22/52 2016

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 10 months)

My mom would often take us to Zoo Lake as children so it's nostalgic for me to walk around here with you, pushing your pram or holding your hand as you balance on the low brick wall or chase after you as you run ahead with arms splayed at the side. My little birds. You squeal in terror, more than delight as flocks of geese run towards us in the hope of a scrap of bread. Every part of Zoo Lake conjures up a different memory and I tell you stories about wading into the water to find lost treasures, and catching ducks in my arms through carefully laid bread trails, to racing bikes around the path, and carols by candlelight picnics on the lawn. Even with the large lake on which boats afloat on summer evenings, it's certainly not the prettiest park - it's grimy, not entirely well kept, and we pass many vagrants during our walk. But it is just around the corner from our home and very much a part of where we live in Johannesburg and right now it's at it's best as the trees are on fire with brown and red and the floor is carpeted in crunchy leaves. 

21/52 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 10 months)

Autumn is perfect for walks in our neighborhood - cold but not too cold. The backs of your little necks get damp with sweat from  woollen neck warmers and running and your hair starts to curl up with the moisture. The crunchy leaves padding the pavements are so tempting and satisfying to crush in small still-dimpled hands and under no longer tiny feet. You become collectors, picking up sticks, or stones another day, mostly feathers, all handed to me like hidden treasures or newly discovered specimens which I must guard and protect, and return on demand even days later.

You're strong and able, and walk and run the whole way home. I love seeing you walk these roads we walked so often as newborns in prams or carriers. It's such an obvious indicator of growth, just as we've seen houses change, knocked down, and rebuilt along the way. This letting go and running ahead shows a confidence as well, in your surroundings and self.

This particular route is not much in terms of walks, we have to go on a busy road for the last part home, but walks are good, the fresh air, the observations. And it is home, it is where we are, I like being here with you.

20/52 2016

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 9 months)

"Sweet, crazy conversations full of half sentences, daydreams and misunderstandings more thrilling than understanding could ever be." Toni Morrison

19/52 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 9 months)

We spent the week with Cheska and Francie at Sun City. It was a real girls' adventure - we hired a van and all drove together, and rented a small chalet. We did all sorts of cheesy resort things, like going on train rides, visiting petting zoos, and we even went on a ride in the Valley of Waves (this was met with mixed emotions from the little ones and everyone had to evacuate before the ride was done. Perhaps three babes and two moms on a tube was a bit ambitious!). We went on long walks through the incredible man-made tropical gardens, we visited the aviary, and we even went for high tea at the Palace. We had lots of fun all staying together, saying hi to the peacocks which came to visit us each morning, sharing meals, and baths, and tears and laughs. Travelling with you, no matter where, is one of my favourite things to do. 

18/52 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 9 months)

I've always bathed with you. I think I found it easier to manage two babies if I was actually in the bath. Our routine hasn't changed much since then, and the three of us squash into our very small tub. I used to nurse you every night in the bath, but that has almost been entirely replaced with the last course of dinner which your papa gives to you. Hence, I've been ousted from my prime position in the bath and usually end up squeezing in near the tap.  You come up with all sorts of games in the bath, from cake making with sponges and soap, to lining all your bath toys in a row along the edge. Bubble bath, aqueous cream, or any other sort of ingredient you can lay your hands on is an added bonus. Even though there's almost no space for all these limbs which turn pruney in the water, I hope we bath together for a very long time. 

17/52 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 9 months)

We've just been in the bush for our annual family holiday. I love being there with you - watching you play make believe games in the dirt, bundling up for early morning drives armed with rusks and jackets, spotting the hippo every time we crossed the main road bridge, renaming impala pea-hogs, spending all day with your cousins, sleeping under mozzi nets, braaing sausages around the fire at night after running around the camp with glow sticks, looking for owls with Bear. The slower rhythm,  the last rays of hot weather, the carefree barefoot days, magical sunsets. I always wish we could stay longer. 

16/52 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A portrait of my babes once a week in 2016 ( 2 years 8 months)

Birthdays, more specifically birthday cakes and teh surrounding ritual of blowing out candles and singing happy birthday, are one of your favourite things. You often play "birthday" and we have to sing to the fairies or whichever family member you selected to celebrated. Most of your baths are taken up with making cakes (from soap and sponges) and then singing happy birthday. You have two English versions of the song, an Afrikaans version, and a Zulu version, so these games can take up quite some time. You often call me to be included in the celebration and we all have to stand and sing around whatever object is the "cake" in that game.

Francie Sugar's first birthday party was this week. And I think the cake ritual was your favourite part. In fact, you thought it was as much your celebration as it was the birthday girl's. It is so special to see you and your cousins all growing up and attending each other's parties, blurring the lines between between party guest and birthday girl. Cutting cakes for each other and singing at the top of your lungs. 
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