Before Christmas, Grace learnt about Diwali in school. As we walked home, she began telling me all about it:- 'To celebrate Diwali, you have to be either a Hindu or a Sikh. And you get to wear beautiful dresses that have lots of colours and lots of glitter. You know Mummy, I'd probably wear orange and pink because they are my favourite's. And at the party, you get to see all of your friends and family and you all eat yummy food together. And it's delicious! Mr Patel's mummy came into my class room and she showed us a DVD of the ladies dancing and she gave us sweets. Did you know Mr Patel and his mummy are going to Diwali tonight? I really want to go to Diwali... Can I go Mummy? What if I told you that I want to be a Sikh when I grow up? Would you let me go then?...'
And ever since Diwali, Grace has been curious about religion.
'So If I'm not a Hindu or a Sikh, does that mean that I am Christian? Today my teachers told me all about Mary and Jesus'...
Grace basically covered her version of the Nativity story before asking if she, Owen and I could pretend to be Mary, Joseph and Jesus during the walk home. Naturally Owen was Jesus and Grace was Mary so I bet you can guess which one of us got lumped with being Joseph! I'm not saying he is the most boring of the lot but he really doesn't seem to have much to do in the story, or at least nothing as exciting as being Gods Son or the Virgin Mother. But anyway, there we were. Grace, Owen and I walking up the road and all the while there was Grace commanding Jesus to follow her.
It really wasn't a problem until Grace chose the exact moment that a group of mums passed us by to announce 'Jesus! You need to listen to your mum and just look at that donkey'...All while pointing in my direction (I was holding the pram which I think was the make believe donkey?).
Before Christmas, Grace was keen to get permission to walk herself to school. Just like she sees some of the bigger kids at school do. Naturally my answer was No. No ifs, No buts. Just No!
'But Mummy, I'm four. And soon I'll be five and that is pretty grown up you know... I don't wear nappies, I know to look for cars and if I fall over then I will be very brave!'.
One morning, after Grace had listed off about a million things that she wanted me to buy her for Christmas, I asked Grace whether she was going to get me anything for the occasion.
'Oh yes, Mum. I know you like word things so I'm going to ask Nana to buy you a book that has lots of words. But not a boring book. Probably a book about princesses and fairies. Actually Mum, I'm going to make a book for you. I'll tell you what to say and you just need to write it down...'
While eating dinner at a local carvery, Grace announced she was full but now ready for dessert. She was told that as she wasn't going to finish her meal because she was full then she would have to forgo any pudding. To this Grace replied 'Actually I have two tummys - one for dinner and one for pudding. The dinner one is full but the pudding one hasn't even started yet!'.
One day while we were out it began to rain. The kids and I managed to find cover while Neil got drenched sorting out the car. While watching him, Grace exclaimed 'Look at Daddy, the frog!' Seeing as Neil is not at all amphibian-like, I queried this with her. Sighing exasperatedly, she snapped 'Daddy is as wet as a frog! You do know that frogs live in water don't you? And it's raining...'
One thing Grace is never short of is an unintentional back-handed compliment. She has plenty of them and in the past five years, I have copped more than my fair share. This doozy began quite pleasantly,
'I'm going to be five soon Mum. That means I need a birthday party so can you buy me a cake and invite all my friends? But I need to tell you something... Well... I don't want you to come to my birthday party because I'm going to be very grown up and too busy to play with you. Don't worry it's not because your old and boring. It's because I'm going to be a big girl and I just don't really need you there. Besides you're not famous or a pop-star so my friends probably won't want to play with you either...'