23 April 2013
Coffee with Grandma and Juggling a Toddler
At the weekend we headed into town to meet my mum for a drink and a walk. We all love those times when Grandma Rhoda can do lots of visiting and regular dates. And I managed to get what I think is my first picture of all four of them together this year! Nobody pulling faces! I have to also share the first attempt, though, because this is Talia's constant cheeky expression at the moment:
Oh the sun! I've had a few nights in a row of not-enough-sleep this past week, with Talia just hitting that point where she is sleeping longer and therefore fully waking me when she gets up early in the morning to feed. At least this whole body exhaustion has coincided with warmer days, beautiful sunshine, and busy contented children who are actively pursuing their own interests. We are spending a lot of time right now reading in the garden, and I'm providing very easy low-supervision crafts and sensory play in the afternoons. It feels, well, easy and peaceful. There is hardly any bickering. (Of course, now that I've said all this, we will probably be back to constant fights and whining...)
We didn't walk far, just along the river and up to the Cathedral where we spotted one of the Peregrines and lost Rowan when the children played hide and seek behind the trees. Heart-in-stomach moment when she doesn't respond to our calls. Martin was frantic, and Jenna burst into tears when Rowan appeared, telling us indignantly that she was only picking daisies!
This baby of ours is not easy to take anywhere at the moment. She is sweet and generous-natured, beautifully gentle, and acts much older than her brief sixteen months. And she is also incredibly stubborn and a properly self-directed determined toddler already. Her current trick of choice in town is to refuse to hold hands with Martin and I, and to regularly stop and sit down on the floor for ten minutes or so at a time. If we put her in the sling or carry her she flings herself around and cries as if we were hurting her! It makes the going very slow. Of course, she angelically offers to hold hands with *other* adults. Just not us.
Like all the others at this age, she loves to stop and touch Every Single new texture, piece of plant growth, interesting bit of rubbish, small stone, fallen leaf... When I can breathe and stay in the moment with her, it's charming and peaceful to go at her pace. When I'm on my own with all four of them, and can't stay in the moment because I have to be responsible for the others too, it feels like torture!
Every day is a balancing act. I'm never quite sure if I'm getting it right, or at least meeting most of the needs most of the time, or at least putting some of the priorities in an order that mostly works for our family. Then again, I have four healthy happy bright daughters, and right now it's not too difficult to put a pause on my over-thinking and just enjoy being with them - in the sunshine (and the sudden random hail storms), and the every day peace and activity.