It is amazing how much laundry five people can accumulate. Even when two of the five are really rather small and another has a serious shortage of wearable outfits. But with Pip utterly determined to wear as much of his dinner as he eats and Elma regarding her drawers as a really lovely dressing up box that she dips into every time she feels like a change and Mummy’s back is turned it all builds up. And so we bung it all in the washing machine and watch it swirl around and I offer up prayers of thanks to the washing machine fairy that installed a child lock on it, and then haul it outside to peg it up on the line.
And once we’ve got several baskets full we pull out the bits and bobs that need ironing (I’m not big on ironing; it’s not a lot) and take the rest upstairs and dump it on my bed to be sorted. The girls have got really into helping me out and they love climbing up on the head of the bed to grab their clothes for their baskets and nine times out of ten they get it right, and anything else gets sorted out when I come to fold and put things away. It’s lovely to have their company and we can chat or sing along to the radio while we get through what to be honest can be quite a big task. Of course there are times when they don’t want to or have a pixie moment or two and clothes go flying and I try to take a deep breath and start again (sometimes with more success than others) but mostly it’s a fun part of our week.
I love hearing their giggles when they think they’re totally hidden under the duvet, or when there little smiley faces pop up as they play peepo over the edge.
Pip generally hangs out in the sling but as he’s got bigger and bigger and decidedly heavier he gets a bit cumbersome if you want to bend up and down between baskets and drawers so I’ve started to tuck him into bed between his sisters for a little sibling hang out while I tuck the clothes back where they belong. One day in the not too distant future I know he will be seen by the girls as a playfellow. Probably not quite an equal because he’ll always be their little brother and I think he’ll be taller than me before he looses the “little” tag, but more so than now.
Now he is their baby, their little munchkin, someone to kiss and cuddle and pet, and someone who gives them the most enormous smiles when they do. And I love it. I love watching them together and seeing how happy they make each other. And I really love it when we’re all done and we can all cuddle up together or play tents under the duvet.
We’ve just had Kitty’s last day of ballet for this term and I’m so horribly aware that this means we’ve got one term, and the summer, and then moments like this will be fewer and further between. There will be days of the five of us at the weekend, and half terms and holidays but the rhythm of our days will be different, and it won’t be the three and me in quite the same way any more. I don’t think it’s a bad thing exactly, but it will be very different and it seems to be a change that’s hurtling towards us at great speed.
Now is the time for me to soak in every little moment of our daily pattern as it is now; cuddles with the laundry and all.