At a B&B for Jane Stanley’s wedding. There was a low-level single bed in the room, so we asked Leo whether he’d rather sleep in ‘travel cot or big boy’s bed’.
He went to sleep OK in it, i woke up at about 4am to some banging. He was fast asleep on the floor alongside, rolling into the adjoining chest. I put him back in and he slept OK till 7.
Next night, he had slept in his buggy at the wedding, and we didn’t get him home til about 2. Nevertheless, he still wriggled about aplenty in the small hours. At one point i woke up and had to move him back into bed: from his snoringly comfy position with his face on the bed, legs on the floor.
Third night we put him onto the travel cot – i couldn’t face such a nervous sleep again.
So Claire and I watched American Beauty, again. At the end of the film, Lester Burnham says…
…there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment…
…Leo’s always relaxed, even when he’s angry – everything is always flowing through him like rain.
My last post really was late night – sadness AND ill-thought-through metaphors. I did have a nice birthday in the end, just through a fog of strangely catatonic caffeine rushes.
Today, among the cards for Claire’s birthday, arrives one for me from Anna and Jag; they’d read that post and written to cheer me up. It worked. And as Jag pointed out, yoghurt may go, but it will come again tomorrow.
And anyway, Shelley was prattling crap: our saddest thoughts don’t make our sweetest songs; Simply being, unplanned and unthought, is the sweetest song. A thought is static, dead and sterile. There’s a reason that ‘human being’ contains a present participle.
My sweetest song is this trio, right here at home – still, and always, singing, even if my harmony is sometimes in the minor.
1.15am, can’t sleep. Work, house-buying and i-haven’t-heard-or-seen-Leo-for-a-few-minutes-so-he’s-probably-about-to-die-or-at-least-fall-very-ill going through my head.
Turning 33 today, i think i have finally worked out what getting older is all about. I haven’t become any better at coping with anything, or more adept at actually getting stuff done, but I’ve advanced my disaster-awareness. So i can’t sleep.
Leo, on the other hand, doesn’t bluff because there’s no obligation on him. From inside or out. Toy no longer fun? Throw it away. Jigsaw doesn’t fit? Scream at it. Food horrible? Don’t eat it, yoghurt will arrive shortly.
I know it’s late at night, but i feel a terrible desire to protect him from ennui. Terrible because i want so much to keep him safe; but it’s also a terrible desire in that it would be cruel – he must grow. A part of me wants to preserve this Leo in aspic, and just have these days over and over again. So he can sing in his chains like the sea. But those chains arrive soon – some days no yoghurt will come.
Well, this must be my sweetest song so far.
He has been the cutest little angel (or i should say, cutest ‘VERY BIG BOY’). We bought him a wendy house (why are they called that?), and on his birthday morning he found it in the living room with more presents inside. Unlike last year, he’s got the idea that it might be worth waiting to play with present number one, because present number two might be worth opening…
Lots of books, and a push-along horse-and-rider that is currently being charged round the house.
We went to the London Aquarium in the morning. As an exhibition professional, i have to say it is terrible in terms of communication and learning but that doesn’t matter because they’ve got sharks! They were just great. There were touchable rays, turtles, and all that, but never mind – they had sharks!.
Lunch, then a nap while we walked towards Tate Modern. Awake later, he came alive at the sight of the Miro he like last time we visited, shouting ‘Whale!’ He has the postcard on his wall, so recognition played a large part.
Then i had one of my favourite ten minutes of the last few years. We ran round the turbine hall playing a rule-less game that involved jumping, chasing, throwing up in the air, hiding, rolling on the floor. By the time we left, most visitors were watching us. All the photos Claire took are blurred, we were moving around so quickly. I was lost in it, completely taken up in the moment. He and I were alone, the rest of the world was entirely absent.
We had his party yesterday – all the family and godparents were able to be there except Richard, so not bad for summer-holiday time. More presents, including a kettle and teacups that were then used this morning for giving morning tea to the cuddly toys!
We won’t need to go to the library for a while – he has oodles of books and yet again no repeats! He has only one duplicate book in a library of about 50. This luck can’t last; i may need to publish a booklist…
I found it tiring, i really do prefer smaller group events, but Leo was fine. Unfazed, he just carved out his space with whoever he chose at that moment (I noticed him enjoying a cake with Jag, an unwrapping with Jenny, a book with Emma) and made his own little coterie. Most people got a play with baby Mira as well, who is a beautiful, placid, wide-eyed cuddle of curiousity. Reminds me of when Leo was that small, though it seems an age ago.