The chocolate has long since been eaten, the clocks have gone forward, at bedtime its not quite dark enough, and today it was back to school. As always, I’d rather casually mooch along with a rhythm more than a routine but, for the moment at least, this is how it is. We’ve had a nice break, the finale being yesterday’s absolutely gorgeous weather.
We spent ten long days at my childhood home in Norfolk over the break. The boys spent most of their time helping Grandad dig the veggie patch and set potatoes, bouncing on the trampoline, playing on the piano and generally being their quite demanding little selves. We also managed to visit the Cambridge Science Centre, and a very random but great Star Wars exhibition, and spent a lovely lunch with new friends. I always go into some sort of recovery mode when I’m there for any more than a couple of days with my parents fully taking the reins. This is obviously great for me but more than a bit exhausting for them! I always find that the boys move on developmentally in some way or another after spending so much time in the company of extra and attentive adults. It was the same last year when we holidayed with The Man’s family in Italy.
These changes are particularly noticable in Boy 2, I suppose because of his tender age. He chats constantly, having really quite complex and reasoned back-and-forth conversations. His sense of humour is already very apparent, and its not just silly-funny, its witty-funny. He has everyone in pieces over some of the things he comes out with. At 2yrs and 5m old he is truly engaging. This makes him particularly good company as far as little brothers go, despite the 4 year age gap. For the most part they really play well together. Boy 2 is usually happy to fall in line with Boy 1’s demands for quite rigid role playing but he gets it totally, and often adds to the game which is a really good way for Boy 1 to learn to flex a little. Yes, like all little brothers he can be annoying but we are lucky that our bigger boy is so placid; he wouldn’t hurt a fly. He has started to shout a bit and throw his verbal weight around but Boy 2 is completely unphased and his adoration remains resolute; ‘You’re my bestest Archie in the whole wide weld, in the whole entire Oooooniverse’ is heard often, completely unprompted.
This bestest big brother is strongly emotional, particularly so at the moment. I wonder if we’re entering a new phase? I do know that Steve Biddulph in his famous book ‘Raising Boys’ suggests that between 6 and 7yrs old there is shift in a young boy’s development (a time when a good, positive male role-model becomes increasingly necessary). Boy 1 also has his first wobbly milk tooth, at 6.5yrs. Rudolph Steiner, the Philosopher behind the Steiner/Waldorf educational movement sees this as the beginning of a new phase in the child’s development, quite literally a rebirth. It marks the time that a child is ready to move from Kindergarten into more formal education. I know that Boy 1 is late compared to his classmates in this respect, and yet we know that children used to lose their first tooth at about age 7. These days its increasingly age 5-6yrs. Boy 1 appears at one moment to be incredibly mature for his age. He is thoughtful, intuitive, and emotionally connected. And yet just as often he can be quite the opposite; almost regressional in his behaviour. I think he misses out on quite a few cuddles as he’s seen as the ‘big boy’ but I think he probably needs these cuddles more than ever at the moment. And we need to remind ourselves that he is still only 6! I caught myself earlier in the week asking him not to be so childish. How utterly daft is that?
Here are some reminders of our two week Easter break:
#1-4 Easter weekend, Brogdale Farm
#5 My lil’ cowboy at Luca and Florence’s birthday party
#6 Bonfire building
#7 Captain George Vancouver and his sidekick, Kings Lynn
#8 Cambridge Science Centre
#9 ‘Star Wars and Me’ Exhibition, Kings Lynn Arts Centre
#10 Peepo! In Nana and Grandad’s wendy house
#11 picture of a picture; Boy 2 looks a lot like his mama at about the same age
#12 Boy 2 getting up close and personal with the local insects who were also enjoying the rare sunshine
#13 Never too old for playing with sand
#14 Boy 1 was trying to take a self potrait. There is something quirky about his shot that I liked. The last day of the holidays…