Family Kitty {the ordinary moments}

Just the two of us

06/10/2013

I’m not being very original this week; well not in the genesis of the idea anyway.  I’m certainly not the first and very probably not the last mother of more than one to want to remember a little one on one time with my eldest, and if you’re written about it as part of The Ordinary Moments, then thank you for the inspiration.

Once upon a time it was just the two of us.  From the day that H went back to work after his paternity leave until the time Kitty started nursery and I went back to work, we were each other’s constant companions, and even when that time was over, we spent at least two days a week together, and often more as H’s new job took him away for various training courses.

And then our darling Elma arrived, and Kitty grew a foot and got a stone heavier overnight, and got promoted from “baby” to “eldest daughter”.

I’ve tried to make sure that our days as a three include plenty of things that are mainly for Kitty; and when Elma started to have her naps upstairs in her cot, rather than in my arms, we made it a time for abandoning housework, curling up with a story, grabbing the paints, or playing in the kitchen (play or real).  But it isn’t really the same; I’ve always got one ear open for noises from upstairs, and at any moment Elma might wake up and decide to join in the fun.  It isn’t a bad thing, and we’re usually both missing her by the time she wakes up, but it is different to how things were, and it isn’t really giving Kitty full focus.

Other than that there have been a few trips to the newsagent or the chip shop, or times when we’ve left Elma with H while Kitty and I go to her ballet class, but even that isn’t more than half and hour or so.

So when Elma’s settling in schedule included an afternoon visit to nursery on one of Kitty’s at home days, I knew we had to do something special.

So naturally it poured with rain.

The original plan had been to go to the park together for her birthday photos and I nearly shelved it as the clouds got greyer and greyer and the light started to fade away, but Kit had found my spotty red umbrella, and really really wanted to take it for a walk, so off we went.

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The park was deserted, and a gentle mist plopped from the sky at regular intervals but Kitty didn’t seem to notice.  She abandoned her raincoat before we’d even got through the park gates and she was off; dancing and twirling and running and jumping, always chatting or singing something that with a favourable mind and a following wind (and by “favourable” I mean “utterly biased because she is my super special snowflake”) could be interpreted as the alphabet song.

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And unencumbered by nappy bags, a buggy, a little girl in a sling, or even a baby bump, I ran with her, following her lead and her stern directions:

“You wait here Mummy! Don’t move!”

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“I can see you!”

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We ran and played until the dampness puddled on our cheeks, and droplets shimmered in her hair like fairy dust, when the practical Mummy had to come to the fore to ask what we were doing next.  I offered swimming or ice-cream.

Well she’s my daughter so ice-cream it was; and I took her off into Leamington to sit and drink hot chocolate and eat ice-cream in a little café whose lights spilled out invitingly across the soggy pavement.

These are my back up photos, the ones I would have used for her birthday post if the ones I was planning in my head hadn’t amounted to anything.  But instead they are now the record of a lovely afternoon spent just the two of us; a memory to smooth over the frustrations of the everyday ordinaries that I don’t need to keep, to refresh and reset our connection when too many mischiefs have chipped away at my patience. 20130917-DSC_0170

It’s these final ones that are most special to me, not because of the quality or their artistic merit, simply because I can’t look at them without remembering that I made her giggle by running towards her making silly wobbly faces.

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I got the chance to talk to her that afternoon, to hear what she’d done at nursery the day before, what her friend K had said, what she wanted for her birthday supper.  To walk, with a small warm hand tucked into mine, and to appreciate just how very little she still is.  It’s so easy to forget, when her sister is so much smaller, and she seems so big and strong and confident.  But she’s still my baby, and that’s worth savouring, because it will be fleeting.

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mummy daddy me

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  • Anna-Marie 06/10/2013 at 10:26 am

    This is so beautiful, and its so nice that you got to spend a lovely afternoon with your gorgeous little girl!

    Your photos are stunning and the ones where she is holding the umbrella are beautiful x

    • Carie 07/10/2013 at 8:30 am

      Thank you, it was a lovely afternoon!

  • Mandycharlie 06/10/2013 at 10:27 am

    It must be something about jephson gardens and summer rain – one of my early teenage memories are of a group of my friends and I caught the bus into leamington and went to play in the park, hired a rowing boat, which we could barely handle and played all day whilst it rained light summer rain, we got absolutely drenched but it made a memory that is still crystal clear to me today. I am sure kitty will remember this forever and I am certain you will.

    • Carie 07/10/2013 at 8:29 am

      That sound like it was a fantastic day – but then mucking about in the rain always feels like a stolen pleasure, you’re meant to be inside keeping dry and being sensible!

  • Caroline 06/10/2013 at 2:34 pm

    Beautiful photos as always:) Now that my eldest has two hours a day at school nursery the little one and I have had a few cafe visits to ourselves. With a biscuit she doesn’t have to share and my full attention for as long as we can manage. Dare I say that the one thing I’m looking forward to about Brodie going to school next year will be more one on one time spent with my daughter.

    • Carie 07/10/2013 at 8:28 am

      I’ve been lucky in that Kitty has still had a nursery day while I’ve been on maternity leave so that we kept her place open so I’ve always had a little one on one time with Elma which has been precious. I hope I’ll get more time with Kitty as both girls get older but it’s going to require a little planning!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 06/10/2013 at 2:52 pm

    These are beautiful Carie and I completely understand about the snatched moments when you have two. Mads and I went on our first date in seven months today- for ice cream. I will completely treasure it forever. x

    • Carie 07/10/2013 at 8:32 am

      Yay for ice cream! It’s so much fun getting to be there just for them.

  • Katie 06/10/2013 at 2:59 pm

    Such beautiful photo’s Carie!! I too try and make time for juts me and Little F – it’s really important i think. Although i wish we could do it more! x

    • Carie 07/10/2013 at 8:33 am

      Thank you 🙂 Family life means it’s never going to be more than a special treat but it’s a nice treat to give and easier to organise now Elma is getting a bit bigger.

  • Morgana @ butwhymummywhy 06/10/2013 at 3:54 pm

    These photos are absolutely stunning!Time together is so important and this post captures it wonderfully. xx

    • Carie 07/10/2013 at 8:33 am

      Thank you so much 🙂

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry 06/10/2013 at 5:14 pm

    These photos are GORGEOUS!! I’m looking forward to being able to spend some time to just focus on Cherry, like you said it is such a big change for them to go from having us all to themselves to having to share and I bet having us all to themselves for a little while makes them feel so special. So you live near Leamington? I was born there and it’s where all much family live! X

    • Carie 07/10/2013 at 8:34 am

      We live outside Leamington but go there quite often; it’s got such lovely parks its hard to stay away!

  • My Two Mums 07/10/2013 at 9:43 am

    Gorgeous photos. Love the umbrella shots 🙂

  • Lucy 16/10/2013 at 10:32 am

    This post actually made me feel a bit tearful. It’s a strange feeling when you snatch these moments with your eldest. I love my baby girl to pieces but when I get my big boy on his own I don’t want the moment to end.
    And these photos are absolutely STUNNING! Such a beautiful little lady. x

    • Carie 17/10/2013 at 12:02 am

      Thank you so much, I think they’re up there as some of my favourite pictures of Kitty!

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