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Just the Two of Us: Guest post from ScribblingMum

Hello, this week’s guest post is from Caroline at ScribblingMum, she is a ‘proper’ writer (not pretending like me) visit her blog because she writes beautifully and evocatively.  The post today is something very close to my heart since Eliza started pre-school.  Read it and please do comment if you enjoy it. 

Am I on? Yes? Okay.
It’s nice over here isn’t it? I do love that picture up there, wish I had one like that. But I’m not here to voice my blog envy, I’m here to write. This ‘guest blogging’ is a new experience for me, and I’ll admit to being a little nervous. When I write over at mine, at the very least, I know my Mum reads it.
So, as the nation goes back to school, I’ve found myself being part of that gang. Even though Miss L is only at pre-school, it’s marked the start of a new phase. I now care when the school holidays are, I’ve bought the first of many grey nylon skirts and knee length socks and, most importantly of all, I need to be on time. Two weeks in and I can feel myself already being filed under the ‘Tends to be late and always seems to be out of breath‘ category of Mum.
And as a result it’s brought me something very special. Time with my youngest daughter. On our own.
No interruptions. No dividing my attention. No making sure that I’m equal with my words, my kisses, my looks.
For two hours, twice a week, I get to just hang out with Baby P. I made myself a promise that I’d not do the shopping, prepare dinner or turn on my laptop. I’d just spend the time reading or going to the park, singing or drawing.
And it’s working. I’ve found that I’m really cherishing our time together. Take next week. I’m genuinely excited about taking her to a toddler gym class, I can’t stop thinking about it. 
Not the normal, fleeting, panicky what-time-is-it-at-and-have-I-got-any-cash-to-pay-for-it-thinking, but full on day-dreaming, I can’t wait kinda thinking. It’s the first time that she’s done any sort of activity class, I’ve even circled it on my kitchen calendar. 
As is par for the course with second children, I haven’t done as many ‘things’ with her, she’s been a little neglected from that perspective.
With Miss L, we’d go swimming every week, pay someone to tell me how to swish her round the pool and blow bubbles in the water.
We went to mini football in a church hall, buying the kit only to have her declare that she didn’t like balls.
We flurted with ballet, her Nana spending a small fortune on pink everything only to find out the uniform had been changed to blue.
We did art classes where we glue-d, painted, stuck, stencilled, collaged and sprinkled within an inch of our lives, finding glitter on our bodies for weeks afterwards.
But Baby P? We’d done nowt.
Since she’s been born her sister has dominated. Arguably, before she was even born. My pregnancy sometimes felt like an exercise in ignoring it, my main concern being how it was making Miss L feel. As a small baby she’d be put in the corner, ignored, whilst my attention was spent on the one that shouted the loudest, demanded me most. It’s just what happens, it’s the reality of life with more than one child, I get that. And to be honest, I’m not sure it’s done her any harm.
But the tide’s changing. You can’t ignore Baby P anymore, nor would you want to. She’s at such a lovely age, curious, funny, cheeky. They have a strong loving relationship, playing so well together. And they have a laugh, Miss L can appreciate that her little sister is funny and there’s no doubt that they take strength and security from having each other.
But it’s a balancing act nonetheless, trying to make sure they get what they need both as individuals and as a pair.
It’s important for me to allow myself time in life to be all of my different roles, be that wife, mum, sister or friend. Maybe it’s the same for my kids. They need to be a sister, yes, but they also need time to just be themselves.
So next week I’ll allow Baby P to express herself through the medium of gymnastics; hanging off monkey bars, falling off the beam and waiting in line for the haloed end of class sticker.     


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