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This afternoon, on their way from one place to another, my parents dropped in for a cup of tea and a biscuit. They do that a bit; my house is conveniently located for them, plus it contains their grandchildren.
Towards the end of today’s visit, Elspeth expressed a desire to go and stay with her nanny and poppy for a few days. A last minute decision was made, a whirlwind of packing ensued, and off they went, leaving me home with a very tired Evelyn.
Evelyn went to sleep immediately afterwards, and now here I am… effectively alone. I’m not used to this anymore. I really don’t know what to do with myself. I could read, or watch a movie, or study, or sleep. I could eat yummy things without anybody stealing the food from my mouth. I could just sit staring out my front window, except the neighbours might find that a bit creepy.
So what’s it to be? I’ve got Pillars of the Earth on DVD…
In the last three years, our family has not had a holiday which didn’t somehow involve either my parents or Aidan’s. We’ve stayed with them, and we’ve stayed elsewhere with them, and Aidan and I have left the kids with them to go out by ourselves. But never have the four of us been away on our own before. Until now!
This past weekend – from Friday to today – we’ve been camping! I know what you’re thinking… comfort-loving me, and two small children, camping out in a tent over two freezing nights? Madness!
However, I am surprised by how well we all did and how much I actually enjoyed the experience. The camp ground was gorgeous, set by a lake with lots of bird life, and the nights were filled with stars – and, well, clouds too. But it was an astronomy camp, so the stars were the main thing! Yes, the nights were cold, but we had lots of clothes and an extra doona to throw over us all. The kids enjoyed it, and slept better than I’d hoped in the tent; in fact, even now we’re home Elspeth is asking to sleep in the tent again!
So it was really nice, quite restful, but obviously you don’t sleep as well as usual in a tent… so I’m pretty tired. Good tired.
We’re four days into having two children, although we’ve only been home together as a family for two of them.
So far, I must say, it’s a dream. Evelyn sleeps a lot, and doesn’t demand much when she is awake. Elspeth is largely happy to play alone or to include her new baby sister, and so far isn’t really showing much jealousy or resentment.
I’m pretty sure all these things will change and this whole family thing will get harder as time goes on. Evelyn will want more from us as she gets older, and Elspeth will be told more and more often that she has to wait, to cooperate, to share. She’s been an only child for two years, and it will take time for her to get used to the change.
I feel pretty lucky right now that there is no pressing need for me to return to the workforce. It means that, for now at least, I can relax and spend as much time as necessary (as much as possible) at home with my daughters. We can focus on being a family, being together, and hopefully that will help to forge a bond between our little girls in their early years which will last their whole lives. (Now is the time you can call me a hopeless optimist!) Anyway, it’s got to be more helpful than putting them into daycare, where they would be in separate rooms, five days a week!
And now my oldest is calling for me – “Mummy, come back! Mum, mum, mum!” So off I go to read Pooh Welcomes Winter for the fifty-seventh time!