So as most of you are looking forward to speaking some time with your families and taking a break from work I, somewhat contradictorily, am heading back to work after spending a fortnight with mine. Yes my paternity leave has come to an end and it is time to leave Lucinda to look after the kids alone (at least during the day) and enter the adult world again. In one of those coincidences that seem to belie an innate consciousness or at lease fortuitous planning the end of my paternal leave coincides with Easter Weekend.
Easter is quite often associated with April, although of course it can occur at any time between 22nd March and 25th April. (Easter is the only major holiday in the Western world that is moveable since it is defined as the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.) So although this Easter is on the early side, although it is only 5 years ago that we saw one of the earliest Easter Sundays on the 23rd March 2008 (and we will have to wait until 2285 until there is one even earlier than that – 22nd March) the weather is far from paschal. Not only is it cold but the wind is bitter and cuts right through you. Our corner has missed the major snow event that has hit other parts of the country, with only disappointing snow flurries that barely make it to the ground but last Easter we were on the tail end of an impressively hot March and had organised the first (and so far only) Great Bagnall Easter Egg hunt. There will be no repeat of it this year, with me at work and Lucinda coming to terms with looking after three children all on her tod in addition to the threat of a White Easter.
So what have we done with these final days of family time? Not a lot is the honest answer. I have been fighting some unspecified virus that has knocked me off feet a little. It is one of those viruses that gradually works its way around you body so you feel awful all over. Fortunately I seem to be coming out of the other side of it with only a hacking cough as the battle scar. Unfortunately Lucinda’s mum now has succumb to the same virus, so we wish her a speedy recovery. Obvious she is blaming me but I am blaming Amélie who has something similar last week. We are hoping that neither Lucinda, Éowyn or Ezra fall victim. However, Ezra has been fractious for the last day or so and although he is barely two weeks old this is out of character, so we hoping he is just having a bad day rather than he has the virus or worse still that it is a change in behaviour. We will keep you up to date.
So with the combination of illness and bitterly cold weather we have stayed in and let people come and visit us. So although we have been cooped up inside we have not been lonely. We have had a number of friends pay us a visit over the last week and it has been nice to see so many of our friends that we haven’t seen in a while. It is one of the fantastic things about a new child, they bring friends and relatives together. It must be some kind of deep ingrained instinct that predates human civilisations that still has the power to bring communities/ tribes/ collective noun of your choice/ together. A very powerful force indeed.
The only non-friend visitor of the week has been our first visit from the Health Visitor. She was a very friendly lady and in addition to being very pleased with Ezra’s progress she was amazed at Amélie’s elocution and could not believe that she was only two and a half. In fact because the Health Visitor wanted to check Ezra’s hearing and needed silence to do so, I had to invent a task to encourage Amélie to leave Ezra with Mommy and this strange lady and help me collect something from the car. We timed it just right and the hearing test was successfully conducted (and Ezra successfully passed). The next major test was another weigh in for Ezra and he topped the scales at 4.14kgs (9lbs 2 oz). So he has zoomed passed his birth weight in his first fortnight, the boy (and let us not forget Lucinda’s part in this) is doing well!
When I said that we have been effectively bunkered down for the last week, that is not quite strictly true. Éowyn has still had her last pre-paschal week at school. It has been nice for the last fortnight taking and picking Éowyn up from school. I quite often drop Éowyn off at school but it is rare that I pick her up. I think that she has enjoyed this little bit of extra father and daughter time too. It is nice to have a bit of time to chat in the car both before and after school looking forward to the day and then reflecting on what has happened. It is also a time for her to ask questions and on a bright morning it will quite often be, what kind of bird is that daddy? We are blessed with a number of the more unusual bird species in the village: Ring Neck Parakeets, Kingfishers, Red Kites and Herons rub wings with the more usual Collared Doves, Magpies, Chaffinches, Blue Tits and Mallards but the bird that caught her eye this week was a new visitor: a Little Egret. I mentioned that we saw one on the day that Ezra was born. It was looking a little tired and I feared that a fox might get it if it wasn’t too careful. Now it is flying quite strongly, it is obviously feeding and more than that it is one of a pair. Yes we have a pair of little egrets. I wonder if they are raising little little egretlets (I don’t think that is the technical name – but it should be!).
Obviously now that I am back at work the frequency of the updates that I have been spoiling you with will drop back to a more usual once a fortnight (if you are lucky) and for that I make no apology however I promise to post lots of photos. Also if you are at all interested and I didn’t bore you too much earlier in the update the latest Easter can be is the 25th April. This will next occur in 2038 so although my children may have missed the extremely early Easter in 2008 (although it was about the time that we announced that we were pregnant with Éowyn) with good fortune we may all see the latest possible Easter occurrence (assuming we all survive the year 2038 problem). Don’t forget to put your clocks forward at the weekend and I will see you in April.
Peace and Love