Pip turned 2 today! Life has been incredibly busy lately so I will keep this brief. We celebrated today with a low key supper, some rather unattractive not terribly red velvet cupcakes (but which had blue sprinkles on to fulfil the request for “a blue one”, on asking Pip what kind of cake she wanted) and an evening of skype with various relatives. If the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, they must have been ok, as Pip ate two for breakfast, shouted for more all the way home from school and ate a further one for pudding.
I meant to share this letter to Pip which I wrote for About Time magazine back on Mothering Sunday, but due to a variety of familial and work related business, it never happened.
Just after you were born, I had a really clear premonition. I can remember it, vividly; it stuck in my mind, sharp in a week of swirly, hazy memories. You were having your head scanned by a doctor called Karen. Blue scrubs. Converse. Karen carefully scanned your poor bruised little head and as she gave us the all clear to brain damage, I had this thought: here you were, a tiny baby, and yet somehow I could see you as a paediatric doctor yourself. One day.
Raising a daughter who is Generation Z, or Generation YOLO (or whatever generational terminology currently being coined) plays on my mind. Probably not daily (I’m too busy trying to persuade you that protest pissing on the carpet when Mummy and Daddy have had too late a night really isn’t welcome), but definitely monthly. With two parents on the cusp of Generation X and Y, raising a daughter to be a strong, independent, feisty and loving person, who knows how to say no and speak her mind, is a difficult balancing act.
Since then; well, since last weekend really, suddenly we have a little girl. A little girl who speaks in full sentences (“Daddy, I want mah chair back, please”), who has a sense of humour, sleeps all night (mostly) in her own bed and who is potty trained.
On the way home today, in an effort to distract her from her desire for cake, I pointed out a dog. She ignored me. “Pip”, I said, “was that a dog?”. She looked at me, smile flickering behind her eyes. “No”. pause. “Horse”.
Illustration by Suzi Malin. Photo of Pip on her first birthday by my sister.