The school summer holidays roll on & tumbleweed blows around my blog. I've been doing that 'being busy but seemingly achieving nothing' thang that parents know oh so well.
Ellie has begun to ask me for memories of the Brood as babies & toddlers, but I haven't yet dared to confess that so much time passed in a blur of nappies, feeds, washing machine loads, post-natal depression and then full blown bipolar, that my recollections are faulty & a little blurred around the edges. This feels me with guilt - it's as though the absence of memory represents a form of neglect! After all, wasn't it my intention to be a fabulous parent and to bring something fresh & vibrant to this child-rearing lark? I was going to do things differently - why I even had delusions of perfection! Well ha ha, the joke's on me - the grind got to me and I am instead a faulty, guilt-ridden parent. But they're loved, adored & cherished and I feel ever so certain that they know this even in their bones.
Of course the idea of being a perfect parent is a mirage - the only thing you can realistically hope for is to be, what John Cleese & Robin Skynner described in their excellent book, 'Families and How to Survive Them' 'a good enough parent'. So as this imperfect parent didn't manage to keep her baby books & photo albums in pristine, lucid order, the wannabe good-enough parent is going to trawl through her diaries, journals and notebooks in order to find the notes & scribbles she dashed off about her Brood.
A six month old Tom in diapers & dungarees - scribbles dashed off in between his cries and mine!
I thank Lord Dodo of Dodo Towers for his gift to the busy family of the splendid five column Dodo diary - without the help he's given us during these past years I wouldn't be able to rummage through old diaries and find the landmark dates that Ellie wants me to remember. Ah yes, Ellie's first steps. Wow, I actually remember that day!