I’m writing this in a cafe while I wait for Tristan to get his hair cut. He’s sprucing himself up because he’s flying to Europe at lunchtime, to spend a couple of weeks attending competitions and training camps with Kiwi Olympic trampolinist Dylan Schmidt and his support crew. He’ll be away for my exam period, which is a great stroke of luck for him.
Despite the heady promise of sunny weather and the extended company of grownups, Tristan’s pretty gutted to be leaving his little monkeys for such a long time. In an attempt to console him, I thought that he’d like a reminder of the specific things that he’s going to miss, in the hopes that he can find some way of replicating them.
- Fulfilling elaborate breakfast orders. This morning Joe asked him for “Cheerios and yoghurt and honey, with no Cheerios”. And the varied appetites are always fun to predict: three helpings one day, and three spoonfuls the next.
- Being forced to take a keen ongoing interest in other people’s bathroom visits. I’m not sure how he’s going to cope without getting updates about who needs wees and poos, and who’s just done a wee or a poo.
- Never leaving the house without an extensive range of snacks, and spare pairs of knickers for everybody.
- Going on long, aimless road journeys because somebody in the car has fallen asleep.
- Providing ample warnings about dinner being served, and then weathering the inevitable storm when dinner is actually served and your dining companions act as if the world has ended.
- Remaining stoic while your dining companions take what seems like three hours to eat two slices of pizza.
- Chasing naked people around the house in order to tempt them into the bath you’ve just run for them, and then singing them songs while you wash them and trying to stop them from pouring the contents of the bath onto the bathroom floor.
- Deliberately taking as long as possible to tidy up the bathroom after the bath, so the people you’ve bathed have a chance to ‘hide’ under towels, blankets, and piles of cushions in the living room.
- Alternatively cajoling and compelling people to brush their teeth, like this is an unreasonable request and not a basic requirement.
- Working your way through elaborate bedtime routines that involve special toys, drinks of water from specific vessels, tucking in people more than once, turning on white noise, turning on the ‘don’t wake up until the sun comes up’ clock (even though you know that it will be completely ignored if anybody wakes up early), winding up the music box, and dishing out kisses and cuddles.
- Returning to the bedroom five minutes later to pull duvets up, or push them off, or provide one last drink of water, or put somebody on the potty. Or all four requests, times two.
- Responding promptly to any middle of the night wake-ups with lots of cuddles and reassurance.
We will miss him so much!