There’s a moment in the early morning of almost every day. The radio clicks on enticing us out into the real world, but it’s still dark outside, and a little bit chilly, and generally rather uninviting compared to snuggling down under the duvet. And when I do open an eye, I know that there will be at least one tiny girl tucked up next to me.
Kitty has been coming into our bed since she was a few months old, and even now, when she wakes up in the night she rolls out of her bed, toddles across the landing, and climbs in without really waking either of us. And when her incoming teeth make her a little sad and snuffly, Elma comes to join us as well. When we’ve got both of them in with us there’s not a tremendous amount of space for the grownups. It works for us though, and there is something lovely about all waking up together, watching tiny eyes flicker and open, and all the giggles and smiles that come from playing hide and seek over the duvet, and Kitty’s current favourite game of sliding down our knees.
November in Warwickshire has been grey, dark, cold, and more than a little damp. It’s not exactly autumnal days glowing with photo-perfect amber light. And so, for the second month running, our Me and Mine pictures are from home; the heart of our home, in a brief half hour on a Sunday morning when the clouds outside lifted to a pale charcoal.
I’d love to claim that you can tell that this is a reconstruction because Elma is carrying a wooden drumstick and a saucepan, but that wouldn’t be the strangest thing either of my daughters has ever tucked into bed
We had such a lovely silly time taking these pictures, all curled up together. For starters we were the warmest any of us had been since before we’d left for church (Norman architecture trumping 20th century heating every time), and then Kitty took charge.
She loves playing with the remote trigger, even though she’s got such a beautiful lack of self awareness that her pictures are almost always the rest of the party smiling for the shot, and a sternly concentrating little girl death-staring the camera with arm outstretched. But even without the trigger she’s starting to call the shots, telling us what to do, “say sausages! Do it Mummy, do it!”, and just a little bit how to pose.
“Come on guys! Everyone kiss me!”
Sometimes she’s repeating the things she’s heard me say time and time before, a little mashed up with some of her nursery’s collective nouns, and sometimes they are inventions of her own imagination.
“Everyone! Tickle [Kitty]!”
“And now tickle Daddy!”
“Tickle me! Again!”
I love the things she comes up with; without Kitty we would never have been able to contemplate using this:
As our ‘official’ photo of the month,
and more to the point, I wouldn’t have my favourite picture of the lot; thanks to a little girl who after the second iteration of “tickle Kitty, chirped up:
“tickle the camera!!”
It’s completely frivolous and silly, and if I were being all techy about it it would fail on any number of counts; but I love it for capturing that moment in one little frame; the laughter, the indulgence, the sheer joy, and Elma’ habitual bemusement at the crazy things her family seem to get up to.
My little family, in November.
And the outtake? Well Elma is blinking, Kitty is pretending to be asleep, and H? I rather suspect him of having a little actual genuine nap mid shoot!