Did you know I have a six year old? I wouldn't blame you if you hadn't realised - my writing is so heavily dominated by the antics of my ToddlerMonster that my 'big' girl hardly gets a mention.
Well this one is for you my dear Darcie, in the week you have turned six.
I am a parent of two halves; half of me is riding out the toddler years in all of their warped glory. The other half is enjoying what can only be described as 'the sweet spot' of parenting.
You see, age six really is the holy grail of parenting. I have been thinking for a while now that my mini-me and childhood doppelganger is at a golden age, and I don't want it to end.
I couldn't count the amount of times I have been told variations along the theme of 'It'll be over in the blink of an eye', and I have muttered (not quietly) that it's not effing quick enough, as the smell of the latest missed-potty-poo explosion still lingers on my fingers.
Perhaps those 'well wishers' were meaning that THIS bit will be over in the blink of an eye - the sweet spot, age six. Ahh, that makes more sense...
An age when an innocence prevails, and that naked trampoline time won't get you arrested.
An age when a Saturday night means X Factor and popcorn with dead pan discussions over who Simon should have sent home, instead of performing ninja-rolls out of a darkened bedroom.
An age of sitting and concentrating on colouring, beads, painting, sticking and all things crafty without looking quite like a glitter yetti by the end of it. However, maintaining a strong intolerance for clearing up doesn't change.
An age when I'm still a mummy shaped hero who can solve the worlds problems through my daughter's eyes.
An age when mummy still, just about, knows best (even when I absolutely have no idea what on earth I am talking about). Hanging on my every word, this gullible innocence is priceless.
An age where school means just school, and homework is weekly but minimal. We don't argue over homework- it's not yet important enough to warrant such effort (Sorry Mr T!). In fact we very often don't even remember to do it. There are no consequences for a six year old.
An age where their enthusiasm is infectious. The squeals of delight as the days are counted down to a holiday, birthday, or the Xmas bomb make the copious planning and pounds worthwhile. Nothing is more important to a six year old than fun, the age of truly letting the good times roll.
When the going gets tough with the ToddlerMonster I have to remind myself that I won't always know the dry cleaner's weekend plans as I see him on an almost weekly basis to wash yet another wee-soaked pure wool sofa cushion.
It won't always be like this, the magic six is waiting just around the corner. I tell myself this on a loop. Well, a three year corner, gulp - better pass the Woo Woos.
Our prize for weathering the sleepless nights, the unauthorised co-sleeping, and the many many demonstrations of 'spirit' - (usually made at the Lidl check out where we all know there isn't enough time to so much as right a wedgie in that bagging area let alone pacify the 'Arched Back 'n' Kick' sequence.) The prize, is age six.
Darcie, I wish I could capture your imagination, that infectious dark laugh and bottle your needy cuddles. I know age six is once again, 'just a phase', and I will miss it when it passes. For now though, let's just build dens and be silly, growing up can wait a while longer.