A family weekend

It’s odd that a baby book ends at 1. The initially meticulous, then increasingly sparse, notes from A’s first year are a little time capsule of a way of life that already seems incredibly distant, and in retrospect relatively uneventful. Friends with younger babies ask questions “was A doing this at 8 months old? At 9 months old?” I haven’t the foggiest – it’s all one big blurry ball of parenting books, insomnia, breastfeeding and anxiety! An occasional look at the book helps remind me that there were also long naps (her), sunny outings, first foods, and lots of messy fun (both of us).

And then… nothing. Whilst I snap pictures on a daily basis, the finer points of toddlerhood – the bit where A started to become a little person of her own making – remain treasured, but uncaptured. The first words list tailed off when they became too many to count (“Nuh-nee, buggy, didaur, cuggle…”), the point at which they became sentences, then questions, passed – marked with shared grins between T and I – but no rush to write down the date. That’s partly why I started writing this blog – to capture something about our life as a little family to look back on; and not just the big events, but the very ordinary parts of our year. What could be more ordinary than a typical weekend without much on, just the three of us?

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The non-negotiable start to my Saturday (no matter how little sleep I’ve had) is a light breakfast followed by my spinning class at the little studio round the corner. When your heart is pounding in your head along with a 1980s remix and all you can think about is getting through the next 30 second sprint, there’s no room to worry. I actually find it a brilliant way to unwind!

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Meanwhile, the other two will get themselves dressed and mooch into town to meet me. We’ll have coffee (and snacks) at the nearby play café in the library. We pick up some food for lunch, from the farmer’s market if it’s on, and stop to buy flowers most weekends. A gets to pick the colour (it’s always yellow), the lady always gives her a bloom to hold (she insists on holding the whole bunch anyway).

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When we get back I’ll prepare some lunch, and sometimes I’ll carry on cooking through A’s nap time whilst T relaxes, taking advantage of having my co-parent about to experiment without too many interruptions. This weekend I made gram-flour wraps, then a parsnip & apple cake to use up the last bits of our weekly vegetable box (I’ll post these recipes on my Instagram later in the week if you’d like them). T doesn’t like cake so it’s sliced for the freezer for treats in the week. If the light is nice I’ll practice my food photography spread out on the kitchen table with props piled everywhere whilst T hides from the chaos.

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The afternoon usually brings an outing or some household jobs. A loves to rifle through the tool bag or potter about in the garden. T will take care of bath time whilst I make dinner with a glass of wine – often something indulgent from our spice box subscription.

On Sunday’s it’s T’s turn to exercise. Whilst he’s out on his mountain bike, A and I will get creative; again with cookery, or perhaps crafts, or even combining the two like with this week’s picture pancake fun. She’s increasingly interested in getting involved in the kitchen, there have been one or two near-misses involving standing on chairs, sharp knives and the hob whilst she ‘helps’.

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By the time T’s back, covered in mud, we’ll have cabin-fever so make him have a quick turnaround then head out for lunch somewhere. We try not to make my coeliac or A’s cow’s milk allergy limit us too much, but it can be easier to stick to chain restaurants with allergy menus available. Luckily A is not (yet) a fussy eater.

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Now the weather’s warmed up, we’ll visit the park or go for a walk in the afternoon, before heading home for a simple, healthy tea.

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In the evening I’ll write our food plan for the week and place an order for the ingredients, then prepare my breakfast and lunch for work on Monday. Yup, a lot of our weekend is food!

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