It is a truth universally acknowledged that where there is a puddle and there are children, the two shall be unavoidably drawn to each other. Even a little puddle, a puddle that could perhaps, be quite easily skirted, looked over or left to gently ripple in the breeze.
Neither it, nor the unwaterproofed legs of my children (only one of whom you will note is wearing wellies) stood a chance.
Following Elma down the footprint path, first she jumped, a little hesitant bounce, as if to test the depths, then Kitty bounded in with an enormous splash, and then Pip, oh my little Pip. No wellies, no worries; he just waded straight into the middle and stood there beaming. He’s still completely amazed at the novelty value of being out of the sling or the buggy and down and playing with the girls, and a puddle was just about the most exciting thing he’d ever seen.
That’s the beauty of childhood isn’t it. It’s the living of life right in the immediate moment, no thought of wet feet, wet socks, wet shoes, a damp journey home, or even the challenge of continuing to walk around the park with trousers dragged ever lower by increasingly wet hems. I can’t remember exactly when Kitty first got into puddles, I think they have a fairly universal appeal, so she was probably about the same age-ish, and I’m sure Pip would be just as soggy even if he didn’t have big sisters to lead him astray, but I love that he does and that they do.
He didn’t take much persuading to toddle straight in but then he was watching the girls for what to do next and was definitely picking up on the big jumps idea from them, even if all he can actually manage at the moment is standing still and bobbing his knees, and occasionally reaching down to splash.
And the girls were loving it too; both the fun of the puddles (because when does that ever get old) and the fun of taking their brother in with them for what I think might be the first time. He was clearly having the time of his life and they both thought it was just so funny that he was standing in a puddle with shoes on and trying to jump. His chuckles of joy at the splashes from the girls set them off into more laughter and the whole thing just got gigglier and gigglier.
The more the months go by the tighter these three become as a team. They’re not always sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, don’t get me wrong; it’s the privilege of being a sibling that you know exactly which buttons to push, more so than anyone else ever, and Kitty and Elma in particular certainly have their moments when they’re figuring out those buttons, but for the most part, all three of them get along pretty well. And the making up is a part of life as a sibling too, working out how to go from “you’re not coming to my party” (the girls’ ultimate insult at the moment) to being “I love you, you’re my best friend” again – and all before breakfast usually.
This was always going to be the year when the three of them really took off as a trio and I loved watching them explore the park properly together, not just the girls running on and Pip tucked up with me. We squelched around the corner to the ‘singing house’ (a monument with fabulous acoustics) and all three of them were singing; Kitty something of her own invention, Elma her favourite ‘squirrel squirrel shake your bushy tail’ and Pip long and loud shrieks of delight.
Silly moments; little moments; moments snatched from a busy morning that started with ballet and were followed with a hasty retreat back to the car as the heavens opened, but oh so very treasured. They are the moments that I dreamt of when I imagined how our third baby would fit into the mix with our lovely girls, and in the same moment they’re not, because as these three grow and grow together I realise they are better than anything I could ever have imagined.
Two little sisters, and their brother too, in February:
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