Oh, I'm rooted.
We're away in the morning and I'm avoiding the bag-packing. Three kids-worth of items means pyjamas and nappies and bibs and special sleeping friends and dummies and sunscreen and car-games and toothbrushes... it's a logistical task beyond my current capabilities. Keith is over on the couch, tapping away at his laptop and trying to finish up some work before he takes the day off tomorrow so we can drive up the coast for his mum's 70th. The wonderful Mama has designed a musical birthday celebration.
We've been practising (on request) 'C'est Si Bon (here's Eartha's version) , and a couple of family dance performances. I can't speak French, or see the piano music without my glasses, and through every practice version at least one child is doing something naughty to get the parental eyeballs back on them. Still, we shall try to make up for lack of skill with enthusiasm and a certain nobby flair, which is how I prefer to live my life. C'est si bon!
The kids are all well. Georgie, my sweet barnacle, is sleeping, all night long, in her own bed. I don't know how it happened but it did. She is crawling, laughing, eating, babbling and just delightful in every way. 'Aroo!' she calls as she crawls down the hallway, covered in fluff and biscuit crumbs and looking for somebody to play with.'Aroo! Aroo!' If Keith and I were not one hundred and fifty six years old, creaky of bone and exhausted, we would just keep on having babies until the end of time.
My biggest girl, my darling Ivy is in a fabulous phase of life, all creativity and questions. All day she carts Georgette around, and draws and writes and builds things and makes up dance moves. She asked me 'Mum, what will my wedding ring look like?' I said 'I don't know Ives, but you can have mine one day.' 'When?' she asked with excitement, and I realised that I had trapped myself in a terrible position. 'When...I'm...dead.' I said 'Oh yeah!' she replied. 'I guess I'll just pull it off you.'
Hilarious small Ted is still deep in a nutty three-year-old land of his own. He's been getting in trouble lately for wild shouting. 'Don't be belligerent, Teddy...' I'll warn him. 'I! Am! Not! Biggerent!' he will shout in reply. He's been banned from calling the baby Georgie Poo-Poo which he finds really difficult ('Stop that, Georgie Po-' he will say, and look around guiltily to see if anybody heard him.) His other favourite line has been in reply to my 'That's interesting Teddy...' mumbled robotically too many times a day. 'That is NOT INTERESTING, Mama!' he had taken to shouting until I pulled rank and banned the phrase. Now he says, 'Some things are interesting, Mama. But that is not.' I'm happy to accept that.
Ted's not always biggerent, of course. He's also cuddly and so cute, reading his magazines and cookbooks, begging for blueberry porridge and singing with Ivy. But a few days ago, he drew all over himself with my mascara and tonight, he hid behind his bedroom door and sprayed his hair with gold glitter hairspray when he was supposed to be putting his pyjamas on. He's a nutbag. Three-year-old's just take so much managing. At the end of every day I can just see all the bits where I could have, should have managed better. I might even think through those things if I wasn't passed out with dribble on my chin.
In general, we are busy, busy, busy. But happy too. The small moments, the funny little things that happen between the washing and the tidying and the driving around, those are what make life sweet, and there are lots of those moments. Yesterday morning, Keith and I sent Ivy next door to wake up Ted. 'OK', she said, 'I'll just whisper Teddy, we've made you a cake and you can eat it all...' We protested and Ivy looked surprised. 'But that's how I wake him up every day!' she said.
Tomorrow, we ride.
Happy weekending. x