Easter is coming and that means Easter Bonnets and Decorated Egg competitions are looming.
Last year my Mum and I slaved over a masterpiece bonnet for Tori and she trashed it during the parade (she hates hats) – she got a little egg anyway. That she couldn’t eat.
This year we came up with an idea for a bonnet that Tori could help to make and I sat down with her yesterday to make it with this beautiful image in my head of the finished result. Expertly coloured, neatly crafted, giant-Easter-egg-winning perfection.
I got out the crayons and handed Tori the butterfly that I had carefully cut out and stuck onto card. Then nearly grabbed it straight back off her as she scribbled on it willy-nilly (she’s not even two yet – what on Earth was I expecting her to do?).
I’d missed the point entirely.
This wasn’t about winning eggs or making the most ‘perfect’ bonnet – it was about spending some quality time with my girl and having some fun. It was about watching her learn as she experimented with stickers, crayons, pritt-stick and foam shapes.
It was about fun and togetherness.
And you know what? When she’d finished – it was perfect. It was the best butterfly in the world. Ever. And it’s the best bonnet ever too because she made it by herself just how she wanted it.
It doesn’t matter if she wins the competition on Saturday morning or not because she had fun creating something by herself and spending time with Mummy. Though a giant Easter egg prize certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing should the judges take a shine to her butterfly headgear…
And another thing this realisation brought to me was how silly I can be about Tori’s clothes. I tend to be fussy about her using felt tip pens or paint in case she ruins her clothes (by ‘fussy’ I mean I say no and give her pencils or crayons instead – no ifs, buts or maybes. Not even if she’s being supervised.)
When we were in town today there was a free paint workshop going on in a shop and I walked on by thinking to myself ‘Tori might get her dress dirty.’
Five minutes later I walked back again thinking ‘So what?’ It was all washable paint and it looked like great fun.
Fifteen minutes later I had more paint down my front and on my hands than Tori did and she was proudly clutching a multicoloured, glittery GokGok. (A GokGok is a bird by the way – Tori has confused cluck cluck and quack quack into GokGok…)
The joy we had painting and playing together far outweighed the niggle I had about a bit of paint on her dress. These last two days have been an education for me – I have realised what is important and what isn’t.
My daughter is important. Spending time with her is important.
Worrying about a tiny bit of paint or winning a competition is not.
Also, the last two days have been about making sure that my little girl knows that she is still the centre of my universe even though life has changed since ‘Baby’ arrived.