Yesterday our little C turned 2 years old. She had a lovely day. It's lucky that she was young enough to be pleased with simple celebrations because we had to scale back our plans considerably due to poor Adriano recovering from throat surgery. To cut a long story short, on the morning of C's birthday he had only been out of the anaesthetic from a 2nd emergency op for 48 hours. So even though he spent much of the day in bed, and couldn't eat the birthday tea, we were just grateful that he was OK, and with us at home.
First thing we ate breakfast with C sitting in a balloon-adorned chair. Then at her request we went to our local playgroup, where she received a card and was sung to (she seemed happy about this; I was not at all sure she would be), and got to blow out 2 candles on a fake cake. Well, by 'blow out' I mean she went "fffffff" enthusiastically near them... She was gutted that she didn't then get some cake to eat.
We went home for lunch (pasta, her favourite), then Grandma and Grandad came round.
To Grandad's delight, she became particularly friendly and chatty with him, and this continued all afternoon. Usually Grandma is the flavour of the day when she appears, and Grandad doesn't get a look-in. If he gently speaks to her she hides behind me, or cries. But it was different to usual, and delighted us all.
We ate a birthday tea of cheese sandwiches, raw veg strips, strawberries, blueberries, and then the cake. The car cake. This was the one she wanted when offered car, caterpillar, or Hello Kitty. She was very sure, and she did indeed love it. God I love her so much.
I was really impressed with G throughout the whole day. Her recent renewed bout of separation anxiety is still going strong, and everything in her life appears to cause her huge emotions (even more than usual) right now. Before C's birthday she showed a few signs that the jealousy of it not being *her* birthday might be a little hard for her to handle, but on the day she came through with such love and excitement for C. It was heart-warming and I felt proud of her.
As we all chatted over the course of the afternoon, my Mum brought up the subject of some serious sibling squabbles (read: violence) between her friend's grandchildren. She asked my advice. Pretty funny, given that I feel appalling remorse around 3 times a week from my own act of verbally 'losing it', usually with G, but I really really do try again and again (see, lots of repetition, I am earnest) to get back to being as close as possible to the parenting I want to do, the parent I want to be. The conversation led to me making a list of my current favourite places for parenting support:
1) Janet Lansbury
2) Genevieve Simperingham - Peaceful Parenting
3) Facebook group : The Way Of The Peaceful Parent (also Genevieve S.)
4) book: Playful Parenting by L. Cohen
5) book: How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk
So there you go. I also like this one from a non-parenting perspective: When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. I have been dipping into it in times of extreme stress since about 2005 and it has never failed to provide the shift of perspective I needed. Pema Chodron is a Buddhist nun. Enough said?
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