The Easter holidays are nearly over. Three weeks of double trouble; Pip and EB each day, every day. I wondered how I’d cope after finding just one week at half term difficult. But this time, as the holidays approached, I didn’t worry about it. Passing the 3 month stage with EB helped, things got easier; small things, such as him being able to sit up in his pram and look at the world around him, made a difference.
The weather hasn’t always been my friend; rain, sleet and bracing winds have tried their best some days to thwart our plans. But true to my resolve, we’ve carried our weather with us, and haven’t been governed by the dismal forecasts. Pip, frenetic ball of energy that he is, has been exercised daily in windy, London parks even if he has been racing around them tumbleweed like, on his own.
On inclement days, we’ve baked, baked and baked some more. Our best creation our Easter Nest Cake. When the heavens have opened, Octonauts have presided in a sea of surfy suds the kitchen sink, (thank you Easter Bunny for your inspired gift of Shellington and his Gup A). In the living room, dens have been made out of everything available from sofa cushions, blankets, jigsaw boxes and EB’s bouncy chair. It’s been hard work trying to recreate each new version to be as good as the last, but even though I say so myself, I’ve become quite adept at creating something magical from a few bean bags and a travel cot mattress.
During longer breaks in the clouds, we’ve left London and inhaled smog free open air. Being as active as possible seems to help dampen some of the rising testosterone in my nearly 4 year old. A trip to an estuary beach on a lack lustre day, it’s wartime pillboxes now in ruins from coastal erosion; a bleak prospect for me, but an adventurer's dream for Pip. A walk in the woods, near Grandma’s house; an opportunity to make real life dens, or lay claim to those already made by others. A bribe to my brother to bring his newly acquired vintage wartime vehicle to visit us, so Pip could sit up high and pretend play.
An unforeseen consequence of this is I’ve had little or no time to myself. It's been impossible to catch more than 5 minutes to do anything. In the end, I decided it was futile to fight it. Better to throw myself wholeheartedly into the holiday spirit rather than try to squeeze in a blog post or format a recent photo project and feel frustrated because I couldn’t complete it. Better to say; for these three weeks, I’ll put my own stuff to one side. I wouldn’t want life to be that way all the time; I need my own space, my own ways to relax, but forcing them into a schedule where there isn’t room for them doesn’t work. It makes me feel stressed and afterwards; selfish. Accepting self-sacrifice is the better short term option is one of the aspects of mothering I have always found difficult to deal with. But, I now recognise that on occasion, doing this is for the greater good, we’re all happier for it - including me.
Days have become weeks and suddenly we’re almost there; at the end. Only a couple of days remaining before pre-school starts again. The past three weeks have been good for Pip and I. We’ve spent a lot of time together and as a result, we’re more connected. Daddy is still his adored hero, but I feel that Mummy has reclaimed her place as his princess again. My sweet boy has grown up so much in the four and a half months since he became a big brother. He hasn’t always found it easy - and neither have I. But, I can sense the change; we’ve turned the corner, we’re almost there. Hugs at bedtime are once again freely given and the words ‘ I love you Mummy’ are offered up from the small sleepy head on a bedtime pillow. Our relationship is almost as it was pre-EB (albeit with the added addition of little brother in tow.). We’ve found our equilibrium again and it feels good.
I know I will feel a pang of sorrow as I wave him off on Thursday morning. I will miss him, miss his chatter, his observations on the world around him and our rediscovered closeness. But truth be told, I’m also looking forward to a sneaky cappuccino in my favourite coffee shop, the chance to sit quietly and take the time to unravel the unwritten blog posts and the half finished 'To Do' lists of the last three weeks and watch the world go by. Better still, I’m pretty sure there will be sunshine. About time too.