I am Sit on My Knee Mum

On my Knee.”
Today you are poorly,

My precious wee lamb.

Today you need Mammy

And right here I am.
I’ll sit right beside you

I’ll rub your wee toes

I’ll clean up your mess and

I’ll wipe your wee nose.
I’ll kiss all your fingers and

rub your wee face

I’ll not give a damn about

the state of this place.
I’ll cuddle and snuggle you,

I’ll let you complain

You don’t understand

this feeling of pain.
To see you feel poorly

It breaks Mammy’s heart.

I’d take every ounce of it,

every last part,
To make you feel better,

To make you feel fine,

I wish with my essence that

the sickness was mine.
And whether you’re sniffly,

or puking or hot,

You’ll sleep right on top of me,

not in the cot.
And yes this is minor

and yes you’ll be fine

But I am your Mammy

And your pain is mine.
So today, there are so many

things I should do,

But none of those things,

as important as you.
The world won’t stop turning

if I stay here with you,

Some days I’m just “Mammy”

Cos only Mammy will do.
So cuddle your Mammy,

Just sit on my knee,

When you need your Mammy,

right here I will be.
xxx Mammy xxx

I am Seriously Tested Mum

There are days when things happen to test us.

Yesterday, it was not just Mammy who was tested by events.  No.  Mammy AND Daddy and our marriage in general were tested. By what? By who?

By our Princess Poonami.

“She’s a great age now.  We can go anywhere and it’s so much easier than when she was tiny” scoffed Mammy to her cousin-with-older-kids at approximately 5.10pm.  We were standing watching our minions playing in the garden at Granny-Mary-Queen-Mother-of-the-whole-wide-world’s birthday party.

“All I need now is to throw a nappy in my handbag and go! No need to be lugging half the house around anymore!” Mammy was so sure of herself.  Cousin with older kids agreed.  How smug and fablis Mammy is about how clutter free Mammying is when out and about now that my wobbler is 2. Smug mammy.  Silly Mammy.

“Mammy.  We have a poonami!” I hear The Him call.

“Sorry what? We do not have poonamis anymore.  Silly Daddy.  Don’t you know that our mini is now of the post-poonami age? You have made a mistake.  Check that you have lifted the correct child from the garden.  You must be mistaken.”

Mammy is past the point of the Poonami.  I am no longer THAT Mammy. I no longer have to carry a changing bag.  I no longer have to remove brown sticky vests from the back of my child. I have past this stage.  I am Poonami free..,

Except that I am not.  And when I look up, the child in The Him’s arms is indeed mine.  He is pretending that she is an aeroplane, so as not to have to touch the bum region.  Of course, this WOULD be the first day she is wearing a dress and is bare legged and so I can already see the rivulet which SHOULD have been held inside leggins, trickling down the crevaces of her fat little legs. And the unmistakeable smell wafting from her arse can only be one thing.  Yup. Poonami.

And all that I have in my handbag is a single nappy.

Who’s smug now?

My sister calls out “My baby bag is in the hall. GO GO GO!!” and GO GO GO we GO.

There are approximately 120 people in Granny-Mary-Queen-Mother-of-the-whole-wide-world’s house, through which we have to manouvre the leaking posterier of the aeroplane baby.  She is “WEEEE”ing with glee as Daddy flies her through the crowd.

Scuse us.  Poonami alert, poonami alert.  We rush to the spare room and throw a towel onto the bed.  Princes Poonami is having a great oul laugh as we rummage through the sister’s baby bag for nappies and wipes.

I’m about to start changing her and I look at the Him.  He looks at me.  And we know that we are both thinking the same thing… HOW the fuck do we do this?

You know how they say that a parent forgets all the bad stuff…the labour pains, the pain pain, the recovery, the exhaustion…well it seems that we also block out the cleaning up of the bum explosions too.  Because for a few seconds, neither of us had a clue where to start!

Right.  We can do this.  And for the next 10 minutes. (Yes, it took 10 minutes, such was the extent and reach of the exposion.) we were a tag team.  Back in the throes of early parenthood. Working together. A team with one purpose.  Our marriage being strengthened, tested and verified by a shitty nappy.

“Nappies…nappies.”  “Wipe…wipe.”  “Hold that.” “Wait wait wait!”  “Watch her hair.” “Mind the bed” “You missed that bit on her neck”  “Fuck fuck fuck!” “Is that it?” “WTF? HOW did it get in THERE?” “Where will I put this?” “Go get a plastic bag.  NO a Bin bag!”  “Christ the smell…” “Get your HANDS out of THERE!”

The bumbag went into the binbag.  The clothes and towel went into another one.  The Wobbler was dressed in a spare outfit that my sister-who-will-always-be-prepared-for-all-eventualities-and-is-not-a-smug-relaxed-twat-like-Mammy-here had packed for her girl.  And at the end, Mammy and Daddy hi-fived. Yes.  We did. That’s how proud of ourselves we were.

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GRRRRRRRR!

“Still got it Daddy” says Mammy.

“Hell yeah!” says Daddy.

“I dood a pooooooo” said Princess.

No Shit Sherlock!

Lesson learned.  Mammy needs to go back to keeping a changing bag in the boot of the car.  Be prepared for all seasons…and remember that when she is on an antibiotic, there is a high chance of poonami, whatever age she is.

And together, there is no shitstorm that Mammy and Daddy can’t handle together.

 

I am Shopping with Him Mum

The weekly shop.

The middle aisle of shite…

When Mammy does the weekly shop, all ingredients and things required to fulfill the meal plan for the family for the week shall be acquired as economically and quickly as possible.

Mammy knows which shop sells what and where the best place to buy kidney beans is.

Mammy can walk into Aldi-Everything and fill the trolley without really having to think too much about it. We’re creatures of habit in our house see, the weekly menu doesn’t change much, and so even if I’m distracted, or in a hurry, or just knackered to the point of Mombie, Mammy automatically reaches for the usual and will always leave quite content that she can feed her minions for the next 5-7 days.

When DADDY goes into Aldi-everything however, while the shopping list will be acquired (mostly…how he misses the eggs everytime, I shall never know…), there is also a 100% chance that we might also acquire some new gadget or item which is completely unnecessary and altogether superfluous. Leaf blowers, power drills, strange shaped batteries, and paint… none of which taste good in a chilli con carne… have all be purchased alongside the nappies and bananas.

When I have the girls with me, I spend my time hissing things like “Put that watermelon down please”, “We don’t need wool and knitting needles” and “Would you come away from the sweets please.”

When we ALL go to do the shopping, which is rare in fairness, it is a fun experience for Mammy.

I get to say things like “Put that ski gear down please.” (We have NEVER been skiing and it is not something that is on the cards for us, like, ever.) “We don’t need a power washer” and “Would you come away from the countertop fridges please. We HAVE a fridge.”

In fairness, I don’t even see the middle aisle usually. I see the peppers and mushrooms and binbags. But for Himself, the joy of a tilecutter across from the breadsticks is utterly intriguing…and baffling.

It’s always fun seeing what he’ll bring home when he does the shopping however. And aren’t I lucky to have a Him who does help out a bit with the boring weekly tasks?

Now, does anyone have a recipe for Paint Stroganoff?

I am Section Mum

“Are you hoping to do it properly this time?”

I kid you not.  This is what I was asked recently by another Soon-to-be Mum with whom I was having the “When are you due?”conversation.

She’d asked if this was my first.  I’d answered that it was number two.

“Me too” she smiled.  Then she asked if I’d had a tough time last time.  I replied that I’d had to have a planned section.  Her next line floored me.

“Aw, so are you planning to do it properly this time?”

 

Now in her defense, she was an absolute stranger, who probably didn’t intend any harm whatsoever.  I don’t think she even realised that she’d said it…but she had.

I smiled politely and said Goodbye.  As I walked away, my smile remained on my face, somewhat forced… I wasn’t quite sure whether I wanted to laugh or to cry.

Smug I-push-mine-out-Mum carried on, oblivious to the fact that she could have just offended or upset the other very pregnant lady.  I carried on about my day, and it was only when I was telling my friend about the conversation that evening that I realised that her comment was lingering in my mind.

The word “properly” has been bothering me since.

Because not only did it dismiss my first childbirth, it suggested that I did something wrong; that my first birth was improper.

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Did she automatically assume that I was “too posh to push”?  Did she think that I asked to have my stomach sliced open and my baby lifted out by surgeons? Did she really class a c-section as a sub standard, improper way of delivering a child?  If she’s told that she needs to have one this time, is she going to say No because it’s not the proper way to do it?

What is the proper way?  I listen to conversations all the time about childbirth and babies.  There seem to be so many proper ways to do things.

Without medication.  With just gas and air.  With classical music on in the background.  Without bright lights and alarm.  Mammas who breathe through the pain are fantastic.  Those who refuse drugs are wonderful.  Those who have 60 hour labours are phenomenal. But those who take as much pain relief as we can have are equally as brilliant.

I don’t know of any new Mother who had Andy Peters standing waiting at the bottom of the bed to pin a Blue Peter Badge onto their properly born child afterwards.

I applaud and congratulate these warrior women, in the exact same way as I applaud and congratulate the woman who, for whatever reason, may it be medical, personal or indeed emergency, has to undergo the trauma of childbirth on an operating table.

A caesarean section is not what any woman anticipates when thinking of how their baby will be born. It’s terrifying.  It’s painful.  Your body goes through all of the same physical and indeed hormonal reactions to having just given birth as the body of a woman who has been lucky enough to give birth naturally.

There are stitches.  There is afterbirth.  There is pain…by God is there pain.

There is recovery time.  There are hormones.

But most importantly, with the help of some higher power and whatever wonderful staff that are on hand in the hospital, there is a baby.

And that is what childbirth, in any form, is about.

It’s about getting your precious little darling out of your big swollen tummy as quickly and safely as possible.  It’s about causing as little trauma as possible to your newborn, regardless of what your own body must go through.  It’s about love.

And there is absolutely nothing proper about any of it.

Every woman dreams of a quick, pain free labour and uneventful delivery.  How many do you know that have achieved that?  I’d love to meet them.

Of course I’d love to have experienced childbirth like most women do.  But do I feel like I have missed out on anything?

Erm, no.

Do I feel that my darling daughter is any less born than her friends or cousins?  Nope.

If my next child is born by VBAC, will that be more proper than Mini-me’s birth?  Eh…no!?

But If I do manage proper childbirth this time, does that mean I’m finally a real mum and that I can finally be admitted into the proper mum club? Well I think you know where I’m going with this!

I’m already a real mum.   I’ve already had a proper baby.  I’ve already been through the horrors of childbirth, perhaps just a little differently to others.

In the same way as some women judge others for not breast feeding, or for taking whatever drugs are safely available to them from the doctors, or for giving their baby a dodo/soother/pacifier, that lady judged me for having to have a c-section to bring my baby to me safely.

And of course she didn’t intend to offend, but when we so flippantly share our own opinions on bump and baby matters, (and we do!), we sometimes dismiss experiences that we have never had ourselves.

And we should consider that before we speak.

My experiences of pregnancy, birth and of being a Mummy are very different to every other Mummy’s experiences.  My experience isn’t exclusive.  There is no such thing as properly when it comes to being a Mum..

So if this time round, my consultant advises me that I should have another section, I’ll listen to her, because guess what? That’s her job.  She knows best and I trust her.  And because it’s my job too…the only job a mother has when they go into hospital, is to get their little bundle out of their belly!I

And I will happily hang upside down from the rafters, singing Jingle Bells, buck naked and high on horse tranquilizers if that ‘s what it takes to get my little one here properly.

I am Section Mum

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I am Some Mother’s Day Feels Mum

From Mammy on Mother’s Day

 

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

I love you each second of every daymammy

And even when sometimes I grumble and scold

I hope that you know that even if you’re being bold,

I trust you, I get you, I love you so much

I’ve loved you since the minute I first felt your touch,

(Whether at birth or first meeting, It matters not how

I became your Mammy, I’m your Mammy now.)

My total existence revolves around you;

Your growth and your wellness, everything that you do.

I’m thinking about you, awake and asleep

And even if I’m not with you, please know that I keep

you so close in my heart and always on my mind.shoes

You’re my reason for living, the reason I find

to get up on the mornings where there’s been no sleeping

to keep smiling and going, when I just feel like weeping.

But always, no matter how much I may struggle

The world can be fixed with just one little “cuggle”.

When I look at you sleeping, so pure and calm,

I love you with everything that I am.

I’ll push you, protect you and help you to grow,

I’ll make sure you know all the things you should know.

I’ll keep you as safe as I possibly can

I’ll make sure you know just how proud that I am

To be raising a child who’s so brilliant and clever

and to be your wee Mammy, forever and ever.

So how do I love you, let me count the ways.

Every day Darling, not just on Mother’s Day.”

 

To Mammy on Mother’s Day

How to I love thee, well count I cannot,

But I don’t need my numbers to tell you a lot.

mygirlsI love you for reasons that do not need words,

For the fact that you’re mine since I came to this world.

Because you love me every day and each night,

When I’m being my best, or I’m giving you frights

I know that you sometimes are worried and scared

But you don’t let me see that, You’re too busy being there

When I need you for playtime or stories or songs,

When I call in the night, and you carry me long,

long into the hours where we should be asleep,

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When I hide from the monsters or cry or hurt deep.

When I eat all my dindins or throw it you

When I giggle and cry, when you’re covered in poo.

It really doesn’t matter what I do or I say,

You are my Mammy and I’ll simply love you always.

 

 

Much love to all the Mammies of any Babbies, all over the world.

The S-Mum xxxx

 

I am Stage Mum

“Where do you find the time?”

“How can you be bothered?”

“It can’t be worth that much work?”

Musicals.

I’ve been on stage my whole life, first as an Irish Dancer and for the past 14 years, as a member of Letterkenny Musical Society.  This year, we’re doing Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical.

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The ultimate Girl Power Show!

Every September, we meet to begin our winter of rehearsals and of fun.  It begins as once a week, and by February each year, it’s 2 to 3 nights a week and Sundays.  At the minute, I’m eat, sleeping and breathing 9 to 5.  I’m having ideas at 3am that are sending our Producer into tailspins.  I’m dreaming about walking on stage with no bra on.  Last night, there was a Bull in the wings as the curtain was going up… and it wasn’t me.  My kids are singing the songs and my head is spinning.

I don’t KNOW how I find the time, but I do. In fairness, I rehearse when the girls are in bed. The Sundays are hard but it’s only for such as short time.  The LMS gets me through the winter. It’s a family.  It keeps me out of trouble.

Yes it’s a lot of work. Yes, it’s busy.  Yes it’s a lot on top of being a Mammy AND working 9 to 5… But it’s worth it.  Every member has a busy life.  We all have day jobs.  We all have families.  We all have commitments.  We all get stressed and tired coming up to the show, but then?  Get-in day arrives and the curtain gets ready  to rise, and we remember WHY we do it.

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Next Sunday, the side door to the stage is rolled up, sunlight flooding the stage.  Lighting rigs are hoisted at head height while the crew work on them.  The production team are creating the world for the characters to inhabit. This year it’s an office in America in the late 70s.
I’ll arrive in the middle of it at around 3pm and walk onto the stage. I’ll close my eyes.  The familiar voices of Hubby and the usual suspects calling instructions to each other, co-operating and working together will make me smile.  The sounds of the cordless drill…the smell of fresh wood and sawdust…the muffled conversation of the sound guys from the auditorium… it will be beautiful.

I’ll open my eyes and look at the chaotic scene in front of me, wondering (not for the first time in my theatre life), at how within just a few hours, this chaotic canvas will be transformed into a completely believable world into which our amazing cast will step.

 

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And then I’ll do what I do and get together with my colleagues to get our heads around the problems and challenges that only a production team can face, and by the time our cast arrive, we’ll be ready.

So how do I have the time?  How can I be bothered?  Is it worth it?

Yes.  Because this is ME.  Yes, I have children.
My girls are the most important thing in my world.
They are my show.
They are my production.
They are the choreographed chaos of which I’m most proud, and I’ll direct them through life with the same dedication and love that I put into the shows.

But they are also only a part of me.
Yes, I am their mummy, but I’m still me.
I’m still the drama queen that lives for the stage.
I still love the theatre.

I still love how pretending to be someone else can bring me to emotions that I’ve never experienced.  I love to entertain.  I love to make people laugh. I love that I can make people cry…
I still get goosebumps when I hear someone hitting that note.
I still get so carried away watching my closest friends on stage, that I cry because I absolutely believe the pain they are conveying.

And so, standing there next Sunday,  I won’t feel guilty.

Yes, it’ll be a week of rushing and balancing, but my girls are quite safe and well looked after (the dog is so responsible!), and they know that show week is important to Mammy and to Daddy.

Roz

I’m playing Roz!

My girls will grow up in rehearsals for shows.
They’ll see the stress and work and time and effort that goes into this “hobby”.
They’ll learn confidence, respect, organisation skills.
They’ll experience the fruits of the long months of hard work, and they’ll learn that if you want something to happen, you must work to make it happen.
They might even perform on stage with me at some point.

Maybe they’ll work backstage with their Daddy.
Maybe they’ll hate it all.  That’s OK too.

But if I can’t continue up to be who I’ve always been, just because I’ve been blessed with two little darlings, I’m not doing anyone any favours am I?

I am after all, Still Stage Mum.

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9 to 5 opens on Tuesday 27th and runs until Saturday 3rd March. 

Tickets for Friday and Saturday are almost sold out, so if you fancy being swept away by a super cast, a hilarious script and beautiful music, get your tickets soon.

Buy tickets here

I am Some More Wedding Vows Mum

My Partner in Poo.

 

“I take thee for richer, for poorer”, we both said.

“For better for worse, in sickness, in health”

and while we meant all of these things on the day,

In hindsight, there’s probably more we should say.

“I’ll love you alone while it’s just me and you,

Deeply and truly, as lovers should do,

But things might change slightly when two becomes three

And yet I’ll still love you, though it might be slightly

different and strained as we sail through the seas

of babies and nappies and purees and puke,

of Peekaboo, naptimes and lego and books.

And then we realise three shall be four

I’ll still try to love you as much as before.

For while there’s less dinners and cinema dates,

Less romance and movies and less use of good plates,

Every so often, I’ll catch a brief glimpse

Of the Man that I married, and I’ll smile as you wink

I’ll love you in darkness, in fevers, in tears

And teething and pain and in each passing year.

I’ll love you in cuddles and memories and fun

In sneaky embraces and slaps on the bum

As we meet in the kitchen in the middle of night.

And when I watch you swinging our girls way up high.

When you’re loving our girls, I love you the most,

When you’re covered in poo, or you’ve not cut their toast

the right way, or you’ve left all the dishes and mess

to build them a fort or put Hulk in a dress.

When I see you exhausted, yet hugging them tight,

When you get up to cuddle or sooth in the night,

When you smile at them both, I can’t help but stare

At the husband that I never thought I could share,

but happily do with our two little girls,

Who weren’t in our mind as we took all those vows,

I know that you love me when I hear them call Daddy

And I’ll share all that love with our Princesses gladly.

So while we still love and while we’re still “us”,

With kids there isn’t so much time for the fuss

or the dates or attention or time that we had,

But that doesn’t mean our love’s old or is bad.

It’s different and shared, but the spark is still there,

It’s just covered in pink stuff and snot in our hair,

And sometimes we’re knackered or covered in poo

But I still love you as much as when I said “I do”.

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I am Sparking the Gas Mum

Gas.

I don’t know about your house, but in my house, the little blue flame means one thing and one thing only.

And not what you imagine it to be.

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In most houses, this means that it’s almost time for dinner or for breakfast or for whatever wonderfully nutritious meal that Mammy or Daddy is Nigellaing in the kitchen.

In MY house, it means the beginning of 25 minutes of “TORTURE”.

It’s like the little blue flame ignites the realisation that they are ABSOLUTELY STARVING and must eat EVERYTHING in the house, right NOW MAMMY.

It means the beginning of the fridge being opened every 30 seconds, declarations of “What can I eat?” and “I’m staaaaaarving Mammy!”

It means the cries of the wobbler as if she hasn’t been fed for 3 weeks.  The painful hollers of the pair of them as they scream hunger and neglect and cry continuously until I finally put whatever I am cooking in front of them… for them to obviously declare that they “Don’t wike it!” or that they’re “not hungwy!”

No shit sherlock.  You’ve just spent 25 minutes eating fecking biscuits and croissants and yoghurts and EVERYHING in the fecking fridge while I cooked.

I’m not sure which is the biggest waste; the gas or the energy I use cooking for them.

 

I am Snow Day Mum

“Oh Look Darlings. It’s snow!
Oh YAY Darlings, school is closed.
Hurray! We shall frolic and flail in the snow, making snow angels and building snowmans while singing the Frozen songs, and then we shall return to the house, rosy cheeked and fresh and snug as bugs to sip hot chocolate and snuggle up on the sofa…”
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And as quickly as the snow thaws and leaves a sloppy, shitty mess of reality in its wake, so too do Mammy’s nonsense notions of Mary-of-the-Poppinsy frolicking.
Indeed we did play in the snow. Indeed we did build a Mahoosive Snowman. And indeed we did have fun.
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He is quite fablis isn’t he?

We also had runny noses, red fingers, sore cheeks, wet toes, cold legs. There was frustration at slippy ground, frustration at stones in the snow, frustration at disobedient snow which wouldn’t stick where it was being shoved, and general frustration at not knowing why exactly we are grumpy when we should be frolicking in the fucking snow.
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My wee Snowangel

And then begins the trauma. The utter drama of trying to get the Eskimos unwrapped from their onions of layers. Sticky wellies, wet trousers suckering onto skin, fingers regaining their nerve endings and burning in the sudden heat, stepping into puddles of water as they step out of the wellies… Faces stinging, tummies rumbling, noses running…
Mammy did make hot chocolate and for a while, all was well. The washing machine was started for the 13th time today as everyone heated their backsides and enjoyed the sensation of feeling returning to their limbs. We admired our creation through the window and sipped the heat from the cups. Fablis…
And then, the exhaustion hit and the rest of the evening was spent with two incredibly knackered little farts who both decided that their one mission in life today was to drive each other, and Mammy, absolutely MENTAL.
Fighting, crying, complaining, declaring oneself as abused as Cinderella, declaring oneself to be missing her teacher, refusing to eat ANYTHING put in front of them, “tidying” by re-positioning crap from one room to another… You get the gist?
And then, just as Mammy thought she was going to go outside to drink gin with the leftovers of the snowman, they decided they were best fwends again and all was right with the world again…
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Shitsters…

“Did you have a good day?”
“The BEST Mammy!”
“What was the best part?”
“Playing in the snow ALL DAY!”
There you go… We were outside for all of 34 minutes and yet that’s what they remember. What was a small part of a very long day was the best day ever to them. And suddenly the stresses and snots and tears and tantrums and screaming melted into oblivion, along with our Snowman outside.
Playing in the snow is fab. It’s like a snowman actually… fab and perfect for a very short while, before disintegrating into a big wet puddle! But the carrot and stones and scarf that are left behind are just like the memories…solid and the only thing that matters. And worth every sore finger and wet backside.
They’re now tucked up in bed, dreaming of white stuff and I’m sitting here dreaming of red. Time for a glass of Blogday wine. Cheers my Dears.
Hit me with your snowman pics… or cheers with your glass/cuppa!

I am She’s Six Mum

Tonight I am putting my 5 year old to bed. Tomorrow she shall be six.

How did that happen?

 

Mammy’s Wee Jewel.

Sparkling and shiny but tougher than stone

You entered our world with a mind of your own.

We wondered what all of the fuss was about,

But quickly learned that we could not live without

Your laughter and giggles, your glistening blue eyes,

Your mischief and wonder and oh what a smile.

So kind and so clever, you feel everything

A sensitive soul who would do anything

To make us all happy, the perfect big sis,

You showed us what love was from the very first kiss

That I planted so gently on the bridge of your nose,

And tickled your belly and massaged your toes.

And while we have rows and sometimes things go wrong

A part of me loves that you’re so darn headstrong

Because while you are sensitive and nervous and scared,

You’re also determined and stubborn and fair.

You’re clever and kind and your singing is sweet

And a beautiful dancer, so light on your feet.

You are my wee Darling, My own Mini-Me

And I’m proud of the wonderful girl that I see

Growing up right in front of me so very fast

And time may keep passing, but my love for you lasts

Beyond every worry and tantrum and rule

Because you’ll always be Mammy’s most precious wee jewel.

 

Happy Birthday Darling.

Mammy xxxx