this is why i love my daughter beyond reason:
* every time the bathroom mirror fogs up she writes "I love you mum" with hearts and crosses
* she lets me kiss her as much as i want [unless she is cross with me and places a ban on for say one day. then i'm allowed to return to kissing frenzy]
* she encourages me. i remember one occasion when we were in bath, england on a holiday. i was trying to parallel park the car. she was four. "you can do it, mum" she said over my frustrated groans, "just keep calm" she said. this is just one example of her supporting me.
* she makes me laugh. she is witty and quick, and wise beyond her years
* she reads my mind sometimes, it's spooky. and then i say, "did i say that aloud?"
* she is kind and caring to younger children, especially her cousins. except for the time she threatened to punch her 4 yo girl cousin in the face. when i expressed my severe disapproval she cried and said she knew it was wrong, but that her cousin had threatened to pull on her clothes and rip them. i said "well, why didn't you just say the same back?" "Mum," she sighed, patiently, "that's not how it works in kidworld. You have to say something that is higher than what they have said." She often explains the workings of kidworld to me [that's what she calls it]. Some of the rules i remember from my early days, some are news to me.
* she has had to put up with her beloved granny being sick for more than half of her short life. she is supportive and positive and writes gorgeous notes to her granny saying things like "granny i am really sorry you are sick and i don't want you to go to the hospital"
* she rubs me on the back when she sees i am upset
* she is trying really, really hard to work at overcoming a dyslexic-type learning thing. talk about hard. this means 3 lots of 10 minutes exercises each day, for 14 weeks. we have been doing it a week and a half and it is killing us both. but i can see she is improving.
* she wants to sleep with me sometimes, and for her this is a treat
* she keeps my old and somewhat unattractive teddy bear on her bed along with all her other favourite "friends". she has expressed a loyalty to him, and worries about hurting his feelings if she abandons him in favour of some newcomer [most recently a small monkey with boxing gloves]
* she self-censors when a news-flash comes on the television. she knows i don't want her watching that stuff
* she tries really hard to cooperate with me, and accept my rules, even though she is such a free spirit and old beyond her years, so much so that she would do all the right things anyway [maybe]
* she accepts me being strict about nutrition and food. she is well brainwashed in this regard and makes comments on how kids at school don't have very healthy lunches [i swell with pride when i hear her being disparaging about junk food, but tell her not to comment on it to other kids]
* she walks around the house singing, and when i sing in my faux-opera voice she tells me "you have a really good voice, mum" and she's not being sarcastic. the other day we were driving and i made up a song about getting to where we were going. she was so impressed she said i should try and get it on the radio. really, it was abysmal.
* she makes cards for me, such as "you are the best mum a kid could ever have, even though i know we clash sometimes"
* she has been bringing me breakfast in bed since she was about 4. the first time it was a glass of juice, a banana and something odd like a couple of chocolates. this year it had worked up to toast, fruit and juice. she doesn't do the kettle thing. yet. [she's only 8]
* she wants to travel the world with me, and when i tell her one day she might want to go overseas and live with her dad, or when she grows up and becomes independent she can live in our flat in st kilda with her uni friends, or work overseas, she says "but i want to be with you forever, mummy"
* she tells me she loves me right back, after i say it to her first. this will not last so i am making the most of it
i know the day will come, surely, and probably before i am ready, when she will have to pull away a bit so she can breathe. it's a part of girls growing up, to become their own woman. they can't do that while they are shrouded in their mother's love, which can be suffocating. i am preparing already for that day. but for now, let me enjoy our co-dependent, all-consuming, over-the-top, one-eyed, mutually-beneficial, parasitic, crushingly overwhelming, limitless, extraordinary and unique but at the same time, very ordinary and very, very loving thing we have going on here.