For the first year of the twins' little lives I held their first birthday up as some kind of summit towards which I was clawing myself. As the big day got closer I realised that it was fairly niaive hoping on that particular day the sun would shine out from behind the clouds, my three children would turn into cherubic routine lovers and everything would be rosy and shiny. Amazingly, it sort of has happened like that although not in quite the Enid Blyton illustrated fashion I had held in my brain. The babies can amuse themselves for long periods of time tooling round the house together, playing with toys and ransacking cupboards. The boy's language took an almighty leap forward while we were in England during September and October so he is easier to comminicate with although he does also find it easier to impart his extreme distaste in fairly colourful language so I suppose it's a double edged sword. Also the sun did, quite literally, come out. It's summer here in NZ and it is very easy to cart everyone off to the beach in the morning and have a massive run around and swim in the ocean which is a great way to start anyone's day.
Yesterday evening I took the twins down to see a friend on my road who has just had her third baby. As I walked down I thought about what it would be like to have a fourth baby in our little family. I love the idea of a big family with lots of noise and chaos. The husband is one of four and I am one of two. His family are very social and we always have fun all together. I have loved the closeness of being just my brother and I with our parents. There were always plenty of people to play with growing up (we went to boarding school from a young age and also had the benefit of living on a base as my father was in the Forces) and we went on some excellent, adventurous holidays. Now we are grown up we get to see lots of our parents as they only have to share their time between the two of us. When I saw the gorgeous little face of my friend's brand new, perfect little boy I must admit I felt great happiness for her and equally great gratitude for having completely the first year.
It definitely is easier now the babies are one. I am only cooking one meal in the evening, the children can all shower together, they can hold their own bottles of milk and are sleeping less frequently in the day and rather more importantly they slumber peacefully all night. As it gets easier am I going to forget how hard it is and wonder in a year or so if we should have another? I'm not sure. Other things have got easier too. The huge, hollow space inside where my homesickness likes to reside has reduced somewhat. The husband is paving his way to where he wants to be in his career having suddenly taken huge steps at work and I have some ideas of how to start easing my way back into the workforce whilst still looking after the children. As one friend said to me a while ago "why on earth would you consider having another when you have found it so hard?". Let's hope I can remember that in a year or two.