Charlie is sitting watching The Jungle Book. He’s drinking milk that I warmed and frothed for him from his Miffy cup. A half-eaten chocolate bar from his Halloween stash sits beside him. Miko is asleep in the other room.
They jumped in muddy puddles this morning. They went on a swing. They ran around in circles. They dug in the sand. They sat on a bench and ate puréed fruit and croissants. We took them to a kindercafé and they ate homemade gnocchi and tomato sauce. They pushed their cars across the floor. I sat and had a coffee with him on the couch – properly with him, not looking at my phone.
The daylight is dim, Autumn is brewing outside and the lights are on.
Of course they cried and argued too. I was irritated at times. We had nappies to change. Miko fell over many times. Balls were kicked onto the road. Toy cars were thrown. Sometimes at each other. There was much noise. Sand was thrown onto baby hair.
But moments like this right now, of peace. Where everyone is still, and there’s kids’ music coming from the TV, from an old cartoon drawn by hand, and I’m not covered in sick or wee. And they’ve eaten. And are either happy or sleeping. Moments like these make me feel like, not just someone who picks up stuff, but like a mother. A good mother.
I know it’s an illusion, but I’ll indulge in it for a while.
Now I’m going back to Charlie on the couch…