We had Lady M’s neice and nephew to stay over this weekend – just in time for all the rain. It’s the first time that this has happened despite talking about it for ages. The kiddos live with their other aunt, because Reasons, and we all live busy lives so the stars haven’t aligned until now.
They’re wonderful kids – eight and nine, and face the world together even while asserting themselves with each other in a beautifully complex dynamic that sometimes feels like a dance, and sometimes like a shoving match.
We took them to Legoland, and out to see the deer in Bushy Park, and played a variety of games round the table – and while there was no homework or daily life complications to deal with, it was still full of the non-stop details of living with small people:
Has everyone eaten? Have we cut off the sugar intake in time? Is everyone having enough to drink? Does the toilet need a surreptitious flush and clean? Provision of non-disclosure clothing to change into after a day in the rain; and no one drowning in the bath? Check! Oh, and the need for night-lights and a proper bedtime routine too – I remember all this from when the Charleesi was young.
Suddenly realising that all the fairy tales in your house are translations of the original Grimm and Andersen versions means a sudden casting around for anything suitable as a substitute, and was an interesting moment.
One young person seems wired for waking with the dawn, the other not so much. Even with all the walking we’ve done, I don’t remember physically aching like this for ages.
Lady M was shattered by the end of it: “I kept worrying about them, all the time!” I had to break it to her that this is normal – and that even now the Charleesi is an adult and about to fly off to university, I still do that every day. Furthermore, both my parents have confided that they still do about me and my siblings too – welcome to parenting Lady M (even if it is just for the weekend)