Last weekend we had the most gorgeous picnic and walk around a little lake. It was so sweet watching Michael and Felix race ahead of me, ‘discovering’ engines trapped in the ‘mines’ under the big rocks, and ringing the rescue service to come and save them.
I’m 37 weeks in this photo, but you can’t see much cos of what I’m wearing.
It was a truly perfect outing, topped off by plenty of blueberries.
These photos were all taken on one very full day at the end of June. We started out bright and early – around 6 – with trains, coffee beans and blocks. Felix had seen a picture of a wooden train track and a wooden-block town in one of his picture books the night before, and as soon as he woke up he demanded we head downstairs and get to work.
After that we made scones for breakfast.
and Felix cuddled the baby.
Then I took him on a trip to the University College, because he’s always asking to visit my work. I didn’t take any photos there but he met some of my colleagues, at his sandwiches in our lunch spot, did some photocopying and stapling and made a little book including some colouring-in pictures that one of my colleagues kindly printed out for him. Then we went home and he coloured them in.
Afternoon snack time – I finished my baby blanket and Felix made a duplo train track, and bricked up one of his engines in a huge shed.
He was so proud of himself!
The digger had to come and rescue the engine.
Then it was time to cook dinner. Felix made his own ‘chocolate and raspberry cake’ on the kitchen floor. And I bet he went jumping on the trampoline later. So many things…
It’s really hot here at the moment and Felix and I have had the most gorgeous time this week – mostly down at the lake. The past two days I’ve even been swimming myself in the freezing water. And I don’t have a lot of time or energy to write much now but I wanted to write something, before it evaporates. Most evenings I’ve been going for long walks alone along the dusky summer streets (it’s light till 11). It’s my favourite part of the day. I’m pretty active chasing after Felix all day, but there’s something so incredibly lovely about being able to walk at your own pace.
Today in the kitchen, Felix said – ‘The baby is very round, Mummy. Will it be round when it comes out?’
And yesterday, stark naked astride his bicycle in our lounge-room, he said: ‘Some people speak Norwegian. Mummy speaks English. Daddy speaks German. But I only speak… nonsense!’ Which, given the exuberant mood he’s been in for the past two weeks, is about right.
Though today he offered to put sunscreen on my back for me. ‘I may not be as fast as you,’ he said, ‘but I’m very strong.’ That’s a quote from Thomas the Tank Engine, but incredibly sweet. ‘Do you ever run out of steam, Mummy? What happens if you run out of steam at the shops? I could pull you.’
We had a lovely time in Berlin despite the challenges of shepherding (me) and carrying (Michael) a three year old around Berlin in the absence of a stroller. Felix was a big fan of the pizza.
And the dinosaurs and other curiosities at the Natural History Museum.
We visited the real fish again too. Felix perched in Michael’s arms is certainly a recurring image.
There are plenty of playgrounds and play-cafes in Berlin, including this play-cafe which provided dilapidated tricycles for small children.
But the biggest hit of all was the Technology Museum, specifically, the trains.
When we finally reached a steam engine you could actually climb inside, Felix ‘drove’ it furiously for more than half an hour.
Chuff chuff chuff….
I guess there is no better word, but the image of a bird fluffing her feathers and pecking at sticks doesn’t quite convey the fierce wellsprings of energy I feel right now to clear surfaces, overhaul cupboard space, throw away old clothes and broken toys, sort, streamline… Everything I look at has to be fixed now.
Felix woke up at four this morning (can’t blame him, by four there has been full daylight for ages), and I could still hear him shuffling around in his bed after five, so I lay on the sofa in his room for a while to help him back to sleep. Yesterday I bought him a light-up kid’s globe of the earth (have been meaning to get him something like that for ages as he loves maps and always talks about Grandma in Australia and Opa in Germany and the Mooxies in Africa and the Huut at the North Pole). Last night I installed it on his recently rearranged shelves and moved his playmobile pirate ship up from the loungeroom to put next to it. They look awesome together. But as I lay on the sofa at 5am trying to breath calmly to convince him to sleep, the missing sails on the pirate ship that his friends pulled off at his party in February started to bug me and I thought – I must locate them immediately and insist that Michael attach them again. And I had to laugh at myself, and flick the book on my kindle from ‘Birth Skills’ (way too exciting) to a history of Britain in a vain hope to trick myself into going back to sleep as well. Felix’s breathing slowed, but I realised it wasn’t going to happen for me, so I came downstairs, my subconscious in no way convinced that properly attached pirate ship sails were not of the upmost importance.
On Monday we got back from a long weekend in Berlin (it was lovely, photos soon). Though of course it had its challenges (exacerbated by our stroller breaking down the morning we left, resulting in Michael having to carry the boy around a lot), it was lovely being able to focus on activities for Felix – he is at an age now when it pays off.
Now Felix has three weeks holiday from the barnehage and I am enjoying the rhythm of being home with him every day, playing and reading and walking between my tidying frenzies…
Oh no! I was sure the boy would sleep in after being awake in the night but 6.30 it is… We have already built a train track and a town and found some coffee beans for Douglas to transport at Felix’s very specific request. Another day.