I’m writing this in the hope that Joth will blog about his weekend as he took the older two boys off for a weekend at Eyeshine, a fully funded weekend away for parents of 5-11yr olds to remember how to play and reconnect with all that really matters. And it worked! They have come back tonight clearly invigorated and excited by the whole thing. Lucas was beaming from ear to ear and said how he wants to go again and Joth said that not only was it lovely to spend special time like that with just the two of them but that he also found that he got things for himself from it.
I would have been able to tell much of what Lucas enjoyed from it just by the way he behaved when he came back. He bounced in and hugged us all and immediately asked Anton how he wanted his face painted. Then he said he was going to say “Yes” to Anton all evening! (One of the activities was for Joth to say “Yes” to whatever the kids asked him to play for 20mins.) Lucas made a den with Anton with all the sofa cushions and read him endless stories. It was really lovely. I do think that Lucas hasn’t always had as much chance to be as “young” as he might have been had he not had an older brother. I think he gets an enormous amount from playing with Anton. In fact sometimes when I think he’s only playing with the playmobil or cars just to be helpful then I realise he’s completely immersed himself. It’s lovely. He always has had a wonderful imagination and has only just given away some of his enormous soft toy collection and stopped reading fairy stories. I can tell Oscar enjoyed the weekend too but he was quick to return to his Youtube videos of painting Warhammer and then ran upstairs to paint some more.
And then Anton painted my face too (no photos of me – shame!)
As for my weekend with Anton and Dante, that was special too in it’s own way. I had to tell Anton that the others were going to Acorns for a long weekend as that is the only place they go to without him. We then embelished it further saying that it was going to be very muddy and wet and that we were going to have a special trip to Uncle David instead and the boys made a big deal out of saying they wanted to go to see him and they couldn’t and so on… He was fine about it in the end but it did feel strange waving them off. It helped that Phoenix was there to distract him too and we had a picnic tea on a blanket in the lounge while they played the Wii. Anton was very funny with the dancing!
Bedtime was strange too as Joth usually sleeps with Anton and I sleep with Dante but I put Dante on a mattress on the floor and slept next to Anton. Anton only woke once and Dante a couple of times so it wouldn’t have been too bad except that Katina had come over for the evening which was lovely – so lovely in fact that we were still chatting at 1.30am. So I did feel wrecked at 7 when they both woke and missed my usual lie in (come back Joth!) Once I had come round though I realised that an extra hour in the day makes quite a difference and we managed to leave for Bristol on time and without rushing.
We were held up in pretty bad traffic though so Dante ended up screaming for the last 40 mins which was horrible. It was lovely to see my brother and little C though. It was their first full day together since he had split up with his partner. It’s obviously been an incredibly difficult time for them both and we’re still really worried about how it will all work out. My brother has no job either as he left his job and rented flat to move to Bristol to be a dad. He has two second round interviews this week though so we have all fingers crossed. He’s kipping with a friend at the moment. Still, it was lovely to spend time with him and see him enjoying being a dad so much.
I got home by 10 and I managed to put Anton to sleep again while Dante stayed asleep in his car seat. There was a massive unsettling crashing noise in the back garden when I was putting them down which was rather unnerving and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even get the nerve to stick my head outside so I only saw that a tile had smashed on the table when I looked out this morning. If that had happened when anyone was sitting there they would have been killed.
Today (Sunday) was lovely because Anton and I just pottered and Dante was as happy as larry. I managed to do quite a bit in the house and also play with Anton and read lots of stories. He’s still enjoying finding all his toys in his new room. We had another picnic lunch and then picked some fruit from the garden to make a crumble for when the boys came home. I have so loved spending calm time with Anton and have rediscovered what lovely company he is and how ammenable he is and easy to reason with. It does help of course when it’s just us, not because the boys do anything wrong but it’s just that it’s busy and he has to up his game to get noticed I suppose. I think he’s sorted out his potty training too now (that’s not saying that there won’t be accidents of course!), and the peace and quiet helped with that too.
All in all it’s been a great weekend. I’ve really enjoyed shaking up the dynamics and doing things differently. I enjoyed missing the boys and then feeling really pleased to have them back and I’m determined to make the end of this holiday a really good one. I’m feeling very, very lucky to have such a wonderful family – they are such beautiful boys – every one of them.
Anton painting his “Warhammer” like the boys only his are little army men.