I didn’t mean to stop writing here it just sort of happened. And then every time I think about starting, I think – but how will I say everything? So I say nothing. Today I will say something.
Felix turned three a couple of weeks ago and he is thrilled about it. He counted down the sleeps to his party. The next day, he said hopefully – it’s still my birthday? No, we said. First it’s Daddy’s birthday, then it’s Mummy’s birthday, then it’s Christmas, then it’s Felix’s birthday again. He seemed happy with that and recites it back to us sometimes. But, he said, I’m still three?
And I’ve been meaning to write about what he’s like at this age for months and months and I always think I won’t do it justice. But here is one small thing. He is startlingly good at adjectives, adverbs, and metaphors, which warms his mother’s heart. In Australia he was tipping sand off my parents deck, reeling off so many descriptions that I can’t recall them. Tumbling, floating, twinkling… The other night we were looking at a picture of a combine harvester and he was looking at the grain coming out of the spout. Like a shower! He said. Like a waterfall!
He also loves maps, which he didn’t get from me as I have no sense of direction. We discovered this half a year ago in Austria when in no time at all he was able to point out the river and the town on the map. Michael spent some time with him on the weekend showing him Norway and Germany and Britain and Switzerland, as Michael is in Switzerland this week. Then he showed him the road to the barnehage, pointing out the points of interest on the way. As we drove there a couple of days ago, Felix said – there’s the cranes! Like on the map!
He really is generally pretty adorable, with of course bouts of small-person attitude thrown in. He was getting bored with stirring his porridge the other morning (I’d added too much milk so it was taking a while). If you’ve had enough, I said, you can go and play. I’d be delighted to have enough, he announced, and climbed down from his chair.
We went to Australia. For Christmas. For Ages. It was great.
We got back nearly two weeks ago. It took a week to combat the jet-lag, and until today, really, for me to get used to the cold. It’s not even that cold – it’s been hovering around -4. Tonight the fire whirs and snowflakes drift in the streetlight outside. Today I took Felix to Gamlebyen to look at the model train museum, and it was, in his words, a lovely afternoon. The most difficult part was getting him to leave the place. The bribe of a hot-chocolate nearly didn’t cut it.
Each November since I defected to the northern hemisphere has been a struggle. Things seem to lift in December, strangely. But November is the drizzly tail-end of autumn and the beginning of the dark and you are tired. The unpleasantness of this particular November is amplified by the stacks of marking which have to be done on top of the already more than full time teaching prep. But each week passes. Tonight Michael was in Oslo for the evening so I took Felix out to our favourite cafe for dinner. I had a salmon burger; he had a bun.
‘It’s all dark here!’ He said as we walked back. ‘We can’t see very well! It’s all dark! And there are lights! This light and this light and this light!’ And I paused, and looked back at the little golden lights of the main street, glowing in the chilly air and on the cobblestones. And I thought – this is November’s gift – the new dark and the little lights.
Yesterday Felix boycotted Halloween. He’s very fussy about clothes and there was no way he was wearing a costume – not a black cat for me, nor a pumpkin for Michael. He was the only child in the barnehage who wasn’t dressed up. In the evening, we talked about Halloween, and he said – ‘I like Christmas. Shall we make a star for Christmas? Shall we do that now?’ So we did.
Blueberry pancakes. Wooden towers. Trains. Rain. We’re having a quiet morning as the boy has a mild fever, though he’s happy enough now after crashing at 6 last night. So nice not to be in a rush. Might even cast on some more knitting…