I have said this before, and I stand by my word, FIVE is the absolute best age. Five is the age where your kid is old enough to wipe his/her own bum but young enough that rocking out with your mother to hits of the 80s in the living room is not awkward at all. It is also the age of awareness. The Wonder Year. The year when you find yourself moving from the extreme end of the childhood spectrum (tantrums, meltdowns, not being able to express yourself without losing your mind) into a more settled peaceful middle where you can talk nicely, reason perfectly and negotiate like a good salesman. Our five year old milestones were absolutely the best – the losing of teeth, the growing of molars, learning to read, going to big school. Experiencing this with a little person who is fully aware of what they are doing and how awesome it is, was a wonder for me, more than it was for him I think. It was at five years old that my first born toyed with the idea that Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy possibly-maybe weren’t real. But it was also the year where he was young enough to still choose the magic and believe they were real. I am sure that will change at six and the idea of the Easter Bunny will be poo-poo’d on.
Five Years Old was the bomb.
And now my darling second born, you are five…
The thing with you, Hannah, is that you are a contradiction of the highest degree. To quote Forest, you’re like a box of chocolates… I never know what I’m going to get. You have successfully changed the game on me at least 50656234 times since the day you were born. The minute I think I have you pinned down, you do that game-changer thing. I love it. I love you. I love your spunk, I love how you can change your mind a million times and still be as chilled about your 15th outfit change in as many minutes while the rest of us are losing our minds waiting in the car for you to get ready (can you imagine when you’re 16?) You are not bothered by life. When someone doesn’t want to be your friend, you move onto the next little girl or boy until you find someone who wants to play with you. When someone is being mean, YOU TELL THEM. Guuuurl, I just love how you TELL people where to get off. Very nicely, of course. When you don’t like what’s for supper, you make it quite clear that you do not like to see onions or mustard seeds in your food (even though you still eat it, because I said so, because I am still the boss).
But here’s the contradiction. For as bossy-boots-I-don’t-care as you are, you’re as soft and squishy and emotional as only a little girl can be. You never fail to tell us how much you love us, unprompted, all the time. You say it so often that sometimes I hear myself saying it back without even registering and then I feel sort of bad. You end everything with “so much.” I love you SO MUCH. I miss you SO MUCH. I’m going to love this movie SO MUCH. I’m going to love this ice cream that you bought me SO MUCH. I think SO MUCH is your favourite line.
You’re so smart but you never use it to your advantage. I find this so weird because I want EVERYONE to know how WONDERFUL I am at EVERYTHING, ALL.THE.TIME. I love people to tell me how amazing I am. It drives your Dad crazy.. this constant need for approval that I have. But you aren’t like that. Like the day you learned to tie your laces when you were only three, you didn’t even tell us. One day we just kind of noticed and you were like “yeh, I’ve been doing this for like ages, guys.” Like the time we discovered you could write your name, you could count in 2s, 5s and 10s backwards and forwards up to 100, you knew the words to popular music and we only realised it when we heard you singing in the shower one day. All these things, we just discovered by mistake. It’s almost like you are so self assured, that you don’t need anyone else to stroke your ego. I so admire this about you, baby girl.
You are a marvel to me. I love you deeply. You teach me something new about yourself everyday. But more than that, you teach me something new about MYself everyday. From my personal experience, mothering a boy was really simple. It’s only now at 6 that I’d say mothering a boy is becoming more challenging. But mothering Liam has been mostly easy.. he eats, sleeps, poops, keeps us laughing, and doesn’t really get emotional about too much. I LOVE how simple Liam is. But you my darling, you’re like a closed rose bud. Every petal that opens reveals another layer to the extraordinary stuff you have inside of you. We’ve just discovered why you don’t particularly like to share. You’re a germaphobe! I didn’t know! But you do not like to share a bottle (even with your own mother who bore you in her womb for 38 weeks), you do not like to put your fingers into a chip packet which does not belong to you, you do not like to use the same medicine teaspoon that your brother has licked off already. Even someone asking for a lick of your ice cream cone is enough to make you hyperventilate. Until one day you very nicely explained to the family that all these things cause germs to spread and please can we stop nagging you about it. This was duly noted. My sweetheart!
So we gave you a little shindig at home to celebrate your birthday. You wanted a Frozen party but you did NOT want to be a princess, you just wanted to wear shorts. In fact, you wanted to be Prince Hans, but I talked you out of that. You had a lovely time with those closest to you. Your granny, aunt, uncle and cousins from KZN even came along to celebrate you.
I love you, Han. You fill a gap in my heart that nobody else can. From now until eternity. xx
photos by the lovely Marcia and Karina