"I am opposed to change, even if it is for the better". The octogenarian, blazer wearing, moustache toting chap who exclaimed this to cheers of "hear, hear" at a dinner for a gentleman's club one of my friends belongs to clearly has no experience (or maybe memory) of raising a little tribe of children. This week I have banished all bottles from the house - not those containing such elixirs as wine and beer but rather those fiddly, hard to wash and put together ones into which you are constantly sloshing milk. Luckily the twins are only 15 months old so have barely registered their absence. The lad however has become something of a milk fiend over the past year or so sending our dairy bill sky high so he hasn't been quite so enamoured with this particular change. I have other motives for getting rid of the things too. When the twins start toilet training in a year or so it will be I hope a faster process as they won't be drinking half a pint of liquid before they go to sleep each night. For a year I was changing three sets of nappies. Now I'm down to just two I'm keen to make it none. The early years of your children's lives are deeply precious and I feel strange at cheering on these miniscule movements towards the blessed day that they can all walk on their own (I gaze open mouthed in envy at people walking down the street with their children easily keeping the same pace beside them and with no double Mountain Buggy carving the way). I'm also aware though that I will look back at changing their nappies and sitting down three times a day to feed them all with nostalgia and winsome fondness and possible even miss pushing the chariot around which, rather impressively takes all three of the children (twins in the pushchair and the lad sitting on the foot bar).
The children's independence will, I hope, mark a period of less pain in my arm. Because of the nerve damage in my arm it is painful all the time. As this has been a constant for nine years now, the pain registers in my brain as more of a 'different' sensation rather than anything which makes me feel uncomfortable. Having children and especially twins has exacerbated the pain as the lad either slings his arms round my neck (where the nerve damage starts - the trunk of nerves called the brachial plexus comes from the spine and splits up to feed various muscles in the arm and hand) or as I try to use my hand on the bad side to do jobs it really can't do while I'm lugging a baby round on my hip. The worst thing about the state of my arm is the way it affects the children. Because of the pain and also frustration I feel at my ineffectiveness at some tasks, I get irritable and snappy. The inevitable result being that my special little children bare the brunt of it. This upsets me terribly and I try hard to keep it in check.
Because of this and so much more, I can say I am happily pro change, whatever the reason.