Missing Everything


A couple of night's ago, as Karl and I were lying on the sofa mentally high-fiving ourselves for another successful day in the parenthood, we were interrupted by the inconsolable wails of our three year old daughter from her bedroom. He thought she was singing, I thought she was laughing. Either way we were going in there because this child was supposed to be asleep. Hours ago. But no, she was red in the face, damp from snot and tears, and hugging her teddy so tightly. For the first time in this entire expat journey she was expressing emotions. Through the cries she was spluttering about missing Bonnie, Reggie, Ruby and - in a typically dramatic Clara way - EVERYTHING. Please note that Bonnie is a cat and Reggie and Ruby are dogs, but you know, important to her... And wow, holding my little girl in my arms as she struggled to catch her breath from crying so intensely was an absolute gut punch. I'd gone through that emotional rollercoaster with Finn months ago already, but it's taken all this time for our new life to sink in with Clara. And when the emotional floodgates opened, boy did they open...

But it got me thinking, I sort of know how she feels sometimes. It's the drip effect of homesickness. For her, what started with missing the enthusiastic kisses from our favourite little pup-dog quickly became an overwhelming hit of missing everything. And I miss everything too sometimes. The difference is that I'm a grown woman and can rationalise those feelings a lot easier than a three year old can, I think anyway. So what does everything even mean? She's only three and is only just developing emotional awareness beyond her little world of Clara, Mama, Dada and Finn. What is everything outside of the bubble she lives in? Apart from beloved family pets that is. I'll take a wild guess that everything, apart from people (which is obvious), goes something like this*:

  1. Chocolate that isn't rock solid from being stored in the fridge
  2. Welly boot clad muddy puddle jumping
  3. Picnic boxes from the cafe in Morrisons
  4. Proper sausages
  5. Being spoiled by extended family members
  6. Clambering into Mama and Dada's bed because it's cold
  7. Cheap wine (ok no, but she's sympathetic to my needs)
  8. Feeding the ducks
  9. Long car journeys with a Disney soundtrack
  10. In the Night Garden
  11. Saturday afternoon's at the rugby club
  12. Water from the cold tap being really, truly cold
  13. Wearing trousers
  14. Not waking up in a sweat
  15. Tiger (the cheap and cheerful store, not the animal or the beer, we have plenty of the beer here...)
  16. Getting a lump of cheese from the nice lady at the deli counter
  17. Having a playroom to trash
  18. Breakfast parties at Sam's house
  19. Swings
  20. Softplay that doesn't cost a fortune
  21. Long Summer evenings at the beach
  22. Fish and Chips in the car looking out over Plymouth Sound
  23. The squirrel forest
  24. Buttery crumpets in Booths cafe
  25. Ferry adventures to Ireland and France
  26. Wednesday evenings spent tagging along to Brownies with Mama
  27. Toby Carvery
  28. Nana's special brekkie
  29. Freshly cut flowers in the kitchen
  30. Pom-Bears
  31. Camping with Joshie and Oscar
  32. Long walks around the grounds of Saltram House
  33. Gloucester Services (off the M5)
  34. Cedar Farm trips to feed the animals
  35. Hopping on the train to London to see Becky, Ali and the dinosaurs
  36. A fridge full of Lidl goodies
  37. Shouting "REGGIE" WALKIES!" with absolutely no intention of taking him for a walk but enjoying the reaction
  38. Old Macdonald picnics in the car (a happy meal)
  39. Sparkle World magazine
  40. Clotted cream
  41. Uncle Patrick's Lego stash
  42. An afternoon of pick your own strawberries
  43. Marks and Spencer babyccino's
  44. Climbing to the top of dog poo hill
  45. Snuggles in front of the fire after bathtime
  46. Being able to just phone people (relatives) anytime for a chatter
  47. Cheap wine (oh I'm sorry, did I mention that already? Well...it is important)
  48. Being Oma's little sous chef
  49. Stairs
  50. Stinky cheese that isn't considered an ASBO offence in a condo block

*please note I definitely did not ask her any of these because, I mean, TEARS FROM A THREE YEAR OLD IS A NO NO. I just sort of guessed.