Today my big girl turns 3.

It’s hard to believe that only three short years ago, we hadn’t even met the kid who is no longer a baby, and barely even a toddler – she’s a kid now.

Did I ever tell you about the events that led us down the parenthood path? Well. it all started with a dog sit gone bad.

Having definitely developed that weird and hard to describe feeling we know of only as ‘cluckiness’, We had decided that a puppy was the responsible step to take. We didn’t have our sh*t together enough to be parents, even getting a dog seemed beyond our capability.

As it turned out, our friends Dalmatian x Something Enormous, ‘Frank’, needed a place to stay for the weekend. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to test our ability to care for another living creature, so we offered ourselves as dog-sitters optimistically.

Well, things got a little wild (Frank did. Not us, obvs)  and the whole thing ended in a broken window, carpet trail of dog poo and blood, emergency linen/mattress/carpet cleaning, a few apologetic phone convos with friends, a three day vet stay, late night puppy surgery and a hefty vet bill.

Low and behold Frank never came to stay again (we’ve forgiven each other, it’s all good). More to the point, we decided on-the-spot that dogs were absolutely not our jam and decided kids didn’t seem all that hard.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have realised that that was just the first of many teary fiascos involving poo and broken things,  but pre-kid me was kind of self involved (and also thought she was super busy and super tired), so ..

Three years, nine months and two babies later and times have certainly changed – in the best possible way. As I tuck my two year old into bed for the last time before she hits the big 0-3, I have been pondering what I’ve learnt from my biggest tiny human so far.

If you want something, ask

She’s over there negotiating her way out of eating her broccoli, and explaining why she wants to switch out her carrots for a banana whilst I sit here hoping someone picked up on my subtle request for a new pillow for mothers day.

If you like it, wear it

Sometimes its a pink leopard print bike pant, swimming hat and  gumboot kind of day. And when its one of those days, the girl knows how to rock it.

Breathe Up, and Breathe Down

Jai has been taking  a ‘take a deep breath and tell me whats wrong’ approach to diffusing meltdowns (hers not his). So far, with such great success that she has been reminding us too – with her own directional twist.

Sometimes you just need a minute to yourself

Little people have a tendency to get all up in your personal space. Before you know it you are sitting naked on the shower floor getting your hair washed by one kid, breastfeeding the other whilst shaving your legs. Thankfully our girl has come to understand the meaning of privacy, specifically when on the loo (thanks to her assertive ‘go away its a poo‘). She has taught us all to take a minute for ourself.

Sometimes a meltdown is all you need

A good cry and a hefty stomp of the foot is sometimes just the thing to get you through a moment of panic, anxiety or overwhelming stress. It certainly makes you feel better when your 2 year old is suddenly at your side asking you to ‘breathe up and down’…

Tell people how you feel

Sto is the first to tell me I look beautiful or that she likes my hair (actually lately she has been telling me that she ‘liked my brown hair’ but – sidenote). Her honesty is encouraging and a nice reminder to offer complements and be honest with myself and others.

Above all, our little lady has taught me about unconditional love. She has taught me gratitude, that she chose us to be her family and has made me realise how blessed we are that were able to bring little people into the world.

She (and her brother) have also taught me that I can in fact survive with very little sleep.