Rufus was born when Winston was 22 months, so neither of them remember life without each other, and it’s something I really like the thought of. I realise it’s probably because I was never alone growing up. I’m number five of eleven children and I loved the constant buzz of the family home. Being by myself wasn’t something I appreciated until I was married, it’s something I definitely had to get used to – learn to enjoy even.
Win has shared everything with Rufus – his clothes, his shoes, his coats, his toys, his books, his buggy and his bedroom. Win starts nursery two days a week in a few weeks time, and it suddenly occurred to me that he’ll need a bag to take to nursery to carry his lunch and a change of clothes. He’s never truly had anything of his own – something with his name on it, that he’s responsible for. It’s one of those parenting moments that has really taken me by surprise. I know a bag really doesn’t matter, or mean anything, but it marks a new stage for us, in particular for Winston.
We’ve been a three for the last 18 months and it’s a dynamic we’ve got used to. It’s a dynamic we love, but Win is moving on – he’ll be doing something Ru isn’t a part of and I’m not a part of. I am excited for him and I wonder what he’ll make of it – it’s so precious that he’ll have something of his own. I know I’ll miss his chatter, but I know I’ll enjoy the quiet too. I can’t wait for him to tell me about what he gets up to, who he talks to, what he makes and who he plays with. I’m excited to get to know Ru a little better too.
Jared and I looked around two nurseries separately (so that we wouldn’t be influenced by each other). Neither of us massively preferred one over the other, but in the end we decided on the one that felt most like a home. I didn’t want it to look or feel like a school, I wanted there to be outdoor space and I wanted to be able to walk there. I think this criteria would probably horrify a lot of parents, but I’m really not in a rush for him to grow up and I didn’t want anything that felt too ‘official’. I want him to have a lot of fun, enjoy himself, be happy and learn a few things along the way.
Win has never had a say in the clothes and shoes I buy him, but I asked him what sort of bag he would like to take to nursery, and he said: “One with rockets on”, and on this occasion that is exactly what I’m going to buy him. I want him to have a bag he loves and one he will wear with pride.
He accidentally napped today, and as I’m writing this, he’s next to me on the sofa singing nursery rhyme after nursery rhyme. I feel completely full. His innocence and naivety apparent, and I’m going to soak it up, because it won’t last forever.