I‘ve been trying to write this for a little while now and am shamefully completing it almost a month after the event of Elfie’s fifth birthday. But I feel like Elfie turning FIVE has been such a milestone for our family – not just for Elfie but for everyone in our little family of three and it’s been difficult to put into words exactly how I feel about this little poppet now she’s getting older.
Sidenote: since when did I become grown-up enough to be the mother of a five year old?! Hasn’t happened yet, probably never will.
I’m going to hark back to one of my favourite motherhood quotes here because its never resonates more than on the birthdays of my kids; the days are long but the years are short. And holy mackerel do these years go by swiftly, I can remember Elfie’s 4th birthday like it was yesterday but looking back at the pictures now she was so teeny tiny. What a dot!
So here we are at five, which feels so much more grown-up than four and a million miles away from three. The year has been huge for Elfie as she started school last September, and with school comes all the associated fun stuff like the Christmas play, maypoleing, sports day, the annual camping trip… it’s been fantastic for us all. I chose to send her to a village school a 10 minute drive away rather than the huge primary school around the corner; there are only 10 children in her year (vs 60 at the local primary) and 26 in the whole school. This environment has been really brilliant for her, she has so much confidence with older children and just adores being around her friends.
She’s a fantastic learner and truly enjoys reading and writing; we spent hours in the garden on a blanket yesterday as she painstakingly wrote out a story and I spelled the odd word to her. Elfie’s thirst for knowledge is beautiful to see and really reminds me of myself at her age, she loves books as much as I did and devours them like a hungry caterpillar ;)
I’ve written a lot about how Elfie and I sometimes have a tricky relationship, what with us being carbon copies of each other and everything. We’re both laid back in some ways but highly strung in others, defiant, head strong and know what we want, so it’s safe to say we have clashed in the past. Dare I say that these clashes are getting fewer and far between; we’re learning to talk more to one another when we have issues rather than rant and strop (her, not me, honest ;) which has resulted in a much more harmonious relationship.
We had chicken pox this year which was truly awful and Elfie seemed to suffer with it much worse than Hux. There’s a reason you can only catch it once and thank god – me keeping her off school for a week was a crime as far as she was concerned. It was nice to us to spend some time together just the two of us but I wish it would have been less itchy and more fun.
FYI: despite the pox there’s always time for Frozen Dresses.
I love how close we are now. Cuddling is such a big part of our relationship and she’s always grabbing me round the neck when I tuck her in and saying “I just never want to let you go, mummy” or getting in to my bed in the morning and wishing she could cuddle forever. So do I, Elfie. So do I. We have these big chats and I feel like our family situation means that we have a very special relationship – she tells me stuff and I tell her stuff – we know each other inside out. Some point over the last couple of months marked the time that Elfie had spent more time living with me as a single parent than she did with her dad in the house as a family of four. Though her father is still very involved I really do feel like I represent not only a mum to her but also part of the strength that comes from a dad.
Elfie has a stonker of a personality. She is so sweet, so kind, so thoughtful. It’s not an exaggeration to say she is loved by all – she is just such a little treasure. She has beautiful manners (*takes a bow*) and brings sunshine wherever she goes. She has her moments – like mother, like daughter, remember? – and likes to take herself off on occasion for a little strop. But I normally find her 20 minutes later lying on her bed casually reading a book or playing a game on the iPad, strop or quarrel completely forgotten.
Elfreda, whatever did I do without your bright sunshiney smile in my life? You are a light in the dark, a laugh in the silence and on occasion a pain in my bum. But your mummy loves you to the moon and back. And then again. And again and again and again. I hope you know that.