A brilliant smile, a small wiggle and he’s out of bed and into the toys. With his siblings asleep, the toys are all his for the plundering. No older siblings telling him “no”, no other hands to vie for the pinkest of the ponies and absolutely no one around to see him smash said ponies with great force into anything that happens to be nearby. Not to mention the gleeful lawlessness of sucking the horses mane which is a misdeed that is not tolerated under the watchful eye of the pony owners. So here at night, where I aid and abet his corruption, we exchange knowing looks that what the big siblings don’t know won’t hurt them.
Sometimes I have a flash back to parenting his siblings and stand for a moment in silent thanks that he does not (despite what it may look like in this photo) cry during all his car trips. It makes the select times when he does all the more bearable. I take this photo at Lolo & Lola’s where he spent the night with his papa while I went overnight interstate. How strange and wonderful to have a baby equally as content with his father (and my expressed milk) as he is with me. Again, flash backs to parenting his siblings remind me that this would never have been possible with a different baby. Leaving the room at night to go to the toilet often didn’t seem possible, let alone getting on a plane! And so here I am, mother to a baby who is incredibly easy going and learning that we’re guided a whole lot more by our children than I ever thought. The ideals of what I thought was best for babies having been largely shaped by the babies I had had.
I think sometimes, my ideas – or wild imaginations – of what parenting will be like, have had to be reconciled with reality. Bed time stories is one of those times. I pictured children sitting docile while a book would be read from start to finish in a kind and patient tone. I imagined I’d do all the voices of all the characters and the children would think this was lovely. We’d laugh. We’d bond. And then we’d all go to sleep satisfied. What really happens? One guy crawls all over the pages, tries to eat the back of the book, someone asks questions every 2.5 seconds and is NEVER content with your answer (needing it to be clarified 85 times) and someone is sullen that this was not his first choice for book and why aren’t we reading his book first? When you eventually – maybe – get past the first page, one child is wanting to be the one to turn it and has their hand already grabbing at the side and then the other child is sobbing because it was actually her turn and he’s gone ahead and stolen it from her. She’s not satisfied that her turn would come again momentarily if she would just let you continue reading, she’s overtired and deeply wounded that you would let this trespass be committed against her under your very nose. Meanwhile the crawly one has left the book reading location and is now causing chaos that you can’t see and you have to try and semi listen to see if he’s still breathing while you continue “reading” because for all you know he’s run himself a bath or has scaled the kitchen benches and is playing with knives.
And this, in a nutshell, is why I let Errol read to the kids as much as possible, haha.
Mr Cranky pants had been into his siblings paint and was rather unimpressed by my immediate efforts to undo his very recent and very hard work. Further to his displeasure was the fact that – f0r the first time in his life – I was attempting to bath him while not in the bath myself. Communicating via very serious “ahhhhwoooo” and “waaaaaaas” we came to a conclusion this would also be the last time I’d bath him on his own for a while yet.
After scouring all the local OP shops for roller blades (and wrist guards and knee pads for the kids) we were rather keen to test them all today. Heading down to a cul-de-sac near our house we bigger three practiced as best we could and Florin crawled around trying to eat gravel before daddy could stop him.