“Shall we go to this?” Laurence’s text read. Cue a photograph of the flyer for a local Wassail. He’d never heard the word before but I had. I used to list them for a little online ‘zine I worked for some years ago in the quirky town of Lewes, where amusing British traditions never die. I’d always thought they looked like great fun so I penciled it in. Wrapped up in all the layers (I wax evangelical about my knitted wool socks and merino thermals I bought from Cambridge Baby.
Sorry if you’ve navigated to this blog over the past few days and wound up wondering: “Wait. What? I thought this was Circus Queen. What’s Beautiful Tribe?” I’ve wanted to change the name for a long time and I finally decided to go brave and take the leap this week. A leap it’s been indeed. From the technical side, I really shouldn’t have picked a week I was going to come down with a particularly nasty virus that’s going around (hence the late explanation!). And this is only the start.
Last year we got seriously into Chinese New Year. With it rolling around again, I thought I’d share the sensory box I put together for Talitha to enjoy when she was three-and-a-half. At going on one, this really wasn’t suitable for Ophelia at the time so I put it up on the table whenever Talitha wanted to play with it. I had some rice I’d bought cheaply from an Asian grocers, which I coloured with red and yellow ready mix paint by mixing the colours in separate bowls and laying
Moments after Ophelia was born, high on the experience of a home water birth, I declared that this was perfect and I was never going to do it again. No more babies. Maybe it was the easy start with Ophelia (she took to breastfeeding easily and was a rather laid back baby once her colicky stage passed). Perhaps it was the realisation hitting me that I might never do it all again. But I started wondering about having a third. Laurence was adamantly not into the idea. He pointed out
As the second term of the school year starts, the fact that my four-and-a-half-year-old is not in Reception is still both fresh and something we’re already quite used to. Taking a quick look back as I think ahead to what this new term might hold, there are a few things I’m grateful for. Siblings spending more time together Talitha and Ophelia have really started playing together in earnest, complete with dressing up, pretending, challenging each other and lots of running around. I know this would have happened anyway, even if
Talitha turned four in June. She would have been starting Reception at school this week. She isn’t going to. We didn’t apply for a school place. We started talking about home educating early in my pregnancy with her. It was something that had appealed to me for a long time. I knew homeschooling families and was not exactly thrilled with my own school experience. Laurence, on the other hand, had gone to boarding school and looked back on it mostly fondly. So he took a little time to come around
I had a love-hate relationship with the phrase “This too shall pass” when I was doing the new baby thing with Talitha. Sometimes it was my mantra. I would declare it and draw great strength from it. We would live to see another day. She would not be thirteen and waking me up hourly (or, I really hope she won’t be!). All these biologically normal newborn things that did not fit with my industrialised, isolated lifestyle would settle down, would be survived. Other times, a more experienced mother would tell