My baby girl is about to turn 7 in three days. Seven! I absolutely can’t believe it. My time hop is full of memories of being told at my week 37 antenatal appointment that they were keeping me in until my baby arrived (I thought this was the worst thing ever at the time, and now I look back fondly at the 5 days lying in bed, watching whatever I wanted on hospital TV, doing my nails and napping), not being able to believe she was 1, then 5 (clearly wasn’t fazed by her being 2, 3 and 4). And now 7. And with 7 comes more changes, all of which indicate that she is officially No Longer My Baby. I’ve just been out buying thank you things for the Rainbows leader, because she’ll graduate to Brownies in the autumn. I’ve got to buy her proper button up blouses for September as she goes into Juniors. Juniors! Where some of the children are in double figures (and to be honest, judging from Sports Day, look like they could get served in the pub) and they have to wear a tie. A tie! It takes me all my time to buy her hats without chin straps, so buying a tie is absolutely beyond my comprehension. I discovered a forgotten about Pooh Bear duvet cover last week (the first one she had, lovingly made smaller for her cot-bed by Nanny, and then reinstated to normal size when she got a big bed) and she solemnly told me she was too old for it now. She was wild about Pooby, as she called him. And now…too old.
She went to a no-Mummy party a couple of weeks ago without batting an eyelid, went off home with her bestie’s parents after Sports Day and sent an email to her holiday buddy from last year without either of us setting it up for her. I told her I was working late tonight and wouldn’t be home until after she went to bed, and she simply said ok. Five minutes ago that would have been met with snot and tears. She told me a flowery head band I bought her made her look ridiculous and picked a bag-on-trend neon pink nailvarnish. She told me no-one would want to use her Little Tikes play centre at her birthday party as they were all too big, and yes, fine, sell it if I want.
We’ve moved from a Barbie themed party last year to a Wicked (the musical) one this year, which has taken my party planning skills to a new level. I’ve got a roll of green shimmery fabric and some crepe paper and as if by magic will be turning the dining room into the Emerald City. She doesn’t know, but she’s having another doll-in-a-cake cake, but this year there will be no pink and white icing making the skirt – it’s going to be black. I spent last night making a witches hat and black hair for a doll that she has that happens to be green, so hopefully I’ll make a credible Elphaba. The piñata is full of bobbles and lip gloss and haribos, rather than acres of plastic tat, and she wants to make a playlist.
I seem to spend a long time wondering where my baby has gone, but really I know where to find her. She’s fast asleep at night, her beautiful long lashes flickering and poor Fluff (her no longer fluffy at all bedtime favourite) clutched to within an inch of his life under her arm. She’s in the garden, running around in her knickers, shooting Cousin with her water gun. She’s a sleepy girl pulling my hair for comfort (hers entirely, not mine at all). She’s getting harder to find though, so I’ll take the hair pulling without (much) complaint, because one day I’ll realise she hasn’t done it for a long time.