- Jack (6) went off to a fairytale camp with his class. They had to take their own luggage up the stairs and had a fairytale ball.
- I explained to Marie (2 1/2) last week that tantrums don't get her anywhere. I saw her thinking about this, and since then she has just stopped having them. I was amazed, and very very grateful. I was so grateful I promised her a birthday party with friends as well as one with the family. She earned it.
- And Charlie, at two and a half months - I swear earlier today he was playing with a cuddly bunny. He pushed it up to his face, loved the softness of it against his cheeks and tried to chew it. The cutest thing you ever saw. Really. Ever. He also laughs when you tickle him now and brings his hands up to his face when he's lost his dummy. Once every ten times or so he manages to get it back in.
As if it's not going fast enough, Babes threw me a shocker this week. We were picking out our new dryer and I was going to get a 6 kg one, but he wanted the 7 kg one. His argument: "We'll still have it in ten years' time, and then Jack will be 16, Marie 13 and Charlie 10. Just think of the size of those clothes." It's a shame he didn't think of the size of the heart attack that would give me. Ten years ago, we had been married for a year already. Ten years is nothing! My babies are growing so fast! It makes me want to grab them and look at their faces, just to preserve the moment - which is impossible, of course.
The speed at which time is racing by is scary, but it has caused me to stop and be in the moment more. I'm teaching Marie to play Uno (the card game), which is lots of fun except for the crying when she loses. We've all spent a lot of time sitting on the mat building Playmobil playgrounds for the dinosaurs to destroy. I also take a few minutes when I can just to tickle and stroke Charlie's face, which makes him giggle sometimes, and other times he just lies back and basks in it. After all, that's what I remember fondly from my childhood: being tickled, playing connect four and Uno with my family, and building Playmobil cities with my cousins. The housework can wait.
Actually, the housework won't have to wait too much longer because I have scandalously (for a "housewife") found a cleaner! Hooray! A young polish girl who cleans for a good friend of mine was looking for more work, and she's going to be cleaning our house as well. The extra child benefit we get for Charlie should cover the half day a week she will be spending here. This makes me rather deliriously happy.
Another thing that makes me happy is that we're planning quite a few trips away with friends, and all of them were my idea. I dared to ask them and they didn't run screaming for the hills. This is major progress for me. Just daring to ask them instead of secretly wishing it and then never doing anything about it. There were no embarrassing silences, no excuses, no avoiding the topic. I'm feeling rather proud of myself.
Tonight is the start of the Autumn holidays and I am very much looking forward to the week with my children. I'm sure there will be times when I will be needing a beer or a sleep. In fact, I am fully expecting to despair by Monday night, but I am determined to enjoy them while they are so small and adorable. I want to walk in parks, play games, get dirty - that kind of thing. And I won't worry about the house too much, because after the holidays someone else wants to clean it!
Who is the luckiest woman in the world? That would be me.