Oh the whole, life around here is very much as it ever is; a little crafting, a little baking, a lot of parenting and good times spent with friends. It’s not the stuff thrillers are made of, although for those of you who’ve been on tenterhooks about the state of my washing machine, it died theatrically at the end of the spin cycle on a load of nappies and its successor is shortly to be delivered by the internet.
But there are things that I want to crystalise, to write about my lovely eldest daughter before they get lost in the jumble of every day; things that seem so funny and treasured now but that might slip away in time.
I watched her pottering around the lounge the other morning with her pink toy bucket emptied and upturned on her head, and after a fair amount of galloping and knocking on her pink head, I knocked myself, thinking she might be playing some convoluted form of Peepo. But no,
“Mama! I the Great Stone Dragon! Wrraaa!”
Of course you are. She’s been watching Mulan recently as part of a reward scheme that also includes copious Disney Princess stickers, (to great effect although at not insubstantial cost to her parents; Mulan is cheaper), and loves it, and truth be told, of all of Disney’s princesses, Mulan has personality and backbone; she could do a lot worse. While I’ll give full credit for the imaginative play, I think we might need to go back to just stickers for a while, not least because the Great Stone Dragon’s devoted parents now find themselves singing the theme songs. A lot.
H would claim he’s become completely girlified with the arrival of a second daughter, but I think Kitty had him wrapped around her little finger from her very first hour; Elma’s simply claimed the other hand. But then he isn’t the only one, at the weekend we went down to the park to kick a ball and soak up some sunshine, and there at the mini funfair, devoted Daddy after devoted Daddy lined up with their tiny offspring for a ride on the little train.
Once we’d persuaded Kitty that she didn’t fancy a ride on the ponies (real ones) by simple dint of promising her a pony ride if she could say hello to the ‘horsey’ first (fine with the concept when the pony was some distance away, utterly out of the question once it got within 10 feet of us), she latched onto the ‘Choo choo train’, and as saying yes excused us from the seventh circle of hell, otherwise known as the children’s playpark on a sunny Saturday afternoon, H took her off to buy two tickets.
I’m reliably informed that her opening salvo to the lady in the kiosk was along the lines of;
“I need to go choo choo train!”
H reminded her to ask nicely;
“I really need to go choo choo train!”
Still, we know she enjoyed it; this afternoon when the butcher asked whether we’d had a nice weekend she chirped up “I went on pink choo choo train!”
The arrival of April seems to have come rather suddenly this year. The fact that my studio calendar is still on February may have something to do with that, but I’m very conscious that Elma is growing rapidly before my very eyes, and that my days of pootling around at home are finite and thereby all the more precious. This afternoon we stopped off in the park for me to nurse a loudly hungry Elma; Kitty curled up in the sunshine on the bench next to me and we sat quietly fascinated as an adventurous squirrel hopped around the path before bounding carefully onto the feet of a lady in a flame red coat a few benches over who was feeding him morsels of her snack.
I asked Kitty what she thought the squirrel might like to eat;
“Mmmm, maybe … pasta shapes.”
and we giggled.
Little ethereal moments of motherhood.