The child is an acrobat. She is quiet and fierce, and by the time that she allows my sons to push her on the swing, they are completely in her thrall. We watch them play, her mother and I; they are absorbed in their climbing and sliding, their chalk and their ice cream and we…? We are absorbed in them. Without looking at her, I know that she is looking at my children too; she is searching their faces for her daughter. Standing beside her mother, it occurs to me that I have no word for the woman who mothers my children’s half-sister. I tell them to call her ‘Auntie’ and she does feel a bit like a sister, especially when she pulls from her bag everything that I have forgotten.  She teaches my children how to paint rainbows on their skin and I buy us all ice cream and… View Post

[Images are by Maxine Small and whilst I didn’t pay for these photos, I absolutely plan to commission her again based on her considerable talent.  Would highly recommend!] Vita Marina Calliope Wilde is six months old! Already the baby that she was, dark-eyed and with hair like a moorhen chick, has faded into something between dream and memory; already when I think back to those days it’s with a sense of disbelief that it ever really happened, that there was ever a time where Baby V was new, because surely we never knew a time when there was no Baby V and yet we felt complete. I think back on those somnolent days, where day and night were blended into one, and it feels implausible and magical and oh so special – for me, Vita’s early days where spent curled around my baby, broken and bleeding and stunned, filled with love and gratitude… View Post

[This post shares advertorial content for the promotion of a charity. I have waived my entire fee in order to support this cause and I have donated as well.] One in four women lose a baby during pregnancy or childbirth. I am not a part of that one in four and cannot speculate as to their devastation. Not have I delivered a premature child, although approximately sixty thousand babies are born prematurely every year in the UK. But few women pass through pregnancy untouched by that cold hand of fear, the creeping could-it-be-me unease, the horror when no, it’s not you – but it is a friend, somebody you know. Baby charity Tommy’s is aiming to raise £1 million pounds to fund a National Research Centre for Improving Maternity Care, and is hosting a Splashathon in collaboration with Water Babies. The theme this year is Peppa Pig Pirates and Princesses,… View Post

When I was a little girl I longed to be a pebble, worn round and river-smooth. Nestled in my palm it grew warm with my blood, until it felt like a living thing. And I wished that I could be like that: solid and impenetrable to knocks. Somebody on instagram told me to write about how I’m feeling. She said that it would be cathartic, to exsanguinate myself into words on a page. And then I would be able to write about my life again.  About myself.  So this is just an update really – on everything. The more I fall in love with my children, the more of me is chipped away. This morning I leant down to kiss my daughter goodbye just as she jumped up to wrap her arms around my neck and cling tight; of all of my children, she hates my absence the most fiercely.… View Post

[We were offered tickets to attend Diggerland in exchange for a review, but we were not financially compensated for providing this publicity.] As with most four-year-old children, my sons adore anything with an engine.  In fact, probably one of my most devastating moments in parenthood was their fourth birthday when they were finally, finally old enough to come horse riding, and after the lesson Balthazar slid off of his pony (approximately 10hh of sheer adorableness) and, pointing at the tractor, remarked rather wistfully that he wished that they had been allowed to ride that instead. So when we were invited to Diggerland last month, I knew that they would be in their element.  We were offered four tickets and I considered paying for an additional ticket in order to bring my daughters (also big fans of anything construction-related) along as well, but a quick browse of the Diggerland website suggested… View Post