You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
She sings to them, one in each arm, rocking, bouncing, cradling, soothing, and their howls become cries become whimpers, snuffles, and slowly, slowly, they are asleep, chests rising and falling and faces peaceful at last. She lays them down and we look at them, she with fondness and I with bewilderment: how can people so small tangle us into such knots? It is dark outside and the window is turned away from the moon; our energy-efficient bulbs are dim and shadows flicker and jut, jagged, across the walls. And they are our sunshine, and we are watching them sleep.
It is summer, and their sisters are here. And we are incredulous that it has been so easy, two boys and two girls, four in two years, and the toddlers are rocking the moses basket as the babies sleep. We sit holding hands, watching our family, our family, and it occurs to me that I am the happiest that I have ever been.
On the cusp of a year. Almost three. The boys are overtired wrecks and Olympia is teething, and an adventure will do them good, will distract them from the small niggles that turn them inside-out and leave them writhing like small demons on the floor. They don’t care where we’re going, only that we are going together, and that they are going to ring the bell on the bus and outside, the sun is shining.
The grass is taller than my toddlers in some places, and studded with flowers. We love living in this part of London because I can get to the office in less than an hour, but we have so much green space on our doorstep – not just cultivated parkland but the commons and woods and a nature reserve where the dog darts after wild rabbits but never quite catches them, and we laugh as we remind her that she wouldn’t know what to do with a rabbit anyway. We set out a picnic and make an afternoon of it, baby Embla sitting beside us as the boys and Olympia launch themselves down the slope and chase across the grass. These are the sounds of their babyhood, of my motherhood: the rush of cars off in the distance, the breeze through the grass, and laughter.
Everything is beautiful. I wish that I had my video camera with me, because I would like to capture this, to remember this afternoon in detail always. We take pictures instead. They stand still for a smartie – click – and then they are gone, and I follow subtly to document but not to interfere.
Clashy socks. Balthazar loses a shoe…
… and Olympia snatches it up, and runs. She loves shoes and desperately, desperately covets a pair of her own. She has been walking for months now and we must fit her for shoes, but shoes make her a little girl, and this one – this one is my baby.
Little Green Radicals offered to dress my babies for a day, as a continuation of a collaborative series that I’ve hosted on Meet the Wildes since the boys were small. Long-term followers of my blog might remember that Little Green Radicals dressed the boys for their first festival when they were smaller than the girls are now, for a Christmas card photo in the woods with Josephine-dog and gingerbread men, a bluebell photoshoot (I will treasure these photos, especially, forever), and they sent tiny sleepsuits for the girls when they were almost new and practically hairless. Fairtrade and organic – and with the nicest team behind the scenes – Little Green Radicals are a brand that I can get behind morally.
Aesthetically, Little Green Radicals ticks many of my boxes. Often I find that the boys’ clothing offerings on the high street are not to my taste, particularly now that my sons are outside of the 0-24 months age range and are wearing clothes from the children’s, rather than babies’, range. I’m fond of their whimsical designs and colour palette; the pastels on the boys are quite gorgeous, and I find that they often offer beautiful bright clothing for boys and girls as well. Their cotton clothing is incredibly soft to touch, with no scratchy labels or uncomfortable seams that a little one might find irritating. It looks expensive and most of their clothing is fractionally more costly than one might find on the high street, so I try to shop ahead and stock up during the sale – which, somewhat conveniently, is on right now.
My friend Kaye over at Hello Archie has been reviewing the Little Green Radicals range too with her sons, so pop over and take a look at what her boys are wearing and how she found Little Green Radicals as a brand.
Do you like what they’re wearing? Thank you to Little Green Radicals for sending these outfits in exchange for a mention on the blog.