I like to tell anyone who will listen that Immy and I have an 'annual tradition' of visiting my parents who are 'wintering in Knysna'. It makes us sound like bored, rich people without a care in the world. Actually, the truth is that my folks are already back from their brief sojourn in Knysna, well before winter sets in. Also, one can hardly call something an annual tradition when you have only done it twice. And it was only for four days. Since we aren't rich (alas!) or bored, after all.

In case you're wondering, we ARE still terribly fond of the Husband and Daddy in this family. He just never gets to come along because he can't get time off work.

We had a grand time. Gorgeous weather, and a full itinerary organised by Granny. Pony rides, trips to various beaches, lunch at various restaurants, daily presents, and a cupboard stocked full of all her favourite things. Drinks on the porch followed by afternoon naps (these two things may or may not be related).

Flowers at Sedgefield Market. Oh - and this hair. I just can't get enough of it.

The picture below was taken after she fell into the freezing cold sea while jumping over about 2 inches of water. To add insult to injury, the sea then ate her biscuit. A double injustice when you're 3 years old.

The pony ride. She stepped right out of herself for a bit. Timid and quiet as a mouse, just taking it all in.


Listening for animals in the forest...

Gnarly Knysna Forest trees. So beautiful.

Our family is finding a new dynamic, revolving around our sudden and unexpected entrance into the world of the Terrible Threes. This means meltdowns (with Immy also having tantrums every now and then) and a whole new path to be forged in the Way of Disciplining the Child. I know nothing about this really, except this: that nobody in this world loves her more than we do. That although friends and family may offer wise advice (sometimes better received than other times), we need to find our own way in this with our loving, willful, sunny, brave, defiant, angelic daughter. We are getting there. It is HARD. So we celebrate the good moments, and in the bad moments we remind each other that this will pass. That it's all part of this rough, rich, rewarding journey of raising a child - and while Rob passes the tissues because I am howling because Immy won't stop howling because she can't get a plaster, I am so grateful that I'm not alone in this. And that tomorrow she will wake up and snake her skinny arms around my neck and all will be well with the world.

 I like this quote by Bill Cosby on parenthood:

In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no-one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck - and, of course, courage.

Off to New York tomorrow folks. See you on the other side.