I collect my boys from nursery. After 4 hours I have missed them terribly. I covet their hugs and I am not left wanting. So warm, consuming, deep.
They are now at that age, 2 and 3 where, start them off on an activity and they’ll happily let their imaginations run riot, leaving me to peacefully do the same. For a while at least they are completely mesmerised, so totally engrossed in their tasks that the looks on their faces show rapture. Their mouths making engine noises or little commentaries revealing whatever fantasy scenario or conversation is going on in their heads.
The problem is that their attention spans are still that of gnats so just as soon as I’ve settled down to do some work they want to do something else so we start again with another activity: so far today we’ve done painting, sticking, Play Dough, pretend trains and making dream-catchers at the local playgroup, not to mention paddling in the sand pit cum paddling pool. I think I may have exhausted our list of activities for the whole summer in just one day. By late afternoon I am exhausted, fraught and anxious to get the dinner on the table lest they cry and scream at me in hunger.
I try to physically keep Sam on his naughty step with my leg while writing. The mere threat of the naughty step is normally enough – he does severely push those boundaries though. Right now he is screaming blue murder at the injustice of being put on the dreaded step because he hit his little brother on the head. I admit it could have been worse; he could, had the mood taken him, as it has in the past, used a sharp or hard implement. In a bid to avoid such things a naughty step for minor misdemeanours is necessary I think. God I am dreading the age when they really get going on each other, hammer and nail – literally probably.
I’m trying to instil a sense of fairness in them, what I would like is for them to avoid hitting each other not because they don’t want to get caught doing it which means that as soon as my back is turned… but because they don’t want to hurt each other. Perhaps I’m living in fantasy land!
My boys – so affectionate, so full of love – their chubby fingers proffer teddies, make believe cups of tea and wooden ice creams. Max giggles as he clutches teddy of the day, then tucks it up under a tea towel cum cosy teddy blanket. His high pitched voice wishing the teddy good night, sleep tight. Sam offers yet another pretend ice cream – which one Mummy, Chocolate or ‘nilla?
When he is bored, or bizarrely in need of a poo Sam reaches up to me “Mummy I need a cuddle”. Mindless of my activity, he feels the need for a cuddle and expects it immediately.
They drive cars up walls, over large and small obstacles and if I sit still for long enough, over me. My head, my chest – a means of getting my attention I believe – it works too.
Their cuddles are tight, warm. They fight and wrestle me too – boys affection. I giggle at them jumping on me. This encourages them and they giggle at me as they aim a foot at my head.
Moments of silence, concentration are punctuated by momentary screams of frustration from Max or shouts of frustration from Sam then all is silent again as they continue their activity – the previous annoyances forgotten in a flash. They play alongside each other but hardly aware of the others’ existence in the room, so engrossed are they in the car chase, with accompanied engine noises, that all extraneous presences are not acknowledged.
Max, so cuddly, so loving, so undeniably, inexplicably, insensibly cute. I feel compelled to kiss him repeatedly. Like some spurned love, I just cannot get enough of his smell, his cuteness. I gaze at him in an attempt to imprint his image on my brain forever.
His newly formed words come out so sweetly. This new person, barely 2 years old is an undeniably loveable creature. It is indescribable and ultimately so unsatisfying, a mother’s love for her children.
They are the most adorable little people – particularly when we are heading them upstairs for their evening bath, their muddy clothes discarded, giggling with each other as their little naked bums run around and jump on the beds. Later when lying in their beds, clean and delicious, cuddling their teddies, eyes drooping as they listen to the story they look just like angels and my heart leaps with love.