and enthusiastic and we had a great day. I hope to have some of their work up on my Proper Professional Website very soon.

In all, it was a very happy-making time, sitting in that room with those great kids for much of the day.

But therein also lies the sadness of yesterday. 

"Much of the day".

"Much of the day", spent in the company of brilliant students, meant "much of the day" without my Tiger.

It was the longest stretch of time I have spent without my poppet since she was born. And it was haaarrrrdddd.

I felt like I was missing a limb. I felt like part of my heart was elsewhere. I felt, all day, as if I was not a whole person.

And if that sounds unforgivably soppy, I'm very sorry.

It would have been much worse if kind Daddy Bear (Tiger Primary Carer for the day) had not given into Cackle Mummy's pleadings that Tiger be brought in for a visit during the lunch break. It meant the day was harder for Daddy Bear as he had to spend much of it in the car, but there is Absolutely No Way I would have got through those hours without that golden forty minutes of hand-holding with my girl.

And at the end of the day - oh, to see Daddy Bear and my little girl (wearing a sun hat and a big smile), standing in a sunbeam outside the admin block!

My heart sang.

And the smile she gave me ...

Oh, I can't even describe it.

Any thoughts I may have entertained of weekend work evaporated yesterday. I thought I would be fine with leaving Tiger if it was with Daddy Bear, and one day I might be, but not yet.

Today, we will spend the day cuddling, and I will kiss her fuzzy head and we will have so many games and roly-polies and I will savour every single second, even more, because I know now what time spent without her feels like.

Even though it was a wonderful day, today will be better, because I have my Tiger back, and life with her is lovely.

So today, what am I thankful for? I'm thankful for great students, a wonderful school, lovely office ladies and teachers who asked to see my Tiger, a darling, generous Daddy Bear, but most of all I am thankful for that end-of-day smile. I am thankful for the little hand that gripped my finger all the way home. I am thankful for big blue eyes gazing up at my face. I am thankful for the love my girl has brought to my life. She gives me so much every day and I am utterly besotted by her.

I promise next week I will think of something to be thankful for that doesn't involve Tiger! 

~ Love, Miss Cackle

PS: For some non-Tiger thankfulness, go to http://www.weheartlife.com/

Monday

The Needle and the Damage Done


Today, Tiger will be having her six month immunisations.

I am scared.

It is the first time that Tiger and I will be doing the needle stuff all by our little selves. Prior to today, Husband Bear has always come with us. He is the sensible one. He is the stoic one. He is the "she'll-be-fine" one.

I am made of mush.

My heart breaks a little bit whenever I see my little girl in pain. I hate it when she cries. My entire body aches with her.

But I have to be strong. I have to be smiley and happy and not-at-all-how-I-actually-feel-which-is-terrified.

Tiger needs this.

She needs me to be the tough one. Guess this is what being a "grown-up" is about, huh? I always wondered about that ...

Yesterday, the immunisation debate was all over the news. I winced every time I saw or read something about it. It was a constant reminder of what Tiger will go through today.

But I winced more when I heard the statistic that one in twelve Australian children today is not vaccinated. 

I always say I respect the rights of parents to choose how they raise their child, but that figure does frighten me. Because the choice to not vaccinate your child doesn't only affect your child. It affects other children. Selfishly, I think, it might affect my Tiger.

Vaccination is so important. A world where vaccines do not exist is a hellish one.

Which is why, even though it will break my heart to see that big needle jabbing into my tiny girl; why it will devastate me to see her in pain, today we're going to get the needle. Because the damage done if we don't is far worse.

And afterwards, we will go for a walk and have some food and have a play and a cuddle, and Cackle Mummy will make everything lovely again. Because that is my job.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Sunday

Just Another Magic Monday


It's that time again! Monday! Hurrah!

"What's that?" I hear you say (I also hear less gentle, more expletive-laden responses to my previous statement, but I'll not repeat those here). "A Hurrah for a Monday? Why, this blogger is a most peculiar specimen indeed!"

I agree that Monday is not, traditionally, a hurrah-day. There are no TGIM memes, and the Boomtown Rats never sang, "I absolutely adore Mondays", did they?

But Mondays COULD have at least a little bit of Hurrah, if we'd only let them. Perhaps they're tired of being the Grumpy in the Seven Dwarves of days. Perhaps they've always, secretly, been longing to be Happy!

And maybe it's an unrealistic dream for poor Monday, but there is a way we can make this most downtrodden of days a little bit less yucky. All we need to do is find that small sliver of magic sparkle amongst the gloom.

So here is what I'm asking:

Today, keep an eye out for that one small thing that makes your Monday less manic and more magic. It could be a tiny thing: a long hot shower at the end of a long day, listening for awhile to your favourite radio station, putting an extra spoonful of Milo in your milk. Whatever it is, take note of it and let me know. We can all share the magic bits of our Mondays and help each other to find a smile amidst the Monday frowns.

What do you say? I'd love it if you'd help me find the magic in Mondays!

And what's my Magic Moment?

It happened very early in the day - about two am. Usually, after I do Tiger's middle-of-night feed, Bear gets up and we pass the baton. I go back to bed for another three hours and he sits up for the ten minutes or so it takes to settle Tiger.

See, usually, Tiger sees Daddy as "sleep" and Mummy as "play", so it takes Mummy a lot longer to settle Tiges. Also, Mummy often has a migraine in the middle of the night, so this is just a system we have set up that benefits everyone.

BUT!

This morning, Mummy settled Tiger all by her good self. Sure it took a bit longer than it would have taken Daddy Bear, and sure she woke up again just as Mummy was putting her into her cot BUT she went back to sleep ALL BY HER LITTLE SELF.

And Mummy was all, like, "Yeah, I got this. Don't need nobody else 'cos I am the settling QUEEN!"

And, as she sneakily got up to check her Tiger was, indeed, beautifully asleep, her heart almost burst with love for her tiny, clever thing.

One arm up.

One arm down.

Little rosebud mouth half open and snuffling.

Cackle Mummy thought she really did have the most magical thing in the world, lying in front of her. And the loveliest.

What's your magic moment?

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Saturday

Blue Jean Baby


I'm writing this, as I do every day, looking down at Tiger's tiny feet. 

Those of you who know us "in the real world" know that Tiger has a little quirk regarding her daytime sleepytimes: she will only kip if lying on top of me. It's just another one of her little eccentricities and we love her all the more for it.

So, as I write these posts I have the best view in the world - Tiger's snuffling, snoring little face and her glorious feet (yes, feet can be glorious, if they belong to a Tiger), and the bottoms of her trousers.

And that is the point of today's post: the trousers. 

Because today my little girl, for the first time, is wearing jeans. 

They are jeans threaded with glitter, and they have pink ruffles at the bottom, but they are jeans nonetheless.

And that might not seem like a Very Big Deal to you, but to this Cackle Mummy it's yet another reminder of how grown-up Tiger is becoming. Gone are the days of terry towelling suits and tiny cardis during the day. Now, Tiger has Day Clothes and Night Clothes. Last night she went to bed in a fabulous white floral confection that was more ruffle than suit. 

At night time, she still looks like a tiny baby. But during the day she is now a Big Girl.

Which is why I am grateful, quirky as it may be, for these cuddly sleepytimes. I know a day will come soon when Tiger outgrows them; when she becomes even more independent. And I am looking forward to those days - seeing the girl she becomes - but I am still cherishing these little moments of dependent babyhood while I still have them.

Time goes so quickly. My tiny girl is in jeans. I need to make the most of every single second, because they are all heartbreakingly lovely.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

 PS Here is Tiger in her blue jeans

Friday

What Tiger Did Next!

 
This week has been a big week for Tiger.

Not only has she learned how to roll IN THE WHOLE OTHER DIRECTION (granted, she has only done it once, but still, it's IN THE WHOLE OTHER DIRECTION!!!), she has outgrown a couple of her triple zero suits (the Time of the Double Zero is imminent!!!) and, perhaps most importantly, she has become a Robbie Williams fan.

But also ...

And this is a big one ...

Tiger is EATING ALL OF THE LUMPIES!

That's right! No more is Tiger restricted to "smooth" Tiger foods. She can now have BITS!

Sing it with me: "My lumps, my lumps, my lumps, my lumps! My lovely Tiger lumps!" 

(and yes, we do sing that while we are having our dins. Don't judge us)

This means Tiger has, just this week, had quinoa (pronounced, in manner of Bruce Lee, "KeeeeeeeNWAAAAAHHHH!)!

She has had congee (which is not, as Cackle Mummy thought, a type of eel, but an Indian rice porridgey thing)!

And, just last night, Tiger had POWER PORRIDGE!!!

It's true. Tiger is becoming a superhero. And POWER PORRIDGE will be her special, magic, superhero energy food. Super Tiger is coming! 

And her theme song will be sung by Robbie Williams.

Won't that be lovely?

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Thursday

FFS Friday


I always have a little trifle of trouble doing this post.

I mean, sure, there are things in my week that aren't so sunny. There are things that make me very sad. Sometimes, I cry. But there aren't many things that make me angry enough to exclaim FFS (For Fish-fingers Sake)!

This week, however, was a week in which I shut myself very briefly in the bathroom and yelled an expletive at the top of my lungs, before Getting My Smile On and returning to Tiger. It was better than an hour of Zen meditation. And no, it wasn't something Tiger had done that made me curse so revoltingly. It was just one of those "everything-that-can-possibly-go-wrong-does-and-massively" days, and Mama needed to cuss.


I think it was knocking the blue-thing-that-squirts-the-green-thing on my head while cleaning the toilet that was the straw that made the Cackle Mummy go sweary.

It may also have been tripping over the power cord or spilling almond milk all over myself or upending my rice crackers on the floor ...

Yes, it was just One Of Those Days.

But here are some other things that have made me go a bit fish-fingers this week.

Yesterday, a charming young fellow from "up the road" not only urinated on the church in front of me, but yelled I could "Go and get *coughs* 'fish-fingersed'" when I had the audacity to, um, keep walking by, head averted. With my baby. FFS

The rewiring job that was meant to take a day and a half has now stretched to three days. That's three days of no sleep for my Tiges, three days of the house looking like a war zone, three days of bangy, crashy, yelly, ALL OF THE NOISE. Cackle Mummy and Tiger would very much like it to stop now, please. FFS

The options for Tessie's "yummies" (code name for solids) at six months in the Rafferty's Garden range are "meat, meat, meat, chocolate custard, meat". And no, we are not planning on raising Tiger as a veggo, but we're not ready to start her on meat yet and we don't want to give her chocolate. SO we've had to change to "Organic Bubs", which have funky things like "Quinoa" (Tiger Laughs whenever I say that, as if I'm in a martial arts movie: "KeeeeeNWAH!!!") and "comgee" and porridge with mango in it. This is only a sort-of FFS as I liked the Rafferty's Garden stuff, but Organic Bubs seems good too.

Tiger's Big Paws Are Big. Hence all the little socks I just bought are now too little and a whole new lot of bigger little socks had to be bought. These will be too little in, oh, about a week. My girl is going to be a basketballer! Sort-of-FFS

And, erm, I ran out of brussels sprouts at dinner last night and I wanted brussels sprouts? Also-sort-of-FFS

Oh, and Samantha Jade won X Factor and I didn't want her to win But-in-the-scheme-of-like-the-war-in-the-Gaza-strip-not-so-FFS

And ... that's all I got. I'm terrible at this. I promise next week I'll try much harder to find All Of The Fish-Fingersness, but, see, when I look at my little girl, trying her darndest to roll in the Other Direction, or when I'm hugging her while listening to Josh Ritter or Clare Bowditch, it's so hard to find anything to be angry about. I mean, yes, she's teething and, yes, she's finding it hard to sleep, but they're not angry things, are they? They are sad-my-girl-is-hurting things. They do make me cry, but not in anger, in heart-hurt for my tiny brave Tiger.

Yes, there have been fish-fingery things this week but, in the scheme of things, it's been lovely.

I promise next week, I'll do better!

~ Love, Miss Cackle

PS Get some better FFSness at http://www.dearbabyg.com/

Wednesday

Thankful Thursday


I am thankful every day for my Tiger.

But today I am especially thankful, for the help she gave me yesterday.

Yesterday, some Noisy Men came to begin the rewiring of the candy pink house, in preparation for Husband Bear, Tiger and I finding some new digs.

Cackle Mummy was super stressed about this.

My Tiger doesn't sleep well during the day at the best of times (she's a night-sleep kinda gal), and it's been even worse since she's started teething. I was sure yesterday was going to be a nightmare, what will all the banging and crashing and yelling (and, as it turns out, massive insulation dust cloud coating the house in its ick).

I was certain Tiger would get horrendously overtired and miserable.

And, as it was, she did get tired - pretty hard for anybody to sleep, let alone a tiny girl, when there are four electricians crashing about in the roof and drilling in the walls and yelling "What, Mate? What did you say, Mate? The orange cable? Where the bloody hell's the orange cable? You mean the yellow cable?" at the top of their lungs all day. And so Tiger did get tired.

But she must have known. She must have known her Mummy was stressed. Because, even while exhausted, she was an angel. She only gave one very small grizzle all the Very Long Day. She gave Mummy lots of cuddles and played happily and let Mummy read her Hairy MacLary three times (more for Mummy's comfort than her own). 

She had every right to be Very Grumpy Indeed, but my Tiger chose instead to be happy. 

And so Cackle Mummy chose to be happy as well.

And yesterday could have been an utter nightmare, but with Tiger by my side (or on my knee), it felt as if it was Tiger and Mummy against the world. It was an adventure and I was so proud of my resilient little girl.

She is actually the loveliest thing that ever existed.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

PS Give yourself the treat of more Thankfulness at http://www.weheartlife.com/

Tuesday

Perfect "Imperfection"


Tessa has a freckle.

It's her first one, on her thigh. It was discovered while doing a nappy change and Cackle Mummy shed a little tear.

A First Freckle is a Very Big Deal.

Of course, the freckle isn't the only mark on my Tiger's gorgeous skin, as those who have met her know.

My Tiger has a "strawberry". It's a dark pink mark on the top of her little fuzzy head and I love it to bits and pieces.

Not everybody feels the same as I do, though.

I've lost count of the number of people who've asked, nose wrinkled, "What's that thing on her head" or, even worse, "Are you going to have it removed?"

No. Of course. I'm. Flipping. Not.

Unless, of course, it ever causes her pain or discomfort. Then, I'll have it whipped off in a second. But the mark is high on her head. It will be under her hair when she finally grows some. By the time she gets to school (where, yes, "kids can be cruel"), it will be well-and-truly hidden.

There is no way on this earth that I'd put my Tiger through unnecessary pain.

And besides, it is part of her - as integral to who she is as her big blue eyes or perfect rosebud mouth.

I think it's beautiful. 

And the fact that people think I should have it removed, and put my baby through pain in the process, so she could be more "perfect"? That, to me, is the real ugliness.

Tiger is lovely just as she is. Strawberry, first freckle and all.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Monday

Robbie and the Tiger



My dear friend (and one of Tiger's many Not Actual Aunties), Auntie RJ and I used to argue over who was the bigger Robbie Williams fan.

Auntie RJ's claim to the title was that she was a bigger Take That fan than I was - she had scrapbooks!

I argued that, since Robbie was my favourite member of Take That, I was the winner of Biggest Bobliever on the North West Coast.

Fifteen years on, we both still love the singer Poppy S fondly calls "The Plonker" (long story) and, over the past few days, I've been introducing my little girl to the wonders of Williams.

Before anybody has a coniption over me introducing Tiger to the sugary pop of Mr W (and *coughs* The Spice Girls and Katy Perry and ... ohnoes One Direction), please be assured that she is getting a most catholic musical education. Husband Bear is a huge metal fan, so car trips are sound-tracked not by The Wiggles but by Pain of Salvation, Sonata Arctica, Eluveitie and Wintersun.

Cackle Mummy is also a huge country fan, so Tiger is already familiar with Josh Ritter, Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson and Blake Shelton. CM also loves indie pop, so Ben Folds Five and Ball Park music are often playing during Tiger Wriggles.

But, for the past few days, it's been All About Bob and his stellar new album, Take The Crown.

While Tiges wiggles and jiggles, we don't play the sickly lullabies that come with her playmat. Instead, we listen to Candy and Hey Wow Yeah Yeah (as deliciously inane as it sounds).

While we snuggle, we listen to Different and Be a Boy. We are confused together by the lyrics to Into the Silence (misheard at first as "into the salad").

And there's something wonderful about spending time with my little girl, listening to the music I listened to as a child and teenager; the music I listened to with my precious friend who has just become a mother herself for the first time (and has Candy as her ringtone).

There is something "Circle of Life-ish" about it.

And when Tiger is older, no doubt she will spurn metal and country and even The Bob, and shock Husband Bear and Cackle Mummy with her musical tastes (please no RnB or electronica!!!), just like we shocked our parents, but that's perfectly fine.

That's the way it's meant to be. And it's just lovely.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Sunday

Just Another Magic Monday!


Here are some Things:
  1. Mondays can be stinky. If you have to go to work, you may not wish this to happen. You may still wish for all of the weekend things to still be being weekendy. If you are a SAHM or SAHD you may be sad that your little people are going away to school or your big people are going away to work and leaving you to your lonesome self. Whatever the case, for many people, Mondays are, in fact, manic.
  2. But what if they could be made a little bit less manic and a little bit more magic, simply be realising that, even amongst the manicness there was, in fact, magicness also?
  3. What if simply by identifying one magic thing in an otherwise manic day, things could seem a little bit brighter and happier?
  4. What if it was ENTIRELY POSSIBLE TO MAKE MONDAYS AWESOME SIMPLY BY DOING THIS?
  5. Or at least a little bit less stinky?" 
I'd love it if you'd share with me your Magic Monday moment. It would brighten up my day!

In the meantime, here's mine:

Watching my Tiger this morning learning two Whole New Things.
  1. Tiger learned, while playing with the dangly mirror on her playmat, that if she moved the mirror around it made lights on the wall!
  2. Tiger learned that, if she kicks the pole of her playmat, the dangly things wiggle!!!
It is so much fun watching Tiger learning New Things. Every little discovery is a huge revelation for her. A First. It reminds me that, even though we may not notice it, we all have Firsts every day. We SHOULD notice our Firsts. We should take the time to pay attention to the world and the magic in it. Babies do it. When do we stop?

I'd love it if you'd share with me a little bit of magic.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Saturday

Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah!


I don't have a snuggly baby.

Well, sometimes I do. But only sometimes, and only on her little terms.

I don't have the sort of baby who can be passed around from relative to relative; who will lie still and blissful in their arms, gazing up at them serenely.

I have the sort of baby who will go to said relative, stare up at them like "Who the fish finger are you?", lie there for a bit, out of obligation, and then begin to WIGGLE!

Yes, I have a wiggly baby. One who is exceedingly happy to play by her little self on her playmat, rolling and kicking and wriggling and jiggling. She is, and always has been, super dooper active. 

Tiger will stop the wiggly obsession only for a story and then only if it's a fantastically exciting one. Anything "sweet" or "soothing" is deemed BORING, so Hunwick's Egg and Koala Lou are out for now, but she adores Hairy MacLary, Belinda and Diary of a Wombat.

But, once the story is over, there is rarely any time for cuddles before the wiggly obsession kicks back in. Then it's back down on the playmat, where much glee and jubilation ensues.

The Will to Wiggle makes certain things - like feeding, for example - rather difficult, and it can be hard explaining to friends and family that Tiger's squirming doesn't mean she doesn't like you. It just means she's a Wiggle Addict.

But I wouldn't have her any other way. Our snuggles may not be frequent but, when they do occur, they're delicious and I know she's doing it because she wants to, not under duress.

It's just another way Tiger is unique. And lovely.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Friday

The Many Faces of Tiger


When Tiger was born, the first thing Cackle Mummy said to Husband Bear was, "Golly, she looks just like your mum!"

This may have had something to do with the beannie they put on Tiny Tiger's head when she came out, which looked remarkable similar to the beannies Gran L wears when she's out with the horses. 

But the fact remains. Tiger looks exactly like her Gran.

But, genetics being the quirky things they are, Tiger also, at times, looks like other members of her family. 

These are the Many Faces of Tiger.

The Daddy Bear

Tiger and Daddy Bear both pull the same face when they are feeling quite smug about something. In Daddy Bear's case, it is usually a joke he is going to play on Cackle Mummy. In Tiger's case, it is usually a poo.

The Uncle Lil Bro

When Lil Bro was a tiny thing, in every photo he would pull the same face - mouth wide, eyes huge, utterly hysterically ecstatic. Tiger does the same face, only not on film. On film, Tiger does the same thing Daddy Bear does - looks like she wants to kill the photographer.

The Uncle N

Uncle N is a charmer. Possessed of very handsome looks, his smile is enough to make any girl go weak at the knees. Unlike many charming men, however, Uncle N seems unaware of his skill and is actually, genuinely, a very sweet man. Nonetheless, he has a wickedly disarming smile, and Tiger has inherited it.

The Uncle A

Uncle A is a thinker. He can often be found reading Vonnegut, or painting dark, abstract pictures that Cackle Mummy is too ditsy to quite understand. He is also known to stare off into the distance, Thinking Deep Thoughts. Tiger does the same thing. Her thoughts may not be about Vonnegut. They may be about Chewing Her Hand. But the look is the same.

The Granda C

Granda C is fond of a yarn, and Cackle Mummy is very fond of his yarns. When Granda C is mid-yarn, he gets a very earnest expression on his face, at pains that you'll understand the gist of his story. When Tiger is in a talkative mood, she gets this same, very serious face, as if to say, "You understand what I'm saying, don't you, Mummy? You get what I'm saying? Right?"

The Poppy S

Cackle Mummy's dad can occasionally, much like his daughter, get a little bit bemused by life. The slightly confused and befuddled look he gets when this happens has passed down to his granddaughter, and can often be seen when Daddy is pulling funny faces at her, or when Mummy blows her nose or suddenly comes around the side of the fridge, when Tiger wasn't expecting it.
This is Mummy's favourite face.

The Grandma V

Cackle Mummy has a picture of Grandma V, standing, hands on hips, with the most gleeful smile on her face. Grandma V looks utterly pleased with herself, or proud, or just very satisfied with life. It's Grandma V's most hated photo but Cackle Mummy loves it. And Tiger does that same smile, when she's achieved something she's been working at, like rolling or reaching her ball. Or pooing.

The Great-Nan A

Great-Nan A has the most delicious, hearty, life-loving laugh and Tiger has inherited it. Mummy is in love with Tiger's laugh.

The Great-Grandma I

Another smile in Tiger's repertoire is the Great-Grandma I. It's a smile that comes packaged with a wicked twinkle in the eye and the suggestion that there's something she isn't telling Cackle Mummy. 

In Tiger's case, this often involves poo.

Of course, Tiger has many faces that are all her own. "Scrunch face" happens before an epic grizzle. "Tomato face" happens when poo is imminent. "Turbo-Tiges face" is Tiger's overtired-and-hyper expression. "Wobble-chin" breaks Cackle Mummy's heart.

And where is the face that looks like Cackle Mummy?

The dreamy, vague, slightly overwhelmed face that Tiger gets, when she's very, very tired is probably inherited from her Mummy. But also, the little almost-dimple in her cheek. This is especially lovely, because her Cackle Mummy has one on the left hand side of her face, and her Uncle Lil Bro has one on the right, and her Poppy S has two - he gave one to each of us, and Cackle Mummy gave hers to Tiger.

Genetics is a funny thing. But it can also be so lovely.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Thursday

(Not actually) FFS Friday (Tiger Birthday Edition)



I'm not as bendy as I used to be. Not as fit. Because I no longer go to the gym.

I no longer get to spend long, luxurious afternoons writing in coffee shops, over many cups of peppermint tea.

I can't go to the movies. Full stop.

I can't just catch up with friends without having to change the meeting time at least twice, because of Tiger's erratic sleeping patterns.

I can't fit into my old jeans.

I can't go to the toilet without an audience, or eat lunch when I'm hungry or do anything without commentating it (Now, Mummy is buttering her bread! Isn't this fun, Tigesy!).

I never get to sleep in.

FFS (For Fish-finger's Sake).

But you know what? I really, actually, truly, do not give even half a flying fish finger.

It's Tiger's half-birthday today. She is officially a Big Girl. She can roll! She can lift her whole chest up off the floor! She smacks her lips together when she's hungry. Soon, she will be able to eat food with lumps in it! She dresses in pants and tee shirts and even has her very own, very tiny pair of sunnies. 

When she came to us, Tiger was tiny - 2.1 kilograms of tiny and, two days after birth she was even tinier still, at 1.7. She had to lie in a special plastic crib, and Cackle Mummy and Daddy Bear weren't even allowed to touch her for the first couple of days, let alone hug her. Her breathing and heart rate were monitored. She had to be fed through a tube. She slept most of the day. For one night, she lay naked under a special blue light, and Cackle Mummy shed a tear at how small she was.

But I was also unbelievably proud of her strength.

Tiger never needed any help to breathe, or any medical intervention at all, part from that blue light and the feeding tube.  Even as small as she was, she constantly lifted her little bottom off the mattress. She graduated off feeding tube in record time, and we were able to bring her home a full three weeks earlier than expected, because of how well she was going.

Tiger was a fighter. Even before she was born, she endured two threatened miscarriages, three months of contractions and bleeding, one threatened preterm labour and a tumour on Mummy's placenta which was, in the end, the thing that meant Tiger came into the world six weeks early.

And as soon as she was in the world, Man, didn't Tiger own it.

I am so utterly, utterly filled with chest-puffing pride at my little girl. So strong and feisty and happy and determined and totally committed to rolling in the other direction ...

Bah to old jeans.

Bah to the gym.

Bah to the cinema. Bah to everything that I can't do and can't have, because what I do have is worth a million of everything else. I have Tiger and she is not a sacrifice. She is not a "giving up" or a "missing out". She is an absolute privilege. And today, on her half-birthday, I want to thank her, for every second of her life that I've been allowed to share.

She is my heart. 

She is phenomenally lovely.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

PS Read some actual FFS Friday at http://www.dearbabyg.com/

Wednesday

Thankful Thursday


Today, I am grateful for my Husband Bear.

I am grateful he is such a good father to Tiger - that he loves her every bit as much as I do and that he plays with her and baths her and settles her of a night. I'm grateful she loves him every bit as much. She thinks he's the bee's knees and the duck's guts and the cat's pyjamas. She is always utterly ecstatic to see him. He gets her biggest smiles and her closest hugs and it's beautiful to watch.

I am also grateful for the amazing husband he is. He has supported me through so many very hard times and been there for me when nobody else was, when many others wouldn't have been. He has to put up with my "artistic temperament" and my thin skin and my chaos and he is always my voice of reason when I am at my most unreasonable.

I love him more every day, even though I don't always say it.

HB, Tiges and I adore you. And we are so grateful for you. You are indescribably lovely.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

PS Get more Thankful at http://weheartlife.com/.

Ratbag Tiger!


This morning, Tiges did something she has not done since she was a Little Girl.

After Tiger's five thirty feed-and-cuddle, Cackle Mummy took Tiger to the change table to get her out of her Baby Smurf suit (it was a Smurf night last night, rather than a Muppet night), and into her Big Girl Day clothes.

This also involves changing Tiger's nappy.

Usually, at this time of day, having been Sleeping Tiger since two, Tiger's nappy is quite full and bowling-ball heavy.

So Cackle Mummy was, understandably surprised to find the nappy almost clean.

She took the nappy off.

And then there was the moment.

The slow-motion realistion.

The flicker of "aha".

If the nappy is so dry now, there must be one super doozy of a wee coming.

And oh. Tiger is not currently wearing a nappy.

All of this went through Cackle Mummy's head just as ... have you guessed yet?
Tiger weed.

And it was not a small wee.

It was a wee that went all over the socks ...

All over the singlet ...

All over Mummy's hand ...

All over Mummy's jacket ...

And ALL over EVERYTHING THAT WAS ON THE CHANGE TABLE.
Mummy took a moment to collect herself, while Tiger giggled gleefully. "Tiger," Mummy said calmly, "you are a ratbag."

Mummy then commenced the Clean Up of the Century, removing Tiger's wet things and giving her a Very Big Wipe with baby wipes (having judged that, as the wee seemed to go less on Tiger and more on Everything Else, a bath wasn't warranted).

She disinfected the change table and put Tiger back on it. She dressed Tiger in clean Big Girl Day Clothes. There was smiling and tickling and then ...

Vomit.

No, parents. Not "spill". Vomit. All over the everywhere.


It was a vomit that went all over the tee shirt ...

All over the singlet ...

All over Mummy's hand ...

All over Mummy's jacket ...

And ALL over EVERYTHING THAT WAS ON THE CHANGE TABLE.

Mummy took a moment to collect herself, while Tiger giggled gleefully. "Tiger," Mummy said calmly, "you are a ratbag."

Mummy then commenced the Clean Up of the Century, removing Tiger's wet things and giving her a Very Big Wipe with baby wipes (having judged that, as the vomit seemed to go less on Tiger and more on Everything Else, a bath wasn't warranted).

She disinfected the change table and put Tiger back on it. She dressed Tiger in clean Big Girl Day Clothes. There was smiling and tickling.

And the day went on.

And Tiger was so very proud of her little self, for her big wee and her big vomit, and Mummy was ... well, exhausted, but that's normal. Because Tiger likes to shake things up. Tiger likes to teach Mummy that complacency (i.e. not putting on a new nappy Very Quickly, because Tiger hasn't done a no-nappy-wee for ages), and "routine" and "calm" just don't exist in this parenting game.

She teaches Mummy to embrace the chaos. And that is a good lesson. That, in itself, is a lovely thing.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Tuesday

Mornings With Tiger


Five in the morning can be difficult. 

For some reason, maybe because the pixies and fairies are still out playing then, one in the morning seems so much easier. It's quiet then, so still, and the Tiger baby is - for the one time in her little day - serene and peaceful. 

There is something almost spiritual about one in the morning.

But five?

Tessa's "IT'S MORNING! HURRAH!" time is - almost to the minute - five thirty. Her internal body clock is very finely tuned. So Mummy gets up at five, to have a shower before the day begins. She's tried showering later, when Tiges is awake, but Tiger gets a little bit agitated when Mummy disappears behind the fogged-up shower screen, so a new plan had to be made.

And now we wake at five, shower quickly, have first breakfast ... All of this feels difficult. Mummy is still tired, crotchety, longing for the warmth of bed, and everything feels rushed and stressy.

But then, at five thirty, Tiger starts making her first little bleating "I'm wakey!" calls. She starts rustling around in her bed, stretching and grunting. 

She makes a noise that sounds a bit (but probably, to a non-Mummy ear, nothing like) "Mummy"!

And, suddenly, things don't seem so difficult.

Mummy goes back into the bedroom and scoops her little bundle into her arms and whispers, "Morning Tiges. Welcome back to the world. It's better with you in it". And Tiger, unfailingly, gives Mummy a big, sleepy smile.

The feed is less serene than the last one - Tiges is now ALL OF THE EXCITEDS - but it's fun. And then, the best bit.

Mummy takes Tiger to the change table to get her into her Big Girl Day Clothes and Tiger realises IT'S ON! The day is happening! Mummy wasn't just having a joke! THINGS ARE GOING ON!

And the squealing commences. And the little jittery movements and quick breathing. And the gleeful smiling. TIGER IS ALIVE! THINGS IS THE AWESOME!

And Mummy is swept up in the jubilation.

Five in the morning can be difficult.

Five thirty is oh so lovely.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Monday

What makes a good mum?

 
This morning, a "something" happened. A "something" that made a certain Cackle Mummy rather ponderous. 

And what she pondered was this:

What makes a good mummy?

And, of course, her tired mind was flooded with answers, like:

  • One whose baby sleeps beautifully in their cot
  • One whose baby always has spill-free clothing
  • One whose baby lives in a clean house, which is never neglected in favour of playing with said baby or writing stories
  • One whose baby is breastfed exclusively for the recommended length of time
  • One whose baby never cries
  • One whose baby meets each of their milestones at the expected time
  • One whose baby never has a papercut on their nose or a fingernail scratch on their cheek
  • One whose baby eats every flavour of their organic baby food (instead of steadfastly refusing mango, despite seeming to like it at first)
  • One whose baby is quiet and never yells in glee or anger
  • One whose baby can roll in both directions
  • One whose baby loves being held, and wouldn't usually prefer to be rolling
  • One whose baby didn't stuff her fist so far down her throat it made her gag and cry ... and then do it again
  • One whose baby is never covered in Mummy's breakfast
Once the certain Cackle Mummy's brain had ceased its Dance Of Shame, the Cackle Mummy looked down at her little girl, smiling and snuffling in her arms (the only place she will sleep during the day, rather than "beautifully in her cot").

And she saw that her Tiger was peaceful and smiling in her sleep. And strong and healthy. And she remembered that, after the "something", she and Tiger had a wonderful read of Hairy MacLary and a stellar tummy time and then just lay there together for awhile, on the floor, just breathing and smiling at each other.

And she revised her list.

A good mummy, she decided, just loves her baby so much it hurts and tries to do the best for them, even if they don't always succeed and often make mistakes. "Somethings" will happen but, as a very wise Bear of the Husband variety noted this morning, what's important is that we learn from the somethings and try to do better next time, not that we put ourselves in the Chokey Of Guilt for all eternity.

And:
  • A good mummy helps their baby to sleep, in whatever way works, even if it's on Mummy's belly.
  • A good mummy cleans spills when she notices them, makes sure they aren't dangerous spills, and forgets about them. Babies spill. End of.
  • A good mummy reads stories and hugs and plays and, when the baby is asleep, does whatever makes her feel sane. Bah to housework (unless housework makes Mummy sane).
  • A good mummy tries to breastfeed, but if it doesn't work, does whatever it takes to nourish their baby. End. Of.
  • A good mummy tries to help her baby when she cries, but knows that sometimes babies just do cry. For no reason whatsoever.
  • Bah to milestones.
  • A good mummy secretly thinks it's cool that her baby got a papercut (one that didn't even draw either blood or a grizzle), while her baby was trying to help Mummy read a story. Baby likes book! Win!
  • A good mummy tells her baby, "it's fine. I hate mango too, and tries to hide the mango in some apple and cinnamon (at least, I hope that's what a good mummy does)!
  • A good mummy is stoked her baby is feisty and loves talking.
  • A good mummy tries turning her baby in the other direction but, after watching her roll three hundred and sixty five degrees around her playmat, sighs and says, "That's cool, Tiger. You'll get there."
  • A good mummy lets her baby roll if that's what she wants to do.
  • A good mummy lets her baby put her fist in her throat, gag and do it again, if that's what she wants to do (she'll make the connection eventually).
  • A good mummy looks down at happy, sleeping, breakfast-covered baby, laughs, judges that toast is still edible, picks it up and eats it.
And what, you might ask, makes a good baby?

Baby.

Baby is all baby needs to be.

And Tiger baby is awesome at being baby.

So that's just fine. That's just lovely.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Sunday

Just Another Magic Monday


Last Monday, I wrote a thing. It went a little something like this:


"I have been having some thoughts. For a relatively new mother, this in itself is cause for celebration (if the thoughts are anything other than "need food", "so tired" and "what is the word for that thing that ... does the ... thing ..."). 

It's even better when the thoughts just happen to be VERY GOOD THOUGHTS.

Well, at least, I think they're good thoughts. And Tiger agrees and she thought I should share the thoughts with you all.

The thoughts are as follows:

  1. Mondays can be stinky. If you have to go to work, you may not wish this to happen. You may still wish for all of the weekend things to still be being weekendy. If you are a SAHM or SAHD you may be sad that your little people are going away to school or your big people are going away to work and leaving you to your lonesome self. Whatever the case, for many people, Mondays are, in fact, manic.
  2. But what if they could be made a little bit less manic and a little bit more magic, simply be realising that, even amongst the manicness there was, in fact, magicness also?
  3. What if simply by identifying one magic thing in an otherwise manic day, things could seem a little bit brighter and happier?
  4. What if it was ENTIRELY POSSIBLE TO MAKE MONDAYS AWESOME SIMPLY BY DOING THIS?
  5. Or at least a little bit less stinky?"
Many, many people read my little thing. Many more than have read any of my things in the past.

BUT ...

Only three people had experienced something magic in their Monday.

And this made me a bit sad. Because, surely, there is magic in everybody's Monday, isn't there, if they just keep an eye out for it and don't let it pass them by in a fog of to-dos and lists and projects and files and meetings and bad coffee and computer-chairs-that-spontaneously-plummet-downwards?

So, today I'm posting this early, to give you a heads up: Look for the magic thing. Look all day. You might discover you find it at 9am (it might be a yummy apple muffin at your favourite coffee shop), or 3pm (an old lady might smile at you on the bus), or even 9pm (your loved-one might give you a kiss on the forehead and ask you about your day). 

Whenever it is, whatever it is, make note of it and share it here. And make Monday a bit more magical.

I'll start, because my magic thing has just happened. It was watching Tiger rolling 360 degrees around her play mat because she can only roll in the one direction, and then seeing the determination on her face as she tried to go back the way she came. She didn't get there but she tried gosh-darn hard and her courage and never-say-die attitude was enough to bring a huge smile to my face at 5am. She's just lovely.

Now, over to you. What made your Monday magic?

~ Love, Miss Cackle 

Saturday

One wedding and a Tiger!




“You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.” 

Yesterday, I took Tiger to her very first wedding. She dressed up in her very finest dress and hat, and her little socks that look like shoes. I wiped her face and her fluffy little hands and we stepped out into the sunlight.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” 

The wedding was in Hadspen, a little drive away from the candy pink house. Tiger spent the drive looking out the window at Sheep! and Paddocks! and Trees! and Alpacas! Her little head whipped from side-to-side, taking it all in and smiling.
And then we were there. We found some friends with other babies for Tiger to stare at, and we watched the lovely ceremony.

Well, I watched the lovely ceremony.

Tiger stared up at a tree in wonder.

And then I stared up at the tree in wonder too.

I wonder if she was seeing fairies.

“It's opener, out there, in the wide, open air.” 

But then I was brought back into the moment, when one of the bridesmaids gave a reading from Dr Seuss - Oh The Places You'll Go.

“Out there things can happen, and frequently do, To people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don't worry, don't stew. Just go right along, you'll start happening too!” 

And, despite my worries that she'd get bored and restless, Tiger smiled and giggled. And then, after the ceremony, she fell asleep in my arms. And she woke and she charmed everyone with her big blue eyes again. And I congratulated the bride and groom, and Tiger did too.

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!” 

And then, again, she fell asleep in my arms and we stood in a sunbeam and danced, by ourselves, to some songs we liked and some we didn't, but we didn't care because we were dancing together.

"There is fun to be done!"
 
And, throughout the whole day, I felt nothing but blissful love. Weddings are always an emotional experience but never have I attended one carrying my whole heart in my arms, in a pretty blue dress sewn by Grandma V. Never have I known, so concretely, what love actually is.

I love my girl. She is my world. And yesterday, I was so in awe of her.

“Kid, you'll move mountains.” 

Kid, you're just unbelievably lovely.
~ Love, Miss Cackle

Friday

A Very Bad Thing (A sort-of FFS post)


Yesterday, a Very Bad Thing happened to Miss Tiger and her Cackle Mummy. 

Prior to Tiger, this Very Bad Thing might have been brushed off by Cackle Mummy as Just One Of THOSE Things, instead of a Very Bad One, but since Tiger, every thing has a different meaning, and this one was definitely Very Bad.

The VBT happened while Tiger and I were having our daily walk, down to the tramsheds.

The walk was an especially lovely one, full of sunbeams and tweeting birds and songs about frogs that go la-di-da-di-da (very sorry if this is now stuck in your head for all eternity as it was in mine yesterday). Tiger wore her new spunky sunnies and sunhat and looked quite the thing. She giggled and whipped her little head from side to side, taking it all in.

We even saw a tram at Inveresk. The driver waved at us and Tiger waved back (with a little bit of help from Mummy).

It was all so very lovely until ...

The nasty man.

The same nasty man who upset Tiger a few weeks ago. This time, he didn't try and push Tiger and Cackle Mummy over but he did yell at us, and he woke a Tiger who had just started to doze after her big adventure.

He upset Tiger very much indeed. So much so that, for the rest of the journey home, Tiger was quite ... vocal about her upset.

People looked. Some horrid Other Mummies with blonde hair and fancy prams even laughed at Tiger and Cackle Mummy (shakes fist at these Other Mummies).

And no matter what Cackle Mummy did, Tiger was still sad.

FFS (in the candy pink house, this means For Fishfinger's Sake).

So what in all of this is lovely?

Well, after Tiger and Cackle Mummy finally arrived home (just before the BIG STORM - Hurrah!), Mummy helped Tiger out of her Tiger Transportation Vehicle (AKA Baby Bjorn), and lay Tiger down on the floor and started singing to Tiger (it may or may not have been Robbie Williams' Angels), and, after no more than a minute, Tiger was smiling (very sleepily), again.

And Mummy was so proud of her brave, resilient girl.

And, after a Big Sleep, Tiger woke with a smile on her face, VBT all forgotten, and the rest of the day was extraordinarily lovely.

And I thought: There's something to learn here. When Very Bad Things happen, it's quite fine to cry a bit, even if people stare or laugh at you. But then you should sing a bit (I recommend Robbie Williams), maybe have a sleep ...

And then smile again.

~ Love, Miss Cackle

PS, FFS Friday is done wonderfully at Dear Baby G and Mrs Smyth Gets a Life.

Thursday

Thankful Th-riday


Gah!

For the second week in a row I've got my days all muddled, so my Thankful Thursday is actually a Thankful Thriday!

It still counts, though, right (Tiger crosses Tiger paws), http://weheartlife.com/?

Well, regardless, I am very thankful this Thriday, and I'd love to tell you all about it.

Yesterday was actually a bit of an erky day in the candy pink house. The details of the erkiness don't matter - although Tiger was at pains that I should stress they had nothing to do with her little self (as you will discover below). The main thing is that I got through them, with the help of my little girl, and that's what I am thankful for.

I am grateful for Tiger.

I am grateful for Tiger hugs and Tiger smiles and Tiger holding my finger and gooing while I had a difficult conversation. I'm grateful for Tiger sleeping in my arms in the early hours of this morning while I read a difficult email. I am grateful that, with Tiger here, not only SHOULD I not fall to pieces, I have no inclination to. 

Because she is so amazing and precious and wonderful and even the thought of crying when she's wriggling in front of me seems ludicrous.

I never want Tiges to have to be an emotional support to me - that's not her job - but a sneaky cuddle when Mummy is feeling a bit less than super can't do any harm, can it?

I'm grateful, too, for all the lovely people who in some little way made me feel better yesterday, whether they knew it or not. Messages of support, emails, phone calls, smiles, a lovely chat with an old lady across the road - all of these made yesterday that much brighter.

The best thing, though? Seeing my little girl splashing about in the bath with her daddy while he sang her silly songs and thought I wasn't watching. He loves our girl so very gosh-darn much and she adores him right back. When she's old enough to eat bread, she'll think he's the best thing since it was sliced and sprinkled with hundreds-and-thousands.

I'm grateful to Daddy Bear for loving our girl. I'm grateful to both of them for giving me a precious family.

Bah humbug to bad days. I am loved and I love, deeply. That's more than enough to be thankful for!

~ Love, Miss Cackle

Wednesday

Things won't always be lovely


Yesterday, my Tiger and I sat cuddling on our back porch, watching birds hop around the garden (for those of you who know me well, you'll understand why I was chuffed to see blackbirds AND STARLINGS!). As we cuddled, we had a little chat, and I said this to her:

Tiger, you are the most special, wondrous, magical thing that has ever entered my world. It is a privilege to be allowed to spend time with you each day, to watch you wriggle and roll and grab things and CHEW ALL OF THE THINGS. Watching you learn about the world is the most exciting, miraculous thing. Hugging you makes my heart hurt. Sharing stories with you, sharing all your first moments, sharing your little life ... all of that just makes my life so much luckier. You've already given me more than I could ever ask for. And I just want to spend every moment of my life giving all that happiness back to you.

But I will fail. I've already failed, so much and so often.

I failed to grow you inside me for as long as you needed. I failed to be able to cuddle you and kiss you and feed you in those first precious moments of your life. After months of trying, I now have to concede I'm failing to breastfeed you. I've failed at getting you to sleep in your bed during the day. 

And, sometimes, you cry.

On a daily basis, there are little failures too. I failed to notice that you'd done a little spill until you faceplanted into it. I failed to prevent you getting your first papercut. I failed to put a nappy out for Daddy when he did your bath. I failed to clean your little hands of fluff until you'd made a big fluffball in your palm. I failed to realise you were chewing on Hairy MacLary until you'd eaten half of Bottomley Potts ...

I fail, big time, at getting all the housework done so you live in a tidy home.

And it would be so easy to concentrate on all of those failures. It would be so easy to list them in my head, over and over and make this life I share with you all about how bad a mother I am and how you deserve more.

But oh golly, Tiger! That would be such a waste. Because, despite my flaws, you smile at me every day, and you laugh and you squeal with pure joy at just being alive and for me to ignore that and concentrate instead on me and my hangups - that would be the biggest failing of all.

It won't always be lovely.

We won't always get along.

I will stuff up, over and over and over again but ...

You are still a miracle. You are still, and will always be, the most beautiful, magical, hard-working, funny, precious thing in my world and I am going to think more about that and less about how I've failed you. Because that smile and this cuddle and the story we just had mean I haven't really failed you at all.

Because you are just lovely. No, you know what? We are just lovely.

~ Love, Miss Cackle