Each month I sit down to write about my little trio and my first reaction is usually along the lines of “well nothing much has changed”. And in the grand scheme of things perhaps it hasn’t, but I love that in writing these posts, and in coming back month on month to record them just as they are right now, I’m mindful of the minutiae. And sometimes the change is simply the evolution of something started months before, but to me that’s still worth recording and remembering.
This month it’s been in the relationship between Elma and Pip. Ever since Kitty went off to school they’ve been each other’s near constant companions, and it was only when Elma started nursery in September that Pip spent any time without her. They’ve loved each other and laughed and giggled and been entertained by the same things, and wound up by the same things, and had screaming abdabs over the same toy, but Pip was barely one when Kitty started school, and when you’re two and a half, a one year old is next to useless in the fun stakes.
Over the years I’ve watched Elma work out how to be a sister to Kitty, and been present for all of the wonderful award-yourself-a-gold-star moments when they’ve played lets pretend in gentle co-operation; and all the ones when they haven’t. In that sisterly relationship both my girls work out how to create their own little worlds and bring their sister into it, and while they happily include Pip in their play, it hasn’t really mattered whether or not he got it. Each of the girls got the recognition and co-operation that they needed from each other, and if Pip wondered off half way through being the baby they’d learned to cope.
But watching them this weekend from the sanctuary of the sofa, where Kitty, John and I all fought off the same tummy bug I could see that Elma and Pip have found their own world of make believe too. I’m not entirely sure what the game was, which is always the most fun sort to watch and try to figure out, but it involved them having to go to each other’s houses (armchairs) on Pip’s balance bike with Elma sitting on the front and Pip riding pillion and clinging on around her waist, and then they all got off and got on a boat. All very adventurous and Pip was completely into the game with her; he could understand the story she was weaving, and was getting stuck in.
He’ll go on some amazing adventures with her too, because while Kitty will tell you about her day through her stories, and her favourite games involve mimicking the things she sees around her, playing schools, or mummies and babies, Elma is my storyteller. If you listen to her playing with the dolls house, or making things up for her Lego people they’re all crazy and brilliant and completely outside the sphere of her experience. I love listening to both of them, and I find it fascinating how differently they reinterpret the world around them.
These pictures come from a hill that once stood in for Kilimanjaro, on a day when it was decidedly calmer, sunnier, and less likely to pour with rain at any moment.
The girls rushed up and down the slopes, and poor Pip felt his shorter legs for once, finding it hard climbing until Kitty came to give him a hand. She is so incredibly sweet with him, a lovely big sister who dotes on him and cossets him and he thinks that she’s the best thing since sliced bread, if sliced bread had also run off with his most important lilac wooden block – or was that just yesterday?
He was starting to go down with a horrid cold that would see him spend the rest of the weekend, curled up in my arms, snoozing and nursing and generally reminding us all that I’m his indentured servant first and foremost, and then everyone else’s. He was happy enough to sprint up the hill, but wore himself out before we got down to the bottom.
I can’t work out whether in this picture whether he’s trying to tell me what a pitiable state it is to be outside when he’d rather be inside and located suitably close to my stash of chocolate buttons, or imitating Kitty, who would very much like you to know that she has lost not just that other big front tooth (which held on by a corner for eons) but another bottom one to boot.
He’s definitely dreaming of something in this one, but I wanted to include it anyway because it shows so clearly their height differences. So often when I take pictures of the three of them they’re sitting down or Kitty’s bending down and I forget just how tall she is, and all three of them are. For point of reference, in this picture Kitty is 6 (and that’s an age 10 cardie from Frugi who’s sizes are usually pretty generous), Elma is 4 (and wearing age 5) and Pip is 2 (and wearing 3-4). One of these days Elma’s going to stop growing at 5’10” and find her brother and sister call her shortie.
All three have shot up over the winter again and it means that all long last, two more pairs of boots can reach the footrests on the “spinny spinny round” and all three can plan world domination as they twirl.
Two little sisters, and their brother too, pulling funny faces, in March:
Do go and say hi to my co-hosts: Donna at What the Redhead Said Natalie at Little Jam Pot Life, Keri-Anne at GingerLily Tea, Amber at Goblin Child, Katie at Mummy Daddy Me and of course the mastermind behind the whole thing, Lucy at Dear Beautiful. And then link up your Siblings posts below, and if you’re joining in on Instagram if you use the hashtag #siblingsproject and tag @siblings_project_ we’ll be able to see them too!