Letters to a Sister : 32

I’ve been reading through my old diaries. Found this entry from 1997. It’s during the time I looked after my nephew (aged 18 months) while his Mum worked, so everyone thought I had twins in the double buggy.

“A Day in November
Husband’s cousin is coming for the weekend. Hope he enjoys it. It’s always worrying having people to stay who don’t have children. They don’t really understand why we have shoes in the bathroom and towels in the hall.

J was awful Tues night and kept crying – every twenty minutes (ears or teeth or both.) I took him downstairs at 11:30, then husband took over at 3am. We were really tired the next day. Husband phoned from work to say he’d gone with no cuff-links or watch, not combed his hair and his flies had been down all morning.

Last week, J bit nephew’s finger (they were arguing over a toy.) Usually they play really well together, though they take off each other’s slippers a hundred times a day. They also both love watching Teletubies (I love them watching Teletubbies – it gives me 20 minutes peace.) I have had to unplug the television because they keep going in the lounge and turning it on to watch – they don’t believe me that it isn’t always on!

Today was ‘Dilip Day’ at R’s school – a fete thing full of smelly second-hand toys. M bought a plastic crocodile which he’s named ‘Tina’ (no idea why.) I’ve already confiscated it twice, once because it was being used as a bashing stick and once because it ‘ate’ all R’s felt-pen lids.

I gave everyone straws at tea-time. Bad idea, they all blew milk over each other.

J is being very naughty at the moment. Yesterday he splashed toilet water all over the bathroom, then took my best china plates out of the dishwasher and threw them on the floor (only one broke).
He also opened the fridge and left a trail of orange juice across the kitchen to where he poured it into two plastic saucepans. He can now climb/fall out of his cot, so I have put a big mattress on the floor.

Went to the shops – always a struggle with the double buggy. It’s too wide for the aisles so I have to block the whole shop while I quickly grab what I need, pay and leave. Today the boys were swinging their legs and J realised he could kick off his red wellie. It sailed straight up and hit someone on the head, which sent him and nephew into peals of giggles. Embarrassing. I did apologize but it’s hard to sound sorry with two toddlers in fits of giggles behind you.

We went for a cycle ride after tea, with J strapped onto the seat on my bike. R went very slowly and carefully and screamed when she banged her shins. M went very fast, couldn’t work the brake, ran into me 50 times, fell off twice and thought it was wonderful. They are very different……

A Day in December
All the Christmas activities have started. R was an inn-keeper’s wife and M was a king in their respective Nativity plays.

R’s ballet show was hard work – lots of rehearsals at inconvenient times. I did try staying to watch one rehearsal but the boys moved two thousand times in the half hour, culminating with J’s chair folding up with him stuck inside it. Not sure we were suitably still and quiet enough to watch again.

R now busy reenacting the Nativity. She’s having a hard time. J wont wear his crown and M is objecting to wearing a pink dressing gown.

It snowed yesterday. M told J, ‘God opened his arms in the night and made snow as a surprise for us.’ They loved it. Every single pair of trousers is now soaked.

My birthday was nice. Husband let me have a lie in, then they all gave me gifts. A mug from M, a plate (to replace the one he smashed) from J and chocolates from R.
Husband invited the family round for tea. He bought a black spider cake, which was hideous.”

Reading the memories made me smile. It seems so weird that there was a day that was the last time I ever picked them up and I didn’t even realise. They are grown up now, but I still love them to bits. Am so glad they grew out of the biting phase.
Take care,
Anne xx

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