You are all going to have to forgive me as I wax lyrical about my children for a moment.
The last few months – in fact, probably since Grover’s arrival – have broken me somewhat.
The fourth breaks you.
And it’s not the child that is the fourth that does it, although all that newborn sleeplessness, sore boobs, hormonal trip doesn’t help.
It is the scale of it all.
But you know, even my eyes are starting to glaze over.
Then, the life curve ball really found its form and the last 6-8 weeks have been particularly challenging.
As you all know.
And I felt it needed to be said that my children have been an absolute trip through all of that and have indeed been what has kept me going.
Like Jasper’s self-instigated toilet-training which goes on intermittently but generally requires complete nudity for the toileting and then hell, why bother putting it all back on.
I believe he wore clothes for about half an hour today.
Or his addiction to the water and how he is at swimming lessons – completely non-compliant in the happiest and ‘so what’ of ways with what we’re meant to be doing (I don’t care how nice and flat your pancake pancake on your back is meant to be he’s not having a bar of it, and when he refused to swim to the colourful balls and throw them into the bucket and I asked him why he said ’cause’.) so long as he can hang of me and now see how long he can hold his breath under water for.
That he calls his swimming cap a hat and loves wearing it around the house and to the shops but absolutely freaks out about wearing it in the water.
Or that today, on one toileting episode, he held it infront of himself and wee-ed.into.it.
I know you know I’m not making that up.
Today when he was playing out in the sandpit (nude) he did so wearing a yellow hard hat.
And then tried a bucket on for size.
All while singing some songs to himself.
Everything is “I do it”, “Mum, come”, “Sit dowwwwn”, “I mix”, “Come play wif me” and on and on the language goes – it is breathtaking in its deliciousness.
Well, this child is my oxygen.
Me – “so Felix, did you always want to join the band or was it just something you wanted to do because it came up”
F – “no, when I first saw them play in kindy I knew I wanted to join as soon as I had the opportunity”
and that he didn’t want Chef to tell him if he’d got in but wanted to open the envelope with me.
Or like today when a children’s author (Jodie Brownlee)came to the school and read from her books and he tells me “I think I might like to write a book one day. On the computer. And send it to a publisher, and then loads of other publishers until someone who likes it reads it and publishes it.”
And “I was the only boy who went up to buy one of her books.”
Or that he used paragraphs so well his teacher gave him six stamps, and then another three for such a great story, and sent him off to show it to the Principal. (don’t you love a teacher who knows when they need to bolster a child’s confidence by such actions?)
Or how excited he is about band camp.
And his horn lessons which start next week (“I hope she’s nice”)
Or on Sunday when our current living arrangements were making me positively homicidal and he said to me quietly, “Mum are you OK today? Your voice sounds sad”
Or Oscar who’s been doing the school’s free swimming lesson program every day for the last two weeks and can now float on his back for over a minute and on his tummy for 15 seconds and how he’s telling me over and over that “Noooo-ooooh” as he signs dog paddle and “Yeeeaaahhhhh” as he does big freestyle arms.
Or how when he got in the car today the first thing he asked was if Chef was OK (Chef’s been home sick for two days with a tummy bug, which I think is ManCode for “I’m so freakin’ depressed about my rotting leg and scared shitless about going to hospital” ) and “OH NO where NOOGAAGAA” because clearly I’d forgotten Grover somewhere else.
Grover is just edible. Even if he’s back to waking up all night long and I feel positively neanderthal.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is still enough sibling crap going on to drive me batshit crazy, but these children? These children are awesome.