Friday, 21 March 2014

Motherhood (and trees)

Spring is a big time for Motherhood. What with baby buds on trees, lambs being born, cute chicks and of course the approaching of Mother’s Day. Almost one of my favourite things about becoming a mother was the realisation that I could now claim Mother's day for myself ;) So what if it’s a commercial con thrust upon us by the card companies I'm not ashamed to admit I love all that and a chance to celebrate all that us Mother’s do should be welcomed and that's all it needs to be. Obviously a Mulberry handbag would be lovely (dreams on) but I'll be happy with tea, toast and a homemade card in bed, as long as it's accompanied by snuggles from my babies and their smiling faces full of pride at what they have done for Mummy's special day. And yes I know they're going to climb right in and eat said toast.

Watching my girls grow is the greatest privilege that I could have ever imagined. Of course helping them along the way is the hardest thing I’ve ever done! Motherhood knows no fixed hours or working hour restrictions. There are no set breaks, no private toilet facilities and it has a blatant disregard for sleep! But who needs sleep (or for that matter an alarm clock) when a cheeky grin is there to greet you at 6.30 each morning? A sleepy 'mama' and little hands reaching up to me never fail to make my heart melt. And a strong coffee makes me lucid.

The girls are at the age now when they are starting to really play together properly. Seeing how much they love one another and delight in each others company is amazing. The only time V ever waivers from her willingness to going to school is when she realises that it’s another day without her sister. And the baby darling too often yells her frustration as her sister goes into class, or if she’s out of the pram she attempts to follow her right on in!

This year in the Darling household the prospect of Spring is more exciting than ever. With the baby darling now fully mobile and V eager to learn and discover new things, lighter evenings and fairer weather hold the promise of even more family adventures. Already we have enjoyed some lovely days out including most recently to Knowsley Safari Park and Dunham Massey. The greatest way that V quantifies how much she has enjoyed something is when she says to us;  “I’m going to come back here whenever I want when I’m a grown up” It’s great to know that she’s having such a good time and also that we’re introducing her to experiences that she will hopefully remember fondly and maybe even introduce to her own children one day.

She actually says as much herself. When the darling husband asked V would she drive her own little car through the Safari Park she answered; “No silly, it’ll be a big car to fit my babies and Jessica in!” It is so cute, if not a little disconcerting, to hear her talk about being a grown up. It astonishes me that she already knows she will no longer live with her mummy and daddy, but she is quite adamant that she will have a house (a big one) with her sister! It is one of my greatest hopes that they remain always like this; best friends forever.

Another thing on my mind lately has been trees. I’m not sure if it is worrying that I appear to have developed an obsession with them. Maybe it’s because since becoming a mother I’m ‘growing my family tree’ as it were. Whatever. They’re pretty. They change throughout the year. They make good photo opportunities. Oh god, they are rather like children! And let’s face it Spring is a very good time for trees with their beautiful blossoms and buds of potential. And well, after all -

" Great Oaks from little acorns grow"

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Adventures in Wonderland

Well not really Wonderland. That would be difficult given it's a figment of Lewis Carroll's imagination. But actually Dunham Massey in Cheshire which is a National Trust property set in a magnificent deer-park. The weather was fine so we took advantage of that fact to visit their wonderful Winter Gardens, which are Britain's largest, before it is too late...

V was thrilled to be given charge of the guide and took great delight in ordering us around and telling us we were going the wrong way.

She also rather fancied herself as chief bench tester, a skill set I think she shares with her daddy who does like a good bench. 

I couldn't help but think she was doing her best impression of Princess Diana in this shot. Not that she knows who that is of course...

The baby darling loves nothing more than being able to run free at the moment - her pushchair is her enemy! It is great for burning off her energy but it is a tough job keeping up!

We did at last get her back in the pram. Who says you shouldn't bribe your children? ;)

And of course no day is complete without a visit to the ducks...

A lovely day out was had by all and we even caught sight of a rabbit, although I'm afraid he wasn't white but that's probably just as well given the actual Wonderland was a pretty crazy place and I'm not sure I'd have wanted V following him down any rabbit holes!