My girls seem to have a bit of an obsession with beds. Not their own beds you understand, not that would be a moment of great wonder, amazement and worthy of some sort of parade, but with making little beds for their teddies and babies.
Elma will tuck her teddies into her toy pram and dash up and down the hall with them, ostensibly to help them to sleep, and Kitty will rock her baby, give it a kiss and then tuck it gently in. Sometimes it’s one of her pillows and a jumper, or a couple of blankets off her bed or a cushion off the sofa and the blanket Pip snuggles under in the car.
And quite impressively one day the girls brought down all their pillows and both duvets and proceeded to tuck up every single teddy they could find in one long snuggly row.
I love popping back into the lounge and finding a dolly carefully tucked up for a nap and then abandoned in search of the next great adventure.
There are days when parenting is really hard, when it feels like nothing you do or say is having any influence whatsoever, when the hours are full of “please don’t”, “stop now”, and “your sister is not a toy” and you wonder whether they’re forever destined to be harumscarums . But then I see how they treat their babies with gentleness; lovingly and sweetly taking care of them and tucking them up for a sleep, and I’m so proud of them. I just want to scoop them both up and give them the most enormous hugs, to hold them close. It’s one of those moment when the fierceness of my love for them comes barrelling through, wiping out the frustrations of a morning in a heartbeat.
Because if they’re loving and doting on their babies that can only be because that’s what they see and know to copy. H and I have loved them from the minute we first knew they were on their way, but we aren’t their only role models and it’s not just us they’re copying, it’s the rest of our families, our friends and their nursery staff. From Elma’s first nursery key worker whose name was the first she learnt outside of the family, to a very special honorary auntie who takes the girls for squash and biscuits at the end of church each week. A whole host of people who love them, cherish them, and will make sure that they’re happy and fed and tucked up snug. And with role models like that they won’t go far wrong.