Motherhood hasn’t come naturally to Daisy Leverington. Four years in and she remains wide-eyed, terrified and in awe of the little person she’s responsible for. This week, she casts an eye over 2015 and makes some snap-happy resolutions.
After advent-calendar-gate, we have settled into a lovely routine of forgetting it’s December then panicking because we are in no way prepared for Christmas.
This year has been fairly huge for us as a family, and as individuals. Our little girl started school, hated it, and got over it. I’m working full time, hating being away from her, and trying to get over it. We’ve moved on from the That’s Not My… books to Roald Dahl. I saw a three-year-old boy eat a ceramic frog. We got a kitten. Beth died in The Walking Dead. In short, it’s been a pretty huge year.
It’s been a hard one as a mum, and that’s what I am first and above everything. Seeing my girl turn four and then start school within a fortnight felt like we were playing a cruel trick on her. She was so used to having me around, and now suddenly she had 30 tiny competitors for attention and I was nowhere to be seen after school.
She’s coped very well despite the massive changes. She’s physically grown and changed from podgy toddler into an athletic and skinny little lady. Gone are the little chubby legs and pot belly I could squish for hours; we now have a skinny giant of a girl who can reason her way out of any disagreement with the speed of a gazelle.
The tiny child who couldn’t identify squiggles on a page as meaningful things now looks at them, makes a noise in her head and translates them into the words she reads. This is quite honestly the most wonderful thing I’ve ever seen.
Watching her make the huge mental leaps between a shape and its meaning and how words come alive makes me want to set fireworks off at the end of every sentence she recites. I feel like she’s been given the key to the universe, and I get how important it is now. I really get it. She has a brand new means of communication and it’s frankly amazing.
School has changed her in many ways. She’s suddenly become self-conscious, which was a surprise. Her hairstyle is considered, her accessories are important and her conversation has an upward lilt dangerously close to a teenager’s mannerisms.
Talking to her is easier and harder all at once. She can chat about the weather now, but she will earnestly tell you it’s sunny when it’s raining. Details have become important, and her arguments are non-negotiable.
This Christmas might well be the last one where she doesn’t ask for much (except for the frigging advent calendar) so we plan to hole up in front of the fire and enjoy the games and fun things we’ve got for her. Next year it could well be expensive makeup and an iPhone which goes on her list, although at the rate she’s growing up it’ll be a deposit for a studio flat in Shoreditch.
I’m worried we’re sailing through these early years too quickly, that school and her peers might accelerate her past her current love of colouring-in and the Disney Store. So, I’ve decided 2016 will be less work-focused for me and I’ve stocked up on memory cards for my camera.
She’ll only be little for a short while, and even if we take a financial dip and damage her retinas from my auto-flash, it’ll be worth it to absorb ourselves with these last few years of little-girl-dom.
Bring it, 2016: let’s see if you can beat the year my kid learned to read, the year we went to Butlins, got new jobs, and started school. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be ace.2223 Views
Daisy Leverington - Actor, mother, expert at winging it.