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In the days leading up to her 5th birthday, the Lily Bug grew increasingly anxious. As much as she was excited by the hype of her birthday (and the hope of her Trash Pack Street Sweeper wish coming true) she was terrified at what she would suddenly become, on the day of her birthday. Would she wake up and discover she’d grown into an adult all at once? Would she suddenly be too big to play with toys and run around a playground?

Despite our reassurances that she’d still be the same height on Feb 4th as she was on the 3rd, she had taken the notion of suddenly becoming a ‘big’ five year old to heart, and began waking from bad dreams in the night, refusing to sleep and even wetting her bed. It was only on the morning of her birthday when she woke to realise she was still a little girl, and made me measure her height just to be sure, that she finally relaxed – and got on with enjoying life through the eyes of a five year old. Which are, initially at least, very much like the eyes of a four year old.

Me on the other hand… I found it hard, really hard, to get excited about this particular birthday. These last five years have gone way way too fast, and no matter how much I may wish it, I just can’t seem to grab Time in my hands and stretch it out, to make it last longer.


Guy Smiley – can have his cake and eat it. Though, whatever else that is hanging out of his mouth, I just can’t tell you.
To be honest, the Teen and the Lily Bug don’t spend a lot of time together. You know how it goes with 17 year olds… They have their own life to live etcetera etcetera… But it was nice to see them hanging out for this special event – and I made sure to snap photographic evidence. 😉
The birthday girl longed for a T-rex cake, so I used our Xmas chocolate truffle recipe as it’s great for squishing into shapes. The Bug and I shaped the cake together, and she decorated it. Less a T-Rex, more a Dragon, but the process of its creation became the theme of our day and as well as being incredibly fun, it was a nice way for the Bug to relax and overcome her birthday anxiety. I suspect this will be a new birthday ritual for our family…

The Lily Bug: I wish I was the sun so I could shine brightly.
Me: Aww you’re so cute!
The Lily Bug: Then I’d turn myself up really high… So everyone can burn. *cackles manically*

She said that. I kid you not. My sweet lovely loving (most of the time ;)) little Bug uttered those words.

In her defense, I think she had just mucked up her phrasing a little. It was a cold morning on the way to kindy, and I’m sure she was only thinking about how she’d like to bring toasty warmth into the lives of those who, like us, have a thinly insulated home and a car heating system that kicks in five minutes after you reach your destination.

And I’m sure the way she tittered gleefully at the end of that statement was due purely to the amusement of watching my jaw swing open and hit the floor of the car. I admit, I too would find that comical. In a Loony Toons kind of way.

The Lily Bug is going to make a fantastic Global President of the Entire Planet some day. I think the evidence speaks for itself.

Don’t hate on my awesome Paint doodling skills.

Monday kicked off with a stomach bug that has been systematically picking off our household, one after the other, for the past three or so weeks. I’ve been nervously waiting for my turn but so far I’m okay. Of course, this now leaves me slightly uneasy with the suspicion that everyone else in the family has an alien baby inside them, except for me, and now rather than celebrating the fact that I’m not a green-faced chunder wonder, I’m feeling a little rejected. Why am I not good enough for alien impregnation? Why can’t I experience a week or two with no appetite? Gods only know I could stand to shed a few kilos, and involuntary vomiting is so much easier than sticking my own fingers down my throat!

Contrary to what medical professionals may tell you, the best cure for alien impregnation (or ‘stomach bug’ if that’s what you chose to call it) is not plenty of fluids and bed rest, but plenty of fluids, loads of sand, a good smather of sunblock, and a spot of sunshine if you can happen to find some.

The weatherman predicts more sodden grey rain from Friday, so we decided to hotfoot it to the beach and make the most of the brilliant blue sky. Not a cloud in sight, and no wind whatsoever.

Of course, as soon as we set up our little afternoon camp upon the beach, the clouds began to roll across, with a large ominous black one hovering in the background (like a cleverly-disguised Mothership, keeping an eye on its human cocoons.)

Ignoring Mothership’s watchful eye, we had a great slice of afternoon. The kids enjoyed driving monster trucks through the sand and teaching their dinosaurs how to swim, being dragged through the super-low tide on a bodyboard and mowing their hands through the soft mud-like sand. 

Dear Lily Bug,

Last night, just before you fell asleep, you began to cry. I reached out to hold your hand, and asked what was wrong. You told me you didn’t want to turn five. You didn’t want to stop having Unicornie and Bolt to cuddle at night. I told you that turning five didn’t mean giving up your bedtime buddies, and you stopped crying – but only long enough to take a breath and start afresh.

“What’s up this time?” I asked.

“I’m afraid to be a big girl! I’m growing up too fast mum! I don’t want to start school. I don’t want to stop going to kindy. I love my kindy!” And again you erupted into sobs.

My heart broke for you, because I understood your fears – it’s hard facing the unknown, and most of all it’s hard that you have to step out of – and leave behind – your comfort zone in order to do so. I felt so sad that you carry these fears when you’re still so very young. How difficult it must be to realise when you’re only four and a half years old, that these are stages you’ll be leaving behind as you grow!

I wanted to hug away your fears but I couldn’t. I was pinned down by your little brother, who was clinging on to me in his own nearly-but-not-quite-asleep haze with a limpet-like ferocity. So I continued to reach across the gap between Guy Smiley’s bed and yours, and hold your hand, and talk you through it. Reminding you that it’s still a long time before you’re five and so you have lots of time left to enjoy kindy (and it broke my heart to say that too, because it’s not long at all, and I too would rather that things stay as they are now, than let you go!) and school will be exciting and fun…

And even though positioning you in one spot long enough to practice writing your own name requires a titanium backbone and a wee bit of bribery at times, I’m sure the teacher’s sharp voice will be more effective than mine… It’s not that I don’t have a sharp voice (which can probably be heard from four houses down when I used it) it’s just fairly ineffectual most of the time. And that trick of using a serious but quiet voice doesn’t work either, because neither of you can ever hear me over your own yowling.

Anyway, I digress.

The truth is, I don’t want to let you go to school either. I don’t. I try so hard not to think of next year because I want you and Guy Smiley to stay exactly at the stage you’re at now. Not forever. Of course I want to see you grow into the beautiful young adults I know you’ll become. But a particularly-sentimental part of me can’t help but wish these next six months could last for at least another year and a half. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen. So I can only hope summer starts early this year, and we can make the most of your final months of being a pre-schooler, before February 4th shifts the tectonic plates of our comfort zones into a completely new formation.

Love always,
Mum

PS: At least my one consolation is that once you start school, we’ll you’ll be one step closer to total world domination. Whoo hoo!