Monday, 24 March 2014

Little Wonk

Dear Loops,

Where on earth did that go? We were counting in weeks; then months and now it's fractions. Somehow you are now a quarter! I'm not really up on all the percentile information which most would agree is a bit strange for me as usually I'm the one doing the math. All I know is that you're doing well, growing as expected and that you're tall. No surprise there then.

You're also incredible. Love and trust glowing from your eyes, you were smiling from day one. Back in those days, many moons ago - three moons, blimey, is it really only three? - your world consisted of a different ward every second day, whispered worries, a multitude of experimental midwives, exhausted, proud parents and sponges and custards eaten cold as a new parent's timetable ill conforms to the nine to five hospital norm.

After one false start, we finally bade farewell to the mixed blessings of the maternity to land in the tinselly kitsch of home, five days ahead of Rudolph and Santa. Surrounded by four grandparents, an uncle, aunt, cousin and bleary-eyed Mum and Dad, your milk tasted of barbecued turkey, Christmas pudding and chocolate. Life was all about the twinkling tree lights, cuddles, walks, sleeps and a waterfall of pink flowing from the letterbox each morning. Your Dad tried to stem the tide with rock but he knows it just causes temporary eddies in the pink river.

Santa left for another year and was soon followed by the extended family, leaving behind peace, quiet and a large space where once twinkled the biggest tree we could fit through the front door. You took all of this in your small stride, saving your smiles for those that matter, sharing a giggle and an amazing grin.

The months changed and with them the weather went from wet to wetter. We no longer lamented the absent white Christmas but devoted our minds to calculating how high above water we live and whether we'd survive. A few hundred metres away, the Crane swelled from a lazy dribble to a raging trickle. The local ducks risked everything to circumnavigate a fallen branch, not without raising a sodden eyebrow.

All the while you smiled, not a worry in the world. To the thousands of times someone claimed it was wind, you smiled politely and laughed inwardly as you punished them with a pop. You greet everything and everyone with delight and truly are our pride and joy.

February brought a potential minefield: the Six Nations; who would you support? Surely the only way to decide would be to await the important fixture and then go with the winners. You soon discovered there is a BOD but even He could not prevent the inevitable; the Quinze de la Rose stole the honours and your allegiances were confirmed: shared, but favouring whichever parent is within earshot. Canny lass.

0-3 becomes 3-6 as clothes and  shoes and clothes and clothes are packaged up and loftward bound, ready for any sibling arrival who may arrive for sibling rivalry. Hours are spent in Kiddicare and Mothercare, followed by necessary trips to Daddycare for a restorative pint.

Evenings are now spent pausing the TV when the sound-detecting monitor whispers into life and creeping up the stairs when the silence becomes deafening, just to be sure. You lie there. Sometimes peacefully, sometimes frantically; always with your arms raised in a vee, pleasing Daddy's 90s grunge roots no end. Sometimes you lie so still that we have to hold our breath to hear. Sometimes we have to touch your hand, just to be sure. Often you respond with startled jazz hands before resuming sleep. Always we love you, impossibly just a little bit more each time.

Our lives have changed immeasurably but we wouldn't change it for the world, little Frog Princess. From swimming on a Sunday, you so trusting in and out of the shallows, to giggling on your mat, making the world smile with you.

As you are the product of us both, it can only mean that your Mummy is even more incredible than previously thought. And that makes me the luckiest man in the world, to have two incredible girls to come home to.

Thank you, little Wonk, little Stink, little Loops,

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