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  • Third Trimester with Baby Winter

    Some mornings, I wake up smothered in children as though I have transformed into one of a litter of kittens: Zaza, who becomes liquid to fit into the exact shape of my body, Sasha, like cuddling a wooden post, Emmy who demands ‘duddle, duddle’ until I pull her inside the duvet against my chest and insistent little Polly, who takes my hand and tells me, crossly, “Need clothes”. It feels so right, so perfect, that I don’t know how I was ever me before I had them, how I ever slept in until ten o’ clock and then, self-indulgent and somnolent, cooked breakfast as though still in a dream. August passes in a gloom of grey skies and drizzle; we feel as though we are waiting for the warmth to return, for the gold of summer to bless our skin again, but we find ourselves passing the bank holiday weekend…

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    An Ordinary Family – BiBs 2018

    The alarm penetrates my dreams; through the fog I feel her roll out of bed and to the bathroom and I lay quietly for a while, listening to the sounds of running water, the hairbrush clattering against the sink.  I am awake, but barely, when the children pile into our room: the boys, chattering like magpies about breakfast and nursery, Olympia, taking my hand and urging me upright – “need clothes!  Need breakfast!  Quick!  Run!” – and little Emmy climbing aboard the mattress to collapse against my shoulder.  Her kisses feel like pecks from a small bird. Downstairs, we serve Weetabix in coloured Ikea bowls; they all have a favourite colour and we are neurotic about getting it right.  Periodically throughout the meal, Olympia declares herself ‘the minner’, which incences the boys; they pause in their race to protest that no she isn’t, she hasn’t finished, until the heated voices…

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    The Siblings of my Children

    I remember choosing donor sperm as though it were yesterday. As with so many occasions in my life, I spent so long agonising over the many choices that before I knew it the deadline was upon me, and selecting the donor in question was a matter of a hasty scroll through an online catalogue during a work lunch break, a brief conversation with my partner to confirm that she was happy enough with my choice (“This one looks good – he likes dogs..?”) and then a purchase, filling in my credit card details as though it were a dress or a pair of shoes that I expected to be delivered to the clinic and not the other half of my children’s genetic background. And I remember when the boys were small, scrutising their tiny features for resemblance with the man whose genetics they shared, as though their bodies were territory…

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    Visiting ZSL London Zoo [AD]

    Last weekend we were invited to visit ZSL London Zoo. This caused much excitement in the Wilde household, as although the boys have been before it was when they were quite small and they didn’t remember the experience at all. In the days leading up to our visit, we read Dear Zoo ad nauseum and the boys requested the Peppa Pig episode where Peppa also visits the zoo – much to the delight of our little girls, who adore Peppa and don’t often get to choose what DVD is played! Every morning they asked if it was Saturday, until at last Saturday rolled around and it was time to dress in our animal-themed clothing and catch the train into Central London. London Zoo is situated in Regents Park, and as we had the double buggy with us we decided to take a taxi from Charing Cross. The boys adore a…

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    Last Night at Camber

    You find a sandcastle on the beach, studded with shells. It is a kingdom, an empire, abandoned by older children and all four of you are entranced. For the longest while you play with it, tracing the sand walls with your fingers, adding shells of your own to the turrets. It has a moat, and for a little while I contemplate fetching buckets full of water to fill it for you, wishing fervently all the while that I had brought paper to make boats. It is almost the end of our holiday and in spite of copious amounts of sunscreen that makes you smell of coconut, you sport golden tans, your hair is sun-bleached and crinkly with salt. You look like dream children, like you have been cut carefully from a catalogue, and I am full of disbelief again that you are mine. If we were at home it would…

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