A Total TaiTai Tale

Tale of a Total TaiTai who was in Beijing & Beyond and is now in Singapore & Surroundings!

It just happened

Somehow Kristy from “4 kids, 20 suitcases and a Beagle” has a way of putting into words what I’m experiencing. Only she has 4 kids, I only have 2 (but they are the same ages that 2 of hers), she lives in Doha, I live in Beijing but we’ve both been on the road for quite some time so our experience are often quite similar.

As we are preparing to go to my daughter’s 8th Grade Graduation party, I remember what Kristy posted a couple of weeks ago: “it just happened” Here are some extracts that resonate but do go read the entire post on her blog (here) she’s awesome with words.

It begins with you pushing a stroller through a mall. Your first shopping trip together. You flick through the onesies, the leggings. So sweet, the stripes, the sun hats, the tiny little socks. Presents are given, choices are made, you have your favourite combinations. {…}

In the toddler years {…} you begin the morning by chasing a set of little legs throughout the house with a pair of long pants “please, sweetie, it’s minus two outside, please can we wear pants today?” {…}. You’ll find yourself at the park explaining the wearing of the Spiderman gum boots/wellingtons in the middle of a heat wave. “{…}

As a tween you’ll beg for a t-shirt change. Implore for hair to be brushed. Ignore toothpaste stains. You’ll stand in a department store and hold up item after item while a child sighs, eye rolls and groans. “I’m not wearing a dress” she’ll say to you. “{…} You’ll think you’ve done it all. You haven’t. For you’re about to hit the teens, and if you have a daughter, there is nothing, nothing that will prepare you for what comes next.

I can’t put my finger on a date, or a time, but the twelve year old girl who wore nothing but soccer shorts and over sized t-shirts somehow lost her braces and discovered skinny jeans, Forever 21, and nail polish. Pumpkin Patch is a distant memory, we now wander through white tiled stores with half dressed floor staff and doof doof music at a volume of 11. My voice trails off as she picks things off the rack for a closer look, the dress with the back cut out of it, “that’s cuuuuuuuuute” I say with an inside prayer of dear god please no. {…}

The(n)​ year 8 ​(graduation party comes) {…}

Three dresses are chosen, she has great taste and I am genuinely into the shopping experience, and then she came out of the change room. As the door swung open I caught sight of my soon to be 14 year old and began to search for a fire blanket or bed sheet, anything to throw over her would have done. Her legs lean and long, her shoulders perfect, she looks fantastic, and about 19 years old.

“Wow! You look, wow!”

I look over to see a young man who appears to have become distracted by my baby’s legs. I shoot him a I’m about to take off my shoe and start beating you over the head look, it takes all my strength not to grab him by the neck and shout “STOP LOOKING AT HER”. He catches my eye and quickly looks down at his phone. {…}

“Your daughter is very beautiful” says a shop assistant who’s collecting coat hangers while she monitors the comings and goings of the fitting room.

“Yes, it just happened.” I say, making no sense at all.

It begins with you pushing a stroller through a mall.

It just happened.

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She’s on her way to High School.

4 more years to cherish every single day spent under the same roof.

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Graduation rehearsal under way.

It’s party time for my “baby” girl