Here

I’m afraid I’m going to regale you with yet more pictures of you know who. We’re going to Germany next week so maybe we’ll get the inspiration to take a photo of something else. Michael took these in the garden on Saturday. We were out there for hours, on Sunday too. You can follow the progress of the weather by the gradual reduction in Felix’s outdoor wear over the last few posts!

It’s pretty fun watching Felix gather up the courage to explore the garden. It reminds me of watching our kittens discover it, nearly two years ago. By Sunday he was crawling all around, pulling the little pine cones off the sticks, turning around to check whether he was allowed to eat them or not. His favourite thing is to crawl up and down the stairs to the deck. He’s getting pretty adept at it. He’s also pretty happy with the swing that Michael strung up on our tree.

I think all the sun we’ve been getting lately has done something funny to my head, because despite the even more dreadful than usual night’s sleep we got last night, I feel so happy. I have been enjoying work lately and Felix has really adjusted well to being in the barnehage. I often get to see him during the day for short periods, and he’s even beginning to get used to that, and is not crying quite so much when he spots me.

In other news I recently had an article published in B√łygen, a journal put together by some Masters students at the University of Oslo (ooh, and I just discovered that the title refers to a great troll-snake, from the Peer Gynt story). It is a really beautiful little journal. The theme of this issue was ‘place’, and they have essays in Norwegian and English about the role on place in literature in places as diverse as Norway, Israel, Australia. The essays are interspersed with black and white photographs, mainly of Oslo. It really is lovely and it’s a bit of a thrill to be a part of it.

In the small pockets of time between child-rearing, working, and folding laundry, I have been reading Anne Enright’s Making Babies, a very beautiful collection of essays, recommended by Blue Milk. And I have been knitting. I’ve started one more vest for the little guy. It’s quite addictive. It was in this cabin, just outside the Glacier National Park in Montana, that I decided I absolutely needed to learn to knit. It was something about the self-sufficiency of the little cabin in the woods that didn’t even have electricity, and seeing Felix wearing a cardigan knitted by my Nanna. I thought it would be a satisfying thing to do. I was right. It has exactly the right balance between challenging and soothing; it is heartening to see your progress even if it is slow, the texture and colour of the yarn between your fingers is lovely, and there is something entirely wonderful about seeing your own child all snug in a jumper you made for him.

Wednesday

I was going to write a post entitled ‘slog’, and it was going to be about how hard we have been working. Clearing out the spare room in the evenings once Felix has gone to sleep (after we have worked all day) has been tough. There is still more to do, but we have cleared out enough now to get him in there. And then of course the poor fellow starts teething again, so settling him into the new sleeping arrangements has been more difficult than it otherwise would have been, and we are still not getting nearly enough sleep. So we are tired. But I have changed my day off from Friday to Wednesday, and that is better, much better. This afternoon the sun shone and Felix and I had a picnic on the lawn.

Lying for half an hour in the sun with my favourite boy and my favourite creatures was more than enough to restore my spirits.

Also I’m very proud of myself because I knitted the little vest Felix is wearing, all on my own. The pattern is here. I started it a few weeks back, when I had my ear infection, at which point I knitted all night because I was in too much pain to sleep. It took me a while because I had to undo bits when I did them wrong – if I do another one I’ll be much faster. But isn’t it great! I’ll try to show you some pictures sans bib another time.

Felix chased the cats around for a bit, bounced on the trampoline with me, then made some calls. It was a very nice afternoon indeed.

Thirteen months

Well, it’s been a challenging month for all of us, little guy, but you seem to have come through it with your cheeky grin intact. You’ve made great friends with the kitties. Whitby, who was very suspicious of you to begin with, has nominated himself as your special friend, and often comes up for snuggles. For a while there you were being very sweet indeed and saying nawwwwwww as you buried your head in their fur. Now you are a little more confident however, your displays of affection are more animated, and I am not sure how long the cats will put up with you.

The weather has been unseasonably nice for this time of year, and we are spending more and more time outside. You were pretty impressed with the trampoline.

You like zooming around on your walker. You love cars now – both toy and real varieties. In the playground the other day, you pointed at a car going past, and said ‘brrrmm!’ You’ve started holding telephones up to your ear. You love chatting with my parents on skype – you are so excited when I start the call that you clap your hands with anticipation. It is very sweet to see.

You eat grapes, strawberries, bananas, porridge, pasta with tomato sauce, bread with mackerel paste, plenty of breast-milk, and not much else. Sleep at night is still a challenge, and I have been working so hard to clear out the spare room so we can move you in there. Hopefully this weekend. Just today I noticed a new tooth coming through – your seventh, and your first for nearly four months. I was so relieved to see it because I had no idea why you had been screaming for hours.

As far as I’m concerned, you are pretty much the loveliest thing in the whole world.

A good day

Sorry about the text-heavy blog lately. If I had remembered to take my camera with me today I would have taken a photo of Felix in his pram, with his matching Norwegian hat and mittens and velvety black coat, beaming at me.

This week was my fourth week back at work, and the first week I managed to work a full four days (the other weeks Felix or I or both of us had been sick). Spending so much time away from him is tough, even though I work in the room next door to him. When I leave him the image I feel in my heart is that of a small tree being ripped out of the earth, its roots dangling. I am not sure which one of us is the tree. And then when I pick him up at the end of the day, I feel a constellation springing back into life within me – stars lighting up, as though someone re-connected the electricity.

(Mind you, at 9pm, and 11pm, and 1am and 3 and 4 and 5am I am not so pleased to hear from him.)

But today was our day together, and we spent the morning in town. Felix was his sparky, charming self for the first time in weeks – I think he has been feeling quite under the weather until now. He pointed excitedly at all the children we passed; he showed the shop attendants his mittens. When we went into the wool shop, he exclaimed ‘ba! ba!’, excited to be in a shop filled with balls.

We stopped for a coffee in my favourite child-friendly cafe. He ate a fair portion of my cinnamon bun, and then played happily, first with a toy microwave and then with some tiny wooden cars. ‘Brrrrm, brrrrrm’, he said as he pushed them across the floor. Watching him, I was so happy I cried. When I drove him back up the hill, he sang ‘Mama mama mama’ all the way.