Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dear Max and Oli,

Time, I think, for an update on what you two boys are doing. Oli, you have just turned 5 months - and are now pretty regularly sleeping through from 1o at night to 6 or 7 in the morning - obviously there's the odd exception, like last night, when you wailed on and off from 4am until I finally relented and put you in our bed. Immediately you flung out your arms and began purring like a contented cat. Ahh, Oli with your smiles. You rolled over a while ago but don't seem very interested in doing that again. I think you've worked out that you get a better view of things on your back - and hence have more warning of your brother's approach. Max is just filled with love for you; 'Hello Oli oli oli' he sings, trying to get in close - generally that means climbing in under the playgym, feet in your face or leaning on your head as you sit in your chair. It is rarely malicious but that doesn't mean there aren't tears. Oli reciprocates this smothering affection with utter adoration - he tracks your every move, Max. Watching you play and chatter and sqwark and sing and tumble and, yes, tantrum. The other night you woke up just after Oli's last feed and screamed for 'MILK' like you'd crossed the desert and been cheated of a churn of it in some deceptive mirage. Tears were not just rolling down your cheeks but springing from your eyes as you blinked in anger. I've learned not to say much to you in these moments, but just try to wipe your eyes and stroke your hair and repeat quietly that there is water by your bed and it is time to go back to sleep. Finally you calmed down and you wanted to hold my hand. It made my heart ache even as I so desperately wanted to go back to bed. But things can turn on a sixpence, or a dime depending on your choice of currency. 'I don't want Mummy to kiss me.' Those were your exact words just yesterday when I took your head in my hands and kissed your messy hair. So nothing is predictable these days - except perhaps one thing, you no longer take a nap at lunchtime - and you tell me categorically, 'I don't want to play quietly in my bedjoom', just in case I had any ideas. So we battle on til 7pm - bath, pyjamas, wonderpets, bed. That's how it goes. And then you might say, if I'm lucky, and just to delay bedtime a few more minutes, 'Can we be stuck?' And that's when I kiss your forehead and pretend I'm suctioned to you - it is very dramatic - then, phew, with a noisy schlooock I manage to extract myself. Oli, you cannot ask for kisses but you get them all the same.

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