If August was the month that made us a family of five, September has been the month where we found our feet, our rhythm, our pattern of the new everyday ordinary.
There are still things we’re trying to work out (mostly bedtime which is a challenge all by itself especially if H has to be out), but for the most part it feels like we’re finding our way. I’m getting the hang of loading up the car with three, or getting out the door even vaguely sort of on time, or distracting and entertaining two little girls while feeding their brother. I can assemble and disassemble our double buggy in record quick time and even managed to take Kitty to the church bathroom while wearing Pip in the sling and carrying Elma half on my hip and half slid around to my back (I’m awarding myself a Mummy gold star for that particular feat) while H manages to combine impersonating a climbing frame with singing lullabies to his son, and catching Elma by the ankle as she attempts to dive headfirst off the sofa/bed/anywhere not the floor yet again.
There are moments when it feels like a small daughter is trying very hard to push all of our buttons and failing to grasp the most basic of concepts required to keep her safe; and then there are the moments when we’re all sat at supper just enjoying listening to Kitty tell us about her day; or when we glance over and see our girls sat under the dinner table heads together, one gold, one brown, playing make-believe or plotting world domination; or when Kitty brought me a daisy from the garden “as well done for having baby [Pip] Mummy!”
For every moment when we feel stretched by the demands of three, there are a hundred moments when we know in our hearts that our family would never have felt right without Pip.
A year ago I was heading back to work, settling Elma into nursery with Kitty, trying to remember where I’d left my heels, my handbag and all the other accoutrements that go with the commuter lifestyle, trying not to let my heart break as I left not one but two babies in the loving care of their awesome nursery, trying not to be overwhelmed with Mummy guilt, trying not to spend every night sobbing into my supper at the knowledge that I’d have to get up the next day and do it all again.
It’s amazing the difference a year makes. In H and my children I have everything I could ever have wanted, and more. I am so happy and so lucky to get to spend this next year at home with them all, and I think it’s the memories of last September that creep in in the quiet moments of the night that make me so very very determined to treasure every moment of this coming year.
We took our photos in the garden again; and you can already see the change that even a month can bring; the seasons are on the turn and the first few fallen leaves are drifting across the lawn; scattered thinly like the tail ends of confetti that gather around the church porch in the days and weeks after a summer wedding.
It’s in Pip though that the change is most obvious; no longer the little four day old, so very very new and curled up and tiny, but out beautiful baby boy, all round cheeks and curiosity waking up from his nap. And if his parents and even perhaps his sisters are a little more sleep deprived than last month, that’s a small price to pay. The one constant is how much this boy of ours is loved, adored, cuddled and frequently bestowed with the gentlest of kisses.
I am so unbelievably blessed to call this family my own, to be part of “just the five of us”.
My little family, in September
And just because you know I love the outtakes, I have to share a photo I didn’t take – I left Kitty with the remote trigger while I went to round up the rest of the family, and only later discovered this self portrait on the camera – goodness only knows what the camera had done to upset her!