6-lane Highway

March 1st, 2011 at 9:49 pm by james

Six. Wow. Two weeks in, this still seems pretty strange. Name confusion has pretty much settled down now; I’m fairly confident I really do know the difference between Emily-A and Iris-’ella.

The change is a bit like adding a sixth lane to a five-lane highway. Everything keeps going in the same direction, in pretty much the same way it did, but it’s wider and richer; there’s more bandwidth and more chatter, there’s more to explore and a greater overhead in management.

Days start as they always did, between 5.30 and 6 with the sound of the three older girls waking and wandering through from their room to the sitting room. They close the inter-leading door to our room and choose a movie to watch (how cool is that?). After that things have changed. Little Iris wakes for a feed a bit closer to 7-ish and then I (often) get up with her and head through to the others, leaving Michelle to catch up on some much-needed sleep. There follows a ridiculous clamour as Jo and Emily contend for the privilege of holding the baby. Used to be there was competition for the first hug of the day from Dad. No longer. Dad trails through to the kitchen to make coffee and breakfast.

Sometime around 7 I open the back door and don’t notice Sophie slipping out in her nighty to collect flowers. There are beautiful newly-fallen pink hibiscus to be had, as well as purple butterfly-bush trumpets and others. Sophie collects them all meticulously and arranges them on the outside table before breakfast.

The rest of the day passes in a blur of reading and activities and games and snacks and meals and snacks. Half of today was taken up by three little girls making a picnic spot under the trampoline. It has a hard-paved square big enough for the three of them, with an adjoining fireplace. They cleared, leveled, made and transported mud, paved and decorated. It’s a marvel of modern engineering conceived of and executed by three small girls. I was astonished. And I know them.
Most importantly it was a half-day of relative tranquility for mom and dad.

So things have settled a bit. There’s a lot of tiredness, so highs seem higher and lows seem lower. There’s lots of maniacal laughter, heralding shrieking later. There’s a lot of fun to be had. There’s relief at bed-time. Many things stay the same. Some things change … in a car with 5 seats Dad rides in the boot.

That’s the trunk.

For avoidance of doubt.

2 Responses to “6-lane Highway”

  1. Gerry Says:

    Enjoyed the story! Thank you. Remember to add Iris to your top right corner as well!

  2. Ben Says:

    “and choose a movie to watch” – WOW! Imagining you in the boot (what’s a ‘trunk’?)

    Thanks for posting –

    Ben

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