All through my maternity leave, Kitty spent a couple of days a week at her nursery. It kept her place open (which was the primary reason for continuing to send her), kept up a little of her routine when the rest of the world was changing around her, and as a lovely perk I got to spend that time one-on-one with Elma. They were lovely special days together; I got to take her to some of the classes that I’d done with Kitty, and to baby swimming, and for those few brief hours I didn’t have to choose whose needs to meet, she got all of my attention.
Now our days together are full of the fun of watching these two sisters grow and play together, but every now and then I get to snatch a little stolen moment of one on one time with my baby.
Of the two girls, Elma is generally the better sleeper, it’s Kitty who still wakes up and crawls into our bed in the middle of the night. But once she’s there she sleeps quite contentedly, sprawling out across all the available and not so available space, and it’s Miss Elma who is the early riser.
She usually wakes up just after six, and if the rest of the family are still dreaming I’ll scoop her out of her cot and head downstairs for a little milk and cuddles, and then a little playing. The early start can be a bit killer on work days but when we don’t have to be up there’s something a little special about being together in the quiet of the early morning, watching the day start to brighten outside and the first shards of light peeking through the bottom of the curtain.
Our favourite game at the moment is a sort of crawling version of hide peepo; I hide around the corner then peek out from behind the arm chair a few times going thump thump thump along the floor and back again until she caves in with an enormous giggle and comes sprint-crawling to meet me; straight through the tunnel of my arms and legs and then sits up underneath me for a kiss.
And then of course there is the very great fun in finally getting her hands on her big sister’s Minnie Mouse memory game. Elma has been eyeing it up and trying to run off with the pieces since Kitty first unwrapped it; she had so much fun taking each little square out of the box and laying them out around her; and then started crawling over firstly to give them to me, and then she started trying to feed them to me – definitely a hint that breakfast was long overdue.
It was only an hour or so, just a little moment of silly playing time, but we loved it.