We give thanks

Dear Holly

Yesterday your Dad took one for the team, which is to say he went and got himself kneed in the nads for the good of all. I don't think it was a particularly hard decision for him, and certainly not a hard decision for me. Ha. He is sitting around today, feeling like he's been kicked by an angry horse, but happy enough that our family will stay numbering five.

We were talking about it with friends this morning and they alluded to the oft quoted phrase by (former Australian treasurer) Peter Costello about having kids....that we should have one for Mum, one for Dad and one for the country. Your Dad and I unanimously agreed that you, dearest Holly, would be the one that we would donate to the country. Our friends gasped in horror and we realised that they just didn't understand the many reasons to be thankful for having a Holly. Your country needs you. It just doesn't know it yet.

We thank you every morning. At 5 am. For waking us up. So lovely to be up in time to see the sunrise and have no need for that annoying clamour of an alarm clock to get there. Especially when one gets a good morning shove from Where is the Green Sheep? Nothing quite says I love you Mum and Dad and please get up and read me a story like a book in the eye. That extra challenge....the attempting to read a story when it's STILL DARK just adds to the love. You only want us to rise up and challenge ourselves to be the best parents we can. We realise that now.

We especially relish your ability to recognise colours. Your love of purple is a particular thrill to us, as you gradually downsize your wardrobe to include only purple clothes. We have realised how selfish and misguided we were to try to encourage you to wear any other colour....hideous green, or yegods, disgusting red? We now of course understand that purple is the colour of royalty and should be held in the highest esteem above all else. Please forgive our slowness in recognising this, your majesty. Purple is indeed the new purple.

We are particularly thankful with your verbal ability. You have many many words, despite the fact that you are not yet two. We love to listen attentively to every word that comes out of your mouth, and repeat it back to you, many many times. It shows that we are listening and paying attention and that of course we love you dearly. We particularly like to be able to do this when we are rushing to get everyone in the car in time for an appointment. You are completely right to get a bit cross with us when we miss a repetition, and to remind us of our duty by lying down in the wet grass, kicking off your shoes, and yelling said word loudly over and over, until we get ourselves back with the program. Thank you for taking our education in this matter so seriously.

Your Dad in particular is especially honoured to be the entity chosen to carry you around. He understands that your petite legs should of course be spared any walking lest you should callous your feet, or *gasp* damage a toenail. Not to mention that your view of the world from Dad's shoulders is paramount to your fruitful existence. How else would you be able to sweep the fridge magnets onto the floor? It is very kind of you to realise that Dad's back needs a bit of extra exercise and to take it upon yourself to organise this. You are perfectly correct to spend your time on high, barking monosyllabic orders and pointing at the places you need to go. Your Dad is honoured to be your humble and obedient servant.

How smart you are to intuitively realise that the phrase No touching in fact can be cleverly translated to mean, Touch more, Touch harder, and Keep touching. The phrase NO TOUCHING! on the other hand, which can also be somewhat ambiguous to the uneducated, you have astutely worked out to mean, Touch even more and Touch even harder with additional screaming and kicking for emphasis.

Paramount to your adoption by our country's finest is your realisation that a rousing repeated chorus of E I E I O is the perfect addition to every occasion. It is particularly useful when trying to get small children to sleep, or as a stirring accompaniment for other diners at the local cafes. It is overwhelmingly lovely at 5 am. There could probably be nothing more inspiring to the patriotic leaders of our nation. I can only imagine how thankful they will be to receive the various benefits of your shining life experience, and to hear a loud and joyous rendition of E I E I O in the hallowed halls of power.

Don't forget to write.