We’ve been reading a snuggly book. A book that you can only truly do justice curled up in a comfy corner with the solid warmth of a tiny person in the crook of your arm. A book that needs that smell of clean laundry, calendula lotion and milkiness and the touch of soft well washed cotton as you wrap your arms around your littlest girl and drop kisses on silky brown hair.
It’s a rhyming story, counting ten little fingers and ten little toes for each little baby, and finishing up with the most special baby of all, who, as everyone knows, has ten little fingers, ten little toes, and three little kisses on the end of her nose.
And so we count out each tiny finger and toe, and I duck to plant kisses as Elma’s fervent attempts to eat the corner of the page result in impressive, and rather solid side swipes at my head, and she giggles and smiles up at me, happy eyes holding me in that moment.
Helen Oxenbury’s illustrations are, as always, enchantingly gorgeous. She drew “We’re going on a Bear Hunt” which is another of our family favourites, as well as “Tickle Tickle“, which was the loveliest, and most well read of Kitty’s Bookstart books. They aren’t overly detailed drawings, but capture the essence of babyhood in only a few pencil lines and a little watercolour. It’s hard to see those giggly cuddly babies and not feel seriously broody.
When I picked it up in the bookshop I knew it was coming home with us within the first couple of pages, and I’m not sure I put it down again until it was safely ours, thumbing through the rest of the shelves with it tucked under one elbow.
And judging by Elma’s fierce little grasp, and the squeal of indignation if anyone (and by anyone we generally mean Kitty) tries to take it from her, I think she loves it just as much as I do.
In short it’s the perfect book for reading when either of us feel a little bit clingy, and this week that was me. It may or may not have anything to do with having spent part of this week organising my return to work. I’ve got a date, and while it’s still a little while away, it feels like it’s coming all too soon, and I know that regardless of their enjoyment of nursery, or my job satisfaction, I’m going to miss them both so much.
My little Elma is growing so fast, and time is galloping by at such a phenomenal rate that I need to be mindful to sometimes take a step back and focus on the little moments with these beautiful girls; to let the supper wait because we’re sat on the back step splashing bare feet in the flooded patio while the rain hammers down around us, to simply sit by Kitty and talk about princesses as she paints another pink and purple watercolour swirl during Elma’s afternoon nap, or to sneak upstairs with the camera during nap time.
Ten little fingers relaxing into little starfish hands
and ten little toes stretching out slowly, heavy with the weight of that deep drowsy peace.
And the little kisses? Well I’m certain I’m not the only Mama who sneaks in to give an extra kiss goodnight to each sleepy head.
I’ve been really enjoying delving in the bookcase each week, and thanks to Kelle and Lucy my wish list is getting longer and longer. But there’s still a little bit of room left on the shelves so if you have a favourite please let us know. The linky is the same on all three blogs so if you’ve joined one, you’ve joined all!