Hey Baby, my little Lena Beana, you are 5 years old!
You’ve been setting the world on fire for 5 whole years. What a goddamn privilege it’s been to just be in your aura for that time, let alone be your mother. As I do for every one of your and your brother’s birthdays, here is my letter to you for your 5th birthday. I hope that we read these together when you are all grown up!
What are you like right now?
You are a force of nature. So authentically you. You know exactly what you want and Goddess help anyone who gets in your way. It can be exhausting to parent but I’m excited to see you bulldose down loads of mediocre old men in your future for sure.
You are the darkest human I know. Which seems strange and amusing for a little girl. You constantly come out with dark or macabre things that make your dad and I both laugh and worry a little bit. For example, when we took a ride on the metro you left me to go and chat to an elderly lady (standard) and surprised her by showing her the blood in your veins. It’s fair to say she wasn’t expecting you to say that. You love Scar from the Lion King and keep asking us to print out pictures of the part of the film where he kills Mufasa so you can colour them in. Like I say, funny but erm a tad worrying. You also stan Maleficent. Aurora who?!
At the moment you keep making us chuckle as you say ‘keep after’ instead of look after which is cute. “Who will keep after me’, ‘Mammy you keep after this’ etc.
You are rambunctious and a perpetual swirl of motion. You rarely stay still. You got headlice last week (2nd time) and it was arduous trying to comb out your hair because you are far too busy being busy for staying still.
You are nearly always naked. You dislike wearing clothes or being restricted in any way. You can always be found just in your knickers, day or night with wild hair and food/snot streamed across your face. The whole family jokes that you would be perfect for a casting call for a ‘street urchin’ or a ‘child raised by wolves in the forest’. You do not stay neat or tidy for a minute. At night, even in winter, you sleep in just your knickers, on top of the covers with an electric fan on. You definitely run hot.
You have the music in you like your mama and just like me when you find a song you love you make us play it on repeat over and over. You have a great ear for music and a promising singing voice. You love to dance and perform. You favourite songs at the moment are Shakira Try Everything and Invisible by Zara Larsson.
You are oh so sweet and loving and fun but you will also lie and manipulate to get what you want and you take no prisoners with this or feel any guilt. The other day you threatened me when I wasn’t letting you have something by saying ‘I’ll do my adorable face’, which incidentally doesn’t work if you tell me beforehand that you are using it as a tactic against me. Even though it’s very adorable.
You are shameless in getting your way no matter the cost! Recently you hid in the bathroom to eat a pudding we told you that you couldn’t have and despite the fact that your dad saw you do it and you were covered in chocolate you swore blind you didn’t do it. Last week you lied to me and told me you had urinated on your bedroom floor because you had spilt some water and were worried that I would tell you off about it. Which is ridiculous as I’d be way more angry about the wee than the water. Don’t escalate up Lena!
What do you love right now?
Just like last year, you still love horses and unicorns but also just animals in general, especially jungle animals. You are really into giraffes and lions right now.
You desperately want a pet and hound me about it every day. For your birthday this year we are taking you to a farm where you can hold and pet animals. You even love insects. You like collecting bugs in the garden and putting them in your ‘bugnoculars’ (affiliate link) so you can inspect them.
You want to stroke every dog and cat we encounter on the school run. Your dream birthday present would be a dog but both your dad and I have to work outside the house for long hours so it’s not feasible sadly. We keep discussing whether we should get you a small pet like a rabbit or hamster etc but I do fear you might ‘love it to death’ in a Lenny ‘Of Mice and Men’ type scenario.
You have begun to play with toys less and I think we have started the transition away from toy playing as your brother did too. You like watching YouTube and Netflix (which you call neckflix, despite numerous corrections). You like playing Minecraft and Roblox with your brother and some games on the Nintendo Switch. Your favourite films are the Shrek films (still), Maleficent, Harry Potter and anything with animals in it. Your favourite TV shows are Spirit, Mia and Me and Ben and Holly.
You are starting to get a little bit more adventurous with eating food – eating a few more fruits and vegetables than this time last year. You will now eat apples, bananas, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, nectarines/peaches, blueberries, satsumas/oranges, cucumber, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. Occasionally you will eat sweetcorn, peas and green beans. You are still quite fussy though. Your favourite foods are pizza and macaroni cheese.
Milestones this past year
The biggest milestone we had for you this year was you weaning from the breast at 4 years and 4 months old on Saturday 15 June 2019. This was a big deal for us both. You were really addicted to ‘your minkies’ but we both did so well with weaning and now I’m enjoying lots more cuddles with you instead which is nice.
You also started school and have adjusted well. You aren’t as keen on going as your brother was at the same age. You don’t like being told what to do or being prevented from doing what you want to do and you’ve got a small tolerance for this so get frustrated with the school environment. On top of that, you don’t like that you can’t control what your friends do and that sometimes they won’t do what you want them to. You keep telling me you want to ‘be the order’ (aka the boss).
I think you like going to school but you would rather stay at home with us and you feel school happens much too frequently. Most days you wake up and ask us ‘where am I going today’ and when we say school, you shout ‘not again’. You’ve already faked illness to get out of it, something your brother has never done. You have recently made a little friend at school and I hope you will continue to make friendships that makes school more fun for you and we get past the resistance to go each day. We have yet to have any tears over school though, so that’s something!
Aged 4 you had a family holiday to Gran Canaria (where you ‘nearly drowned’ – which you like to tell everyone about, see below), we went to Y Not Festival together and Just So Festival – our first rainy festivals with lots of mud! We had a lovely family mini break to Northumberland Coast and one to the Peak District.
This year you finally got chickenpox and boy did we know about it. When you are sick it turns out you just scream at us in anger non-stop for days whilst refusing to take any medication. So that was fun. I’m pleased it’s over now though I worry you will have a little facial scarring – which reminds me, I must start to put some bio-oil on that!
You still want to be a police dog when you grow up! Though recent discussions have also thrown out rock star and vet so we shall see eh?!
Wishes for 5
This year I hope you finally get a place at swimming club and learn how to swim – you’ve been on the waitlist for quite a while. I also hope that this is the year you start to go to sleep without needing us to stay with you until you are asleep. This is something we will start working on soon. I’d also like you to start sleeping independently but we aren’t in a huge rush, we know it will happen when you are ready and we won’t force you until you are comfortable. I hope that this is the year you will learn to ride a bike. And I really really hope this is the year you will learn to stop hitting your brother!
I’m hoping this year we will get to go on a holiday abroad in the sun together and some UK mini breaks including a camping trip
You have the strongest sense of self I have ever witnessed and my hope for you is that you never lose that and you always follow your heart and dreams – and please take me along with you for the ride because I know it’s going to be wild!
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