Rejoicing at buffoons and what I have

When I started this blog, I said to myself that I was going to try tell my stories in the most unbiased manner possible, relating everything as it happened. I wanted to put some humour that parents could relate to. Most important of all, I was not going to talk about religion and politics.My views are personal and I’d rather have a good debate with people rather than shove my opinion down people’s throat through the medium of technology.

Where’s the fun when you haven’t got someone to answer back and argue the point. Even the people who I’m friends with on social media will agree that I don’t put many political or religious ideals forward. The most I’ll do is put a concern forward to take on board what others have to say or I’ll answer a tread, especially if I feel strongly about it.

There is no such thing as a country that is free from greed and corruption and the referendum on Europe proved it. I find it sad when people believ that they need to lie in order to win. That’s not the kind of example I want my children to follow. If the people who run a country can’t be honest in their campaign, what hope is there for the future of our children?

These kind of situations play a great deal on my mind and it takes a lot for me to speak about them. It was a democratic process and the best campaign won in the end.

However, there are some things I want to share about some experiences I’ve had living in a dictatorship. Even though I didn’t spend any significant amount of time in this country to make a difference to my thought processes, it has made an impact on me, the way the people had to live their everyday life.

Like in every dictatorial state, the leader of the country does a lot, to start with, to get the people on his side. They might benefit by getting free medical care, a home for everyone so that no one lives on the street. Essential bills, like water, gas and electricity might be reduced or completely abolished.

But at what price?

One of my earliest memories; I was around four maybe five years of age. I had sat down to have my meal and the television was on. I was flicking through the channels trying to find some cartoons to watch but all the broadcasts had been blocked, all that could be viewed was the national channel.

A man was talking into the camera, behind him, stood men with nooses round their necks.

My mother was in the kitchen and my father was in another room.

‘For speaking ill of our great leader, yadda yadda yadda (and all the praise they give their leaders), you have been condemned to hang by you necks until you are dead. Do you have any last words.’

Every one of those men had blank stares in their eyes, one of them broke down and sobbed, praying to God to be spared when the planks under their feet were released, their feet hanging, kicking in mid air trying to find something to lean on for salvation.

That’s when my father came in and switched the television off, asking me why was I watching that junk?

‘You are too young to be watching horror films.’

I was confused, I thought horror films were only shown at night and it was only early evening.

As always, it’s not until you are a bit older that you realise what you were watching and the effect it can have on your fragile little mind.

I remember going out with my uncles or friends, being looked upon with suspicion.

‘Is he safe?’ These people would ask.

‘Yes, he’s a foreigner. He doesn’t understand.’

Then they would talk about the government, the way things were going in the country….things that we take for granted.

We can freely express our dislike for our leaders and the way they run the country, but they couldn’t. There were spies and snitches everywhere who would have sold their mothers for a reward or a favour from one of the police who patrolled the streets.

Yes, they had luxuries, but at what cost?

I heard it said many times that they would rather live on the streets as a free person, to be able to say and think what they liked instead of having some material possessions and live in fear.

So, I understand immigrants who want to flee their countries because they live in fear. Be it war or the terror imposed by their regime.

We are created equal and to feel like you are equal is one of the most liberating feelings in the world, regardless whether the politicians are liars or corrupt scumbags. Look at Italy as a prime example, their former prime minister was a pawn for the mob, but the people where still free to express their beliefs.

Just to be able to say it is a feeling of great freedom.

So I thank my blessings that I live in this country where I can express my opinion without fear of repercussion (within reason of course, I’m sure that talking about a coup wouldn’t go unnoticed). I’m glad that my children can look at politicians and can give an honest opinion without worrying about being prosecuted or persecuted for their ideals. For all its faults, this is a good country we live in and it’s a shame that the minority of ignorant beings who inhabit this planet are trying to scare us into a hole so we can live a sheltered life scared of our own shadow.

So I rejoice and count my blessings everyday as long as I live here.

I’ve added a link from one of my favourite comedians, I’ve come to admire him for the way he deals with what life has thrown at him:

Trevor Noah on being mixed race in South Africa

The joys of hair

I live in a world covered in hair. Everywhere I look, any place I turn to, all I see is hair, hair and more hair.All the girls in my house have very long hair.

My partner, whose around five foot eight has hair down to the middle of her back. The eldest three have it down to their bum, my fourth’s is half of way down and the youngest’s only started to reach her shoulders.


I believe, that all together, they must have at least six feet of hair.

I find it everywhere; on my clothes, on my own head, round my fork, in my work bag and sometimes in my food.

My plug holes are constantly blocked after every shower, by the time I’ve pulled it out, I have, what looks like a yarn of wool in hair.

My partner is very good at knitting, I wonder, if I collect enough and spin it, can she make something from it?


What a wonderful and very personal gift.

I’m only joking about that.

Don’t get me started about shower time….

It has only been a recent thing for my eldest to start showering herself, however, she needs help rinsing her hair. So that’s one less stress.

My second wants to be independent, but we worry for her, I really believe that she would be the kind of person to wash her body with shampoo and she fidgets too much to be trusted to be on her own in a wet slippery bath tub.

Three and four tend to get washed together, they are small enough and it’s a bit like the two for the price of one scenario.

I wish I had a megaphone, every time it was time for their shower.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! FOR TONIGHTS MAIN EVEN.

IN THIS CORNER, WEIGHING IT AT !!!POUNDS, WE HAVE, THE ELDER SISTER, THE MISSUS WITH THE LUNGS OF STEEL, THE ONE AND ONLY!!!!!!

AND IN THIS CORNER WEIGHING IT AT !!!!POUNDS, WE HAVE THE BRUISER FROM THE WEST, THE ROUGHEST GRIMIEST, ONE AND ONLY!!!!!

And I’m not exaggerating.

ROUND ONE

Ding ding!

I hear them coming up the stair like a herd of elephants shouting, fighting and screaming.

‘You hurt me!’

‘I was first!’

‘She hit me!’

‘Daaaaddddyyyyy!!!!’

As they approach they are tugging and pushing trying to get to the bathroom door first and they’ve already stripped, leaving a trail of clothes behind them.

ROUND TWO

Ding ding!

The water factor.

It always seems to hot or too cold for them, then they decide not to agree until it gets to the point when the shower head is spraying in their direction and I’m soaking them.

We have a few giggles at this point, they do a little dance as they are being washed until one crashes into the other.

That’s when the sly elbow comes in, then the kick, there’s lather streaming down the bath, I can see a foot slipping as they are trying to fight.

The referee has just stopped the match and sent the fighters into their respective corner.

The strange thing is, every time I do that, the intro from ‘Come out and play’ by the Offspring starts to earwig me.

So, anyway, the shower goes on and it’s time to come out of the bath.

I’ve only once made the mistake of taking my third out first and my fourth decided it was time to run up and down the wet bath like it was a racecourse, needless to say, she slipped.

She laughed and I died.

For a split second anyway. My heart came to a complete stop as the scene played out in slow motion.

Never again, from that day she’s always been first out.

I digress.

Back to where I was.

Getting them out of the bath, putting their dressing gown on is easy.

This time there’s no fighting going down the stairs because they are going down one at a time.

ROUND THREE

Ding ding!!!

Mummy is downstairs waiting, brush in one hand and hairdryer in the other.

My eldest is first at having her hair brushed and dried, then plaited.

No problem, done!

Our third goes next.

Crash, bam, wallop, done!

Easy so far.

Then our fourth.

She squirms a bit, says a couple of ouches, but she’s rapidly done.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!! AND FOR YOUR MAIN ATTRACTION!!!!

In enters our second, last but not least, but kept for last so that her younger siblings don’t emulate her.

Her neck is down, her eyes closed and the pain is written on her face.

The brush hasn’t even touched her head yet.

Ouch, ouch, ouch.

Squirm, squirm, squirm.

‘Stop moving, it will hurt more if you fidget.’

‘It hurts!’ Comes out in a long whine.

Mummy looks up at me, ‘I haven’t even reached a knot yet.’

I have tried it myself, regardless how gentle you are, she will cry when the brush touches (I hope you’ve noticed that I have said touches and not brushes) the first knot.

She covers her face and the shouting and screaming starts.

I’m sure that anyone walking past our house at this point would think that we were killing her.

One thing that we pride ourself on, is giving our children an option on many things. Their hair being one of them.

None of our children want their hair cut. Not yet anyway.

We try to keep it trimmed and neat however.

Apart from our second, they get to enjoy their hair. They get buns, plaits, ponytails and they get to keep it loose on special occasions.

Our second child does not. Her hair gets plaited and in a bun on her head and it does not come down until the next morning where it’s brushed (to our trauma) and re-done.


It’s a shame because she has, like her other sisters, beautiful hair.

And I do suffer from hair envy, having lost mine at nineteen.

By the age of eighteen my hair was half way down my back and then….nothing.

So when I see how my second child has to keep hers, it annoys me because I haven’t got any left and I wish I could trade places with her.

I would never moan or complain, I’d probably hop around in joy until people around me, worried about my sanity, would lock me up in a mental home. And I swear, it would be worth it because I’d have a full head of hair.

Believe it or not that is really me

Words of wisdom from a stranger

Going shopping with five children is a military mission. We have our list ready and a plan that can’t be stray from.Go in, get what we have to, pay and go.

As quickly and efficiently as possible before any tantrum or fight can start.

Today we used plan b, which consists of going to the shop as I wait in the car with the kids as they fuss and fight whilst I bury myself in my thoughts so that I don’t go mad whilst my partner runs in and gets what we need.

When we do it this way, there is always something that we forget.

I took the two eldest and went back to get the forgotten bits.

What should have been a five minute trip took about twenty, half of it being spent telling them to watch where they are going, not to run and to be careful and not to bump into people and to stop spinning.

When it gets to this point, I walk ahead at full steam and throw things into the basket without stopping, that means they are at half trot behind me trying to keep up. Scanning around I find the quietest till and get my stuff on the conveyer belt.

The girls were hopping around asking for sweets, notebooks, pens and whatever their eyes could catch. I was surprised they hadn’t asked for bleach by that point.

The cashier, who’s been working there since time began, a lovely woman, looked at me, then grabbed the girls attention by asking them about school and how they were getting along and why they looked so sad.

‘Daddy won’t buy me this and daddy won’t buy me that!’

Huff!

The usual drone of how horrible daddy is, forgetting that they had been bought new drawing pads, pens, transferable tattoos and friendship bracelets a few hours ago.

Instead of the usual plumose that you’d get from most people, she took the time to talk to them.

There was this look of sadness and affection in her eyes that wanted to tell a thousand stories.


‘Don’t be so hard on your dad, he is a good man and a hard worker.

‘Do you think he likes to get up in the morning, especially when it’s cold to have to go to work?

‘Do you think he wants to leave you girls at home, have very little time with you because he wants to?’ Her English isn’t always great.

They shrugged.

‘I promise you with all my heart that he doesn’t.

‘He does it because he has to. He loves you so much that he wants to make sure that you have all this wonderful food, those lovely clothes that you wear, that you don’t go hungry.

‘Whether he wants to or not, every day he gets up, leaves the house in the cold, the rain and sometimes the snow to go to work so you can have what you need.

‘If he says no to things is because he loves you and knows what is best. He’s not doing it because he doesn’t want you to have it.

‘Did you get anything today?’

They nodded.

‘You see? He already spoilt you for today. Why do you ask for more? I know how you feel, I have younger sisters and my parents would say no, not because they wanted to, but because they knew what was best for us. You two are the eldest and it might feel like that your sisters get more, but they don’t. You might get asked to help, but that is because your parents can’t do it by themselves, even they need help and you two, being of your age, can help. Don’t feel bad about that, it’s good because they trust you.

‘Don’t forget that you are lucky, there are children who don’t have clothes or food and some don’t even have parents.’

She lowered her eyes and I thought she was going to cry.

‘I lost my mum last year. Now I have no one to tell me what’s right or wrong, what’s good or bad.’

The children didn’t know where to look when she uttered those last words. If they could have found a rock to hide under, at this point they would have.

‘Your mum and dad won’t be there forever, so listen to them and love them, because there will be no one in the world that will be able to take their place.’

For the first time in their lives I saw real sadness and fear in their eyes. I thought they were going to cry, but she hadn’t finished yet.

She looked at me and smiled, ‘now, don’t you think you should say sorry to your daddy?’

They nodded and apologised.

I was genuinely touched by this speech.

They remained quiet as I packed my shopping, payed and got them home.

When we got in, my second came up to me, gave me a big hug and told me that she loves me. She picked up her new pad and pens and immersed herself in the patterns and colours she formed on the pages.


My eldest stood in the kitchen frowning.

When mum came in and saw her, she got asked what happened.

The barrage of things I didn’t do came out, what I didn’t buy her and that I didn’t let her look around.

All I could do was scream, internally of course.

Then I thought, screw this, after the speech she had just been given by someone else and the way this woman had opened up to her?

It didn’t feel right that she didn’t listen.

So, I told mum about the little shopping excursion and what the lady who served us had said.

I felt quite sad about it all, this wasn’t a family friend, or a relative, but someone who thought they could give my children a little life lesson on loss.

When the younger sister listened and understood, all my eldest did was mourn the fact that she didn’t get anything.

I hope and pray that one day, before it’s too late, she will take the kindness this woman has bestowed on her and appreciate the small things in life instead of the want for more possession.

Admittedly, she did calm down and used some of the stuff bought for, so I am hoping that it was a delayed reaction and those words did sink in after all.

Drenched at Wembley 

During the teacher strike we took the kids to Wembley. There was a fountain by the arena and we let them have a bit of fun since it was a warm sunny day (one of the rare ones this year). Sadly our eldest had to go to school because her teacher belongs to a different Union that wasn’t taking industrial action.

Here are some photos of the day:

How do you take yours?

It’s strange being an adult with responsibility weighing on my shoulders. There is always something to do, places to go; be it the school, shopping or a birthday party. The day just doesn’t stop and time always seems to be running faster than me, most of the time it feels like a race against Usain Bolt at his prime. It never stops, even after the kids are in bed; the mess they leave behind has to be cleaned up, dishes to be done…. We all know how it goes, by the time you sit down, it’s time to go to bed or you wake up on the couch in the middle of the night.The mornings….oh the mornings. There is no functioning without coffee, especially in our household. It’s like the life blood for the adults. We make an effort to be up before the children, doesn’t always work though.

I remember when I was living with my mother, in the before and after period, unless she had her jar of coffee (to give you a better understanding of how much she drank, because she drank espressos from the Italian Mocha), there was no talking to her. Her brain was scrambled until she had her morning wake up. She couldn’t even move her lips, she’d lean on the kitchen counter and with every sip her body would straighten.

We are not that bad, by any means. Let’s be honest, Italians are known for their coffee drinking as well as their food.

Anytime I went back on holiday, I’d sit at the breakfast table and everyone, including my cousins of whatever age, would be drinking the caffè latte with biscuits. In town we’d have to stop at the bar for an espresso or five. One for the digestion after their huge meals, and sometimes as a night cap.

Libyans like their coffee too, theirs is stronger though. It’s especially nice with a drop of rose water of orange blossom. It needs it though, being very similar to Turkish coffee. Add some Turkish delight with it and it’s heaven.

Going to the coffee section at the store is like going to a candy shop with all the variety from Italian to Colombian, Kenian, French, espresso, Nescafé, nespresso, flat white, cappuccino, latte…..coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee….

Sorry, I got a bit lost there, I was having a Homer Simpson moment.


We do enjoy going to a coffee shop when the kids are at school, having a coffee or two, get the youngest a juice, before we go off and do some shopping. We can’t really go with them, they overwhelm us and they like doing the ‘I go this way, you go that way’ game.

We have a couple of our children who have got a taste for tea and coffee.

Please, understand, it wasn’t through us.

We’d make a friend or family member a cup of tea or coffee and whilst we were distracted by the conversation they would have stolen the mug and demolished the drink.

The others won’t go near the stuff, they have sniffed it and turned their nose up in disgust, asking us ‘how can you drink that stuff?’

Then there are the usual ‘I’ll never drink tea or coffee, even when I’m old like you.’

Thanks for the ‘old’ part.

I remember saying the same thing to my parents and look at me now.

Admittedly it’s not very nice when you can’t function properly until you’ve done your morning routine, but I guess everyone has one and I’ve got to live with mine, especially if you consider that my job requires me to get up at three in the morning at times. At that time of the morning, that pick-me-up is a blessing in disguise.

I guess there are worse things I could do.

So, tell me one thing, how do your take yours?

At home I have mine black, no sugar and as strong as can be. When I go out I like a flat white, which is small, creamy and easy to drink.

It’s not strictly true that we won’t go to a coffee shop with the kids. I enjoy the cafe experience with them, especially when they are well behaved, I’ll get them a smoothie or something of the sort and a cake.

There isn’t much you can do as an adult with five kids, time isn’t on your side, always on the go, cooking, cleaning, school, nursery, nursery and school again, laundry, dishes, uniforms and the list goes on and on and multiply it by seven people, it’s an incredibly high mountain. So going out for a coffee is a little break, a time to relax and enjoy the day before going back into parent mode.

I don’t know about you, but I know we need it, it might be for a half hour or so, but it’s enough to feel recharged and human for a little while.

So, if you decide to meet up with us, just let us know how you like your coffee!

Insecurity and prejudices

Throughout this blog, I have spoken about the kids and my hopes and wishes for them, the fears I have and snippets about parenthood and its trials and joys.In this one I want to tell you something about me. I’m not going to tell my life story, it’s long and it’s not what this whole thing is about, even though writing has been good therapy.

I’m a worrier (if that’s even a word, if it’s not, I apologise to all the grammar obsessives) and I obsessively think about things and events. It’s not good at all, because I can focus on events from my past for too long or change my mind on something and make the event seem like a rash decision because of the over rationalising that has confused me.

Confused?

I know the feeling.

When you meet me, I seem like this calm, secure person where nothing much seems to faze me.

If you look inside me, you will meet one of the most insecure people, always doubting, always worrying and very nervous.

There is no known root to my problem that I have found and as you can imagine I have tried. However, I have found the period of my life when I realised I was very insecure.

I couldn’t have been more than ten, maybe eleven, my mother had a drinking problem at the time and she was good at disguising it, which, to this day, she puts down to the divorce.

At the time we lived in a strict Catholic country and by hook or by crook, their marriages had to work. My mother being of the same ilk, coming from a small village in Italy that to this day is stuck in a time warp.

I find that funny now, because there was always some scandal about this person having cheated with this one, or of couples playing happy families but sleeping in different rooms.

Even though, as a young boy, I was susceptible to their beliefs.

It was a very strange time for me because I knew that my parents divorcing was a good thing for everyone, but the religious influence said that it was wrong.

What cemented my distrust in people was the day the school priest picked me up by the little hair just above where my sideburns would one day grow. How could a man who preached peace and tolerance condone violence? To make it worse, his words stung the most ‘just because you’re a Muslim it doesn’t make you special!’ He whispered to me.

All this because I told a kid on the school bus that he was a spoilt brat.

I couldn’t help myself when I heard those words, my mother was/is Catholic, I was an angry kid with no outlet so I spat on him (not something I had done before or after), which earned me a punch in the stomach.

I once witnessed an Imam punch the spark out of a child because he was fighting.

As you can imagine, I don’t trust anyone in a religious frock.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for all religions, after all I was born Muslim, converted to Catholicism, became a pagan and a part time Wiccan and an atheist. Now? I’m just me.

It’s not nice to have to question yourself because of a choice made for you when you were born.

The divorce became a dirty little secret that no one was allowed to know about.

If asked, I had to tell everyone that dad was away on business, when, in class and church we were thought that the truth would set you free.

I started doubting everything, even the things that I was once sure of. It’s hard when one of your parents asks you to lie and what made things more distressing was when the other told you to tell the truth. I was loyal to both and confused. Who do I listen to, and whose actions would be best for me? I didn’t want anyone to talk about my family or feel sorry for me. In the long run I wish I had just told the truth from the word go!

Add to the fact that I lived in a country where there were a lot of prejudice people at the time and it didn’t help matters that, I was of the nationalities they hated most in that period of time, making my most susceptible years a conflict beyond what I could have imagined.

It was hard enough trying not to blame myself for my parent’s divorce, my mothers drinking, I also had to fight the feelings that there was something wrong with me because of where I came from, my religion and the onset of puberty.

I was a mess.

To show how bad the feelings of prejudice were; I remember my guitar teacher, who was a middle aged man who seemed quite refined, until he opened his mouth. I was about seven and was trying my best, my mum sitting in the room, watching with pride and fascination. However, every time my little finger struck a wrong note he kept looking at my mother, ‘see what I mean? All Arabs are donkeys.’ It didn’t matter that my mother was Italian and I was blonde with blue eyes.

It was continuous throughout the lesson.

In the end my mother piped up, gave him a piece of her mind and we left.

As you can imagine, I never went back.

That was a recurring theme until I was thirteen, that’s when we moved countries.

It was in my last year that I started telling people about my parents. The kids at the school were shocked, but they gathered round me in support, I’m still friends with some of them. I could tell by the look on the adults faces that they saw me as something alien. They gave me all the ‘it’s not your fault’ spiel, but they also kept their distance.

At the same time I managed to get my mother to lose the habit. During a heated argument she wished I had never been born, which really hurt, I wished her dead and ran off for nearly twenty four hours in retaliation. It was summer in a hot country, so I spent the night wondering around the beach, it was a safe country with a crime rate of zero. I returned home because I was tired and hungry. She was worried and suffering of a guilty conscience, so much so that she had cleared out the bottle cabinets and for the first time we talked, about everything, from her feelings and how it made me feel to see her in that state. She never really gave up drinking, but now it’s recreational and not out of depression or self deprecation. I felt like an adult that day, I was being taken seriously and my mother realised, by my actions, that I wasn’t having a childish tantrum, if she continued on that path, one day I might not return home. But there was always that ‘keep it in the family’ thing. If a child couldn’t talk to an outside source, how would they ever learn to trust people and open up?

It’s only when I came to London and met people with similar experiences that I started to feel at ease with myself. Having divorced parents wasn’t a scandal, your origins didn’t matter as long as they liked you. However, the damage had been done, I was a bit of a recluse, not very good at being social and suspicious of people and their motives. It’s still hard to let people in, I don’t want anymore heartache and not many people know this part of me. My partner is one of a handful of people who knows my story.

I am happy with myself and comfortable in my skin, I am who I am through what I’ve experienced and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I look at my children and realise, had it not been for all this trauma, they wouldn’t be here, my life could have gone a very different way. There are times I see myself in them; the insecurities and belief that they are not good enough, that’s when I’m there to reassure them that they are amazing people, regardless, I try to make them see the best in themselves. Your first teachers are your parents and I’m sure you still have their voices in your head as you try to make a decision. The parent I lived with was full of suspicions and of an old fashioned mentality, which is something I do not want pass on to my children.

Okay, so it ended up being a bit about the children, so I told a white lie. After all, everything that we have experienced gets transmitted as words of wisdom to our children, it might not always go in, but at least we have tried.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Last but not least

Every now and again I have spoken about one of my children in particular and in this post I’m going to do just that.My youngest child is so sweet and tender.

I don’t know how else to start this.

She’s not comfortable around people she doesn’t know, she tends to hide and tells them ‘away’ whilst putting her hand up. Which always gets a chuckle.

When she gets to know someone and likes them, then she’s the happiest soul you could ever meet, wanting to spend as much time as possible with this person and holding their hand.

Like every child she loves to play.

She has taken to a doll house bought for her from a charity shop. Her sisters, being somewhat jealous of their stuff (depending on their mood) wouldn’t let her play with theirs. Now she does the same to them when they try to play with her house. She will sit with it for hours, making up her own games and she’s only twenty-two months old, it has chairs and people and you can see her brain ticking as she tries to sit them down and pretends to make them eat. 

I am fascinated by her.

I’ve heard this term and I like it so I’m going to use it to describe her: she’s placid.

In the sense that when we go out, she’ll sit in her buggy and won’t make a fuss.

We like going for coffee ( we love our coffee, but that is for another time), our favourite place being Starbucks (I can hear some groans). The staff are friendly and the coffee is not too bad.

When we enter, she runs to the back for a highchair, allows herself to be put in and asks for her bobob ba (that means chocolate bar) and shuish (juice) and that is her content whilst we have our coffee and relax before the school runs begin. Sometimes we might take a pad and some paper and there is nothing in the world that can stop her from drawing.

She’s crafty, patient and smart.

I was observing her as she played around her sisters. They had the large Lego blocks out and next to my fourth was the train. My youngest wanted it, but her sister stopped her from taking it.

Instead of fighting for it, she withdrew to the couch, crying that it was hers.

She watched her sisters and once their backs were turned, she snuck over on her tip toes and nabbed it.

It took a couple of minutes for my fourth to realise what had happened and looked at her younger sister in dismay. I could see from her face what was coming and it did….

‘DAAAAAADDDDDYYYYYY!!!!’

Daddy was nowhere to be seen because he was too busy hiding whilst laughing his head off.

The nicest thing is that my older children dote on her. Even after that event, had it been another sibling, it would have ended in a fight,instead, she went up to the baby, who had dismantled the train by that point and fixed it for her, allowing her to ‘choo choo’ around the living room.

She’s also very good when it comes to bed time. She asked for her milk, allows you to lead her up to bed and won’t make a fuss. The only time she doesn’t is when she’s teething or not well. She finds it hard to settle at that point. I’ve had her ask me to take her to bed when she’s tired.

My third is the only one who would do something like that. The only difference is; my youngest takes my hand and says ‘bye bye, bed.’ Instead my third used to sit at the bottom of the stairs crying (some things haven’t changed).

She likes cuddles. She will sit next to me on the couch watching Peppa Pig, snuggle up and relax.

My favourite thing to do with any of my girls.

There are many teachers and carers for her. Her elder sister always keep one eye open for her, making sure she doesn’t get up to any mischief or go near anything she shouldn’t. They stop her going up the stairs and help her up when she falls.

It’s like watching the three brothers in Legends of the Fall (if you haven’t seen it, you are missing out). The way they look after their little brother even when they’ve all grown up.

It’s how I see my girls being with the youngest. She will always have this security blanket over her.

For one so young, she’s also very polite. She’s full of please and thank yous, or peease chan chu (it’s how she pronounces them).

Another lovely trait of hers is she’s very caring and considerate, she asks you if you’re okay, she cuddles you when you are sick or hurt and she willingly shares, as much as a child of her age can, she will offer a piece of her chocolate to her sisters and smiles when she knows she has done something nice.

What I hope is that as she grows older, she doesn’t change. She’s an old fashioned soul in a young body. I know life gets in the way and some people lose themselves. I really pray she doesn’t.