Yesterday was a special day. It should have been a day of celebration for Jennie and her family as their baby girl Matilda Mae toddled around the farm on a holiday specially planned for her first birthday. But, as many of you know, baby Tilda died three months ago from SIDS. Since then both her parents have been amazingly strong, supporting each other, grieving but also celebrating the life of their baby girl and raising awareness of the Lullaby Trust. They have also been carrying on as much as possible with their everyday activities, outings and treats, and wonderful messy play at home for their toddler twins. Like many others, I have been impressed by the way they have put the twins’ needs first, whilst at the same time doing everything they can to honour the memory of Matilda Mae and trying to find the space they need to grieve.
And so they made the decision to continue with the holiday they had planned, and to make the 2nd May a celebration, a positive day in as much as it could be and a happy day for the twins. And then in the evening, when the twins were in bed, they said their own goodbyes to Tilda. You can read their story here.
Like many other bloggers and tweeters, I was thinking of Jennie all day yesterday in everything we did. We wore pink and purple and stars for Matilda Mae, as Jennie had asked people to do on the day of her funeral. In the morning we made jelly, ready for our messy play in the afternoon. I had been planning to do a Trifle Smash for a while, having been inspired by Susanne, and it felt like the right thing to do it Tilda’s birthday. I took Tiddler for his swimming lesson (he wore his star swimming shorts) and then came home for lunch. Next we went out for an ice cream, and then we came back to blow bubbles in the garden for baby Tilda. The children were worried they weren’t going high enough in the sky, until Owl decided that when bubbles pop they reappear in heaven.
Later in the afternoon, I set up both Tuff Spots outside, cleaned them thoroughly with help from Rabbit and Tiddler, and got everything we needed for our trifle smash: the jellies we made earlier, custard, trifle sponges, butterscotch angel delight, bananas, sprinkles, snowflakes (leftover from Christmas but I decided they looked quite like stars!) and lots of bowls, plates, cake cases, spoons and assorted utensils. All the children joined in enthusiastically and played, ate and made a wonderful mess. They decided trifle sponges were too hard so we soaked them in fruit juice, which made them too mushy so they didn’t eat many of them, but everything else was very popular. They played for a long time, and I suddenly noticed that it should have been supper time but of course they were too full to eat anything else. Later, while Owl was at Cubs, I gave the little ones toast and peanut butter, cheese and milk, but when Owl came back I forgot to give him any. I remembered at midnight that he hadn’t had any supper. Spectacular mummy fail! However, he didn’t seem too bothered when I pointed out to him this morning that he hadn’t had supper last night. I have always said that of all my children Owl would be the one who would forget to eat because he is too busy playing. I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten to feed him before though. Rabbit has asked to play with Angel Delight again this afternoon, but this time I think I will give them their supper first!
Jennie, we will always remember Matilda Mae xx