Not me because when I went upstairs to cry, my husband knew straight away.
No, it goes to Big. (But you already knew that didn’t you?)
While I understand WHY she needs to do it, I have no idea HOW she does it. How does she put it all away and smile, laugh and pretend like everything is absolutely fine for a whole day?
Of course, if you know what to look for you can see that she’s not as great an actor as she’d like to believe. You can see her smile is a bit too fixed, her laugh just slightly too forced, her body held slightly too tightly.
This particular visit to somewhere else, we were going to visit my new niece. This event has caused Big a great deal of upset. Since coming back she has carried a doll around saying, “This is my baby. Babies are very special BUT IT WILL GROW UP SOON!’
I watched her with her cousin, holding her dolls to her to create a physical barrier between her and the baby and I just wished she could voice what she needed to voice.
To the outside world she seemed perfectly content to be with the baby but I could see how much pain it was causing her. She really could win an Oscar for her acting abilities, but I said to her very quietly, ‘I can see. I can see how hard this is for you.’ (And she gave me the look that is somewhere between ‘I want to hurt you’ and ‘Stop reading my mind’ but she did lean in ever so slightly so I think she was glad that I said it.)
I’m not going to lie, it caused me pain too but not in the way I was expecting it to. At one point, I glimpsed my brother-in-law holding his niece and looking at her so lovingly and I had to look away. I wasn’t sad that it wasn’t my baby, or that I couldn’t have a baby, it was the fact that my children missed out on that loving look.
Now,my brother-in-law is brilliant with the girls. He is endlessly patient and they love seeing him. But he never got to hold them as babies. He never got to fall in love with them when they were tiny. None of us did. My husband and I could barely talk on the way home as it was such a powerful reminder that our girls missed out on so much. I can only hope that at some point, someone looked at my girls like he looked at her, that they got to feel that love when they were babies.
Last week I talked a bit about accepting things and I’ve been thinking about things that I have accepted or am starting to.
I have accepted that my children cannot mange unstructured time. I’ve got the first three days of term planned out to the half hour. It will be exhausting but hopefully less exhausting than pretending they can play by themselves.
I have accepted that as we walk to nursery, Big will not talk and Little will try and lick everything that we go past. This is just the way it is.
I have accepted that Little cannot wear a nappy at night anymore as it is hurting her and I’ll just cope with the extra washing.
I have accepted that there is slightly too much of me at the moment and I need to move more.
I have accepted that I will never get everyday ‘right’. But we will repair and move on. (That’s probably a bit of a fib, I still wish we could get everyday right. Or even just one day…)
I’m starting to accept that some people will never ‘get it’ and while this is really upsetting, it will be easier to smile and nod than try to explain things again and again.
I’m starting to accept that my family is my family. It doesn’t work how I thought it would but it’s my family.
I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to accept how little sleep we have in this house but I’m getting used to it.
I know I’m slightly too late for a ‘review of the year’ as it’s January 3rd but I just wanted to say to the people on Twitter who have helped me endlessly over the last year, thank you.
The best bits
We went swimming today. The girls were riding their noodles like horses and Little asked me to ‘get on my horse mummy’. I did and before I knew it, my husband got on Big’s ‘horse’ and we were having races up and down the pool. The girls were giggling, Big made eye contact and it was lovely.
Both girls rode their pedal bikes yesterday. Big went for miles and was looking really confident and Little got going on the downhill and was so pleased with herself. They both had a very proud parents running behind them.
*Having read this back, it’s a bit of a jumble of thoughts, sorry. I’ve obviously been thinking a lot this week. (It’s because I’ve been able to go on my bike.)