“Raspberries are blown, there’s a lot of excitable screaming, and kisses are flying everywhere.”
Last night I had one of those conversations with Maia that I just want to replay over and over in my mind. Several conversations actually.
One of my favourite parts of the day is just after I’ve given Maia her bath, and she’s all snuggled up in her towel, and I’m getting her changed. It’s everything about those few moments. Firstly, her bedroom smells like baby. That sweet, quite specific Johnson’s shampoo smell, the same shampoo we’ve used since she was tiny. The smell alone instantly takes me back to those first few weeks when we were still in our bubble of oxytocin-fuelled-baby-joy.
As I attempt to get her into her pyjamas, she will inevitably stand up on the bed, half naked, declaring to the world something amusing like:
“Once upon a time there was my Mummy, who was riding on a shit-Star..”
Me: “On a what?!”
Maia: “A Shitting-star..”
Mummy: “Oh..you mean..A shooting star”…
She’ll smudge her warm tummy against my face and start giggling, announcing:
“You are my best friend but I’m not going to marry you Mummy”
Me: “Oh, well, who are you going to marry?”
Me: “So who am I going to marry?”
Me: “Of course..”
Then after jumping up and down on the spare mattress a few times (her not me), we engage in a tickle-battle of sorts. Raspberries are blown, there’s a lot of excitable screaming, and kisses are flying everywhere. One thing she loves to do is pull my top up and blow raspberries on my stomach. I guess she’s just copying what I do to her. She finds it hilarious because I can’t stop laughing.
It’s in these moments that I realise I am truly present. I’m not in a rush like in the morning, stressing about being late, I’m not thinking about what I have to do this week, I’m not comparing myself to anyone. I am there, in that sweet-smelling cloud with her.
I’m grateful, happy, and slightly taken back by the number of little sayings and comments she’s picked up in the last few months. I’ll be singing along to something, dancing away whilst collecting her clothes together and she’ll look at me, laughing away to herself and say “Oh Mummy, you are adorable!”
The other day, I was curious as to what she might say if I asked her:
“Maia, what do you do when you’re sad?” and she said:
“I open my eyes. ”
Now I know she meant that, sometimes when she wakes up from a bad dream or when she’s alone in her room and she’s upset, that her eyes are still closed so she opens them, then comes into my bed and everything’s alright. But I took this in a slightly less literal and more meaningful way.
I know it’s no big genius comment, but I’m forever perplexed at how children seem to just get life, and we adults have a way of making things harder than they have to be by being angry, overthinking or not taking care of ourselves.