The Measure Of Our Days

Most of our days spiral around our littlest one: she is a source of endless entertainment and joy.

Becoming increasingly stroppy in her advancing age, she is no longer to be content when merely up in arms, but wants to be outside to stare at dogs, chickens, cats; or inside, on the floor in the middle of a game with the other children. My arms are boring. And heaven forbid I would ever put her in a chair for longer than a few minutes. Bor-ing, mama!

22 sep 1Β She feels she and I are one. When I drink my tea, she wants to drink it too. Every mouthful I take is met with a reproachful stare; every meal is manhandled and shoved *daintily* (not) into her mouth.

Oh, she is gorgeous.

She roars, roars, and shouts when there are no other siblings in the room, then shrieks and jumps in my arms when we “find” them. She started rolling about a month ago and her favourite game is to lie on the bed with at least one other smallie (or not so smallie) and roll around, grabbing their hair and planting big snotty, drool-y kisses on their face.

22 sep 3After she outgrew her little cot a couple of months ago, I started to lie her on my bed for her sleeps during the day. Our baby monitor didn’t work, so in order to keep an eye, as I kept forgetting to order one and then a delay in getting an ordered one; the older boys took to lying in beside her reading, while she slept. Oh, the arguments over who would be the one to lie there, planting little kisses and being the one she woke smiling to! I also know for a fact, despite protestations that many a “tiny kiss” was what woke her…

We have had a few very early morning starts in the past week; once she wakes, she is up, calling the others, so either Fergal or I have made a few speedy exits to the kitchen, where we sit in that funny autumnal lilac-y gloam, listening to the birds and cows until she decides to settle down to sleep again. Or not: she did a marathon session one morning, so I eventually made bread while she sat laughing and shouting at me from her high chair. Needless to say, I’m praying she returns to her happy-to-sleep-late-mode fairly soon; it serves me right for having this “Great Idea” that I would get up a few hours earlier every morning to get my work done. I’m not quite sure when I imagined I’d sleep though.

These days, I’m working on an Art Doll, which is thrilling me beyond belief. The best part, is I set out with all the preconceived notions of how I would do it and what she would look like; and as I make her, -and re-make hands, heads, and soon legs (I’m not mad about the shape of her feet, and the ones I made are a bit grubby, thanks to having to wrestle them off James several times, who uses them as “yourds”)- she is developing her own personality and character. I started thinking “angelic” but I think she is leaning more towards “biker chic”. Very exciting.

22 sep 2And as the Autumn curls in, we are leaning back into our rhythm: it’s colder and misty damp until midday now, so the epic trampoline and sand games are on hold until then. The sun is so much lower now: when we work at the table in the morning, there is much moving to find the spot to work where you aren’t blinded or burnt!

This is our littlest’s first Autumn; it’s delicious to watch her fascination of it all: her purple stained face after sucking a blackberry, her frantic grabbing at vivid red leaves. And we enjoy the slow march into the winter, the decreasing light and colder days; the gift of being present, the joy of being part of something much bigger, the spectator and player, in this, the measure of our days.