Saturday, July 29, 2006

The joys of routine

frogI had the best sleep last night... I actually managed to stay awake all day, and went to bed at about 11pm (having finally begun to fade by about 10).

This morning I became an exhibit for the children, who wanted to know where I was, and so were allowed to quietly stand at my door and watch me sleeping. Apparently I was completely riveting, and they really didn't want to leave. I guess it's fairly unusual to watch anyone while they're asleep, especially when you're only little and everyone else gets to go to bed far later than you do - so webweaver Exhibit A was quite a treat.

I was actually only really asleep for the beginning of the show - but I didn't feel like getting up right then, so I pretended for the rest of the time, and, according to my sister, put in an Oscar-winning performance.

I met the kids yesterday afternoon when they came home from nursery. They were a little freaked out when they came into the garden and I was already there (although they've known I was coming for quite a while), so we had a low-key "getting to know you" session, where I focussed on playing with the toy aeroplane and making zooming noises, while they slowly edged closer to see what I was doing. They are all absolutely divine. I feel so lucky to have such fantastic people as part of my family. It's going to be very hard saying goodbye when I have to leave.

I had met nephew #1 and niece #1 when I was here a couple of Christmases ago, but they were far too young to remember. I met niece #2 for the first time yesterday. They are all just so sweet! I showed them pictures I had taken during bathtime a year and a half ago - interestingly enough nephew #1 and niece #1 had no idea the photos were of them - as they were the same age then as niece #2 is now, they assumed the pictures were of her.

We did playing, then teatime, then bathtime, then bedtime. They're all so good at their routine, and my sister is such a great mum - endlessly patient, and interested, and communicative. It's an absolute joy to be part of their family, even for just a short while.

Partner of sister of webweaver and I met a very cute frog in the kitchen after tea. We had a massive thumderstorm before teatime, with huge claps of thunder, lightning flashes and sheets of rain, and I think the frog figured the world had become a giant pond, and fancied a visit to somewhere new. We caught it pretty easily (although it was very jumpy!) and put it in the garden amongst the rosebushes.

My sister has requested that I don't post photos of the family in my blog (or identify them by name), so you'll have to make to do with Portrait of the Frog as today's featured image. Enjoy!

Today I was able to explore town with my sister, and do a bit of clothes shopping while she went to a meeting, and then I wandered home in time for their arrival back from nursery, and we had playtime, and teatime, bathtime and bedtime again.

I was talking with my sister about how much children appreciate a routine (which is something I hadn't quite grasped when I was an infant teacher many years ago) - and how secure it makes them feel - knowing what's going to happen next, and what is expected of them. I think that goes for adults too in some ways - especially if you're the kind of person who feels unsettled by change or by not knowing what's going on.

I also remember as a teacher realising how some of my kids really resented being told they had to stop an activity straight away (say if it was nearly lunchtime or something) and how much they disliked being interrupted before they were finished. I'm the same as a grown-up - it comes from getting totally into the flow of whatever I'm doing, and not wanting to be pulled out of the flow before I'm ready.

It's fascinating being able to watch the way these children think, and the way they operate. I'm able to watch from such a close perspective, and yet, until now, I really didn't know them at all. I feel thrilled and honoured to have been allowed right into the heart of my sister's family, and I'm so grateful to her for having invited me over. I'm having such a lovely time.

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The ConCLAYve-Nan said...

Sounds like a perfect time just filled with all those things that make summers and family (and childhood) so special. Thanks for sharing.

~ YSRN ~ said...

Look at you... blogging from around the world!! Well, in case you get a little "home"sick, know that I'm still your faithful stalker. Hee.

I'm glad you arrived safely after such a long journey. It sounds like you're enjoying every little second there. Good to hear. When I was at musicmama's house last winter for the JNT, her little foster babies did the same thing to me - stared at me while I was fake sleeping. I wanted to open my eyes so badly because I knew their curious little faces were just bubbling with excitement at the sight of a stranger in their living room. Such a simple joy.

Have a terrific time and blow a kiss Kav and Sylvie's direction for me!