One morning the Lollipop was driving her mother a little more dilly than she already is, because this morning despite her mother’s best efforts the Lollipop decided she was not going down for a morning nap! Finally after an hour of trying, what patience I do have completely disappeared and I gave up. I took Lollipop out of the cot put her on her bedroom floor and left her there to go and do the chores that needed doing. After following me up and down the passage a few times she finally decided I meant it when I said I wasn't talking to her and she must go away. She made her way into her sister’s bedroom and had a marvellous time pulling everything she could reach out the book case into the middle of the floor all the while squealing with sheer delight! I know she was thinking: “Right! Mother its payback time!” So just when I was looking forward to a few moments of quiet before heading out to collect the Butterfly I was instead cleaning up the Lollipop’s mess. Oh the joys of being a “stay at home mum.”
I mean that literally, being at home with my girls is a real joy! The Butterfly was four months old when I went back to work, apart from feeling like a real shit leaving my child with a “stranger” I also missed so many of her “milestones.” I would be sitting at work on a Saturday morning and my mobile phone would ring a message, the Butterfly had turned over for the first time or started to crawl and my talented mum was sending me a picture. As much as I appreciated her attempt to involve me by sending the pictures it served also to remind me how much I was missing. I even missed her first tooth, my mother called me that time! This time round I haven’t missed a moment, though there are some I would rather go without, I love it. I was chuffed when the Lollipop’s very first smile was aimed at me and not her Papa; I’ve not let him forget it. The Mauritian was thrilled the Lollipop decided to turn over on a Sunday afternoon and he was home. It was the Butterfly that alerted us and there we were cheering her on, battling fiercely against the urge to help her, mentally willing her to get the arm out from underneath her and not flop back. It couldn’t have taken more than a minute or so for her to achieve her goal but man it felt like an hour, I was exhausted from the effort. Pretty much from that moment on the Lollipop was mobile, as soon as she realised that when she turned over she ended up in a different spot she was off. From just on four months old Lollipop rolled about the lounge in order to get somewhere and I was there to see it. I wish I could say that the first time she crawled I was more composed and sat quietly by while she worked it all out on her own without any pressure. Unfortunately on the evening of the 30th of December the Mauritian, the Butterfly and I were all crawling about the floor trying to show Lollipop how it’s done all the time cheering her on and trying not to interfere. Now there is no stopping her, if she wants to be somewhere she’s there before you’ve realised she’s gone and the Butterfly’s room is her favourite destination.
There are, of course, those times of sheer frustration when she won’t go to sleep, tries to climb out her high chair or changes all the settings on her Papa’s amplifier. When all I want to do is give her to someone else to look after for a day. But when she smiles that smile she keeps especially for her sister, squeals with delight while she pulls all the books out of the bookcase or sinks her newly emerging teeth into her Papa’s big toe those patient wearing moments and soul destroying sleepless nights are immaterial. The fact is I love rocking her back to sleep in the small hours of the morning, I enjoy fighting with her to sit still in her highchair and repacking the bookcase is worth witnessing her absolute delight at the mundane. The fact is I am privileged to be a part of the developing relationship between the Lollipop and the Butterfly. The fact is I am proud to be a part of that breed of mothers facing extinction, the “Stay at Home Mum.” It’s not only where I want to be, it’s where I am meant to be!