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Cousins by chance, friends by choice

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Cousins by chance, friends by choice

My sister Amanda and I took our babies to an indoor play centre on Monday. We had a lovely day, although to be honest it's not the venue that made the day special, it was the company. It was nice for us four to catch up without the men-folk. My hubby and my brother-in-law are great but it's nice to have a girls day occasionally. The good thing about being there was that it tired both babies out so they both had a sleep at the same time, allowing Amanda and I to grab a coffee AND drink it before we went our separate ways, which is a rare treat in deed. 

The play centre admission was fairly cheap, in fact bubs are free until their first birthday! Amanda and I paid to get in, but received a complimentary drink voucher. For adults with the right attitude, this place had lots to offer. We could watch the bubs play in the special toddler area all day if we wanted to, but we joined in, pushing them around on cars and bikes, reading stories, playing blocks, not too different to home really.

What was really fun was we got to accompany them into the ball pit, on the jumping castle, and down the slide which first requires climbing up a ramp and through the obstacle course of punching bags before your can get to the giant inflatable slide. I took Alexis down the slide twice, Isabella twice, then Alexis three more times while some random energetic little boy raced us. This kid followed us to the jumping castle where I collapsed down onto the soft cushions cuddling Isabella while he gently bounced around us while Amanda took Alexis to change her dirty nappy (thanks sis!). 

Admission was cheap but we spent lots on food and drink while we were there because you can't take anything in with you. The food is good quality and reasonably priced, but the four of us worked up quite an appetite and it all adds up. We could avoid the cost next time by going in the morning or afternoon instead of lunch time, but lunch time is best because that's when both girls are happy and active. Besides, it's a fair drive (with tolls, argh!) to get there so we wanted to make the most of it. Happy mummies plus happy babies plus yummy food = a very fun eating experience. It was also a very messy eating experience, which someone else cleaned up!

Even if all we did all day was have lunch it would have been fun, but it was nice to put them in the nice big toddler area and watch them interact quietly while lunch settled. The girls play so well together. They always do, provided neither is dirty or hungry or tired. I know some experts claim that babies aren't capable of having friends, that it's "all about me" until they're three years old or so. Rubbish. These babies are friends, without a doubt.

Alexis has been besotted with her little cousin since she was born, giving her kisses and patting her like a cat. Izy had bad colic as a young baby, and if Alexis heard her cry she would be quite concerned for her. She would know she was in pain, and try to fix it. I think Isabella understood she was trying to comfort her, although I can't say that for certain. Isabella loved to watch Alexis play, and she saved her first smile for her cousin! Even when she was in the womb Izy would move around with excitement when she heard Alexis.

The age gap seemed massive at first, but now it's almost negligible. The girls are the best of playmates. Izy is crawling and pulling herself up to standing, and watching Alexis walk with great interest. Isabella learns new skills very quickly (way too quickly!) to keep up with her big cousin. There is only problems when Isabella is jealous of the wonderful foods her bigger cousin gets to eat, but she's catching up there too. Of course there's the occasional "Alexis don't sit on/stand on/climb/scratch your cousin", but its all because she loves her so much!? Isabella is getting her own back now. :) It's all in good fun.

Alexis even has her own nickname for Isabella. She can't say Isabella, so one day (months ago) came out with "bubba Bella" and it has stuck. My brother in-law tried to convince Alexis that we we don't shorten Isabella's name to Bella, her nickname is "Izy". Alexis just looked at him like, "what would you know?" and repeated with great gusto "Bubba Bella, Bubba Bella, Bubba Bella!" It's catching on, my parents and husband and often I say it as well.

Alexis ensures we catch up with Amanda (who I think is "Da") and "Bubba Bella" regularly. If we haven't seen them for over a week Alexis starts pining for her. She goes up to her photo on display and points at it, and as if I was too dense to realise what she wants, whines "bubba Bella bubba Bella," until I call Amanda and the bubs "talk" on the phone! It is wise to then book a playdate for the next possible time, because this only buys me time for so long. After a day or so she starts up again. She is always excited to see her. You can't tell me that these two aren't friends.

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At February 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankyou aunty karlee i really like this post about me, I love you lots. And Lexi is the coolest cousin eva!! Love from Isabella xx


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