Family Kitty {the ordinary moments}

The Big Fish


I love watching my husband be a father.  I suspect my subconscious always knew he would be a wonderful father from seeing the care he took with his much younger cousins, and how much these little six and seven year old girls adored him, and they were right.  He is the Daddy that throws himself into a Baby Ballet class with a complete lack of self consciousness; that will sit for hours painstakingly cutting out a card print out of Cinderella’s castle because he promised his girl a trip to the “castle” (church) and she fell asleep and missed the service; and that will always make space in our bed for a sleepy little toddler, even while telling anyone else who’s awake enough to listen that he really ought to have put his cricket pads on for protection against her kicking.

He has embraced hair ties, pink Duplo, princesses and fairy wands; and taught an equal appreciation for Brio and Hornby, even at the cost of a pink BigJigs train to match his Flying Scotsman.

Since Elma arrived he and Kitty have become even closer; partly from daily practicalities and partly I suspect from a similarity in personality that can only mean that I’m signed up to a lifetime of well planned mischief.

But there is something wonderful in sitting back a little and just watching a relationship that is independent of our family dynamic, and separate from the bonds I have with each of them.

When babies first arrive I think as their mother you tend to continue to think of them as an extension of yourself, not in an overly possessive way, and not even usually by conscious design, it’s just habit after nine months (and in my case, a couple weeks more) of being their entire world. And if you’re nursing it’s often literally true, at least in the early days.  The privilege as their Mama is to watch them blossom and grow; not away from that early connection, but opening up to reciprocate not only the love poured over them by their father, but also the cherishing they receive from extended family and friends.

There are special things that Kitty only does with Daddy; snuggling up in his arms just before dinner to put stickers in her Princess album, or can only do with Daddy, in the case of her inaugural trip down the slide at the swimming pool while Elma and I bobbed about below.

The Big Fish is probably a bit of both.

It’s part of our bathtime routine; the girls splash and play together and when they’re all clean or we’re soaked through, whichever is the sooner, I whisk Elma away to be cuddled dry and tucked up in cozyness, while H is in charge of getting Kitty ready.

She’ll have a little splash about by herself and then ask “Daddy! Do big fish now?!”, well it’s less of a request and more a command, and I know that moments later, H will appear in the door of Elma’s room, holding a big bath towel by four corners, with a suspiciously daughter-shaped wiggling giggling bump in the middle:


“Look Mummy, I’ve caught a really big fish!”

Cue more giggles from the fluffy blue bundle.

“But I appear to have lost Kitty! Have you seen her?”

A fresh peal of laughter, and a little extra wiggling.

Eventually of course some dedicated searching high and low around her bedroom reveals our little girl and after the mandatory toddler objections to bedtime have been acknowledged and overruled, one small, slightly damp, pyjama-clad little girl is delivered into my lap next to her sister for stories.

It’s Kitty and H’s special moment at bedtime, something that only they share.  But more than that, there is a tranquillity that comes from all four of us being united at the end of another day, sharing in the winding down before sleep (or in our case, a little gentle peace to say hi to each other).  The best nights, are the nights with the Big Fish.

I so enjoyed reading the lovely everyday ordinary moments in Katie’s linky last week so I’m joining in again – hope to see you there.


mummy daddy me

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  • Caroline 25/08/2013 at 8:49 am

    Wonderful photograph.
    We had a little boy first who looks so much like my husband that people do second takes in the street so it didn’t surprise me that my husband and him have a special connection. When our daughter arrived I wondered how he would be with her but he too is happy to play tea parties and drawing and will even play hairdressers to make her happy. Seeing your partner as a parent is so special.
    I’m so enjoying linking up with Katie too, this is exactly the reason I take a million, billion photographs, to capture as many everyday, ordinary moments as I can

    • Carie 25/08/2013 at 9:58 am

      I’m definitely with you on the million billion photos – there’s always a camera somewhere close to hand around here – I just need to get myself organised and start printing some out!

  • Anna-Marie 25/08/2013 at 9:08 am

    This has bought a tear to my eye! I love this, the photo is gorgeous, and I imagined it as I was reading it (even though I don’t know you!) Perfect.

    • Carie 25/08/2013 at 9:53 am

      Aw thank you so much – it helps that I have a cute model!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 25/08/2013 at 5:35 pm

    I love this Carie, as I have said before you write in a way which really gets to me, I don’t know what it is, whether its cause our girls are similar ages, because indeed we both do have girls or just because you write about your simple family life so eloquently- but this is exactly why I started this linky.
    Your husband sounds a lot like mine in the way he is with the girls, and I adore hi, for it. X

    • Carie 26/08/2013 at 12:16 am

      I certainly enjoy reading about your girls because so much mirrors what my little duo get up to – well that and your pictures are gorgeous! And thank you for starting this up – thinking about what to write each week is really encouraging me to focus on the little everyday moments that otherwise would slide out of memory all too quickly.

  • mel 25/08/2013 at 8:12 pm

    You’re writing paints the most beautiful of pictures. I am becoming an absolute avid reader of your blog. My husband too shares this bond with his big girl. It is beautiful to watch. and now our baby boy is 14 months their relationship is changing and developing in the same way. Baby T will only cuddle Daddy for now and clambers over me like a climbing frame to reach him ‘dada. a da da da dada’ rings out as soon as the front door goes in the evening or if he his greeted by me in the morning as opposed to his Daddy! can’t wait to read more of your blog x

    • Carie 26/08/2013 at 12:18 am

      Thank you so much – I’m glad your enjoying reading! I think the highlight of Kitty’s day is the moment when Daddy gets home so it sounds like we might have similar evenings!

  • Jasbir @jasbeeray 27/08/2013 at 1:50 am

    This is so beautiful. Really love how you captured th.eir ‘big fish’ moment.

    • Carie 27/08/2013 at 8:56 am

      Thank you 🙂

  • Caroline 27/08/2013 at 7:34 pm

    I love this!

    • Carie 27/08/2013 at 11:33 pm

      Thank you 🙂