About Katie

Pretty much everything I’ve written so far has been about the things Katie finds hard in life – that’s just because that’s been a focus of our lives at the moment while she’s been going through a tough time, and we’ve been doing battle with school and applying to her new school. She has a giant personality and there is lots that I haven’t written about.

Katie is my mini adult. She is in a big old rush to grow up (until anyone mentions getting a job or leaving home). I often call her mummy number two as she loves to look after Matthew (although more so when he was smaller than now, unless he’s in the mood for her to baby him and then she’s all over him again!) She was 4 when he was born and was always fetching nappies or clothes, pushing him in his buggy, trying to entertain him if he was crying in the car or bouncing him in his baby chair. These days she likes to read him his bedtime story or give him his inhaler. She also likes to spend time with adults and help with ‘projects’ or what she thinks are grown up things. She will happily do the washing up, or keep John company on a tip run, feed the cat or help paint a fence. In many ways she likes being the oldest of the three. There was no sadness when she learned that Father Christmas and the tooth fairy weren’t real, just excitement that she was now a big girl and in on the secret. She is brilliant at still pretending for the other two and thinks it’s hilarious when I mention anything about Father Christmas to give me the LOOK to show me that she hasn’t forgotten it’s all pretend. She has recently turned 9 and the pre-teen tendencies are already rearing their head. She likes long soaky bubble baths, experimenting with makeup and is already pestering us to let her get her ears pierced and get a mobile phone. Her bedroom is already so messy it’s a bit of a health hazard and I dread to think what it will be like by the time she’s a teenager.

Katie is my green fingered girl. Since she was tiny she has loved being out in the garden. She doesn’t care if she’s planting vegetables, pulling up weeds or clearing leaves – anything will do. She doesn’t get bored of it and will happily spend all day out there. John often comes in laughing about the conversations she has with the plants, keeping up a constant stream of chatter while she’s working with them. I’m pretty sure she prefers plants to people because she can say what she likes and they don’t answer back. School used to offer a gardening club once a week during term time which Katie did for a few years (pre covid. It’s not been running since March 2020). I loved picking her up and seeing her working in their eco garden, pottering around and looking totally at ease. In the first year that she went to gardening club she won the school’s eco award because of her enthusiasm. A couple of years ago she went with some of the other gardening kids to go to the local garden centre to choose the school’s Xmas tree and then plant it. She was soooo excited to be chosen and it was such a lovely thing to happen as it boosted her self esteem as well.

Katie is an all weather girl. As soon as there’s a hint of autumn being on the way she’s getting excited about winter and the possibility of snow. All the kids get excited when it snows and we’ll pile on gloves and hats etc and get the sledge out, but the reality is that the other two are cold and soggy and whingy after about 15 minutes and want to go inside for a hot chocolate. Katie would stay out indefinitely. She doesn’t seem to feel the cold and will be rolling around making snow angels, building snowmen, sledging, trying to get the others to stay outside for a snowball fight, and bouncing on the trampoline and going on the slide because it’s more fun in the snow. When it rains she won’t just jump in puddles, she will take a running leap and make sure she lands hard enough that the puddle splashes up over the top of her wellies. I have videos of her gleefully pulling her wellies off and pouring all the water out of them, then putting them back on and soaking herself all over again. She never cares about her cold soggy trousers or wet and dirty socks. We went to Newquay last summer and the day we got there we popped down to the harbour quickly without having beach stuff, swim suits etc. Katie didn’t care at all. When the others were rolling their trousers up and just paddling she went in the water fully clothed and rolled around in the sand. She really doesn’t care what the weather is or how messy she ends up getting!

Katie is our little goof ball. Our nickname for her is Norbert because it just seems to suit her somehow. Good morning Norbert, that was a norby thing to do, love you Norb (it’s all said in an affectionate way!) For a girl who can carry an awful lot of anxiety and who can be very tense, she can also be very light hearted and enjoy just messing around. Parading downstairs in just her knickers and dancing around is quite a sight. Katie has no rhythm whatsoever so she will never try and dance ‘properly’, she will dance how she wants with limbs flying around all over the place, however she feels like it. She’s part of a children’s singing group locally and when they do performances there will usually be a minimal level of movement like stepping side to side or clicking fingers. Katie is always the one who is out of sync with the rest of them, who steps left instead of right or who is a beat behind but who has such a level of concentration on her face.

Katie is our chef. She likes cooking and we’ve got into the habit that when we do a shopping list she chooses a meal or a pudding that she wants to cook and then she’ll make it for us one day that week. She’s got a couple of really good beginners cook books and has done quite a few meals now. She’s happy getting on with it and doing it herself as long as one of us is in the kitchen just keeping a bit of an eye on things from the background. She usually does her meals on a Wednesday when I’m at work and John is home and it’s a nice thing for the two of them to do together. 

Katie has been a bookworm since she was tiny. She loved books from a way earlier age than the other two. We went to visit my sister in America when Katie was 4 months old and I took a load of books for the flight because even then she would spend ages looking at the pictures. It was a bit of a shock when Alice came along and I’d try and look at a book with her and she would just fling it on the floor or rip the pages! In other subjects at school Katie is where she should be age wise but in reading she’s always been ahead of her age. She’s always had at least 4 books on the go at any one time, mostly fiction but she does like The Guinness Book of World Records and she’s got one of 1000 animal facts that’s an old favourite. More recently this has fizzled out slightly but I think that’s because the horse obsession has taken over and at the moment she would rather watch You Tube tutorials on how to groom them etc than read about them. I also think that she’s so disillusioned with school that she doesn’t want to do anything associated with school at home, and for now that sometimes includes reading.

Katie is a generous little soul. When we’re on holiday she always wants to bring presents back for other people and she wants to help choose people’s birthday and Christmas presents. For John’s last birthday she insisted on getting him a little remote control car “because Daddy likes cars”. She kind of missed the fact that it was a kid’s toy and it was a cheap piece of tat really, but definitely one of those times that it’s the thought that counts! The other day she brought a book about fairies home from the school library and gave it to Alice to read because she knows Alice likes fairies, and when school had a book sale she didn’t buy anything for herself but brought a pop up monkey book for Matthew. 

Katie loves a good crafting session. This is an area that she and I are totally incompatible. I hate making things. I can barely even put a Kinder Egg toy together never mind help with 9 year old crafting activities. Glitter is the bane of my life and anything involving glue makes me cringe. Katie loves all that! Pre Covid I used to take the kids to a messy craft session at a local church hall which was held once a month and they got to make play dough and get their glitter fix and use all the stuff I don’t like. Katie also likes knitting. I don’t have a clue how to knit but my mum (Grandma) and John’s mum (Granny) can both help her, and she used to do knitting club once a week at school but that’s another thing that’s stopped for now because of Covid. Looks like I’ll have to put my hatred of all things crafty aside for a while and do more at home!

Katie’s ultimate love at the moment is animals, especially horses. As a toddler she was always so sweet to our cats. She never went chasing after them or pulled at their whiskers or tails. She never needed ‘teaching’ to be nice to them; she just was. She spent a long time asking us if she could have her own guinea pigs and eventually we said yes and got her two guinea pigs for Christmas – on the condition that they are 100% hers which also means cleaning them out, feeding them and changing their water. She looks after them pretty well and when she gets home from school she heads straight to the playroom to give them a snack. Getting her out the door is a bit of a nightmare as any time we go anywhere it takes her ages to go and fuss over the guinea pigs and say goodbye to them. Her favourite animal is horses. She was desperate for riding lessons and had to wait a long time for covid restrictions to lift a bit but now goes once a week, plus for pony days and stable management days in the holidays. She would live at her riding school if she could. She looks forward to every Sunday and spends most of her spare time on horsey things. It’s really lovely to see how happy it makes her and if her interest in animals stays as strong as it is now I hope she will be pretty fulfilled in later life if she can get a job that involves being with them.

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