Tag Archives: remembering

Doing nothing much

Today has been quite a hard day.  Tiddler is not well, I think he has slapped cheek, and he has been needing lots of cuddles.  This morning I had to take him and Rabbit to Granny’s house and then take the big boys to their piano lessons.  We usually have a bit of table time first, but today I got the feeling that I would have to start getting ready straight after breakfast, allowing two hours to get everyone dressed and out.  I was right!  The combination of daydreaming and distraction from the big three and a very long tantrum from Tiddler – I don’t want a jumper and socks, I don’t want to go out – meant that it really did take all morning to leave the house.  We walked to Granny’s house, which felt like a long way in the snow/sleet with Tiddler on my back, and then left the little two there and went on to the piano lesson.  Afterwards, we went back to Granny’s house for lunch and the children watched Peppa Pig.  Tiddler then reenacted his earlier tantrum for Granny to see – I don’t want to go, I want to stay here – for about half an hour, but eventually we got on our way.  At home, we had hot chocolate and a snack, and then the children watched CBeebies and played while I recovered a bit.  Some unauthorised painting occurred, resulting in rather a lot of mess, but it was quite peaceful.

Messy painting 1 Messy painting 2 Messy painting 3 Messy painting 4

Tiddler then spent another half hour, at least, trying to evade a nappy change, and when I finally succeeded I decided it might as well be bath time.  So I bathed the little two separately, trying not to rush and gave each one my attention.  We sang lots of songs, Tiddler played with bath toys, and Rabbit with a star-shaped bath melt which turned the water pink.  Daddy came home in time to help the big boys with their baths, and then we all had supper together.

I have been thinking through the day, and wondering if it was more or less productive than days in which I try to direct the children’s activities more.  I’m not really sure, but looking back I can see that a lot of thinking and learning went on without me having very much to do with it.  Owl read the Usborne version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I read some stories to Monkey, and later to Rabbit.  On the walk from piano lessons to Granny’s house, Owl said “What shall we chat about?  I know, lets do some mental Maths.”  He then asked me “What is £300.99 plus £120.99?” and then worked it out really quickly, and told me why it was easy to add on 99 to a number.  In the afternoon the children watched Nina and the Neurons, and Owl explained to me afterwards how robots work.  The two little ones did some lovely, if messy, painting, and we did lots of singing and talking together at bathtime.  Rabbit and I talked about baby Matilda Mae, and she asked about heaven and how you get there.  She said “I’m sad that she died because I wanted to play with her.”  We talked about how it’s okay to feel sad, and sometimes it helps to talk about it, and you can pray about it if you want to.  So we prayed for Matilda Mae’s family.

I’ve been reading Jennie’s tweets, as well as her blog, and what has really struck me is her grace and unselfishness, even at this time.

“If you have just half a thought of doing something with your little one, do it today!  All week I wanted to get in Matilda’s bath with her”

“Please pls hold your children and kiss them all you can. Tell them you love them many times a day. You will never get a single second back”

“Sing your baby a lullaby tonight. I can’t ever do that for M”

Even as she has been going through this devastating loss and pain, her thoughts have been with others as much as herself.  I know I am not the only one who has been moved, challenged and inspired by her words.  On Saturday morning, Rabbit asked if she could have a bath with me.  After a split second of thinking I would rather have a nice hot bath all to myself, I said yes, and it was lovely.  Every day since I read those tweets, I have done things differently.  Maybe only small things, but it adds up.  I have been more present, listened more, cuddled more, minded less about the mess.  It shouldn’t take something like this, but I am grateful to Jennie, more than I can say.

Bath melt handprint Bath melt star

So today, we did nothing much and it turned out to be quite lot, and certainly enough.  I think we might do nothing much again tomorrow.

This post is dedicated to Matilda Mae, to her selfless, loving mother, Jennie, and to all their family .

Past, Present, Future – from Jennie’s blog

Jennie Edspire – Jennie’s twitter account

Bliss – The Matilda Mae Precious Star Fund

Days like this

We all get them from time to time.  Days when nothing seems to go right.  It’s been like that today, though it did get a bit better towards the end.  I’ll spare you the details.  Just the usual kind of things that go wrong when you have very little sleep and a lot of children, and it all seems too much.  I don’t know what it is about today, but I have lost count of the number of facebook posts I have read from people who have had a bad day.  I could have posted something similar, and in a certain mood I would have done.  But two things have put my day in perspective today.

This afternoon I was on the way to the park to meet a friend and her children, and all my children were on their scooters.  Maybe it was a bit ambitious, though I did have the buggy with me as well.  They were all being sensible and Tiddler was listening, doing what he was told and stopping when I asked him.  Then suddenly he lost control of his scooter.  He sped up at just the wrong moment as we were heading towards a road we had to cross, and the pavement sloped down sharply towards the corner.  As the other three were slowing down to stop, Tiddler sailed past and was clearly going to land in the road.  Although I had been right next to him, he was suddenly out of reach and there was nothing I could do to stop him.  I couldn’t see round the corner so I had no idea if there were any cars coming.  Thankfully there weren’t, but he fell off his scooter right in the middle of the road and it was maybe two or three seconds before I got to him.  It felt like a long time.  I was quite shaken up when I got to the park.  Almost as soon as we arrived, it started to rain, and we all came back to our house.  The day got better from that point because the children played together really well and I enjoyed my friend’s company.  But also because I knew it could have been a day that changed my life forever.  And because it wasn’t, the little things that had gone wrong didn’t seem so bad after all.

The second thing that has put my day in perspective is that today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day today.  All over the world, in every time zone, candles were lit at 7pm, in remembrance of babies who have died, and families who have been affected.  This is our candle.  It is not our story, but it is the story of many friends of mine.  Too many.  I am remembering.  I know how lucky I am.  I am thankful for what I have.