Happy birthday, dear Ali!

My daughter and my proudest achievement, Alison, turned three years old at 11.52am today. It feels weird to be typing that sentence for several reasons. Firstly because up until I had Alison, I was on a mission to prove that I  was severely allergic to small children. I mean, they were cute and all, but I would have bawked at the idea of changing nappies or mopping up vomit. I can’t face cleaning my own. Secondly, because three years of my daughter’s life have passed by so quickly, and although I am delighted to be rid of the nightmares that were colic and reflux (aka, the Spawn of the Exorcist), I know that all I have now are memories, good and bad. Thirdly, because I want to freeze her time right now. I want to always remember her as she is, right now.

Alison Mary is now three. We named her Alison after one of mum’s favourite singers, Alison Krauss, because mum had died in 2009 and I didn’t particularly want to call her Una, plus we liked the name. Depending on what mood we’re in, we call her Alison or Ali. Alison is freakishly tall, and there’s no doubt that she will be taller than me by the time she’s nine. Her hair is grand when it’s washed but turns into a  mat of knots within 48 hours. Cue detangler spray and a lot of cursing from whichever parent has pulled the short straw  to comb out said mat.

Ali is intelligent. Well, I think so, so it must be true. She said ‘hi’ at eight weeks, and could count to five at sixteen months. She knows most nursery rhymes, and she also knows that she can get around daddy easier than mummy. She can count to ten in Irish now, thanks to playschool. She can spell ‘Tesco’, and knows daddy works there. I don’t know much about kids but I do think this is amazing.

Alison is currently a ‘Frozen’ fanatic, and her note-perfect rendition of ‘Let it Go’, complete with actions is highly entertaining. She loves singing and dancing, although I find the bum-wiggling a little disturbing. She also loves costumes (we have a future actress on our hands, perhaps?) , and would be equally happy dressing up as Elsa or Bob the Builder. Ever the diva, Alison loves being rescued from burning buildings (aka overturned toy boxes); the trouble is once you rescue her once, you have to rescue her ten thousand times.  Sigh.

I could describe what it is about Ali that I love so much until I’ve bored myself, but instead I’ll let the following anecdotes give you a better insight into her world.

1. Ali accidently walked in on her daddy while he was using the loo the other day. Next time she went to the toilet, she pulled down her pants and stood beside the toilet.

2. Ali loves sucking her thumb. And the more you tell her not to, the more she does it.

3. Ali doesn’t go to sleep at night until she prays for every single person she knows. Including someone called cucumber. We have no sodding idea who that is. When we ask her, she just smiles. I’m always a little nervous at this point, waiting for somebody to hop out of the wardrobe.

  1. Ali loves teddy bear picnics, at which she is always the guest of honour. She probably sees a picnic fit for a queen; what I see is a pile of toys. ‘Surprise!’ she yells, delighted with herself.
  2. Ali is fascinated with eyebrows and their texture. She loves rubbing eyebrows, and if she rubs your eyebrows, it means she likes you!

I could go on, but don’t worry, I won’t. What I’m trying to illustrate here is that Ali is very much her own person, and each day I fall more helplessly in love with her. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be her mum. She is so loving, patient (of me), understanding and kind that I sometimes wonder who is the mummy, her or me? Honestly, I think I need her more than she needs me.

So, happy birthday to a truly remarkable child and the best daughter any mother could possibly dream of. I promise to love you and be thankful for you every day, because

Baby, now that I’ve found you, I won’t let you go,

I’ve built my word around you, I need you so,

Baby even though,

You don’t need me, you don’t need me, oh no. (Alison Krauss)

Thank you for bringing so much happiness into all of our lives xxxx

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2 thoughts on “Happy birthday, dear Ali!

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