This morning revealed itself to be thick with fog and dense cloud. As there is no Kindergarten today for the boy and the Goddess that is our housekeeper comes on a Wednesday at 9am I decided to take the children for a walk round Mount Maunganui. We set off with supplies of honey sandwiches, strawberries and carrot sticks. Looking after my three small children can feel like a grind. The relentlessness of the routine can make you really grit your teeth hour after hour, day after day. For instance there is no way the twins can wait longer than twenty minutes or so after waking in the morning for breakfast. What if I don't feel like making breakfast so quickly after waking up? Tough. It's what they want and the screaming is an effective if nerve jangling catalyst to pull my finger out and throw weetabix down their necks.
Having said that I often crave more time with the children and in particular with each of them on their own. I had two lovely years hanging out with my son, having him sitting on my knee for long periods of time and more recently, sitting in cafes or on the beach chatting about all sorts of things. The little twins tend to be together all the time so you don't really look at one intently for a long period of time - your eyes flit between the two. I love the intensity of gazing into your littlies' eyes and smiling at them as they gaze myopically at you before crumpling into a gummy beam.
This morning as we toddled round the Mount I soaked up the wonderful feeling of just spending time with the children in the fresh air, listening to the ocean swilling through the narrow aperture between the Mount and Matacana island and smiling at the many friendly comments our fellow strollers passed to us on the way round. Because of the warm fog, the shifting views were truly beautiful. Check out the picture of the handsome, brave man protecting the entrance to the harbour and the tops of the cranes at the Port just visible through the fug.
An afternoon making lemon drizzle cake for a birthday tomorrow and building a Hercules and a bi-plane from Lego makes it a near perfect day for enjoying the deeply precious early years before they all dash off to school.
That's all well and good but BRING ON THE WEEKEND as I'm off to the big smoke with a friend for a night talking constantly, drinking wine, seeing the Dalai Lama and enjoying the relative peace and quiet of a million other Aucklanders.