Mostly Buffy

Oh right. We did know that, actually.

Katie and Buffy are watching Total Wipeout, which I think is called Wipeout in the States. It's a bunch of comparatively sporty people flinging themselves across a giant inflated obstacle course over pools of thick, oozing mud. They usually spend more time in the mud than leaping the obstacles above. Buffy, on her first ever viewing of the show, has been offering advice to the competitors, "No! You've got to hold on! Slow down! Be careful! Look out!"

Enjoying her commentary very much, Andrew said, "You tell 'em, Buffy!"

To which our cheeky little girl quipped, "I can't tell them, Daddy! THEY'RE ON TV!"


My baby is four. Four years ago today, her beautiful, empowering and energizing birth was over. We had called everyone. We were basking in the glow of our chubby, happy and hungry little girl. She latched on like a natural born champion. She was born in a warm tub at home in just a few hours. It was fantastic. I still feel high when I remember it. I could have climbed a mountain afterwards. Amazing.

Buffy is still a very happy child, still enthusiastic about everything. She opened her presents this morning with sheer glee. She started with the cards. Cards! Buffy was so happy to receive cards! The little fairy picture from her long-distance friend Jana was particularly appreciated. Oh, but there was more! More than cards?! Fantastic! She opened her next presents. Socks! Then MORE socks! She couldn't believe her good fortune. Now, get this: The socks had BOWS on them! SOCKS WITH BOWS!! She hugged them and spun around. Socks with bows!!

Aunty Shannon and I giggled, simultaneously remembering the disappointment of such a practical presents, bows or none. Buffy's wearing a brand new Gymboree outfit from Gramma, complete with SPOTTY SOCKS. If you thought she liked the socks with bows, you wouldn't believe the joy with which she received the spotty socks. She took off all of her clothes immediately to put on the spotty socks. Of course she was already wearing another outfit from Gramma, so everything has now been worn.

Buffy got a present from Aunt Joanie in Virginia, a really cool book on gargoyles. She thought the book was fab, but she was positively over the moon about the candle enclosed in the card. The card itself was worthy of a hug and a little dance, because it has a mermaid on it. A MERMAID CARD! Life is so good!

Our own presents for Buffy have been comparatively modest. A sweet book, Small by Jessica Merserve, which I adore and Buffy is currently reading to Shannon; a dress made from Liberty fabric, and a bag of chocolates. Each gift was received with so much joy and love, I am pleased we didn't do more. Most of all, I'm proud of my positive little sweetie who sees joy in everything.

If you say to Buffy, "Life is good," she answers, "All the time!"

She teaches us so much.

Happy birthday, baby!

Counting Down

At lunch today Andrew was entertaining the kids while I plated up the food. At times like these we fall back on what we know. I rely on a rote arsenal of camp songs and clapping rhythms. Andrew's on-the-spot parenting techniques fall to philosophy and maths. Today it was maths, "Buffy, can you count backwards from seven?"

Buffy thought for a moment then said, "Of course I can, Daddy! 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0."

Andrew said, "Okay, can you count backwards..."

"Well done, you mean," I interrupted.

"Yes, well done! Now. Can you count backwards from seven counting only the odd numbers?" he asked our three-year-old. She was quiet, thinking it over. I knew she would repeat the first sequence, because she had no idea what an odd number was. Seriously, sometimes my husband talks to our children with totally unreasonable vocabulary. Or so I thought.

"Um... 7... 5...," Buffy started.

My jaw dropped open, but I still thought it was a fluke. Lucky guess! I started to tell Andrew to give Buffy an example of what an odd number was, or to model how she might say one number outloud and the next in a whisper to herself when she continued, "3... um... 1! Um.. 0! Because you have to count down to zero."

Holy wow.

Happy Birthday to Youuuu!

Today we all trooped across the street to help a new, young neighbour's celebrate her third birthday. I am very pleased with our new neighbours, both teachers, and their warm, welcoming attitude to the rest of the neighbourhood. Exactly the sort of neighbours we'd pick, if we could. They come in recently to a home long occupied by a much-loved pillar of the community, Aggie. Aggie was among the first couples to move to the street and had her original parchment deed in a bank vault. She was the first person I met on our street, and it was a very sad time for everyone when she passed away.

The new neighbours never met Aggie, but they are pleased to know how happy she'd be that a friendly young family was now in the house. Unfortunately, Buffy is feeling out of sorts and didn't stay long enough to sing happy birthday to her new friend. Now tucked up in bed, we can laugh at a time she did sing happy birthday to a resident of that house. That time was very unfortunate indeed.

Dear old Aggie outlived her beloved husband and was too settled in Greenwich to move back to her sisters in Ireland. She lived on in that old house with her grown son and her lovely mutt, Bella. She died about two years ago, had a heart attack in the middle of the night. We neighbours who loved her hope she died in her sleep.

The funeral was absolutely packed with people from the neighbourhood. The Irish priest had married Aggie and her husband and counted them as close friends. He was very sad. Everyone gathered cried for Aggie. Well, almost everyone. One, very happy little girl chirruped over the sniffs. Buffy was not quite two years old. Cheerful, funny little Buffy. The congregation sang a hymn. Buffy hummed along. The music stopped. Buffy sang on, "Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you!" I think Andrew had her out of the church before she got much further, but somehow I don't think Aggie would have minded too much.

Interviewing Buffy

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Buffy: A princess!

Me: Why do you want to be a princess?

Buffy: Because I'm a girl. And I have long hair.

Me: What do princesses do?

Buffy: I don't actually know.

Me: What do you want to do when you're a princess?

Buffy: I want to sleep. Because I'm going to be Sleeping Beauty and fall into an enchanted sleep.

Me: Why are you going to be Sleeping Beauty?

Buffy: Because I like sleep*!! And I have the dress. And Daddy doesn't have the dress.

*this is a flat-out lie

Seeking Helpful Tips

Does anyone know how to get a whole bunch of Play-Doh out of the toe of a shoe?



PS Oh yes, she did.

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