The other night, whilst my partner was working her evening shift, I had put my fourth and fifth child to bed first.It was around half six, my eldest two are at their Nana’s house for a few days, so I left my third child up for a while.
She was doing one of her puzzles.
She loves them, by the age of four she was completing 100 piece puzzles on her own. It would take her some time, but she wouldn’t give up.
She doesn’t use the picture on the box, she somehow knows where the pieces are meant to go.
I guess she’s good at recognising patterns.
I left her up until eight to finish it.
Then, she calmly allowed me to take her to bed.
I brushed her teeth and walked her to her room.
As I walked in, I looked at the next bed and saw a mound.
My fourth was asleep.
So I did the her songs and tucked her in, kissed her good night and made my way downstairs.
I had just made it to the bottom of the stairs that she screamed so loud it chilled me to the bone.
I ran upstairs and saw her sat upright, huddled in a corner of her bed.
“Someone is in my room!” She pointed to the curtain crying.
The mound was still in the next bed when I next glanced.
For a second I thought she might have seen the shadow of an insect (it was till light enough), or one of the neighbours cats had somehow managed to come in.
Expecting it to be empty space between the curtain and the window, I swatted the heavy material quite hard as to scare away any insect.
The curtain didn’t do what I wanted it to, it had remained stiff, there was something solid behind.
For a second I couldn’t move.
Then I saw a foot pocking out from underneath. I pulled the curtain open and there she was, the one who was meant to be asleep, hidden, looking out of the window.
My four year old has fooled me into thinking she was in bed asleep by making a mound of her duvet and keeping absolutely quiet.
By that point she had started crying, not because she had been caught but because of my swat of the curtain. It either shocked or hurt her. Probably both and I felt awful.
I comforted her, explained what happened and she calmed down.
We always knew she was clever, but had never realised how clever until that point.
Let me explain a few things.
When it comes to being quiet, this child is not the one. She’s tall and quite strong built and when she tip toes she can’t help giggling. When she’s sneaking around upstairs, it’s like a heard of elephants running across the ceiling. She whistles whilst she walks down the road. She doesn’t know how to keep quiet, the only time she is, is when she’s asleep and God help us if she naps during the day she won’t sleep at night.
She’s the girl that plays with trucks, helicopters and cars, but loves dressing up and wearing skirts. Her leggings are pulled up to the knee which are full of scrapes and bruises. It’s also funny how she wants a plaster when she gets the smallest graze. She doesn’t like walking around as much as she prefers to run and hop. She’s never still.
She seems to like having a fight with her sisters and is the only one who doesn’t freak out when a dog comes near her. She is strong, she can make her eight year old sister cry. We don’t condone violence, but she’s one child I will not worry about if she gets into a fight, as long as she doesn’t turn into a bully.
She’s a lot like me as a kid, rough, tough and looks unwashed even after a shower.
You wouldn’t think that of me if you saw me now, I’m calm and quiet. So there’s hope at the end of the tunnel.
One more thing about her, she’s caring. Her nursery tapestry is filled with comments like:
She looked after this child
She helped this child when they fell
She looked after a sick child until their parents arrived.
And we witness that when it comes to her younger sister. She cuddles her, makes sure the baby doesn’t go up the stairs, helps her when she falls and calls us if she’s being naughty.
Her active body and mind makes her hard work when we go out, especially when she’s with her five year old sister. She’s so busy that she doesn’t listen and we can’t take our eyes off her for a second because we fear she’ll be gone, or hiding somewhere, giggling at herself.
We are the tired ones when we get home.
She’s also very brave for one so young.
During one of her tumbles she damaged a tooth and when we took her to the dentist we got told it had to be removed. We panicked, we thought we were going to have war when she saw the needle.
That child did not move from the chair.
She allowed the dentist to inject and remove the tooth without fuss. Even the dentist was amazed.
I shake when I have to go for a check up and talk so much in the hope that they decide it’s not worth looking at my teeth.
I see many traits in my children that I would love to have.
Now, apart from her inability to stay still, she’s growing up to be a lovely little person and I do hope that loving nature keeps shining through as well as the cunningness that she is starting to develop.
I look forward to see what she does next.