Two….sides to every story


Every house has it’s hero. Right now in our house it’s Mr Tumble. The Cbeebies cheeky chappy who kids seem to adore. When he’s visiting us on our television everything comes to a halt. All the noise, whining, demands they all stop. Both girls are totally hypnotised by his presence. All that can be heard is his singing ‘hello, hello, how are you?’

Whilst i sing back the next line ‘hello, hello, it’s good to see you’. I love him. For giving me a little break. I love him so much I bought a £6 dvd with his latest adventures, which quite frankly was the best £6 i’ve ever spent for the joy (code for peace) its given me.

This week it was Belle’s second birthday. So i took her to Sainsburys where we often pass the Birthday cakes and we stop to look as they have so many recognisable children’s characters. This week i told her she could choose her own and take it with to Nursery the next day to share with her friends.

I tried to persuade her to choose the caterpillar one, the peppa pig one and finally the pretty princess one. She was thinking it over, until she spotted a lone Mr Tumble cake when she went into melt down crying begging for ‘Tumble cake, pleeasse’.

It was quite frankly the weirdest looking cake I’ve seen. With Mr Tumble only recognisable from the picture on the covering box. Its her birthday so its her cake.

Little did i know that just 24 months on from being in that delivery suite on the Maternity Ward would I be letting her choose her own cake. It feels like only yesterday but ten years ago at the same time. Maybe child years are similar to dog years. So strenuous are they, that they multiple.

I listen to Radio 2 in the mornings, so infectious is Chris Evans & his team bringing a bit of happy into our lives with feel good stories & music, i highly recommend listening to him. They regularly have a slot called ‘pause for thought’ where a guest shares something to make us reflect and literally pause for thought. One morning not so long ago the guest speaker spoke of her children and their birthdays and the tradition they started inadvertently.

When it came to the morning of one of her children’s birthdays, when they were still having tea and opening presents & cards she would tell them the story of their birth. Regaling them of when and where she went into labour through to them being placed into her arms and them being brought home for the first time. She said that as the years went by, their stories obviously remained the same but would take on a different significance as the children grew older and the more they understood of life. They relished the reliving & remembering of these tales together. The children would always ask their mother on their birthdays, please tell me how i was born, again. She said she got the idea from the birth of Jesus. We happily tell our children the nativity story each year but most children are unaware of their own.

I really loved this idea and thought it would be so wonderful to do with Belle & Jools. My experience of labouring with both my girls was quite possibly the most profound and intense experience of my life to date and one which i often think of.  To be able to relive this and share with them, year after year would be both an honour and pleasure.

On the morning of Belle’s second birthday when she woke we took her as usual into our bed. We had milk & tea whilst singing happy birthday being surrounded by her presents & cards. She’s still too young to understand what it means to have a birthday although she has quickly made an association that presents and relaxing of boundaries are involved. As we cuddled under the duvet I began the story of her birth. I thought it wise to keep it short this year and possibly for the next few as her concentration is that of a gnat’s, fleeting. She looked so thoughtful as i were telling her story, how much she understood I can’t say but she kept saying ‘baby, cuddle’. Yes I said, i cuddled you lots and lots and haven’t stopped since then.

Remembering her birth this year was more for the enjoyment of my husband and I. How we laughed when we reminisced.  That’s the beauty of hindsight because at the time laughing was the last thing i were doing and unless she goes on to have children of her own, she won’t really ever get the other side to that story, of giving birth to another, no matter how many times i tell it to her.


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