Hang On. Tight.

Tomorrow Cesca finishes her first scholastic year. I can’t for the life of me figure out how this year flew by. With so many things happening, and me looking forward and fearing the start of school, it seems like yesterday that I was buying her uniforms and trying to figure out how life with a new student and a new baby would work out.

Like sisterhood, school has been a godsend for Cesca. Both events happened together (quite literally), and although there were early teething problems, she took to both quite well. She has learnt that the world is not all about her, she learnt the importance of sharing, and in both situations she took to the roles of elder sister and fellow pupil very well.

School has helped improve her social skills tremendously. She is still very picky on whom she befriends, and if she does not like you (or the look of you, unfortunately), she will not hesitate one minute in telling you so (much to her parents’ embarrassment). However she is friendlier with her friends and whenever she feels like it, she will talk to strangers like there’s no tomorrow. Her vast vocabulary has now turned into fully-fledged sentences, and she can spend minutes talking about everything. She has learnt new nursery rhymes, she sings all the time and comes up with new expressions and words which sometimes baffle me. I smile whenever she uses ‘otherwise’, ‘in the meantime’ and ‘anyways’ in sentences. She has started using Maltese words and although her use of the language leave a lot to be desired (“Jiena ha taghmel…”), I admire her trying to speak Maltese with new children she meets.

My fear of Kinder One proved to be fruitless. Luckily she had teachers who made her comfortable and who were patient with her, especially in the early days. She has the same group of friends she mentions all the time, and seeing her interact with them makes me feel better about my unfounded fear of her not blending in well. Thankfully she does not seem to be lacking in the confidence department. In fact, she lately refers to herself as “Queen Cesca”. Not “Princess” – that title is saved for Bettina. Cesca is the Queen, I am the Super Queen and Anthony is the Super Hero. We had an episode of sorts last weekend, when we were in a shop full of people and she asked in a loud voice, when we were going back to our castle. Because you see, our little home is a castle in her eyes.

These past two weeks have been trying for us though. She is suddenly scared of everything under the sun. She fears the wind, the fan, her spotted socks and even the red hair-brush. She is also suffering from separation anxiety when it comes to leaving me alone for a minute. For that reason she has refused to go to her crafts lessons for the past fortnight – something she used to love doing. She now visits the bathroom with me, helps me hang the clothes and is always hovering round me. There are some perks to this phase – I get impromptu kisses and hugs, declarations of love and lots and lots of ‘mama’ this and ‘mama’ that. However it is a trying phase for me, especially with another baby in the house and trying to juggle everyone and everything. Hopefully this phase will pass. And I know it will, because if motherhood taught me anything, it is that childhood is one phase right after the other. One phase ends and another one will start immediately afterwards. It’s just that when you’re in the eye of the storm, things look a million times worse. Once out of it, everything resumes calmly. Till the next storm that is.

So if you have a child starting school next September, don’t worry too much. Like everything, the teething phase will be difficult. Believe me when I tell you that it was a hundred times harder for us, because we had Bettina arriving on a Tuesday evening, and Cesca started school on Wednesday morning. I was having closely-timed contractions at home, sorting out Cesca’s school uniform and satchel, telling Anthony’s sister what to prepare for her for school the following morning, clutching my tummy with pain, praying Bettina wouldn’t be born in our kitchen, and feeling useless as a mother for knowing I would miss out on Cesca’s first day of school. Learn to trust in higher powers, in your child’s ability to fend for him/herself and know that it will all be okay in the end. There will be discouraging episodes which will throw you back at times – having your child cry leave when you leave him at school in the morning, times when they wet their pants again (in school, for two straight weeks – yes, we had that too), the first Monday after two-week long Christmas and Easter holidays. But they will pass, don’t worry.

Perhaps the worst part of schooling happens to parents. For me, it was learning to let go of Cesca. I had to learn to trust her by herself, with new people, in a new setting, without being there to check up on her like I usually would. I have to admit that the temptation to call up on the school and ask about her was very tempting in the beginning, and there were days when I would stay for a couple of minutes underneath her class window to see whether she would cry when I left her. I was jealous of the time she spent with her teacher and with her new friends. But then I would see her coming out of school laughing, smiling, with messy hair and paint-stained fingers, with star stickers attached to her forehead, waving good-bye to her friends and teachers, and bursting with the need to tell me what she did at school, so much so that I could barely understand her rushed words, and I knew it would be okay.

So remember, the first cut is the deepest. Hold on and hang in there.

And come next October, I will re-read this post because I know I will need the reassurance again. And again.

This seems like yesterday.  01.10.2014

This seems like yesterday.
01.10.2014

Their bond is enviable. Their smiles and giggles make every second of a hard day worth it.

Their bond is enviable. Their smiles and giggles make every second of a hard day worth it.

Same girl's birthday party, one year apart. Last year she was the grumpiest ever, refusing to join in on the bouncing-castle fun and not letting the entertainer draw glittery doodles on her hand. This year she was the total opposite. Changes.

Same girl’s birthday party, one year apart. Last year she was the grumpiest ever, refusing to join in on the bouncing-castle fun and not letting the entertainer draw glittery doodles on her hand. This year she was the total opposite. Changes.

She drives me up the wall at times. She's stubborn, set in her ways and loves an argument. But she's the most sensible girl I know, and she has my heart.

She drives me up the wall at times. She’s stubborn, set in her ways and loves an argument. But she’s the most sensible girl I know, and she has my heart.

The end result of Kinder One :)

The end result of Kinder One 🙂

Nineteen Days In…

Nineteen days into this new year, and I’m finally writing my first blog post for 2015.

About time.

Since the last time I wrote here, we finally had our first holiday as a family of four. We had both sets of grandparents on board with us for some help, and they were a godsend. Trying to get ready by a certain time with two kids is not easy, nor do-able. Someone always needed to pee, or poop, or change, or eat, or cry, or bring up milk, or sleep. But we managed to have four wonderful days of food, small Sicilian villages and driving round new places. Cesca had a day of fun getting wet in the snow and Bettina watched from her car-seat. Both behaved very well and I am proud to say that we are not traumatised beyond repair to the thought of travelling with them both again. Having said that, a trip for the two of us is in the pipelines 😉

Driving around ;)

Driving around 😉

The time of her life!

The time of her life!

Barely able to move. Poor B.

Barely able to move. Poor B.

Two years after having a hairdresser touch her hair, Cesca finally got her hair properly trimmed. And she has bangs, which I love, love, love! Although she does need to trim it every couple of weeks.

A proper haircut, with bangs and no knots!

A proper haircut, with bangs and no knots!

The beginning of school brought with it a new set of persistent germs which meant that Cesca has been off school for this past week, and little B is now sniffling :/ I’m hoping that tomorrow C will be back to school, for all our sanity’s sake because after staying indoors for five straight days, she is now fed up of all her toys, television shows, books and any activities I can do with her and a three-month old.

Both girls are now settling in lovely. The hardest part of having a sick Cesca was trying to keep her away from her younger sister. She could not quite understand why she could not hug or pat Bettina, and was getting quite upset when I tried to explain it to her. The upside of this all was seeing how much she adores her little sister. And bother her as much as she does, it is heartwarming to see how Bettina’s eyes already light up whenever she hears Cesca’s voice singing “Jingle Bells” to her.

Nesting

I’m in the last days of this pregnancy. I have to say that everything is that bit harder to do now. Getting up off the sofa requires some to-and-fro rocking to gain momentum to raise my bottom upwards. Finding a comfortable position anywhere is impossible and the baby’s kicking-force is something I don’t remember experiencing with C.

I’m think I am now nesting. The baby clothes are washed and ready. C’s school things are nearly done as well. Both events are happening at around the same time, so I’m doing all that I can right now. But I’m a procrastinator, so my hospital bag is not yet done and there are many things which need doing eventually. I’m not stressing myself. Everything will happen, sooner or later.

I can’t promise more regular posts for the time being. If this baby is anything like C, it could arrive next week! I’m just praying that it sees this week out so that A who is away, will return back to The Rock just in time.

Who knows? We were extremely lucky when C arrived, maybe we will be this time also.

In the meantime, thank you everyone for your warm wishes and kind words. This blog has helped me reach out to other mummies, and find comfort in their words, and hopefully they in mine.

Thank you again x

bdaybbq

Last photo of us as a family of three?