this little girl just happened to be walking back to her car with her family at the same time as we were leaving the playground. amelia asked her if she wanted to hold hands, and off they went. they had not even been formally introduced! the other parents were as bemused as us :P this towel is amelia's all time favorite. and it is worn this way whenever it is used. preparation for a burka? who knows. can't see her conforming anytime soon.
tom has his own brand of resistance, well, with one eye and ears that don't work - that's reasonable isn't it? he and the kid get along pretty well though, all considered. he is a marvelous pet for a first-time encounter, altho not as interactive as she sometimes hopes he will be.
we have a little power struggle going on in our house. one that involves amelia spending much energy on keeping her daddy to herself. methods and approaches include: me being told yesterday, as i stood on the threshold to mine and andrew's bedroom . . . 'don't come in our room mummy. you can't.' i asked, 'whose room is it?'. her reply (of course), 'mine and daddy's. not YOURS.' i am often asked to 'not talk to my daddy please, we are busy.' at times, she becomes so insistent on my backing (read buggering) off, that she ends up in her room to cool off a little . . . while andrew and i drink copious amounts of strong liquor and try not to imagine life 12 years down the track. we HAVE responded to her obvious desire to get more daddy time though, and are not being mean or draconian (we are happy drunks). she now has regular daddy/amelia dates where they solemnly plan what they will do for the day, sitting at the kitchen table and drinking their respective coffee and milk. these usually involve our local godsend cafe called Breathing Space, where kids get to go into proper childcare in a room off the main cafe, and dabble in playdough, trains, painting and the like, while parents drink coffee and eat breakfast while trying to hide the porridge stains on their clothes and keeping nervous tics under control as best they can. she will also often ask andrew, 'lets just hang out together hey, just you and me?' . . . i am usually told fairly firmly that 'you can't come mum, its just me and daddy', at some point. i gather my shredded soul together and think of drinking a nice cup of early grey on the balcony, in the sun, in complete and utter silence. *sob*
seriously, it is a beautiful thing that she has such a powerful bond with her dad. from the moment that she was born, his was the first face (apart from the bemasked faces of the surgical team) that she saw; his was the voice that calmed her while she lay naked and vulnerable under a superbright light while her vitals where checked - she stopped crying and REALLY listened to him - heartachey stuff; his was the hand that patted and soothed her while the paed's did all the bloody invasive things they do to babies of pre-eclamptic mothers, born by emergency caesar. andrew's name for her from that moment on was 'chicken' - because she looked like one being readied for the oven. naked, plucked, DREADFULLY scrawny, and very fragile. like a chicken, she bonded with the first face/person that she truly interacted with. so, it is RIGHT that she is a daddy's girl. (plus, i think i am being slightly 'paid back' for weaning her. she wasn't ready. altho, could i have managed to wait til she was 30? i think not!)
music is becoming a more dominant part of her life. she has had a little CD player since she was 8 months old. this was partly due to her fiddly fingers needing a challenge, and also because it was only $8 and i am the child of my parents. it has 4 mini cds, in super-robust plastic, and has a volume button, speed button, and is made in - did i mention this already - SUPER-ROBUST plastic. . . it has been thrown, sat on, stood on, without missing a beat. it has ALSO just had new batteries installed. not bad for so many hours of tortuous (in andrew's mind) listening . . . she is remarkably adept at changing the CDs and spends ages dancing madly (think grannIE and granny in their respective living rooms here) to songs like 'five little monkey', 'bingo', etc. she also shares a passion for indy rock with andrew, and they spend many happy hours surfing the net (her perched on andrew's knee. him saying, 'please stop pushing all the keys at once') looking for clips of their favorites. he sings these to her at bedtime, or just when he feels like it, and she has started singing many of these herself, including any no verbal vocals - you know - those 'twiddly bits: 'its like for . .getting . . ., the words, to your favorite song . . . eee eee eeeeee eee ee e eeeee eeeee eeee'. 'you are a radar detector do dodododddoo' well, of course, i laugh until i cry. it is priceless. we will try and capture it on video soon. i just added something else to the mix - in the form of a cheap little midi system that i bought for zumba classes, but that i can't use because the cds skip (think me, times 20, all 'dancing' on a wooden floor. well, if YOU were a CD with that going on, you would do more than skip - wouldn't you?) it is now on the floor on her room, and she has a selection of kids cds . . . and has been having a ball lying on her floor singing very loudly to equally loud music (volume HAS been an issue already, of course). andrew won't go in the room to 'listen' with her, which i see as being very unsporting, but does smile and nod even as his ears are being assaulted with the din. 'bingo' is a firm favorite, and boy can she sing THAT name loud or what?
add to that ZUMBA music, which she loves, and will dance to at any given instant. she also dances to anything vaguely latinate in supermarkets and stores - she recognises the rhythms. she has a few favorites from that repertoire, especially one whose chorus sounds like bum bum bum. it is the subject of many a request when driving through the city, and she dances and sings madly in her carseat as she goes . . .
she has just got out of bed - (ours, after coming in freezing cold at 4am - she wakes up in the middle of the night and takes clothes off, then gets cold, go figure!!!), carrying with her the CD case, (which she had managed to find at THAT hour of the morning in her dark dark room to carry into OUR bed . . . ). the CD case is being cuddled very closely. i suspect that music will be a large part of her life - if the previous years are anything to go by.
she is now sitting on the couch in her RED TROUSERS (more holes than fabric now), watching a musical segue on her favorite DVD du jour, Handy Manny - about an hispanic handyman with a case of talking tools, who all go around solving people's problems and 'fixing things' . . . the latin-based music played throughout this programme has her up and dancing instantly. and singing. madly. what a combo. tools, problem solving, latinish accents, and jiggly music. a winning combo!