Monday 12 December 2011

Jake's 4th Christmas (and Freddie's 1st)

Once again, this post starts with an acknowledgement of the time which has passed since the last. I was always very proud of keeping it so up to date, especially when you think about the millions of unmaintained blogs around. Anyway, when I started there was so much going on, so much to learn and then, you know, we had a baby and there was lots of new stuff to do and then the operations and so on. All of which generated thoughts, feelings and emotions which spawned relevant content to write here. The blog virtually wrote itself.

Nowadays life is just life and rolls on accordingly. Yes, we've had a second, but, thankfully, his arrival was much less dramatic plus we're no longer novices in the child rearing game.

The upshot of all of this is that as you get used to something, smaller things are less remarkable and if you're not careful, life can pass you by a bit. This year was all about stability. I swapped a very lucrative freelance job for a less financially rewarding but more secure role, the house is finished and everything is settled. Perfect for a new baby to arrive. Since Freddie came along, we're back to being knackered, sterilising bottles, changing nappies etc. All pretty standard, routine and mundane stuff. And because of which you find yourself doing less and having less to talk about.

I should point out that Jake did this 6 weeks ago.

I was already in South Africa for a best friend's wedding and Clare, fresh from dropping the kids off at her parents, was sitting on the aeroplane waiting to start taxiing, when her name was called over the tannoy. Thinking she was about to get an upgrade, she got the shock of her life when greeted by a policeman who said,

"Mrs Church, your son is in hospital, please come with me".

You can imagine how she felt. Jake had fallen through the landing bannisters and fallen directly onto the second step at the bottom and bounced onto the first step where a metal strip for the dog guard did its best to give him yet another scar. A horrible accident and taking the call in Cape Town made me feel utterly helpless and I spent the next few days experiencing the mixed emotions that occur when you're away from your nearest and dearest, unable to help at the same time as being with great friends on the happiest day of their life.

Anyway the important thing is that Jake is fine and after some time in hospital, x-rays and regular checks all he's left with is a slight scar which ought to fade with time.

Things are, however returning to normal, the boys are sleeping more consistently (although still not fantastic) and life as a four piece is taking shape. For instance, I also remember thinking a few years ago, how nice it would be to be able to watch a film with Jake. And yesterday our afternoon saw us all in the lounge with a roaring fire, Cars 2 on the bluray player, Clare writing Christmas cards, Freddie playing on the floor and Jake snuggled into me smiling at Lightning McQueen. Granted, Freddie started screaming and Jake wouldn't sit still, but for a good 10 minutes it was the perfect family scene. And it's important to acknowledge, if not cherish, those moments as they can easily flash by and before you know it, your kids have no innocence left and they're busily slamming doors screaming that they hate you.

So it's hard to believe that this is Jake's 4th Christmas and this year, he's fully aware of what it means. He's very excited as you can imagine. Especially when Clare uses her iPhone app to get Santa to call and talk to him. And tomorrow I'm going to his preschool to see his first nativity play where he's a shepherd. O.K, I'd have preferred Joseph, but a shepherd is a weighty part and at least he's not a sheep or a tree. I'm fully expecting him to come over all shy and maybe not even get involved (he refused to play football when I took him to Little Kickers) but all the same, I'm pleased I'll be there. My dad definitely wouldn't have been at my nativity!

Christmas is all about kids, including the big kid in us. My parents have spent most of the year in Dubai and I've missed them a lot, more than I thought I would, and we're all spending the day together and I can't wait.