Tag Archives: parenting

Schoolward bound.

We seem to be hurtling headlong down a slide to Ida starting school in September.

She literally CANNOT wait. We scope out the reception classes on a regular basis – we’ve already bought and name-tagged most of her uniform – my mum has given her a lunchbox that looks like a ladybird – she has a book bag.

We’re ready.

Except I’m not. I feel terribly anxious about the whole thing. Sometime I have a little cry. (This isn’t as momentous as I’m making it sound – I’m a woman in touch with my feelings – those pedigree chum adverts make me cry…)

I cannot believe how fast time is passing. She suddenly seems to have shot up, she’s so tall – when I pick her up I put her on my hip and her legs hang down. Last week she fell out of bed and sleepily mistook me for an orc. I scooped her up to lay her over my shoulder to comfort and, it’s hard to describe, but it’s as though my body was memory moulded to her baby toddler physical imprint and she didn’t quite fit. I was jarred, suddenly more awake from my four am walking doze.

I’m also really looking forward to a bit of regular time alone. It’s pretty full on this SAH ing. I am worried about the fact she hasn’t had the nursery grounding Zeph had when he started school. She doesn’t go to pre-school or anything. We hang out a lot together.

I’m not particularly worried about her being clingy. Most of the time she can’t wait to be rid of me. I do worry about her conforming to someone else’s rules. Following a groups schedule. About playing games where she doesn’t make the rules. About co-operating.

About social skills. But in my mind – primary school is where this stuff goes down. We just have to hold on for the bumpy learning curve.

This is how Ida prefers to wear socks

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Every morning we have a dispute about it. She points out they’re ON her feet. I point out she can’t get her shoes over them. On very bad days she’ll ram her feet into her wellies like this.

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I fear the learning curve will be steep.

I worry it is my fault.

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May

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How amazing is the sunshine? Admittedly I’m quite enjoying sitting in the cool of my house after a hard hour smashing china under the rays.

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Don’t get me wrong I love, LOVE the bright glorious light. I genuinely sprang out of bed this morning with an appropriately cheery song on my lips.

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I just like looking at it from the shade. With an icy clinking drink in my hand.

This weekend Zeph learnt to ride a bike. At 10 I feel bad for letting it get so late before enabling this ritual but we’re not really bike riders. He’s wanted one for ages so when passing the Raleigh shop on Barton street we amazed him by actually going in and purchasing a second hand bike and a brand new helmet.

Of course his joy was short-lived when he got on and couldn’t ride it instantly but he’s a stoic optimist my boy which fills me with pride and half an hours googling and some remedial first aid led to us getting up at six on Sunday morning. We made our way to a very quiet park with a small hill to put in a bit of coasting practise before graduating to pedalling then turning and finally, by the end of the day cycling from a standing start. Brilliant.

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Saturday night after a shower we counted sixty one distinct bruises, three big grazes and a fine set of hand blisters but one incredibly content boy. I feel swollen with pride at his perseverance.

It turns out cycling, balancing on a bicycle, is one of those things that is near impossible to explain. You just kind of do it I offered feebly, realising how unhelpful it was.  Your body makes thousands of miniscule adjustments to keep you upright and all you need is the time and space to let it get on with it. With lashings of patience and encouragement – balancing the “that’s amazing!” cheering with the book reading indifference is a parenting tightrope I’m getting better at. I will take a leaf from someone else’s book and persevere.

Also – take that Homer Simpson mug…

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Hello

 

The sun is shining today. For once I’m sat here with my fingers on the keys and actually feel as though it may be possible to say something.

Anyone who reads this – and I am astonished/abashed/amazed/gratified at how many of you still seem to despite my perfidy – may have noticed the poems. Sorry if it was all a bit much and thank you to those who read and commented.

I bleedin’ love poetry in a very joyful, uneducated way. In that I read a lot and write a lot but have studied very little. NaPoWriMo seemed, in the early hours, a wonderful way to structure some of the free writing I do and attempt to break my sick-stomach aversion to my blog.

I know its been too long – and I don’t want to do all that justifying apologising stuff which I know is tiresome but I am sorry for not coming on and saying I was taking a break. So if you wondered – I am, wholeheartedly, sorry.

I’m hardly shy of spilling all on here and have given ample evidence of that in the past but this one isn’t really all my story so suffice to say; I am older  -hard to deny given our attachment to the linear nature of time – and wiser – I can now make custard without curdling it and in equal measures,  disillusioned with our legal system and still glad for it being there.

Some real world shenanigans left me mute here. I hated it – I couldn’t even bear to look at the site. The fracturing of my old hard disc gave me ample excuse to truant indefinitely but it was a constant small ache behind my ribs. An insistant sharp corner that wouldn’t let me rest easy and I hoped a bit of exposure could clean the place out for me.

Which it must have – because here I sit.

 

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The kids are, as always, amazing. There have been festivals, celebrations, cooking, days out, new experiences, tantrums, daydreaming, quite a lot of cake and change- embraced change – between a gazillion beautiful things.

I’d really like to start sharing some of them again.

Snails, slippers and impromptu haircuts

Even grey mornings have their special charm when seen through the eyes of a three-year old with new wellies. Mab bless her for keeping the cheeriness quota up in the house.

The weather this year seems to have prompted a snail and slug population boom. Luckily my total lack of garden lovin’ ensures there is plenty of weedy greenery to go round.

This pleases Ida immensely and her garden investigating in between showers involves collecting the various hues and sizes of shelled molluscs. That and woodlouse herding, marigold petal picking and making secret paths in the grass which is nearly as high as her.

Other news from this place here include the successful antibiotic choice to see off the infection in my less bad hip (in that there’s still a socket) AND cortisone injections – very successful and welcome. Whoo hoo.

My mood is taking a while to bounce back up. I’m biding my time as experience tells me it’ll eventually get back on board. Until then my world has shrunk to the bare basics. I’m still spotting BT’s but the whole system feels a bit forced and creaky… still in action though.

Fathers day was  happy, Steve worked but opened cards and presents before he left and came home to a feast of jerk chicken, plantains, dirty rice, festivals and mango salsa.

It’s a pleasure cooking with Zeph now – he’s a genuine help, in fact he made the festivals and the mango salsa completely solo. Ida watches, stirs and chops herbs and a mushroom which didn’t really get used but occupied her for at least 30 mins. All we need now is a bigger kitchen…

We had a pleasurable couple of afternoons beforehand painting cards and sewing slippers; 

 

We bought the plain cheap slippers and decorated them ourselves with various beloved mini beasts including, of course:

Yesterday I did a hack job on my hair. Never a good idea – I just got incredibly cross when brushing out the dreadlocky knots I’d let build up and cut off my pony tail with the sewing scissors. Luckily Ida was elsewhere as this is NOT an example I should set her as I’m constantly finding little golden locks where she’s been unable to resist the swishing sounds she loves so much.

I did neaten it up but judging from the hair on the floor I reckon I cut off about two-thirds of the length and did anyone (including my nearest and dearest) notice?

Did they bleeding heck. Which leads me to conclude that no-one sees me.

Of course it could be because I mostly wear it scraped back and twisted up so no bugger has any idea what it looks like down anyway.

I suppose I should just be glad we don’t have any clippers in the house as it could have been so much worse.

Death, distraction and dandelions

When Ida sleeps she usually flings her arms up above her head – It’s hard to describe but she has the air of a very relaxed hipster sprawled over a heap of stuffed animals like a Shoreditch dragon stretched over her hoard.

And yes – she’s back in the cot although happy enough in the lower bunk – that’s a whole other post.

I know quite a bit about her sleeping habits as I’ve taken to spending  time next to her whilst she’s sleeping. This is partly to remind myself how much I love her, easier to remember when she’s not trampling over me in her bid for world domination. Also it’s because I’m in a quite a reflective mood recently.

Steve’s dad, stepdad, passed away recently. He had Alzheimer’s and was quite frail but it happened unexpectedly after a fall and a bad reaction to general anesthetic –  and very, very – as anyone who’s sat by a similar bedside will recognise, quickly.

The death certificate says pneumonia but as we said to Zeph whilst stroking the back of his head – he was just tired and the springs had wound down.

Now I’m no stranger to the complexities of dealing with death, many of my ponderings I’ve shared here before; here and here but once again I find myself wrestling with big questions from my lovely boy.

In  a recent early morning he raged at me, pummeling and kicking in frustrated anger – demanding I promise the cancer will never come back. Which of course I can’t, especially since my particular, highly treatable, flavour is high recurrence.

I have to bear it, shoulder the anger – cup the punches and stroke his back keeping up the murmur. The I love you, it’ll be okay, even when it isn’t murmur.

I know exactly where he’s coming from. Don’t we all? The sudden overwhelming urge to gather up all the people we love and hold them still. To freeze them in this moment so they come to no harm.

So they come to nothing at all. No change, no  danger, no growth. No living – no life. Hard as it is you have to unclench that fist. Because death is not waiting for us at the end of a line – it’s traveling along with us. Being alive is moving through your days with death right next to you. The other side of the coin.

Still, it’s a big life event and as such is rippling my pond. Watching Steve dealing sensitively with Zeph while struggling with the legacy of losing his biological father at a similar age. Recognising his sadness at the loss of someone from his life and a piece of his childhood gone. Sadness for his mum and family and sadness at certain gulfs that line difficult relationships.

Remembering that his default position is to retreat and not talk and mine, after serious therapy, is to talk talk talk it out. That neither way is the right way although an ocassional meet in the middle is good for both our souls.

The funeral was last week and Zeph was very sure he wanted to go and so he came. It was a lovely service – fitting for a very quiet gentle man. At one point we listened to a recording of him singing a solo at a past christmas concert.

The poignancy of listing to his sure voice while he lay in his coffin at the front of the church was very nearly unbearable. At the end of the service Zeph and I went to sit in the churchyard to collect ourselves.

“It was my favourite bit and the worse bit” he said. I just nodded, feeling, as I do now, as I write about it, my eyes prickling painfully. Sometimes our digital age seems crudely cruel. Like magnets pushing at each other it seemed indecent to have hearing him and to never yet hear him brushing shoulders in almost physical collusion.

I try hard not to avert my eyes and talk openly to Zeph. He seems hyperaware of the frailty of life. Every day seems a balancing act of talking about it yet not obsessing about it. Making allowances and setting boundaries.

Mostly I feel not up to the task. Never has the mantra of being good enough is good enough been muttered more fervently as I spread myself ever thinner.

I also have taken to watching him in his sleep as well. Parenting sleeping children is a piece of cake. We’ve also been reading this picture book.

Death, Duck and the Tulip which I’d whole heartedly recommend.

As always most hours are filled with Beautiful Things. This weekend particularly has been lit by the most glorious sunshine. An afternoon of constructing a cardboard robot costume with Ida is hugely satisfying and baking brownies with Zeph soothing with a satisfying end result.

My peony is covered with fat buds and the garden is full of forget me nots and dandelions.

I am very fond of dandelions.

End of term and a pep talk

Easter is nearly upon us, how the hell did that come round so quickly?

Today is the last day of term which means a 2pm pick up. Now I have never actually forgotten to pick him up. Although I’ve had a couple of oh christ – I nearly forgot – quick!  out the door and run moments. For some reason these memories make me jumpy and I keep checking my watch and skipping from task to task making more muddles.

This morning we watched the screening of the Bollywood film Zeph and his year group have been working on all term. All their teachers had dressed up, they had chairs set out like a cinema and cups of popcorn. At the end they gave out Oscars. It was not without technical hitches but loud, exciting and joyful. Exactly how I think school should be. I came away hugely cheered and Ida hopped and jigged all the way home.

She can’t wait to go to school and I have to retrieve her from the going in line in the mornings. Very different to my school experience and long may it last.

Unsurprisingly the morning back here has been a bit flat – especially since I’ve tried to impose a little order. Not something you would glean from a quick glance. I’ve been reading a friends flylady progress and feeling the need to return to some of those structures. I’ve talked about my attitude to chores and tidying many times before and without being picky I can see the need for a bit of decluttering and imposing some system scaffolds in my jumbled corners.

I need to stop procrastinating and start a bit of doing. I managed to pull my arm out of its socket recently so am waiting for a bit of healing and keep telling myself that after that I’m going to GET DOWN TO IT!

Steve’s got some time off over easter so you’d think it’d be the perfect time but it’s so tempting to play hooky. We’re going to see a friend as well and do some big city stuff and that’s all MUCH more appealing. Although I know some DIYing and order solutions would have a much bigger day-to-day impact on my life.

It’s too easy to let the small inner voice tell you you’re lazy. Often I feel like an observer in my life instead of actually inhabiting my body. In these gray leaden days I anchor myself with the children. Playing, reading to them, cuddling in bed – singing songs and idly spinning stories. Everything else loses focus and importance.

As I feel less miserable and more hopeful I think I’m too quick to write all that stuff off. It seems like time-wasting when I could have done work that left a physical mark. Finally feeling clear-sighted enough to look around at what needs doing – it’s far too easy to slip back into the habit of castigating myself for doing nothing.

Bolstered my Rachel (my therapist and she has a certificate so is surely worth listening to?) I decide to be a bit kinder to myself.

Getting through the days is hard work. Remaining emotionally connected is hard work. Well done Laura, bloody well done to all of us who get to school, cook tea, do bathtime and bedtime or even leave the house whilst wrapped in a soul numbing blanket of misery. Fecking brilliant people who manage everyday fighting a rushing tide of physical pain. Two fingers up to anyone who thinks you haven’t accomplished much in your day. You’re still breathing at the end of the day aren’t you? Then it’s a SUCCESS. Whoop whoop and maracas, flash of gold and a big flourish. Well done all of us broken vessels.

Just the easy stuff to do now.

We Can Cook! Tomato & Cheese Pinwheels

Katy is a BIG hit in this house. I’m actually quite fond of this particular kids programme, for a start they actually cook real food rather than a series of ever odder food art/sculpture and I’ve also really seen the benefits of the way they help the children perform tasks by describing the kind of movement they need to do. Parroty pinchy fingers and grr-y claw hands have helped with the frustrating preschool tasks of button doing up, green pepper ripping and egg cracking in this house.

Anyway these were inspired by a recent episode.

Tomato and Cheese Spirally Pinwheels

We started with a packet of ready-made puff pastry. You may make your own pastry if you wish – this VERY simple recipe already took about 3 hours to do because everything takes a long time when you’re three so it’s packet all the way for me…

We also assembled; flour for dusting, tomato purée, cheese, basil and black pepper. We added to the basic recipe; olive oil, paprika, fruit vinegar and the scrapings of old tapenade in the bottom of the jar.

First we rolled out a rectangle of pastry. More challenging than it sounds. Especially when one of us is dead set on eating most of the pastry raw…

Then squeeze tomato purée onto the surface – making a smily face with it is purely optional. Then I swerved from the recipe adding some paprika, a dash of sweet vinegar (I use one from a local shop which is vinegar mixed with fig must but any will do including balsamic) and a drop of olive oil and  a smear of tapenade. (None of this is essential..) Then mix it all together with the back of a spoon and spread it out over the pastry.

A bit of pepper – and what kind of face? She’s having a lovely time people, really.

Then grate a light snow of cheese over the top. (All over the surrounding floor and table is entirely optional)

This is a good bit.. pick and rip basil leaves, strewing them artistically over your rectangle. The basil is sadly not homegrown, I just can’t keep them going over the winter. My mum manages it on her windowsills but she has virulently green thumbs and house that doesn’t reach my dank and mould levels. It’s 60p supermarket pot of basil which did the job admirably then ended its short stalky life enlivening a pot of soup.

Now for the tricky bit, rolling it up. Not the easiest tasks for small hands but she managed it. The idea of doing the same thing side by side is I will resist the temptation to lean over and do harder bits for her and she can watch my hands and copy. It’s a technique that works well in coaching with children and I’d recommend it. This was the hardest bit to keep my hands to myself in though.     

Or maybe this bit, the chopping up…  Still the roll is quite robust though they benefit from a small reshaping squeeze as you place them, spiral up, on a baking sheet. Ida managed perfectly well with her small knife and we talked about the saw-saw-saw movement she needed to use and why she needed to be careful with her fingers.

Then into the oven for about 15 minutes baking and…   Ta Daaaa!!!

They taste great and have worked brilliantly kept in a airtight box and reheating a couple at a time for snacks. Zeph’s had them in his sandwich box as well.

The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed the bowl of eggwash on the table. It didn’t get used in these but in the sausage rolls we made next and to paint what felt like the entire room which I mentioned before…

I’m not going to bore you with the sausage rolls but we grated two apples in with the sausagemeat which was a resounding, scrumptious success. I’m always going to do it from now on.

And on that bombshell revelation I shall leave you, wiser in the wisdom of leaving small people alone with beaten egg and with a small daughter who has expanded her knife skill repertoire.

A good afternoons work.

It’s all Swings and Roundabouts.

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It is seductively easy to only blog about the happier bits of the day.

As I’ve seen discussed, many times, on billions of better sites than mine – to edit your life so it’s shinier, smoother…happier.

I’m conscious that this sometimes applies to me. Especially as I doggedly attempt to record my Beautiful Things every time. 

I’d like to reassure everyone that the mould continues in its inexorable creep across my daily landscape. That this morning my daughter stepped out of the front door and shouted Piss Off Rain into the sky, startling a passing schoolward bound family (not my school, thank Ganesha, but I suspect they may already have my measure there..) That mid cooking today, while I was putting a baking tray in the oven, Ida attempted to egg wash the living room.

When I went to retrieve her from the time-out-step-of-doom she admitted she knew I’d be cross when she finished the rolling-pin. When I asked why she didn’t stop there instead of carrying on to the table and piano stool, she shrugged insouciantly and said, “you were already cross…”

It doesn’t bode well for the future.

I have made no progress on the pressing DIY tasks surrounding us. Defunct fridges, collapsing cupboards, the mould on the bathroom ceiling, the chainless bathplug that breaks a nail every time I need to pry it out, the kitchen light that constantly requires a sharp blow with a wooden spoon to knock wires back into connection. The woodchip in the hallway.

Believe me when I say I could go on.

I suppose I want to notice the wonderful without concealing the awful. It’s pretty easy for me to celebrate the stuff I think is amazing and wonderful and ignore what I’ve judged unimportant.  Like hygienic standards and bacteria free floors.  Though I want to stress I’m not laying down rules. Just because it’s not crucial to me doesn’t mean it’s not important to others.

Recently as I’ve floundered through my days I’ve heard a lot of how could they?s and my own internal examinations remind me how much I value tolerance. Whether its toddler ear-piercing, spitting in the street, fruit shoots, sleep training, sheet washing, organic carrots there’s a lot of my-way-is-the-best-way-ism.

Not that I’m advocating no opinions on these subjects. Just that I think they should come with a I think.. or a for us the best thing is.. prefix. Is that wishy-washy woolly liberal of me?

There were many beautiful things today. Despite eggwashgate, cooking with Ida was absorbing and gratifying. Watching her knock knock knock with an egg and then crack it expertly into a bowl is truly a thing of beauty. Tea with friends was soul nourishing while the kids whooped, screamed and enacted lord of the flies scenarios up and down the stairs and on the landings.

Sat here now, in the quiet dim of my home, I notice how very homely it feels. Not very stylish, not as clean or as organised as I hope for but very cosy. It feels safe to me. I’ve just been upstairs to fetch something and looked in on the kids who are both angelicly sleeping. All rosy cheeks and stray curls. Ida clutching one of her Wellington boots and Zeph’s finger keeping the place in his current bedtime book.

Very beautiful. You barely notice Zeph’s floor seems to be carpeted with ALL his clothes and Ida has written her name on the bedroom wall over her cot in red marker pen.

Anticipation

Tomorrow Ida is three.

I do get absurdly sentimental around their birthdays, it seems to highlight how fast time moves and quickly they change. Part of my open heart plans is embracing change. I suppose I fear losing something dear  but surely love is never lost?

She is wildly excited but slightly confused about how time works. Last week, slightly worn by the “is it my birthday now?” question, I made a chart for her to cross off the day at bedtime – to help her count down to the big day. Of course she marched into the kitchen the next day with black marker pen all over her hands convinced she’d conquered time by crossing off ALL the boxes to move the schedule along a bit.

What touched me most was how powerful she must feel, to control her world so easily. I wish she could hold on to that but I suppose I’m one of the people squishing it out of her with all my rules and health and safety rules about knife juggling, stair surfing and road crossing.

Having tea with my friend this morning, Ida roared her disapproval over coat putting on time and N made me laugh by observing that life with a toddler is like living with a very small, ferocious T Rex.

 I find it really unnerving  seeing the less lovely sides of my everydayness parroted back to me. It’s true – I say; “Right now” and “I’m starting to feel CROSS..” and “This is not acceptable” all in those growling menacing tones through my teeth….

Yesterday Zeph asked what Jesus’s middle name was.

because apparently I say Jesus H Christ.

I didn’t even know I did.

*sigh*

Anyway back to the birthday prep. Today we shopped for Ida’s birthday tea which she is allowed, according to tradition, to choose. We may have to tinker with that one as she’s picked;

Olives, sausages on sticks, avocado, beetroot, mussels, anchovies, bread and vinegar to dip it in, iced gems, a pineapple and a tray of assorted samosas and pakoras.

Nothing wrong with the choices – just not sure it all hangs together.

We also bought things to decorate the cake with. This year it will be yellow with dolly mixtures, chocolate buttons and marshmallows on… and star candles. I may seem grossly indulgent but I am very charmed by her calm certainty and her clear vision.

I’ve sewn her a fairy skirt and silver butterfly wings and Zeph has dipped into his savings to buy her a drinking cup with a meerkat at the bottom and I just went out to Asda (always a fearful prospect late at night with all the lost wandering the aisles – blank eyed, hair buzzing with static under the fluorescent lights) and purchase two very shiny foil helium balloons which now hover, bursting with promise, over the table laid for breakfast. Walking home through the dark clutching them firmly I felt stuffed with joy and excitement myself.

Balloons, the birthday banner, a small but happy pile of presents, a tiny pink hyacinth by her plate and pain de chocolat for breakfast. I can’t wait to see her face all lit up and happy.

Recording Beautiful Things memories. Best Practise.

Although the last couple of gloomy days mean really dark or bizarrely flashlit photographs I’m quite enjoying the foggy grey days. Ida and I spend our afternoons very happily either side of the table.

I have my sewing machine or a glue gun and she has play dough or a paintbox. Occasionally we go around to the other’s side to look in admiration or help sort out a thorny problem like biscuits stuck to the table or how all the paintblocks have turned brown. It’s actually very good for my self-esteem – oh noes – problems solved in the blink of an eye.

It amazes me how long she can concentrate on something that interests her. I think she has better focus than me. We both get lots of happy satisfaction from this time. The cushion mountain is also growing..

 

 I’ve actually had this post sitting here for a couple of days nagging at my mental to-do list but wordpress doesn’t like my photos… well it doesn’t like my ancient browser. My PC is so old sometimes I feel like I should be pressing a treadle pedal to keep it going but we’re determined to squeeze every last drop of life out of it so on we trudge…

Today I’m determined to achieve a little so unrotated photo it is!

 The cushion pile has doubled  since then and I now have several markets lined up. I alternate between gloomful surety I won’t sell a thing and will have wasted the meagre amount of cash I have invested and deep sweat inducing fear that I have not made enough stuff which jerks me out of bed in the morning for an hour at the sewing machine before everyone else gets up.

Zeph and Ida are deeply interested in everything I produce. Zeph admires the cushions and offers up interesting plans for future makes. He seemed incredulous at first when people wanted to buy the wings but now seems pleased and proud of them. A lovely woman came to pick some up she’d ordered through my fb page yesterday and he jigged about afterwards saying incredulously – “a stranger!”  I could easily be slightly offended by this but I feel exactly the same so join in the jigging and finger the notes she paid as though they might turn back into oak leaves and flutter away.

Despite feeling under pressure the sense of achievement and boosted self-esteem is well worth it. With happy eyes BT’s are everywhere.

The kids seem quite harmonious – there’s a sense of all pulling together and Zeph has a real Ida taming knack. I love this photo from this years Children in Need day

Yes, yes – also unrotated…  I am adding ‘update browser’ to the to-do list. We had pea and ham soup for tea last night and there’s enough left for Ida and I to have for lunch. A small pleasures but a very greedy/happy one. My mum bought Ida a new dress last week. It’s a  scandi looking knitted tunic dress and brings both of us much pleasure. It suits my little blonde imp very well and every time my eye falls across it I feel happy and warmed by the love behind the gift as well as how beautiful she looks.

I’m also enjoying marvelling at her new scissor skills. She can spend a joyful hour snipping shapes out of paper. Not so thrilled about the multitude of tiny paper pieces that join the threads on my floor to be tracked all over the house but on balance it’s a price well worth paying!

My mum also arrived with a stack of plastic boxes to help impose order on the fabric mountain in the middle of our living area. Some people thought they could be put to better use…

but now they’re full of sorted assorted material, wools, wadding and ribbon. Stacked up they are a hugely Beautiful Thing.

Today the gorgeous low sun slants in through the steamed up windows and makes the room glimmer. I can bear struggling up out of my bed in the dark mornings when the walk to school is full of these bouncing electric sunrays. They make me thrum with happiness and skip with Ida through the puddles past our beloved bird’s-nest.

rotate damn you, rotate!

 She has dug out a leopard glove puppet from the toy box and as I sit here typing half an eye on the tottering stack of wings that need sewing I can hear her chuntering about chatting to him on her hand which I find very BT. I try to fix it in my mind for forever and have a sudden mental picture of all these fluttery fleeting fragments stretched out  like pinned butterflies on my mental corridor.

I’m going to choose to change that to a huge Victorian style conservatory, like the ones in Kew, filled with dancing live butterflies. As you walk through the clouds they kiss your upturned face with their impossibly delicately feathered wings and you get a tinglely jolt of the memory they hold.

No pins. Much nicer.