At the end of every month, we take a family photo. We have been doing this since the very first month of the boys’ lives and they used to make it on to this blog without fail, every month, but these days they mostly live on insta. I do want to return to documenting our family memories though and June seems like a good time to jump back in, being halfway through the year and all. May the latter half of this year be better, at least in terms of actually getting the images up on the blog.
This is the boys’ third summer and the girls’ second. I always say that autumn is my season, because I am enthusiastic about any opportunity to haul out my forest green velvet jacket, but when it comes down to pure comfort there is nothing quite like being able to lounge about in a state of semi-undress in the garden without worrying about losing one’s nipples*. This month we have spent a fair amount of time in the various paddling pools in the garden (Kirsty seems to collect them), picnicking in the woods beside our house and stuffing our faces with ice cream. The boys have spent so much time barefoot, which is exactly how I remember my own childhood summers and it makes me so happy to see.
They are such people now. The boys are so eloquent in expressing their likes and dislikes, their hopes and their fears, and my little Sasha in particular has the most vivid imagination. He tells us, squeakily, that he is Sasha Rabbit and hops about the living room. Zaza reminds me of a cat; one minute he is all energy and claws, and the next he is curled upon you, molded to the shape of your body. As for the girls, Olympia has been walking for a few months now and considers herself a peer to her brothers. She has a favourite soft toy – Strawberry Bear – that she carries about with her, and a pull-along tortoise that she rescues from the toybox whenever it is put away and treats much like a pet. Embla is still our baby – Kirsty’s baby, mostly – and fits comfortably into her six-to-nine-months clothing, loves a lap and to play with her mama’s teething necklace, and is cultivating a variety of funny little games such as ‘reverse peekaboo’ (she puts her hands over Kirsty’s eyes) and a soft of copycat game that involves putting her hands on her head.
This month I took the boys on a disastrous trip to In the Night Garden Live where they dropped their ice creams, a bee flew up my skirt and stung me, AND I lost the boys at the concert themselves. But, we have also been to garden centres for cake and chocolate milk, to feed the ducks and observe the fish at the local fonds (Sasha is obsessed) and of course we’ve rampaged through the woods like wild things with our little dog bounding by their sides.
We are happy. So happy. The early sunrises mean that the girls are up sooner than we might necessarily enjoy these days (four a.m. – ye gods!) but the upside of that is that I see each of them every day, even Monday-Friday. By the end of the week I feel almost incoherent on the sleep deprivation but it’s worth it to sip coffee and snuggle under the duvet with these four, even as I mutter expletives about them under my breath. And next month we are off to Butlins – and I can’t wait!
How is your summer shaping up?
*I jest. None of mine are breastfeeding these days, but they are nonetheless OBSESSED with my nipples. They are never safe.