An auntie’s diary: Living with a three-year-old (pt. I)

So it’s happening, Jade and Lara are moving to Canada – halfway across the globe – to finally move in with Jade’s husband and Lara’s dad and, well, we are pretty sad (and also happy and excited) about it. 

While Jade is packing up their house and selling off the possessions they are not taking with them, Jeanne and I jumped at the opportunity to look after Lara for a few weeks until she is done.

Lara is one of the only kids I have ever really ‘taken to’. I would literally bend over backwards for this child if I could and would do anything in the whole wide world for her.

Because Lara is staying with us for longer than any child has ever stayed with us, I decided to write about the experience. Why? Because Lara is the funniest little person I have ever met and I want to remember and cherish every single moment.

Also, when she is old enough to understand, she will be able to remember our awesome adventures together.

Car ride home: 11 March 2018

Just to put it into perspective, the drive from George to Table View takes roughly five and a half hours with one pit-stop. That’s a long way – even for me.

Jade usually stops a couple of time on their way to visit us, stopping by a friend’s house, stretching their legs and making sure everyone is happy. But we are the opposite.

Jeanne and I have travelled a lot – we have driven from Cape Town to Johannesburg in one go more than once. We like to just get through the journey and get to our destination as fast as we possibly can, so we took the chance and hoped for the best.

Let’s just say that Lara behaved like the princess. A perfect princess. Not only did she sleep the first half of the journey, but she then kept herself entertained by playing some educational games for the second half of the journey, not being niggly once!

Saying that we were proud of her is an understatement!

Highlights of the drive:

  1. Jeanne calling a driver a douchebag only for Lara to repeat: “Ja, he is such a school bag”.
  2. Jeanne and Lara talking to each other in deep man voices for 15-minutes.
  3. Lara snorting in her sleep and giving Jeanne a fright.

Journey to Cape Town: Check.

Day one (12 March 2018): The beginning

7.30 am

Day one of living with a toddler was eyeopening and exciting.  Yeah, let’s go with that.

Let’s just say I knew life would be different and stuff, but maybe I didn’t realise how much different. By this, I mean that she is teaching me so much about caring for a child and teaching me things I never knew about myself.

First up, I lost my temper at breakfast. Yup 7.30am, so that didn’t take long. Why was I not blessed with patience?

The only reason I lost my temper though was because Jeanne and I were both trying to take control of the breakfast situation out of excitement we didn’t realise that the other one was already on it.

In short, I was making toast and then Jeanne offered porridge and, well, a three-year-old cannot make up her mind after being offered two things. Can you blame her? No. Disaster 1.

This ended up with Lara turning down the toast as it popped out of the toaster for porridge. But then, when I started buttering the toast and spreading on the Bovril, she turned down the porridge that Jeanne quite literally just finished making to lick the Bovril off the toast.


In my attempt to make the situation better, I decided to offer Lara a couple of slices of cheese. Ya know, to get her to actually take a bite of the toast. Nope, we picked off the cheese, ate it and discarded the toast. A girl after my own heart…

Next up, in an attempt to get her some more cheese, a triangle of Melrose was offered. Boy oh boy were we excited for this Melrose triangle. That was until auntie Claire broke it in half. Why am I so clumsy? Disaster 2.

This where my temper got lost a little. After my sulk – yes I sulk, I am human – we got over it, ate a little toast and moved on.

Thank the Lord we call Jesus.

9.00 am

Breakfast kinda conquered, we were off to the beach! Today’s activity consisted of making shell necklaces for auntie Jean, auntie Claire, mama Jade, granny Therese and, well, loads more people. But first, we had to go and collect them.

Lara loves the beach and she would probably stay there the whole day if we let her. But we spent around 30-minutes picking up a number of shells (with holes in them already) that Lara could then use to make her necklaces with her auntie Jeanne – success!

Once we finished at the beach, we popped to the shops to get madam a pair of flip-flops and a couple of snacks. While picking out her flip-flops at Ackermans – the ones with Princess Sophia’s face on them – I asked her if she would also like a ‘normal’ pair of flip-flops, only to be told “it was too late” because she had found the ones she wanted. Absolute comedy gold!

11.00 am

When we got home, auntie Claire started work and we had an early lunch – leftovers from last night which included delicious Grabow wors – and Lara had a nap.

Oh, how I wish I could have a nap on the daily.

12.30 pm

One and a little hours later, Lara awoke looking super cute and super perky, ready to make her necklaces and enjoy a little fun – and so they did.

All of the shells we picked up earlier were threaded on some string and made into unique and beautiful necklaces that we will treasure forever.

Totes cute.

3.00 pm

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching minions and laughing in ‘her room’ as Jeanne and I worked. Just what I like to hear. How can one child be so perfect?

Jeanne always says that she is a bad advertisement for birth control, and she is right.

5.45 pm

The dreaded tears happened. We got through the whole day without shedding any of those precious tears, but it happened just before dinner time.

Lara got a little sad watching one of her programs – because one of the lions got hurt, my heart – and she came through to our room in tears.

Inadvertently I ended up in tears, too. Tears for Lara and tears for auntie Claire because this child melts my heart and I hate to see her so upset.

I think I started crying because I remember hating being away from my mum and dad when I was little, with every little thing setting me off and making me sad. It’s horrible and, even though we love her and take more than good care of her, I can relate and it makes me so very heartsore.

Highlights of the day: 

  1. Going for a walk on the beach to collect shells.
  2. Being told: “I have a cookala and a bums” while in the bath.
  3. Making shell necklaces with auntie Jeanne.
  4. Seeing a man on the beach and saying: “That uncle has titties”.
  5. Going to the shops to get a pair of shoes. She chooses a pair of Princess Sophia shoes and, when I asked her if she wanted some flip-flops too, I was told: “it’s too late”.
  6. Lara asking Jeanne if auntie Claire is her sister. Only for Jeanne to explain that no, auntie Claire is my wife and your mama Jade is her sister.

Stay tuned for more hysterical moments, little breakdowns and so much love as I document each day with this little gem.

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