LittleOne at 7 months

LittleOne sucks his right thumb to sleep.

He goes to sleep at 19.30-20.00 and sleeps through until 6.30, without eating. I feed him, I put him in his sleeping bag, in bed, and I leave. 

He strokes my fingers softly when I breastfeed him. 

He loves playing with rattles, kitchen towels, Pallino, music, flying in the air (“Vola vola LittleOne!”), eats everything and is happy when left with other people for a while. 

We haven’t started settling in at the nursery yet. It’ll be tough for me! 

His smile warms you up like the sun. 

His eyes are sweet and pure and trusting. 

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Summer

When I was at school, the holidays were three long months with nothing to do. We had the car park to play with the other children and I would spend there every morning and afternoon after 4pm (before that time it was too hot). We children didn’t have any club or classes, it was just us, and our volleyball, skates, tennis rackets, skipping rope, whatever we could find. None of us knew how to play any of those sports “properly”, we just played. We imitated the gymnasts with our balls and homemade ribbons, clumsily dancing to the music. We got bored and then found a little room at the top of the stairs of our building (it had thirteen floors), it must have been something to do with the elevators. It was all dusty and dark. We decided to clean it up and make it our den. And one summer went like that, playing in our secret room. My father would whistle from the balcony when it was time to go home, it was a special sound that I could recognise wherever I was. I would ask for ten minutes more invariably.
The rest of the time I read and talked with my sister and listened to the radio until the middle of the night.

Sometimes we would go to the sea with my dad, in the mornings. Ten minutes the first day, fifteen the second day etc. until our skin was used to the sun and we wouldn’t get sunburned. At the end of the summer we usually had a lovely tan.

My father was travelling a lot for work, and we used to move to my granny’s house when he was not home. There was another car park and other children there, but I remember feeling that I was an outsider and not being able to make any friends. I missed my dad and didn’t like that house. I read all the books my granny and my aunt had there, and learnt to recognise very bad literature.

When September came, I was longing for school. I was bored. My best friend went on holiday with her family at the beginning of September and suddenly there was nothing to do. I never understood the people who hated going back to school, for me it was fantastic: new stationery, a new diary, new books to read…

This year Pallino has spent a long time at home. No classes, nothing to do, no timetable. He likes playing with his toys, finding out new things in his rooms, toys he had forgotten already. He invents new stories every day. He’s usually Batman and will save the day. I had to fight with him to go out, but luckily the local children’s bookshop had a reading every week and he’s always happy to go there. I organised a playdate every time I could, but we don’t know many people yet and many were on holiday or busy. It’s been a tough month for me (after a tough “holiday”), but I feel it was the right pace for him. It’s been a summer free from any commitment, probably the last one ever. Next week he will start school. Good luck little Pallino.

 

Time

Actually there are pros to this kind of holidays. I’ve been pretty much off grid, which is terrible for us internet-addict, but gives more time to just being… I’ve dreamt of old school mates and wondered what they’re doing, I’ve started thinking about activities I’d like to do when I’m home (but then I won’t have time or energy, it’s only a holiday induced allucination), and best of all I haven’t given much thought about the things-to-do at home. They’re still there, mind you, but I can’t do anything about them, which is quite liberating. 

Tantrums aside, I’ve also spent more time with Pallino, and watched LittleOne grow so much. Pallino and LittleOne together are amazing, they love each other so much that it melts my heart every time. LittleOne smiles every single time he sees Pallino, sometimes laughing out loud if they had been apart for a while… and then I cannot help but smile too! Pallino is also become a bit jealous now. He demands a cuddle right when I need to change a nappy, or I’m feeding LittleOne. I spend most of the time with Pallino, except when I’m doing those activities and, still, he gets upset. It was bound to happen at some point, I imagine. But I started this post thinking about positives, so… Pallino and I started a lovely activity a few days before the holidays and are keeping it up, which is before going to bed we (I) draw on a whiteboard (or a piece of paper) all the good things that happened during the day. It’s only sketches and require a good amount of imagination, given that I’m a very poor artist, but Pallino doesn’t care: if I say that something is, say, the nice dog we saw in the mall, then that muddled drawing there is the nice dog we saw in the mall, no questions asked. This is amazing in itself. Also, filling the paper with good things makes me feel good too, even if the original purpose was to leave him with nice things to think about if he cannot sleep for some reason. And imagine going through the notebook at the end, and remembering all those moments! I love it (And I recommend you to try it, with or without children)

Holidays at the sea 

I don’t like holidays at the sea. Did I say that already? Maybe I should check last year’s posts. The fact is that after a ten minute swim and a walk, I’m bored to death. And it’s usually too hot to do anything else. Especially if you are in a small village where there is nothing to do in a radius of miles and miles and you don’t have a car anyway. But if you add to the scene a couple of kids, that’s perfection. You now have nothing to do but chase them to put their suncream on, then chase them to put their swimsuit on, then drag them to the beach, where they won’t be allowed to splash water on other people or throw sand  or run in the water by themselves or just play in the sun all day, drag them to the water, drag them out of the water, chase them to reapply the suncream while not covering themselves and you in sand (I don’t think any parent ever managed that one) and finally drag them home where they will resist having a shower with all their might, bringing sand everywhere and especially on your bed when they finally fall asleep. And rest assured, by the time you’ll have cleaned up all that mess and had a shower and maybe something to eat, and attempt to have a nap, they’ll be up and willing to play again. Only that now it’s 1.30pm, the temperature outside is close to the surface of the sun and you’ve got to entertain them at home for hours on end. Repeat twice a day every day. My mum never liked going to the sea and I couldn’t figure out what was not to like. Now I know, she didn’t like going to the sea WITH US. 

OK, rant over. For now. 

Brief sparkles of happiness

I love having friends around. Being able to talk about anything without awkward moments, no matter how long has passed since we last met. The kind of people that stay over and unload your dishwasher without even asking (it seems trivial, but it shows a level of intimacy I don’t expect by many people). It’s so rare and so precious. 

We had two weekends like that in the last month, and even though I’m always tired and there’s a mountain of clothes piled in my bedroom which I’m supposed to sort and store away but haven’t had time to look at for weeks… I was happy.

…I miss my (very few but good) friends who are far away…