Just a quite spontaneous snap of me and you.
Just a quite spontaneous snap of me and you.
Another month passes in the blink of an eye and today the twins turn nine months old. Three quarters of a year. It’s such a brief space of time and yet it feels like we’ve always had them here with us.
This month Lysander’s little mouth suddenly erupted with teeth and Balthazar is not terribly far behind – we think that we might be able to spot one emerging. My mother-in-law taught Lysander to clap and I missed it because I was at Bubble London. Later that day, I also missed my mother teaching him to say ‘MamamamaMA’ which we think might have been his first attempt at ‘mummy’. Balthazar steadfastedly refused to clap for a whole three weeks and then decided that it was jolly good fun after all and now he does it whenever he wants attention, which is most of the time. It is adorable.
We didn’t go away this month but we made time for plenty of fun. We splashed in the river, and the twins finally met a dear friend who had travelled to London from Greece. We had a photoshoot with a professional photographer, the results from which I’m LONGING to show you, and surprised my in-laws by turning up on their doorstep for a sleepover.
I went to my first children’s fashion trade show and met lots of interesting people. It was fascinating to see the upcoming collections from some of my favourite brands and to discuss how I, through my work as a blogger, could help to promote them. Several interesting opportunities have arisen off the back of those meetings, one of which you’ll hear more about next week. Kirsty got the shock of her life earlier this month when she was asked to fetch something from the fridge and found a new babywearing wrap in there but she’s been practicing lots of new carries and is super happy.
You may notice that poor old Josephine is looking a bit sorry for herself. She had a dodgy hair cut a few weeks ago when someone – ahem – decided to take the clippers to her rather than book her in to see a reputable, qualified groomer. A week or so later her ‘boyfriend’ at the park, who is twice her size, pounced on her for no apparent reason, outcome: three stitches under general anaesthetic or an ugly scar. We opted for the ugly scar due to her age and so her face is going to be a bit lopsided from now on.
So that’s our news from July! How are all of you?
There’s this thing that I do: I spend every period of the twins’ little lives mourning how big they are now, how much they’ve grown. And I forget how small they still are, how they still fit in our arms, how they still have gummy grins and baby babble and cankles. I forget. I look at their photos and all that I feel is sadness for the tiny babies that we will never know again, but those tiny babies aren’t dead, they’re right in front of me grinning and waving their arms and ready for a game. They’re not lost, not really – they’re just grown. And they’re still so little really, there’s still some babyhood left to enjoy and a whole expanse of childhood stretching out in front of us.
What prompted this realisation? I blame the ghastly weather, which has driven us to seek new entertainment within the house. A bath is one of my favourite ways to pass a loose thirty minutes and it seems that the twins have inherited my love of water; they love to practice their splashing, to chew on their bath toys, to flip suddenly onto their fronts and splutter dramatically until they are rescued and righted. We have a lot of fun. So they took a bath, just an ordinary moment in their day, and I took my camera, and we captured the experience.
It’s not the first series of photos of the twins taken in this bathtub and I worried that the images would be samey and boring – but then I looked at my old pictures and the difference between my babies then and my babies now took my breath away.
I could go on about it again. They were so small (and in comparison now they’re so big). But at the time I thought that they were enormous, giant babies, the least baby-like babies in the world. It’s funny how the mind works. I remember looking at those pictures and grieving, actively grieving, my newborns but look at them, how small they were, their funny old-man hairlessness in comparison to the babies that I have playing about my feet now, the babies in the pictures above.
What am I going to do about it? I’m going to enjoy the moment. I’m going to take the time now to cherish the children that I have now, the family that we are right now. Look at my babies, my perfect little babies. Look how they laugh with us, how they check our expressions to see how they should react, how innocent they are. I will put them back in that bathtub and as they splash, enjoy the littleness of them; those plump baby cheeks, the ringing of their laugher, the bodies that I can still lift easily from the tub and snuggle close against mine.
My babies. Still so sweet, still so small.
I am going to enjoy them as they are today.
1. I detest the taste of lemon in pudding. Lemon belongs only in soup, when accompanied by lots of greens.
So that is thirty things that you probably didn’t know about me (or did you?!)! What don’t I know about you?
I have wanted the three of you to meet for so long.
Yesterday the stars aligned. She was in London. I was able to take a day off of work.
I had promised her dinosaurs and alpaca in Crystal Palace Park but when the time came, could no longer navigate my way around this place of my childhood. So we sat on the grass in the shade, and the woman who has shaped so many of my views surrounding motherhood finally met you, the children who made me a mother.
She lives one walk, two trains, a plane, a bus, a ferry and a taxi ride away, so I doubt that you will see much of her as you grow up. I hope though, that the time that you do spend together will influence you as much as they have influenced me. I hope that you will drive with her down small, twisty roads in the middle of the night, because someone somewhere has been arrested and his three pit bulls are in his car, and you need to get them to safety before the sun rises and they roast. I hope that she will remind you to tread over the ants, because they too have tiny little lives. I hope that the three of you will have one hundred conversations exploring all of the possibilities of the universe, that she will teach you to speak Greek, that through ‘her’ island and her farm you will discover a sense of freedom unavailable to you in London.
She is your auntie. She is the family that we have chosen, the bonus family. She bought you a t-shirt that says that she loves you, and made soap that will be gentle on your skin. She held you and marvelled at how big you are, these babies that have until now existed only in her head and in rushed and infrequent telephone conversations. She spoke to you in her language and you laughed, showing your pink gums, and spoke to her in yours.
One walk, two trains, a plane, a bus, a ferry and a taxi ride away, your extra family are thinking of you.