I wanted to post. I was technically doing nothing last week, but my hands and arms were totally incapacitated. Now that I’ve dug myself out from under the pile of sick children and have shaken some feeling back into my extremities, I now find myself…without anything to say. Such is the trouble when things are going well at home and interesting travels are on the horizon but not yet completed: it leaves you with a dearth of content. That’s okay. It can’t be All Miss Chippy, All The Time.
Last Sunday temperatures climbed into the high sixties, which was truly a joy to behold. The crocuses are almost gone, the daffodils are up, cherry blossoms on the way, and the newborn lambs have been sighted in the pastures around town (and, it must be said, they look like they will be exceptionally tasty in a few months). Maggie needed the fresh air desperately–we all did–so we hung out in the backyard all day tidying up winter’s leavings (Tom), watering the herb pots (Maggie), and being lazy in the sunshine in various states of undress (me and Moira).
She had an outstanding hour and a half soaking up vitamin D and chasing her taggie blanket around in a circle. Moira hasn’t quite gotten all the way on to her belly but can execute a fantastic 360 spin just by thrashing her legs. Her continual shrieks of joy indicated that being naked on a warm day was something she might like to do regularly. While you’re cute, kid. Do it while you’re cute.
It’s been over a year since I’ve seen my parents. From this distance it would be easy to give them a snow job about how things are going here; they’d have no way of knowing if the rosy picture I paint is the truth. Fortunately, all actually is well. If there is any unhappiness in my life, it’s the result of the suffering of other friends and family and not anything in my immediate sphere. My parents will be making their first trip to England to see us next week. Maggie has grown several inches in height and several leagues in pure Stubborn Toddler Attitude since they last saw her, so this ought to be fun. Moira tipped the scales at 15 and a half pounds at yesterday’s weigh-in; my poor father complains that they got cheated out of a newborn to visit.
Considering she was over ten pounds when she was born, I’d argue that so did I.
Regarding the weigh-in: rather than head to a clinic full of sick people for a well-baby visit every month, the NHS encourages us to get the baby weighed once a month at the town’s children center or at the library during the “community health visitor drop-in” day. We go to the children’s center, which is a government-run facility full of informational pamphlets that hosts several resources–La Leche League and breastfeeding info sessions, toddler groups, story time, tons of parent education books to check out, all free. It’s a warm, sunny, cheerful area full of quality wooden toys laid out in an attractive Montessori style. If you’re maybe not a person of means, it’s a clean, safe place to take your kid for free and maybe learn a thing or two about early childhood development. During the drop-in hours, you can talk to a health visitor about any developmental concerns you have, get their weight checked, and hang out in the company of other families. My inner socialist loves this: this is the sort of friendly, encouraging, educational space for parents and children that taxes ought to pay for, because what is more universal than a fussy baby driving you crazy at 4am? I suppose if you’re rich you can pay for a night nanny, but most of us know what it is to pace with a child in the darkest hours; it feels right and equitable to send us all to the same spot to have our questions answered and our children weighed like prized fair produce.
So what’s making you happy this Friday?