Tag Archives: Little Things

Looking down

Photo 14-09-2013 01 35 45 AM

As you may have been able to tell by the blog and my Instagram feed, it’s felt like a rough week. And by that I don’t mean that any of my loved ones have terminal diseases or we’re going bankrupt or our house has burned down in a fire, like, dial it down a notch, Sob Story Sally. I just mean we haven’t made it out much, we’ve been busy, I’ve listened to a lot of crying and been less Mary Poppins-ish than I wanted as I reacted to it.

I found this photo on my phone tonight, and wanted to post it here because I suddenly felt it will make me laugh hysterically one day. This photo is so absolutely right now, I could almost have done it on purpose. Stuff, everywhere. Henry wearing a cod-piece nappy he refuses to let me change, even though I tried to make it exciting by calling the changing mat the ‘magic circle’. Me, surveying the chaos from above with Teddy in one arm, and deciding just to take a photo rather than go down and tidy any of it up. This balcony over the living room that was the reason we bought the house and is now the reason we desperately need to move. I mean, what if Future Me is this super-efficient housekeeper, and forgets that once I was rashly, gloriously incompetent? Dear Future Me, today I accidentally read a book from beginning to end all morning, and when I cried about it on the phone to Timothy, he brought me home a bunch of flowers called Blackcurrant Smoothie. I started sorting out the boys’ clothes and only got halfway through it, like always, because Tim came home in the middle of it with Blackcurrant Smoothie and a bottle of Coke, and we ordered pizza and watched Modern Family. Dear Future Me, we were growing red pepper plants on that windowsill, do you remember? Two of the three are red now, and I keep meaning to cut them down, but can’t bring myself to do it in case they’re going to get sweeter still.

‘Henry, what are you doing on the chest?’ ‘Sleeping’. Right.

That beautiful, mad, infuriating boy I love so much it hurts my chest and he gets tired of me kissing those vanilla cheeks.

I need to remember this. I just don’t have any kind of sob story at all.

Freeze-frame: Teddy looks like this

I don’t write about this boy enough. He’s been around for ten weeks, and it feels like ten years.

Photo 04-09-2013 11 03 21 AM

He’s fattening up nicely. Fitting into larger clothes than Henry did at the same age. If I go to bed late enough, we’re down to one nighttime feed, and I am so grateful for this I want to kiss his face. He’s awake a lot more now, but no more demanding. His favourite position is sat up on my knee, facing forwards, leaning against my chest. Just watching. I think as he gets older he will learn by watching, and watch carefully until he’s really got it, then try it out himself. That little pixie face makes my insides go funny. 

Photo 09-09-2013 07 47 10 PM

He was a late smiler, and even now he mostly does the lopsided open-mouth half-smile that came first. Every now and again we get a rare, delighted beam, and honestly, it lights up his face like the sun. He is the sort of boy who makes you work for a smile, and also the sort of boy for whom you would work all day to get one.

Photo 18-08-2013 09 09 41 AM

He still suffers from bad wind – a short dairy-free spell had no effect, which I tried terribly hard to be sad about – and so I walk around jiggling in the evenings, patting his back, avoiding the flying sick which covers his clothes and mine. I’ve started singing ‘Moon River’ to him while we sway together. It is dream-like and quiet and soothing. It suits him, and it soothes us both.

Even though I promised I wouldn’t, ‘Teddy’ morphs accidentally into ‘Teddy Bear’ at least once or twice a day. The poor boy will definitely have to switch to ‘Ed’ when he’s ready to be cool.

If he feels like being a mama’s boy at any point, I think I’d be just fine with it.

Photo 08-09-2013 04 50 30 PM


Dear self,

Please don’t forget (even if the next thirty years are very busy)

that this boy won’t get out of the bath until he’s handed you two ducks and a frog to dry off first

that ‘nana’ seems to mean ‘banana’ or ‘mummy’ or ‘COME NOW PLEASE’, depending on who-knows-what

that he’s going through a phase of signing ‘thankyouplease’ when he wants something, just to cover all the bases

that he requests Bob the Builder (‘DEE DEE DEE DEE’: translation – ‘can we fix it’) or Alphablocks (‘ha-HA!’: from the theme tune) to watch while you get ready, and doesn’t seem to mind when you hair-dryer all over the sound

but that sooner or later he ends up here

and he finds the taste of hairspray weirdly appealing

and you haven’t put mascara on with both hands for about eleven months.


(Happiness is this, my wrinkly old-person self; please remember that happiness is this.)

It’s beautiful out there

On a Train

The book I’ve been reading

rests on my knee. You sleep.

It’s beautiful out there –

fields, little lakes and winter trees

in February sunlight,

every car park a shining mosaic.

Long, radiant minutes,

your hand in my hand,

still warm, still warm.

Wendy Cope

The past few days have been good ones. Long, radiant minutes with nothing special in them. Except that I’m not sick and I’m not apathetic. I’ve had lists, and ticked them off. I’ve had work to do, and sick boys to look after. I’ve sat on a sofa reading Seamus Heaney and Wendy Cope to Henry, and crying through the good bits while he sang them back to me. I’ve done the washing-up after every meal – whoa, hang on – and gloried in it. I hate doing the washing-up. This is a big deal.

Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary has happened. But every car park has looked to me like a shining mosaic. I’m not sick and I’m not apathetic, and that, I find, is more than enough.


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