In August a friend of mine showed me one of those quotes, one of the many that pop up on facebook every day, but this one stuck. It was in Italian but it goes something along the lines of: There was once a calm and collected woman. Then she had two children. The end.
They're certainly a whirlwind, these two, and I'm not going to lie: some days I feel it sweeps me up in an endless litany of wiping-soothing-cleaning-dashing-rocking-cajoling and I fear I may never land. We've had a lot to contend with lately, of course, a house move and a new school term that has gotten off to quite a rocky start for the big boy. That, combined with the small boy never sleeping more than a couple of hours at a time day or night, means it is often all too easy to look after, to go through the motions, but not to look at.
There is so much to observe though. More and more, I can stand back and watch them together. 5 minutes, maybe even 10, when they're just content to be in each other's company and forget I'm there. Mealtimes are a-okay with the Bug (who has such a love of food he's more of a big, fat beetle, really) as long as the Bean is providing entertainment. The Bean will get himself dressed in the morning, but only when he has the Bug's undivided attention. It's not hard. He always does. Oh to crawl, to crawl, small one; He's so frustratingly close-yet-far, but I've no doubt he will be the Bean's shadow soon.
Sure, having a little brother has brought out a jealous streak in the big boy - one that we all have - but there a caring side too, a desire to protect, to make things alright, to just share the everyday. To show him life's small delights for the very first time. Loud toys, banging noise. Tickle attack, climbing frames (perhaps a little ambitious still!), the swings at the park. And yes look, observe: those giggles versus my sanity. It's not that hard a choice, really.