Éowyn’s Fourth Birthday

So after an unplanned update due to Lucinda’s appendicitis and subsequent appendectomy we are back on track with one of the few updates that are planned years in advance.  The whole raison d’être of this website, or at least it’s initial conception was you keep you, my dear readers, up to date with Éowyn’s progress.  As she was our first child and there were so many of our friends and relatives that are spread across not only the country but the globe too, it seemed the easiest way to ensure you all had a window to glimpse the antics of this branch of the Bagnall family tree.  That was four years ago.  Yes, our oldest child has just celebrated her fourth birthday.

Usually the weeks between Amélie’s birthday and Éowyn’s birthday are quiet and uneventful, this year was far from uneventful however Lucinda’s appendectomy could not have happened at a more fortutious time in terms of either the development of our unborn son and to coincide with a quiet(ish) time at work.  Obviously the most important of the two is the fact that our unborn bubba is seemingly well and healthy (our 20 week scan is in the coming week so stand by for yet another update).  With an international break weekend the number of football matches coming through my work world drops from >70 to around 20 and hence although there are still lots of things to do at work my presence wasn’t as missed as it would have been on a full-on weekend of sport.

However, the five days I had off from work were necessary to look after the family while Lucinda begun to recuperate and just as work did not miss me that much neither did I miss work.  Obviously it is not possible nor practical for me to take off Lucinda’s complete recuperation time off but neither is Lucinda up to looking after the children, this is where living in the same village as the grandparents comes in very handy. So the plan for this past week has been dropping Amélie off at Grandparents, followed by dropping Éowyn off at school.  Then take myself to work.  Granddad has been picking Éowyn up from school, then on my return from work, pick up both girls before heading home and cooking for the family.  Then put the girls to bed and relax!

Wednesday saw Éowyn actual birthday.  She was allowed to open some of her presents before school and insited on wearing one of her new dresses and another of her birthday pressies: a tiari and magic wand.  This was the first birthday that Éowyn has spent at school (last year we took her to Peppa Pig World, something we should perhaps try and squeeze in before the end of the year) and was also the first of my children’s birthdays I have spent at work.  However I did manage to make it a short day and get home before rush hour to take Lucinda to Nanny and Granddad’s for a birthday dinner and a muppet themed birthday cake.

Éowyn really enjoyed being the centre of attention and made Nanny light the candles three times so that she could blow them out, again, again and again.  We got home and opened the rest of her presents and she seemed incredibly pleased with everything she got, indeed telling Lucinda, ‘Mommy, this is the best birthday ever.‘  It is nice to know that a home cooked meal with Nanny and Granddad and some presents surpassed the trip to Peppa Pig World from last year!  Will it always be like this?  I doubt it.

The week continued in the same vein, with Lucinda recovering well but still not strong enough to look after the kids, me at work and Lucinda’s parents looking after Amélie each day and Éowyn after school.  As the week wore on the strain of looking after two young kids was becoming more deeply etched on Nanny and Granddad’s faces and although they would never say anything I decided that an alternative needed to be found for the weekend, especially since I would not be able to get out of work early on either Saturday or Sunday to help put the girls to bed.  Call in Nanny Fran.

Lucinda’s parents live within a two minute walk, Nanny Fran lives a two hour drive away.  Lucinda’s parents are retired, Nanny Fran retires at the end of the year so getting Nanny Fran involved take a little more organising.  So Friday saw a similar start to the day as had happened all weeklong.  Amélie at Nanny and Granddad’s, Éowyn at school, then a 15 mile drive to work.  I got out of work a little early and then picked up the girls from Nanny and Granddad’s.  Back home for roast chicken, then get the girls ready for bed, pop them in the car and then a two hour drive to West Bromwich.  I got to Nanny Fran’s just before 10pm and put the sleeping girls straight to bed.  They were now in Nanny Fran (and Auntie Liz’s) care.

Woke up the next morning, said goodbye to the girls (who seemed to be very excited to be on an adventure at Nanny Fran’s) and drove the 130 odd miles to work.  It seemed very strange to head back to home with just Lucinda there (and to drive a car with no child car seats in the back).  Obviously it was nice to see my wife but the house seemed oddly empty without the girls, even though had they been there then they would have been asleep.  It was also strange to get an uninterrupted night of sleep, I can not honestly remember the last time that happened.  Then back to work on Sunday for me while Nanny Fran brought them back down Sunday afternoon.

Not sure who had more fun at Nanny Fran’s, Éowyn and Amélie, or Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz.  From the photos and the stories probably Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz just edged it.  At least next year when Nanny Fran has hung up her last file of photocopying then there can be lots of adventures for the girls (and the new addition to the Bagnall family) in West Bromwich!  Indeed when I asked Éowyn if she wanted to go back with Nanny Fran, she became all excited.

Hopefully Lucinda will carry on recovering as well as she seems to be and so the reliance on Nanny and Granddad (and Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz) not to mention the extra taxiing and workload that I am carrying will lessen.  You realise when something like this happens just how much teamwork is involved in raising kids and looking after a house, especially since the majority of that side of the family tasks is done by Lucinda as I tend to be at work up to 6 days a week (oh, for the correct six numbers this week!).  You also realise how precious life is and how quickly it can be put in danger.  It puts in perspective what is important in life and what is just flimflam and although no doubt the flimflam will begin to creep up in pseudo-importance over the next few months, I just hope we can both remember what this episode has taught us and hopefully it will also help you to realise the flimflam in your own lives.

Peace and Love