Sunday, 23 September 2007

The Littlest one…

How do I describe the Littlest One? The one who gets forgotten in the hurly burly of life, suddenly remembered and blamed at the same time for just being there?
He never seems to notice the guilt and exasperation, he just laughs as I snatch him up and swing him round onto my hip. He looks on delightedly as I struggle with school bags and shoes and keys and dogs. He’s thrust into the car every morning and largely ignored as The Boy and I chatter nineteen to the dozen about almost anything or else shout and growl at each other then sulk and listen to the radio in uncomfortable silence.
He’s left in the car as I take The Boy into his classroom a fluffy Jack Russell to guard him as some sort of sop to the fact he’s left behind.
He’s all sweetness and light, bubbles and blond curls. The largest blue eyes and SUCH a smile. But his brother is quicksilver, fearless with strangers, long lashed minstrel brown eyes and a puck-like sense of humour and merry laughter – when he wants.
The Littlest snatches his moments with me at bedtime while The Boy has TV privileges keeping him downstairs in the early evening. While we shop he holds out his rounded plump little arms for a crafty cuddle while his mercurial brother is self-importantly hunting down the Rice Krispies. In traffic queues we catch each other’s eyes in the driving mirror.
And everyday the stakes are raised as each grabs a bit of me for themselves. They try to outdo each other and are oblivious to the fact. One insists on eye spy at the table showing off his fledgling knowledge, the other boasts his dexterity look mama I use a spoon! One involves me in complicated jokes with no meaning the other starts to clamber out of his highchair. One helps me clear away the plates; the other makes a beeline for the dog’s water bowl.
We play peepbo at the table as I swap my attention from one to the other and while I am in deep discussion with The Boy I hold the Littlest one ‘s foot under the table just so he knows I love him too.

14 comments:

bodran... said...

I understand the nature of juggling, i still do it now as inobtrusively as possible [good word]Hubby, dogs, grunter, S and nell, dad.... no wonder we have no time to ourselves..It wa hardest though when there was a 2yr old and a new baby suddenly on the scene..xx

Withy Brook said...

That is a lovely description of juggling yourself between two. And how well you do it!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Yes juggling was what came into my mind. Love you talking to the boy, but holding the littlest one's foot under the table . .

You will always juggle, you probably always have, but it changes as they change and life changes and it is forever rewarding.

Pondside said...

What a lovely way to describe what every mother-of-more-than-one goes through. I especially loved the watching one another in the rear view mirror!

Suffolkmum said...

Life with two beautifully described Tattie. They both sound gorgeous. Loved you sneaking glances in the rear view mirror and grabbing his foot under the table. Despite all the boring and often irritating bits, motherhood is a bit of a love affair!

Potty Mummy said...

Tattie, I know exactly what you mean - and I think that my feelings for my littlest one are probably more uncomplicated than they were for the older boy: when you have your second / third etc etc you have none of the fear & panic you experience first time round, and all being well can just relax into it and make the most of watching them grow up.
Am always telling myself I must use our DVD camera more - it's going to be over in the blink of an eye...

countrymousie said...

How lovely the description of the footholding under the table. Scrumptious.

Cait O'Connor said...

Sibling rivalry it never ends, even as they grow up. Lovely descriptive blog.

ChrisH said...

How cute - that's a very sweet blog, I know that feeling!

Frog in the Field said...

Ahh, my cousin says the love of your child is the greatest love you'll ever have, it's so true.

Milla said...

I do little winks at mine as well so they know they still have my attention, and the hand squeezing and the foot rubbing and the not quite there cuff against the curls. And those hot little cheeks. Mine are nearly 9 and 11 now. Somehow. Still do it all, the little one is still the one who gets the winks and the foot grabbings, the pattern was set.

elizabethm said...

And oddly ultimately it stops. They are grown with adult lives of their own. They like each other, after years of strife. You don't often have them together as you did when they were little. There is space and air and room to breathe. you just need to have lived the previous 20 years or so. Lovely blog.

Hannah Velten said...

Lovely description of juggling children...haven't got any of my own - yet (children that is!), but I can see it all...by the way are you pregnant at the moment (just re-read your last blog - 'barefoot and pregnant' or was that historically)?

Exmoorjane said...

gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Makes me wish, all over again, that I hadn't stopped at one. That plumpness of leg...oh scrumptious indeed. Can imagine how one balances two - and that it is better for the balancing. My poor one often feels the imbalance of the scales -the weighing down of parental love and notice and expectation...too hard on one side of the scales.
Jxxxx

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