I’ve stumbled through this December in a blur of cheese, booze, family and twinkly lights. Now my head’s aching, so I’m not going to try and write about Austin and Gwen’s milestones. It would come out as gibberish.
Instead, here is our month in pictures, with a handful of words.
Austin and Gwen’s mischievous games continue apace.
This month, a favourite was box-car riding, amid the mess and mayhem that is our front room.
Austin’s fourth birthday was in November, but his party was held this month; a joint bash with a little friend.
We unimaginatively opted to hold it at a local soft play centre. Just like last year. Luckily – probably due to the fact that, for him, it happened a quarter-lifespan ago – Austin’s memory of his last birthday was hazy. So the experience was just as thrilling for him as the first time he’d ever set foot in the place.
He performed as a King in the pre-school carol concert. Here he is, practising his regal wave to teary eyed subjects parents.
We spent Christmas at home this year. It was our first time in this house, as a gang of four. Here we are, about to lay out provisions for Father Christmas and his helpers (the picture was taken by our dear friends Tom and Peter, who joined us for dinner that evening).
‘Mummy, Daddy, Father Christmas has been! My stocking’s full!’
One of my best awakenings ever.
About an hour later, Austin was joined by Gwen, who didn’t quite get it….she kept saying she wanted to thank Father Christmas.
Later: a drizzly stroll in the park, with new brollies.
This gift – Pig Goes Pop – was Austin’s present from an old school friend of mine. It was a HUGE hit; he insisted on playing it for hours on Christmas Day.
I had plenty of offers of help with Christmas dinner from our little kinglets. Despite their eager involvement with the cooking, they barely touched the duck in orange sauce I’d spent hours preparing (bitter……me?…..never……)
A few days later, Gwen chose to hide in the children’s play area during our shopping trip to Westfield Stratford (probably the safest option for her, given that it was rush-hour busy all day long, with queues to get into some shops).
We saw a lot of our family this month. Our first houseguests were Austin and Gwen’s Granny and Grandad; then their Grandma. This shot was taken on my cousin’s balcony, where we met up with another gang of relatives. And we’ve just said goodbye to Dave’s brother and his family, who stayed for New Year and have been entertaining us with West Country tales of ghosts, monsters and Scooby Doo.
Christmas and New Year have come and gone, and we’re pooped. But it’s been a grand month, and I have high hopes for 2014.
Happy New Year to all, from the Pigeon Pair and Me!
*’A round of a claw’ is what Austin has learnt to call a round of applause. For more about its origin, visit month one, April 2013.