Manic Mannerisms

Ruby was one yesterday, but like a present being slowly unwrapped, she is the celebration. This has been the hardest time of my life, and there were many’s a time over the last year when I honestly did not think I would survive. But I did….and more surprisingly, so did Ruby… a thriving fiesty determined amazing bundle of cuteness. A beautiful gift. If extremely noisy! Oh, how she is noisy!

And as she (rapidly) grows – already walking, coming up and down the stairs, and getting off beds and sofas feet first (something it toook me at least 18 months to teach the others) I realise she too has a different personality and we have three amazing unravelling mysteries in our midst. Whereas Poppy is slow and deliberate about everything, Ruby is already a speedy Gonzales, like her older sister Daisy.

Let me explain just how slow (I really should start saying methodical) she is – Poppy’s latest behavioural nuance is to wear socks and a cardigan every night in bed. OK, this doesn’t seeem to be too extreme… except every evening she spends (at least) 15 minutes deciding which pair of socks it will be – and often changes them at least three times before morning! She lives so far into her own world, it often takes me 15 times to say something before she looks up in surprise and realises I’m talking to her. She has developed an imaginary friend called Heart. It took me a while to realise just how important Heart is, and how involved she is in our lives. She currently joins us for most meals, and is over for playdates nearly every day. Poppy apparently watched an amazing TV show (all made up, but complex, thought out and detailed) at Heart’s house one day and they chat on the phone all the time. Poppy hasn’t mentioned her height in a while so it all made a bit of sense when I asked her what Heart looks like. “She’s small like me and will always be the same size as me.” Whatever gets you through the day I say.

Daisy on the other hand is chalk to Poppy’s cheese. Fast, impatient and always thinking out loud, asking questions. Just a few of the recent ones include – how does my arm work? is our eyeball a TV screen? You’re the best baker in the world mummy. (OK that wasn’t a question, but I had to slip it in!). I’ve already detailed her slight OCD tendency to keep treasures in various boxes, each neatly purused every evening. Now as she approaches her 6th birthday, every night we have to go through all her 5th birthday cards. Every night. Whereas Poppy never knows what day it is, or what we’re doing (the other day, dressed up in her ballet gear she asked me where we were going?), Daisy has the sharpest memory I’ve ever seen. She recalls everything, and calls me out regularly. She’s learning Irish at school and loving it, practising her new words every day (Ruby even got sung Happy Birthday in Irish, while her Northern Irish mum and English dad struggled along!)). I told her her memory is great and that she’ll be brilliant at languages. She nodded sagely, and said, “Yes, I keep the words on my Remember Shelf in my head. It’s like a computer, and when I can’t sleep at night, I just play with my computer.”

And now there is Ruby Rose. A law unto her own. I’d forgotten how rude toddlers are! Whereas Daisy and Poppy ask for everything with a please and a thank you, Ruby just points and screeches, then grunts! But she is fast emerging into a loud boisterous personality, full of smiles and nuances. Happy birthday my precious girl…. I love being in the front row of your amazing show.

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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4 Responses to Manic Mannerisms

  1. Oh you just have a beautiful way with words. As always, loved reading your update about your gorgeous girls. You are such an intuitive Mama. Your little ladies are lucky ones indeed.
    The computer in my head line is just brilliant, what a clever little lady. Those comments must just make you melt with pride.
    You're doing a great job :o)
    Happy birthday to the delightful Ruby… keep up that feisty demeanour sweet girl xo


  2. cath c says:

    they really do surprise us when they turn out so differently, don't they?

    happy birthday to your fiery Ruby!




  4. Foodie Mummy says:

    Happy belated birthday Ruby. Your girls sound really lovely and lively! X


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