Ziggler turns five next week.
Our love, these days, is mercurial. Sometimes, I’m great. I am pretty, kind and I smell nice, and I’m just the right kind of squishy. Other – I’ll be honest most – times, I am the spawn of Beelzebub.
On Tuesday, she said between sobs that everything in the whole world was MY FAULT (I wanted her to eat an apple). On Wednesday, she came downstairs for a cuddle after lights out (she couldn’t sleep and had missed me at school). On Thursday, I was a schweinhund (she wasn’t invited to Daffodil’s for tea). And so on, to exhaustion.
Now. I am not perfect. I probably don’t let her have enough chocolate biscuits. It may well be that everything in the word is my fault. I must admit to feeling quite smug about my incredible power, destructive though it evidently is.
I love my children with my gristle, but you know what? It is a tiny bit difficult to actually like someone at the moment their rage-filled spittle is showering your face because you didn’t bring the car on the eighth-of-a-mile school run. And as that, no doubt, makes me a terrible mother and a hateful human being, I have decided to dedicate this post to Ziggler, and the wonder of Five.
Ziggler turns five next week. I remember five. Roly-poly, wide-eyed, hold-up-all-the-fingers-on-one-hand Five.
She reads everything. Cereal packets, calendar entries, adverts on bus shelters, and the front of the Viz annual somebody inadvisedly left in the bog. She writes tiny stories about prinssesess, leaves little notes for Trulove to find when he gets home, and adds ‘a toi for Ziggler’ at the end of my shopping lists. She knows everything about dinosaurs, and realised the other day that Trulove and I are herbivores. She doesn’t find things funny, she finds them hilarious. She’s incredibly proud of the boncano, complete with glittery lava, she made at school.
She skips everywhere. Ballet skipping.
She starts a bit of gossip with a scandalised ‘DID YOU KNOW mummy…?’ and then tells me who went on the Thinking Chair that day, and why. She herself will NEVER, of course, go on the thinking chair. Unthinkable. She pretends to be a stripy towel-covered rock after bath time. Pickle and I have to be astounded it has appeared in the living room, and try to sit on it. It ends in tickles.
She wears one plait and one pony tail in her hair. “Not bothered,’ said she, when I said people would ask her about it all day. And she’s not.
And so, lovely, exasperating Ziggler turns wonderful, topsy-turvy five. She’s embarking on a childhood she’ll remember, and one that will form her grown-up self. And so, I tell myself, I’ll gloss over the tantrums, and insults, and rage. Ziggler’s world is getting bigger and more exciting every day. And I am safe.