This week was an odd one.
At the beginning of the year hubby and I decided that he would take each child away for a week solo.
It’s a really odd thing.
Spending time with a child is a rarity once you have more than one.
And it seems even more so when you have twins.
It would appear there is an inbuilt human response that twins should never be separated.
And yet, I remain absolute that children are individuals.
Regardless of ‘twin’ status. Siblings will need to be considered in a family environment.
And me and him fortunately agreed, it would (and will) do our children the world of good to have some one-to-one time with a parent.
It helps with trying to figure out half-terms, when my parents can help and I don’t need to use up my scarce annual leave. (That’s not requesting the sympathy vote, I work compressed hours so do get a day with them).
In February, Mr J and CM went to home to Todmorden.
Over Easter we all went back.
And this half term, with our Tod friends also away, Mr J and E treated themselves to a holiday (more of that to follow).
So, this week, Tuesday was our ‘Yes’ day. With CM & B.
CM & B were besties up until B started Reception, so much so that I worried about E. It now seems that B’s confidence (no doubt gained from his bestie) is his downfall.
But fortunately this week has offered some restoration of this relationship. A friendship remains in tact.
Phew. And so,we arrived home after our ‘yes’ day. Fortunately, our ‘yes’ day included acceptance that chores needed to be fulfilled. And so walking the dogs was a compromise.
As long at they got to spend time on the beach.
It wasn’t much of a compromise.
This week’s Living Arrows post is one of the random places you decide to pull out your camera. But Saturday was a first for me, I took my children to the cinema.
They’re not deprived! They’ve been to the cinema lots, as treats- with grandma and grampy, with friends, and for parties. But never with me.
I’ll be honest, once someone took them and the ‘first’ had happened, I didn’t feel the motivation. The attention span of my 5 year old’s doesn’t fill me with confidence.
And I sort out don’t mind that, I’d rather they loved to play rather than sit still for long(ish) periods of time. But still, the cinema holds so many wonderful memories for me, there is still the pull of the big screen.
And life plays its course, thanks to the lovely Sarah from Boo, Roo & Tigger Too I was able to take the three of them.
And it was wonderful. I needed this time out with my children.
And their smiles.
Whilst they can make life so challenging, especially in the mornings, when they seem to find something which is wrong- “daddy turned my socks inside out”, “mummy, I don’t like you brushing my hair, why can’t you brush it like daddy”, there is usually at least one onslaught of tears.
Returning from school is not much better, for children who create so much about getting into their uniforms they protest just as much at the idea of getting changed out of them.
But then there are the evenings, when everything is just getting a bit to fraught for no understandable reasoning. And you ask them where they want to go. And all three of them start chanting “Jackson’s Bay”.
And life is good.
My Living Arrows for this week really does go back to when our little people were just a dream in our eyes.
My 30th birthday, when I was less than 12 weeks pregnant, and we were on a cruise down the Nile.
It seems such a great way to celebrate turning 30 when we booked it, but getting to the 12 week figure was so important to us, and the sweltering temperatures of August in Egypt were too much even for me.
And with all of this, we were on a tight budget. For my 30th Mr J gave me a scarab charm, and as it seems to this day, it was not what he had imagined.
This week an email landed in my inbox ’30th birthday present’.
And the next day it arrived.
And this is what is does:
I had forgotten what wasn’t.
I had held onto what was.
My favourite photos of our trip.
The times of smiles and not hauled up in our cabin rehydrating and napping.
Of my scarab.
Thank you Mr J. xxx
So, it’s week 2 of using my new-found photography skills out on my children. The downside is I’m now spotting the flaws in my photos… but fortunately with subjects which I love so much, I’ll overlook my flaws.
And so, week 18 is another from the beach. I think I might have started over thinking things. But even so, I love the little nuances of my children which I love so much, that are there, in spite of my photography skills.
Onwards and upwards.
Last weekend I finally managed to attend a photography workshop. Hosted by the wonderful Sara-Jayne from Keep Up With The Jones Family, this was a long time in the waiting for me.
Every now and again I’ll feel confident enough to try different aspects of operating on manual on my DSLR but I always revert back to automatic.
At the workshop everything came together, even so, I thought it was going to take me some time to use my camera on manual for photographs of the little people. Moving targets felt so much more challenging than beautiful flowers and food. But with everything Sara-Jayne has instilled we popped to the beach after school on Monday, and I now have some favourite photos, taken in manual- Go Me (thank you Sara-Jayne!!).
The final adventure of the Easter holidays was a trip to Legoland, which included a stay in a hotel.
I like to think I ‘bravely’ took the three of them, solo-parenting after we forgot to sort somewhere for the dogs to stay overnight.
It was fun.
As long as you keep remembering that it is about the children having a good time, not about how many rides you get to go on.
And oddly, whilst we had so much fun, and I have so many moments captured by my camera, it was this photo from our overnight stay which really holds the memories.
I have an unbelievable amount of favourite photos from our week away in Todmorden, so much so that I can’t choose one for this week, and have done my best and concluded with one of each.
I love that they are in three different locations, of three different adventures, of the many adventures we are lucky enough to enjoy when we return ‘home’.
We are fortunate that on holidays we get to spend all this time together. Yes, there are times when my voice is hoarse with empty threats, but there are all the times when I get to wallow in their offerings, that their love for me being more than mine for them.
These are the holidays when I realise how patient ‘parent-friends’ were with this ‘non-parent couple’, of how much they create the perfect childhood for my little people, creating a home to which my children always want to return.
My children maybe Welsh to me, but I suspect their heart, like their birthplace, will always lie in England.
The Easter Bonnet parade always arrives to great excitement.
Unfortunately for my children, the enthusiasm which I had in CM’s first parade when I created a Daffodil monstrosity which saw her win a prize has dwindled.
Now it’s a case of pulling out my Easter craft box and each of them visualising their bonnet and telling me exactly how we’re going to create it.
Which I think it definitely supporting their imagination and project management skills!
And they were each so proud of their creations.
Especially E. He won a prize for his creation. And wasn’t for sharing it.