It's Sunday morning and the babies will not sleep. There's been a lot of that going on. There's also been a lot of not eating and not smiling going on. Instead we are mostly concentrating on frowning, grumbling and being unwell. And yet they are still the most adorable, the most wonderful ever.
Amelia mastered rolling some time ago and is now expending all of her energy (and I mean all of it) on learning to crawl. For a couple of weeks now she has been getting herself up onto her hands and knees and rocking back and forth. For the first 5 minutes she frowns and blows raspberries. I like to think that this is her concentration noise and that throughout her life, when she is focussing most intently on something - exams, driving tests, maths - she will frown and blow raspberries. Then her little arms get tired, her head droops to the ground and she continues to rock back and forth, resting on her forehead instead of her hands, frowning and grumbling, before the grumbles turn into the most disgruntled of yells. And yet she doesn't give up, my little trier. She gets up and does it again. And again and again and again. I love and adore and admire and am awed by her persistence and simultaneously I long for her to get there, to learn to move one hand then the other, one knee then the next without falling smack onto her face and adding another small bruise to the collection on her forehead, and ache just thinking about the day when this phase is over, when she is one step closer to not needing us to help her.
Meanwhile Ella watches, with a small bemused smile. Ella sits. Sometimes she sways back and forth, sometimes she shakes her head madly from side to side as if to see if it's still attached but mostly she reaches out and touches, with one tentative finger, whatever is around her in each direction. Chases small pieces of lint across the floor with her index finger, reaches with precision for whatever she wants, stopping when she realises it's out of reach, rarely if ever losing her balance. Occasionally a gleeful giggle, usually at Ammie's grunting efforts, punctures the air. Yesterday I left them on the playmat for 5 minutes while I went and made a coffee. When I came back Ella was 5 feet from where I'd left her, still sitting upright, gnawing on a cable tidy. For a few days before that she had been showing signs of wanting to be somewhere that she wasn't, of looking around, spotting something good and thinking 'yes, not only do I want that cable tidy, I want to be where that cable tidy is' but showing no signs of trying to get there, absolutely no desire to get down on her hands and knees and crawl. And yet yesterday she moved 5 whole feet, on her bum, without toppling. I'm pretty sure that while Amelia has been working on crawling, Ella has been formulating a plan, rocking back and forth testing her balance, figuring out how to move with as much ease as possible, without breaking a sweat. Nye and I just sit, watching in wonder, knowing that throughout her life Ella is going to continue to astound and surprise us.