Every time my parents come to visit I'm afforded the opportunity to enjoy my children so much more. Not only do they help around the house (I don't think I put a single item of clothing in a drawer for two months thanks to my mummy) but they also give the children exactly what all littlies crave and respond well to: attention. The ratio of one adult per child is positively luxurious. I have been able to sit with each one of my littlies and have long, meandering conversations which are guided by their scurrying brains and not at all by the constant sense of rush which otherwise pervades my day, safe in the knowledge that the other two are being cuddled and listened to in the same manner.
The first night that lad and twin2 stayed with my parents, twin1 and twin2 had a conversation on the phone. They giggled and chatted, calling each other 'Lyla'. They both enunciate 'l' by touching their front lip with the tip of their tongue. They were tickled pink to be talking to each other and went nuts in the morning when re-united at kindy.
Having someone there to watch the girls so I can run in the surf with lad, lie in the shallows and kick our legs together was golden. His determination to become a pilot has intensified after building Hercules models and discussing the various aerodynamic properties of helicopters with my father.
Now that my parents have gone I feel quite overwhelmed with the piles of washing, the increasing workload I am taking on and the general running of family life. Thank goodness for Skype and cheap international phone calls. It must have been so much harder to live on the other side of the world to your family thirty years ago.
My patience has had an inch or two lopped off its ever shortening scope. Today I picked my three up plus a friend of lad's from kindy at midday. In the half an hour I had to give them a sandwich before meeting a friend at the park I managed to go completely mental at lad for spitting on the floor (he later told me through his tears that the husband had told him he should get rid of phlegm in his throat by spitting it out), scare the living daylights out of his friend who was witness to the red mist descending, scream irritably at twin2 because she wouldn't stop crying (probably because I was creating such a fractious atmosphere) and clean a huge chicken turd from a squealing twin1's foot as she traipsed it throughout the house. We were twenty minutes late to meet my friend, it was barely after 1pm and I needed vodka.
photos of our chickens, Rosie and Flopsie taken by Quinn O'Connell