Parenting Ella over the past 18 months has led to some noteworthy moments.
With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, I still don't see it as a holiday for me yet, even though this will be my second time experiencing it as a mother. My focus is still on celebrating my mother and mother-in-law, although I know my husband will make sure he does something for me on behalf of Ella (who is of course still too young to understand what Mother’s Day is).
In fact, there have been lots of things Ella has been too young to understand and won't remember. It occurred to me that aside from our photos and videos of her as a baby and toddler, Ella's view of me as her mother will mainly be based on everything that happens from when she is a preschooler and onwards.
So I've taken to writing her little notes of late, and putting them in her jewellery box for her to read in the future. The notes are really just a collection of observations on the intricacies of her early childhood that would probably otherwise go unrecorded. I think they will give Ella an idea of the challenging, but highly entertaining experience it has been, being her mother.
Here a few examples:
"Dear Ella, Yesterday, when you were playing you took a doll out of your toy pram and put a thermos in its place. Any particular reason why? Just curious. Love, Mummy.”
“Dear Ella, Thank you so much for the 5.30 wake up this morning, Darling. Are you aware that when you are older I am going to exact my revenge by dragging you out of bed at the same time for family camping trips? Love always, Mummy.”
“Dear Ella, Although you hardly eat anything at mealtimes at home, could you try to do better at childcare, and follow the example of the other kids who must surely exist on more than just yoghurt, toast and chicken nuggets? Sincerely, Mummy.”
“Dear Ella, Given that you loved running in the water fountains in the park last week, next time there is a rainy day I'll take you out so you can jump in puddles - wearing gumboots of course. Any excuse to buy new shoes, right? Love, Mummy.”
“Dear Ella, You are so good about brushing your teeth every night before bed. Somehow I have convinced you that toothpaste is a special treat. I'll be sure to tell the Tooth Fairy and make all the brushing worth your while. Love, Mummy.”
“Dear Ella, If you promise not to be the hysterically screaming child on our international flight to Europe, I swear I won’t show any pictures of you in the bath at your 21st birthday. With 19-and-a-half years of baths still ahead of you, this is a great offer, and I think you should take it. Love, Mummy.”
Maybe when she reads them as a teenager she'll think they are hilarious. Or maybe she'll just dismiss them as ridiculous ramblings from her crazy mother who has complained about being sleep deprived since 2011.
Either way, I feel there are plenty more notes to come.