So Sackgirl is hitting double digits this week – the big 1 0. It is a big milestone for her – well, every birthday is a big deal at this age, of course.
But it’s a big achievement for me as well. Look what I did! I got an entire child through 10 years of life without serious injury – and she’s turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself.
Okay – there was the time I dropped the car boot on her head. Actually – come to think of it, that was her birthday as well. We were meeting her cousins at McChuckups, there was a big storm, torrential rain, and I was trying to get her baby brother out of his seat and set up the buggy, while carrying the changing bag and . . . well, you know what it’s like when you are manhandling a toddler. I slammed the boot down – and Sackgirl was stood in the way. The boot door can thumping down onto her head, she dropped like a stone, I threw up in my mouth thinking I’d killed her . . .
I guess my entrance to McChuckups may have been dramatic.
And there was the time I was flying her over my head superbaby style – and flew her straight into a wall – head first.
Or how about when we were dashing to the car, she bounced off my butt – yes, I have serious spring in there – and went directly into the edge of the open car door. That was a trip to the A&E for butterfly stitches. She has a scar.
But – generally, overall, a few incidents notwithstanding – I have got her to the big 1 0 without life threatening injury.
Anyhoo . . .
So, I’m pretty proud of my little girl. Despite all my worries and fears about completely messing her up – (and that is what we worry about as parents, let’s be honest. We worry we will be so bloody shit at it that our kids have to spend thousands of pounds in therapy before they hit 30.)
– despite working too much and not reading fairy stories every night, despite failing to provide a full home cooked meal every evening or spending every Sunday playing family board games, despite not pushing her into after school activities, teaching her to play a musical instrument or spending her toddler years working on her 2nd language, or really on her first – despite apparently trying to give her brain damage through carelessness and butt bounces – despite all that, she’s turned out to be really lovely child.
So, time to be thankful for my Sackgirl.
She has a great sense of humour.
You know at parents evening when the teacher says, ‘She does make the other children laugh,’ and you know what she means is ‘She thinks she’s the class clown and distracts everyone from the lesson.’
2. She listens.
When you have to ask her to put her laptop down or tidy her room 5 times before she moves, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t listen. In fact, she hears everything that is said around her. And then she repeats it – at the wrong moment.
3. She’s artistic.
She draws some lovely little cartoons that really capture the characteristics of her subject. I saw them in her English book at school. Mr G and I started our diets the next day.
4. She’s brave.
Always happy to try new things, I’ve not yet come across an activity she won’t do. Climbing, abseiling, throwing herself off a cliff on a zip wire . . . Every scary arse sport that makes me panic just letting her have a go – she’ll try it, while I watch with my heart pounding and fear in every bone.
5. She’s independent.
As we dropped her and her cousin off at PGL, two years ago at the tender age of almost 8, I wondered whether she might be homesick or scared. I even gave her a mobile phone, so she could call me every night. When I went to pick her up a week later I hadn’t received a single call.
The whole class go away for a week this term. It’s a school trip designed to give the kids some confidence and, perhaps, to teach parents to let go a little. I think I may be the only parent not worrying – I mean, let’s face it, she will be having far too much fun to notice that I’m not there.
6. She’s sneaky.
Mr G has a life size cardboard Lara Craft – one of those cut outs used in cinema foyers. He’s had it for twenty years or so, I guess. I found it just before Christmas, tucked behind a wardrobe where I’d put it years ago. Of course the kids wanted to know why daddy had a cardboard lady.
We stood Lara up in our bedroom for lack of a better idea – just a temporary thing. She’s been there 4 months!
And now – every week or so as we go to bed, there is something slightly different about her. One week she was sporting a new cap. The next week she had a sign around her neck with my name on it. Right now, Lara is taking a ride on a reindeer.
Sackgirl sneaks into our room and changes little things about – it’s quite entertaining to see what she thought up to make us smile.
7. She’s clever.
Okay, we all like to think our child will be a genius. I am fairly sure they can’t all be – and Sackgirl isn’t going to be a nuclear scientist. But – she is smart. She works hard, she has great ideas and she can hold her own in a conversation or discussion. That’s pretty darn smart to me!
8. She’s sarcastic.
What can I say, I’m teaching her everything I know.
9. She has her own sense of style.
We had her friends over for her birthday sleepover this weekend (hence the late post). I have to say, I really do enjoy listening to the conversations between four 10 year old girls.
There was a lengthy debate on Star Wars, including the ancestry of Rey, her relationship to Kylo Ren and whether Hans Solo really is dead. Then there was a discussion over clothes.
Child 1: My mum wouldn’t let me out of the house unless I’m looking good.
Child 2: I just let my mum pick my clothes, it’s easier.
Sackgirl: My mum lets me wear what I want. I like looking messy.
Yes – it’s true. My daughter dresses like me.
10. She doesn’t give up.
I mean, sure, she gets cross and frustrated and every so often throws a wobbler. Yep – it’s hard learning and trying new things. But – she keeps going.
Feeling a little proud of my little girl – Happy birthday Sackgirl. Welcome to the double digits!