Last week Jade, (Little Miss Banana Head One) turned 13 and I’m not quite sure how it happened. It seems like yesterday that she cutely uttered her first word, “Pizza.” Currently her favourite things to say are, “Have you seen my phone,” “You’re so mean”, and “Jamie Dornan is so fit.” It’s terrifying, particularly the last one as it’s confirmation that she’s discovered boys / men and I can’t even begin to process that. To be fair, she does also say “I love you” all day long so I’m not complaining. How did this journey of epic proportions begin? I’ll take you back to the beginning. Well actually not the very beginning as this is a family blog but the day she came into the world and changed our lives forever. Was that suitably dramatic, I hope so.
The day she came into the world was very nearly the day she left it. After an elongated labour and just before she was born she swallowed a load of meconium. When she came out she wasn’t breathing and we sat there whilst a team of doctors and nurses came running in to resuscitate her. It was without a doubt the most terrifying moment of my life but this will be matched the first time Jade gets asked out on a date. I remember taking her out on my own for the first time when she was 10 days old. I walked around Woolworths with her snug against my chest in her Baby Bjorn carrier and had never felt prouder as strangers stopped me to take a peek and comment how lovely she was. Well, apart from the occasional crazy old lady, who’s going to say, “My god, your baby is pig ugly?”
Of all the cliches people use around having children the most common is probably the truest. “Treasure every moment, they grow up so quickly.” I love thinking back to all the special memories from when Jade was young; the first time seeing all the animals at the zoo and the sheer wonderment on her face, the first time going to the cinema and not crying, when I taught her to recognise Kate Bush songs so she could shout them out when I sang them, (very proud moment) and of course on our holiday to Marbella when she was 18 months old and uttering her first beautiful word. Being Jewish and my daughter the first word was always going to be food related. They’re all special memories of course but the over riding memory from her early childhood is sick. The smell of it, the look of it, the occasional and accidental taste of it. It turns out she had a reflux issue but this didn’t occur to us, we just assumed it was normal for your baby to projectile vomit like the Exorcist on a daily basis. Her room stank on a good day and on a bad day……actually I can’t even go there. It was only 3 years and two changes of carpet later when Katie was born and wasn’t sick every time she was fed that the penny dropped.
I used to love coming in from work when the girls were younger. As soon as they heard the key in the door they’d charge towards me with a “Dadyyyyy” and throw themselves into my arms for cuddles. Fortunately they waited until the door was actually open otherwise we’d have had multiple trips to A&E. Nowadays when I come in from work…….nothing. I walk into the lounge…….nothing. Well, I say nothing, both of them are either near comatose in front of the tv, playing on their phone / ipods or fighting. Whichever one it is, none of them includes jumping into my arms for cuddles unless they’ve been told off by their mum in which case it will be cuddle city big time.
I loved the tv shows
I was forced to watch repeatedly on a daily basis we happily watched together back in the day. Balamorey, Dora the Explorer, Storymakers, (Blue Cow was always the fave), Doodlebops, Higgledy House, Lazytown and lots more. Watching and listening to Jade laugh out loud and learning with Dora how to speak rudimentary Spanish was enriching and joyful. There was one character however that became Jade’s fixation. Josie Jump from Balamorey became part of the family and the Josie Jump song and accompanying video was played on a loop for days at a time. She did the Josie Jump dance, had the small and large JJ dolls and at one point even asked if she could change her name to Josie Jump. She didn’t take kindly to the answer. I’ve just watched all the Balamorey character videos and it’s made me feel a tad nostalgic. I never realised at the time that PC Plum is throwing some special barn dance moves during his bizarre song and dance routine.
It was a simple time where everything was funny and whatever I did elicited screams of laughter. Bath time was the best. Jade had a little blue cup and I used to fill it with water and after commentating on the bouquet, body and whether it was champagne, white, red or rose I’d throw it in my face…….about 30 times every night. It lasted about three years before it stopped being hilariously funny. She also loved me making up my own lines of the PC Plum song so we had classics like, “I’m PC Plum, here’s my sausages” and “I’m PC Plum, here’s my macaroni.” Nowadays the thing that I do that’s most likely to make Jade laugh is to send her an abbreviated text pretending I’m down with the kids as she knows I hate doing it.
Whenever I Iook at Jade now I still see the little, giggling cute bundle of energy she used to be. She still giggles and she’s still energetic, but only when I take her phone away and she chases me to try and get it back. Things have changed massively over the years but through it all, she’s still my little girl and thankfully she’s also still, (most of the time anyway) a daddy’s girl. That’s it for part one, next time will be dealing with tantrums, boys and how quick thinking helped me deal with an accidentally viewed and very inappropriate scene from the new Dallas.