October

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Julius is walking now. He took his first steps at 14 months, and now at 16 months he has finally begun to walk more than he crawls. And he is talking. He has many words and he copies everything. Up, down, done, water (bater), button, shoe, hat, arm, hand, Mama, Dadda, door, shut, hello, byebye… He says nana for banana and for food in general, and for breastmilk. It also means nose. (Nase in German.) When he isn’t talking he makes up little thrumming, rhythmic songs: hhlooom, dah! dooooom, dah! And he has discovered trains. He points at Felix’s bedroom, where the trains live, and says, hopefully, toot toot!

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My Mum has just spent three weeks with us which was just so lovely. I’ve raided her phone snaps to illustrate this post. Autumn is a gorgeous time of year here and it was special to spend it with her. We took the kids away for a couple of days to at town on the Swedish coast, and wandered around standing stones and bronze age carvings, and ate a lot of cake at a fabulous bakery.

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The world is orange and yellow and grey. Today was filled with soft, misty rain. I joined a friend and her boys for pizza this evening and then we went swimming at the local pool. It was nice to do something different and watch the kids fool around. Julius was delighted to sit on the edge of the pool, watch me count to three, and then throw himself into my arms. Immediately he would demand ‘chair chair!’ and I would sit him back on the side of the pool and we would do it again.

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I am enjoying work but the transitions between work and home are strange. I teach on Tuesdays, and have Wednesdays at home with the little kids. Usually I have both Antonia and Julius but I sent Antonia to barnehage today as I was tired. It was quite a novelty to have time to concentrate on Julius. He is so beautiful.

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Antonia had a dream recently that went like this. Felix was flying. She wasn’t allowed to fly because she wasn’t big enough. But she WAS big enough. And then I told her did she want to do something fun, but it was just to have a bath! And she DIDN’T WANT to have a bath!

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Reading to Antonia in the evenings is one of the best bits of my day. She has a lot of picture books but she always thinks carefully about which ones she wants and we really do get through most of them on rotation. We’ve also been reading Milly Molly Mandy recently, which is fantastic, and Pippi Longstocking, and the Lotta books. I’m reading Danny the Champion of the World to Felix at the moment and we’re enjoying that too.

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Julius has just started showing interest in books too. He likes Toddle Waddle by Julia Donaldson but his favourite is a little board book Michael bought for Felix many years ago called I like Trains. Felix was obsessed with trains between the ages of 18 months and five years, and it feels odd and lovely to get them all out again… Antonia will occasionally pick them up but she doesn’t seek them out.

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