Once upon a time it was a sunny morning. It was also January and this means that sunny mornings are not to be wasted. You might be forgiven for thinking that in a houseful of self professed explorers this should mean suiting and booting ready to get outside and go and find some mud to roll in and a flurry of wooly hats, mittens and the occasional scarf.
But no, for the end of the month was drawing near and therefore the presence of sunshine and the master of the house home from work means it’s time for pictures. Even if one member of the family was still wearing a hat to warm up after taking Kitty to ballet class, and more than one other was sporting baby drool as less of an accessory and more of a full on style statement.
I love it when my Me and Mine or Siblings pictures come out all nicely posed with a pretty backdrop and everyone looking at the camera and if not smiling then at least looking moderately happy to be there. I treasure those photos, and they are the ones that I’ve got marked up for framing, but I’m very well aware that they aren’t exactly our every day reality.
And so I hope that there’s room in the remit of family photos for the less than perfect, the photos where someone’s squinting, or talking (that would be me!), or pulling a funny face, or the ones where despite assiduous attention with the hairbrush only moments before, both girls look like they’ve just landed through a hedge backwards.
Or when it suddenly becomes very obvious that my attempts to remove glitter glue from my patio windows has been largely unsuccessful!
But I think they show us as a family as our truest selves. This is what family life looks like in my house if you pop round on a Saturday morning.
There are cuddles as everyone tries to curl up on H’s very snuggly jumper, princess babies that are apparently essential to all activities for at least the next hour and a half, sucking thumbs, sleepy faces, funny expressions, a baby quite desperate to hold onto and taste everything that passes him by, and if you’re very lucky we’ll all have made it out of our pyjamas.
This has been on the whole a very ordinary sort of month. We loved celebrating Pip with our family and friends at his baptism but other than that we haven’t done anything tremendously exciting or made any great plans to go anywhere special. It’s been a month of just being, of trips to the playpark, baking biscuits, tidying away Duplo, trying not to eat Playdoh, of long days working hard and evenings vegging out together.
Being the five of us together is my favourite kind of happy, everyone is relaxed and after a week of mostly parenting by myself it’s just bliss to be able to share it with H. In the grand scheme of things even though our tiny Pip is now a little bigger and a whole five months old we’re still really such beginners at being a family of five and still working so much out to try to balance all of our needs and find room for all of our wants, and that’s not without its trials, tribulations and sleep deprivation and I’m so hugely thankful that I’m not doing it alone. It’s the moments when you can share your exasperation at the logic of small people, or exchange a wry smile at something they say, or one of those rare times when everyone’s playing happily and you look across at each other and feel like you might just burst with joy.
These are the moments that I truly treasure. Moments of my little family, in January:
And no Me and Mine post would be complete without another example of “what happens when I go upstairs to change Pip, leaving my camera set up and the remote trigger in the possession of one of my daughters”
H is clearly branching out on the modelling poses!