Thursday may have started with me sitting on a wall feeling as useful as flipping Humpty Dumpty, but it got much better. My dad called later that morning telling me that my baby brother (he’s 24!) had come up to visit with his girlfriend and their daughter Lilly. She was born 2 days before Thomas and about 12 weeks before her due date. But she is thriving now and is a great little girl. Her mother is wonderful with her. (I was so worried about her when she became pregnant as I wrongly thought she was too young).
I arranged to meet them at W5, the hands-on science place in Belfast. We all had a great time. Lilly really enjoyed it, as did her parents and Granda! Duncan played with the wooden trains for a while before seeing how many ways he could push a plastic ball into a big sucky tube (that’s the scientific name for it). He sat for about 10 minutes concentrating on aligning rods on a platform before going to the castle, grabbing a flag, hoisting it onto his shoulder and marching around saying ‘I’m the king’! Lilly’s mum and me went off for a nice cup of tea and left the men in charge for a while too!
When we were going back to the car, Thomas was copying his big sister by walking along a low wall. He has only recently started to do this as, unlike the other 2, he’s nervous about heights and uneven ground. (He insists that I carry him on and off trains and in lifts). My dad was with him and when they got near the car, Dad lifted him off and carried him over. Thomas started crying really hard and kicking and squirming. I was putting Duncan’s seat belt on and he became distressed to see Thomas so unhappy so he started screaming and he bit my arm- hard. Thankfully I was wearing a leather jacket because he marked me badly. :-( He kissed me on the arm straight after he’d done it. He always does if he realises he’s hurt someone. As we drove off, Thomas was still crying and explained that he had wanted to walk on the wall to the end, just like Lady. He said he was very, very, very angry with Granda and wasn’t his friend any more. ‘You’re just my Granda and my uncle and not my friend’ (The uncle thing must be generalisation for male relatives). My dad apologised to him for not listening and after a while Thomas decided that he did love Granda again. It was interesting when he was telling Gordon about it later he said that he was ‘so, so, so, so angry with Granda but it was alright because Granda was still smiling’.
Everyone came back to our house for pizza and play.
On Saturday we wanted to meet again so we took the train to St Georges Market (farmer’s market) in the city. Duncan’s little face was a picture of joy on the train! We had some good food and Lady enjoyed the freedom of wandering around the market without us, talking to the stall holders. A Spanish group was playing. Lady told me she went up to tell the singer that she enjoyed her singing, and then they had a discussion about music!
We called in at Gordon’s mum’s where I stayed while Lady went to Ju Jitsu and Gordon went to the gym. Afterwards, MIL looked after all the children while Gordon and me went out for a quick coffee.
Sunday started out as a nice lazy day. I was having a bath and talking on the phone to a friend. Before the call had ended, somehow my little cuckoo children were all in the bath and I’d been pushed out! We went to see some friends and had lots of good chat and yet more nice food. Thomas and his little friend (aka Jack) were off exploring in the garden and spend a good deal of time making funny faces and laughing. Duncan was a bit over active, and when we were going home it was obvious that he was exhausted as he was alternating between really grumpy and tearful. They all had a quick bite to eat then went straight to bed and conked out right away.
We watched a bit of Donnie Darko (free with Sunday times) on the laptop in bed before giving up and conking out too. (That’s not some euphemism, there’s other blogs for that sort of thing…)