When I thought about writing this months update I really wasn’t sure what I would say. The girls are in a really wonderful stage at the moment where they adore each other (give or take a shove or two, and shouts of “she’s doing this” (insert moaning voice) every 5 seconds when you just want to go for a wee or cook dinner) they are just in this really natural rhythm where they are drawn to each other for everything, for play, for comfort, to show off the latest thing that have learnt to do or seen. And it is wonderful. I never want to come across as smug or perfect as of course life isn’t like that at all and parenting siblings always has it’s moments but there is definitely a joy hanging around their relationship right now and I want to celebrate that. The epitome of this was just tonight at bedtime.
The girls have shared a bath for as long as Roma has been born and it has been 50/50 whether they enjoy it or not. Sometimes they moan about the room the other is taking up or what toys they wont let them have, fighting over one bit of lush bath putty and you have to actually sit in there to distract them from their apparent sudden inability to stand each other. Yet other times you can hear laughter echo through the house as they have so much fun that they never want to get out. It’s a lottery! After a long day though (because we all know that no matter if they have been good together or not, the days are indeed always long) it is always a nice breather and reminder of the joy that children bring each other. To sit and appreciate what they have together, and that is what happened this night.
Their tolerance has shot up lately, the 50/50 has swayed to perhaps 80/20 and instead of one giving in to the other they work as a team. They formulate plans together (ones they are almost certain they will have to convince me of) and as they were asked to get out of the bath this evening they decided they would lie down together. They would squish their bare bums side by side where they only just fit and protest that noone was getting out until the water was gone. “Pleeeease”. They looked at each other close as ever and giggled the most adorable giggle, and who are we to resist?
After finally encouraging them out of the empty bath we had our usual pyjama clad cuddles on my bed all clean and fresh and I can’t even describe the sense of calm they brought. I hardly spoke as I just soaked them in giggling and playing and chatting away to each other, hugging and joking not content that this was the end of their day together. At this time it is usually goodnight and we go our separate ways to put each one to bed. Alone. We read stories and sing songs and given the 4 year age gap these are very different routines (think Harry Potter vs bedtime poems) But tonight they didn’t want to part, first Roma said she wanted to stay in our bed, to sleep here with all of us and snuggled so far into the covers she thought we could never get her out. We didn’t fight it, for now, Eddy got in and as we lay together where Roma started saying how much she loved everyone (aswell as how much she loved herself, you have to admire the confidence of a 3 year old!) and that she loved Eva the most.
There was no hesitation, no thought that anyone else would feel bad just the whole truth that right now she adores her more than anything in the whole world and will proudly shout it loud for all to hear. Eva, the 7 year old people pleaser, isn’t quite so keen to shatter our dreams and said she couldn’t possibly choose, but I can tell by the look in her eyes that she really does feel the same. What she doesn’t realise however is that rather than shatter our dreams, it makes them, for having each other is the most beautiful thing in the world to us and we have waited a long long time and wished for this moment to come forever. So really Eva you can say it loud and proud too.
Apparently the moment wasn’t over and Roma asked if Eva could sleep with her, which followed with a discussion on the fact that Eva was possibly a little too big to join her in her toddler bed but that they could sleep in Eva’s double bed together one day. One day. Like perhaps a weekend when the inevitable late night wouldn’t impact quite so much! The excitement on their little faces was a total picture. I am well aware that this could be hideous but I literally never thought this would happen with my two independent sleepers so it melted my heart. Eva then jumped at the chance to share in Roma’s bedtime too, practically begging to get in with her.
We ended the day snuggled in Roma’s tiny bed to share stories together and as they both read the words to oh so familiar books outloud I may aswell not have been there at all. Yet I was suddenly more glad than ever that I was. This sibling thing isn’t always easy, it’s a balancing act, a juggle of time and patience and alot of the time I feel like we are all getting it wrong. Trying too hard. But right now I am going to celebrate how much they adore each others company and how when they get home together it isn’t me that they are coming to see.
Long may it continue.