A letter to Martha Grace || February 2018

To my cheeky girl,

I've been thinking recently that writing to you once a month is a bit "overkill", I can't possibly have enough to say to warrant a letter to you every month. I'd toyed with the idea of only writing to you at the beginning of the year and on your birthday. But I do them because I want to keep a record of your achievements, to remember not just the big things, but the small things too. I ran a list and added things to it through the month of things I wanted to include in your letter.

This month you've enjoyed your half-term holiday from school, Mammi and Daddy were working but you had a lovely time with your Grandparents. We celebrated Pancake day on Monday instead of on Shrove Tuesday because it was easier with the hours I was working. When you arrived home I'd made a little stockpile ready for you all to tuck-in to. We had syrup, chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce, ice cream, marshmallows - but you're a traditionalist like your Mammi and were quite happy with sugar & lemon on your pancakes. Like your brother and sister, you love pancake day because Mammi insists on pancakes all day long. We don't even have proper dinner on pancake day - just pancakes. Daddy, however, has to fend for himself and usually has a meal for one.

It's still quite chilly outside so we're still having hot chocolate every night before bed. We're probably coming to the end of that if I'm honest, hopefully, it's going to start getting warmer soon and hot chocolate isn't the same when it isn't cold outside. You love grabbing a handful of mini-marshmallows and adding them to the cream. It's little things like this that I love about being a Mammi; that I start little traditions with you, drinks that I like myself and watch you all enjoying them too. That you take them for granted that this is part of your childhood. When you grow up and have children of your own, you'll want to do these things with your children because they were a part of everyday life for you that you enjoyed...the simple things.

At the beginning of the month, the school phoned us to collect you just after lunch because you said you weren't feeling very well and you'd been crying. It's not like you to cry so we thought you must have been ill. When we were driving home you said that you were going to bring your teddy, your pillow, and your duvet downstairs and snuggle on the sofa. You didn't look or sound ill at all. You'd planned yourself a little "sick-day". We didn't let you have your iPad and said that you needed to try to sleep instead. You were not happy. It only got worse when we said that you weren't allowed to go to the school Disco with your sister later on that afternoon. Suddenly you were all better. I don't know if you've understood that if you say you're well, the school will call us straight away and you'll get to come home. I hope not, I don't want you to get in the habit of faking illnesses.  

Isabella has been wearing glasses for a year now, she was referred by the school nurse to the eye clinic in February last year. You came home with the same letter just before half-term holidays. We're still waiting for the appointment to come through. You're exactly like your big sister, you want to wear glasses. Though I think it would be nice if we didn't have to add "eye clinic" to the list of appointments you need to attend, if you need to wear glasses it won't be the end of the world. I'd take glasses over your heart condition any day of the year. Isabella has been good at looking after her glasses, she hasn't lost or broken them. I don't think we'll be as lucky with you, I think you'll always be taking them off to play or you'll take them off to show someone and you'll forget where you left them.  

I introduced you to a new book this month too, "I'll love you forever". We've sat on the sofa together a few times to read it. It's a pop-up book so you play with the little tags and make the characters from the story move. You came home with a certificate for getting 10 teddies on your reward chart in school. You're getting better and better at recognizing letters and you wrote your name beautifully on my birthday card. How are you nearly 5-years old? How are you the same person as the baby I've broken my heart crying about? How are you even able to write your name...Martha Grace. The name we chose for you. At the hospital where you were born you were "Miss Redfern-Murphy" but when we arrived at GOSH you had sheets and sheets of stickers and ID badges already printed with Martha Grace Redfern-Murphy written on them. That's where we first saw your name written down.

You've done well this winter not to get a chest infection, we still haven't given you the Flu Jab and I was thinking that we were out of the worst of the cold weather so we had made it through winter without a hitch. You've had a cough since last week though and I was starting to worry that you might be brewing a chest infection. We got you booked for an appointment at the Doctors for them to look you over and get you started on antibiotics if you need them. Your Sats were 98%, your chest sounded beautifully clear and your heart sounds were normal so, at the moment, you don't have a chest infection. Your throat was red and the glands in your neck are raised so we think you might be fighting something viral. If you are, you've not complained once. You've been eating your food and sleeping through the night without any problems. You're just a trooper. We're to keep an eye on you though and take you back if we think your symptoms are getting worse.

Thank you for another straightforward, normal month as a family. March will be our last full month without a visit to London. April is when we next go to London and everything could change after your next appointment.

Whatever they say, whatever the outcome please please know - we'll only do what's best for you.

We love you more than anything in the world.

Love Mammi

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