For the past couple of weeks, Elke has woken every two hours around the clock. Day and night, night and day. She has needed feeding, settling, shooshing, rocking and patting - in short, she's needed everything I've got.
I've been the shouty mother. Relying on Zeph and Pip to tow the line so that our home can continue to function. They've been feeling the pinch, I know 'cus I can see it in their behaviour.
In an attempt to break the cycle I declared today a P.J day and at 9.30am I actually got Elke to sleep and successfully put her down (HUZZAH).
As I walked down the hall from gingerly placing the baby in her cot, I could hear the kids gathering their drawing supplies and setting themselves up at the table. With two hands free for what felt like the first time in my life, I joined them.
There we sat at our filthy kitchen table covered in texta and solidified weetbix and drew. A pice of paper each, a collection of pencils and an almost dead bunch of tulips. A little conversation, a pinch of still life sabotage (those wandering little hands) and two deliciously cheeky children.
We stayed there until every pencil was blunt and every true, rich colour was brown. Those few moments around the table with my first born and his middle sister were fabulously restorative for me. For them too, I suspect.
Oh my big kids, how much I have missed having time for you. I've missed listening with undivided attention to your ridiculous stories, I've missed cutting your sandwiches like I care about their shape (only squares please, mum), I've missed rescuing you from the highest limbs of magnolia whilst pretending to be superman and I've missed your tiny little hands in mine as we walk together. We've been running lately, but I promise we'll walk again soon.