Stella has been back in school now for about two weeks? Or so? We are remembering again what it feels like to have a timestamp on our days, moulding our time, providing order and shape. We spent our summer living slowly, often still bleary-eyed and in our pyjamas by the time most people are getting to work.
Now there's no choice but to be up and out the door by ten past eight, with breakfast eaten, beds made and lunches packed. I'm enjoying having a clear rhythm again, time for me to work without the interruption of whining requests for more snacks, or the delightful temptation of silly giggles outside my door.
I'm also enjoying spending some one-on-one time with Hugo. The first child, when they arrive they blow the world apart, and it is rebuilt around their needs. That second child, he's born into a a pre-existing universe. He's made to wait in his crib until you can attend to the needs of the older one. His nap is cut short or he's kept up a bit too late, there are playdates and school pickups after all.
But now, with Stella in school all day, I'm hanging out at home with Hugo. I can sit with him while he drives his cars around the bedroom, or growls at his wooden animals. He holds my hand and pulls me out into the hall, "Arrr! Arrr!" he says, as we watch the traffic going around the roundabout. In these quiet times together, learned that he knows how to "hide" against a wall, and delights in our surprise when we "find him." I take him to the mall, and he demands rides in the children's train, shooting as we approach the station. I'm arranging playdates for Hugo alone, and letting him have a sneaky pain au chocolat (or two) when our policy is no sugar treats at home. I'm offering these these little indulgences to my boy, and revelling in the pleasure. Spending time just us together, giving him a taste of what it is like to be cherished alone, well is such a joy.
(Although, I will say however, that Hugo might not share my point of view? A couple of days ago we were hanging out in the hallway, he pointed towards the outside, and told me, Bye bye!!! Ya-ya! Ya-ya!" As if to demand that leave immediately, head outside and bring back his sister for him because holy cow, grownups are lame.)