Whilst in France last Friday, our little rainbow baby Alice Grace turned 3 years old! She celebrated with a pancake breakfast, a trip to Le Mans with a baguette the size of her, followed by a doughnut and a morning in the pool at Eurocamp the next day. And if all of that wasn’t enough for our little sassy pants, she’s still wondering where her Peppa Pig cake is – whooops!!
Alice has a very special place in our family being born just 22 months after her sister was stillborn and whilst I initially didn’t want her to be defined by the “baby after loss” or “rainbow baby”, the truth is that life and losses are intertwined and she has brightened up each one of our lives these last 3 years following such an incredibly painful loss. Someone once told me that God knows who we need to help us through the next stage and only in this last year I have I appreciated that to to be so. Her spirit is kind and compassionate and she is smiley, lovely and an absolute pleasure to have around (except when she does the whole inconsolable tantrum crying thing).
Every child is special and falls into their unique role in the family unit, and despite not wanting to define Alice as the “rainbow”, her ability to brighten up our lives and heal us is evident (even more so with each passing year). She is a huge bundle of joy in all of our lives and we are all grateful for her (as we are with all 4 of our kids).
I especially have enjoyed this last year with Alice and whilst it’s sad to admit it, I don’t think I truly appreciated how wonderful toddlers where until Alice came along. I know a lot of that is because of the place she has as number 4 and life is very different from having 2 close together or raising a toddler in the aftermath of loss, but I have really loved her at this age and this stage of parenting generally has brought me a lot of joy. It is such a cute and fun age, and we all agree – a very funny one too! Our weeks are chilled and yet filled with routine and from little walks to look for farm animals, soft play sessions and the park and swimming, we have a blast together and with pals!
As she turns 3, she has loved attending playgroup 2 mornings a week and playing with the sand pit and playdough! She is Peppa pig obsessed and loves pasta and chocolate buttons the most! She loves swimming and going down the big slides, plays with her dolls with such excitement and is a pro on her scooter… trying incredibly hard to keep up with Ethan and Megan. She loves the trampoline, books and colouring and is crazy like her siblings. Alice has a wonderful presence that helps people forget their troubles and always wants to be in on the action or snuggling.
Her speech is still emerging but we love how she mispronounces so many things but speaks with such passion and enthusiasm despite that (“listen a me mummy”!). She has become a real chatterbox in recent months and I love hearing her chat!
At 3 years old I want to remember how she says “I wanna my do it” at almost everything and every time she wants to do it. I want to remember how she shushes her siblings and says “no – too loudy”!
I want to remember how much she loves pasta, babybelles (which she calls moon cheese), Ham sandwiches and breakfast. I want to remember what a fuss pot she is over the funniest of things and how she refuses pretty much every meal we present her with (but will eventually try it and almost always love it!).
I want to remember how much she loves her dolls and calls the small one “little baby” and the big one (you’ve guessed it) “big baby”! I love how she says it when people ask their names, as though it’s so obvious.
I want to remember how she lowers her voice when and pulls funny faces when she is impersonating people but I rarely have any idea about who she is trying to be or why, but it’s just so funny.
I want to remember what a gannet she is and how much she eats – always on the lookout for another snack!
I want to remember how she loves walking the big dogs in the village and how jumpy she is over random things.
I want to remember how her siblings are apparently training her to be a ninja and how mint she thinks that is – another one of their plans to get her to perform for them and laugh together!
I want to remember how she tells people (especially Ethan and Megan) that they are her best buddy and she loves them!
I want to remember all of her funny phrases and excitement for life. Thank you Alice for colouring our lives and being such a great addition to our family – how we adore you and have enjoyed another year with you in our family!!!