My Dear Girls,
This letter is, quelle surprise, late. Very late. In fact it’s not so much late as in fact my regular dispatch of an intended letter has all but stopped. I had intended to get back on top of writing to you regularly so to help that I’m at least going to try combining letters to you both. This output in particular may come across a bit stop/starty where dates and edits have been messed around over the months. Bear with.
Alex if you ever dig these letters out when your old enough, you’re not going to be impressed that I wrote to Frankie monthly to start with and really didn’t with you. This obviously has nothing to do with favouritism and everything to do with the fact that now we do have two of you little monkeys, there really is very little time for anything else. Do excuse me. And when we do have some downtime, we’d rather not be tip-tap typing on our ‘puters. Capisce? Selfish I know.Â I can tell you both however that despite me not having written recently, at this moment in your/our lives, you’re both as perfect and adorable as each other, and are in fact more than ever worth writing about, worth shouting from the rooftops about. I love you monkeys so much.
In some kind of chronological order:
26.02.2010; Alex stops breast-feeding (whilst your Mumma spent time doing her AFF course skydiving).
03.2010: Plettenberg Bay, South Africa was at last some catch up time, after me having been away for a bit. Time for us to start going loopy together: to speak utter nonsense; to run around; to get Frankie (with the aid of Kathy the swim-coach) very nearly swimming; to watch the ants and play make believe about what’s going on in their lives; we need more time like that. And we were also out there for Uncle Eddie and Auntie Amber’s wedding. You picked me up from George Airport. Running into the carousel area to come cuddle me. Unbeatable.
I have to let you know though Alex, and grass up your Bretherton grandparents – who do take the piss out of you somewhat for what little hair you currently have which may or may not have a slight tinge about it 9trick ofthe light I say), that and sticky-out ears. I find it a little rude to be honest, you’re beautiful, obviously.
Trying to get you Frankie to pull your trousers up: “I can’t. Batteries not working.”
Granny and Mummy potty trained you (I arrived a little later due to work/flights) with the cunning use of a star chart. Well done, and over in a week. As of 04.05.2010, you were nappy free throughout the nights too.
Whilst watching some Attenborough, Planet Earth, on seeing sand in the Sahara, Frankie: “where’s my bucket and spade.”
Since you sucked to death your left thumb, lost half the nail, made the skin look like that of an octogenarian’s, you’ve now stopped sucking said thumb. You’ve also stopped doing that freaky thing that you did with your eye when you were tired, where you’d pull down and stroke inside your eyelid.
Me: “Sometimes I go away.”Â Frankie: “Sometimes we pick you up, but you always come back.”
Discipline. In general having to enforce it bores the fuck out of me. I really don’t enjoy it, but it’s a necessary evil. If we didn’t reign you back in where we saw fit, well, I don’t need to explain as I know you know, but my point is that I’d rather that we could just be cool all the time, and I do appreciate you pushing the boundaries, in fact I love that you do, but we will keep you within those boundaries until we see fit that you’re big enough and ugly enough to hold your own.
Dipping you in the pool you do an automatic starfish impression and are clearly not happy with the situation.
Frankie, when being told off: “Want to kiss you. Want cuddle you.”
As of the end of April, my travels and the ForeignÂ Office contract came to an end. The project is no more. This means much more time together, hoo-bloody-rah!
29.05. 2010: Right now I’m sat on a train, heading down to catch up with the three of you in Polzeath, Cornwall. I was due to be working the weekend but that was cancelled so I’m catching you up in the South-West. You were down there primarily for your great-auntie Dilys’ funeral but we’re going to take advantage of being down in the West and make a mini holiday of it. I only met Dylis on a fewÂ occasions, she seemed a very nice lady indeed.
For the record
- Can only just wrap my hands around your (Frankie’s) torso now, crushing the ribs a little. Let’s say that you are too big that I can no longer do that. Before someone gets hurt.
- I also had to use this line the other day: “Frankie, please can you get your twinkle off my face.” Let’s not mention that again hey.
- Frankie, you love ‘picking your mince’ as my Nan to say. And eating it. In fact sometimes I have to wrestle your hand away from your mouth. I don’t really care that you do this, but it’s fun wrestling with you.
- Seems to be eczema on your legs Frankie, and some time ago a little hernia bump appeared at the top of your abs.
- 27.03.2010: back from SA. Alex’s first night in the cot in the same room with Frankie.
Girls, you’re both well, you’re both happy, all is therefore good in the world.