Wednesday 20 July 2016

Four Under Five

Four, three, sixteen months and newborn.  When I tell people the age of my children I am often met with the same shocked impression and a variety of  'wow, you are crazy', 'You have your hands full' and 'rather you than me'.  There is the odd person who says something positive, about how wonderful it will be to have them growing up so close.  All of these things are true, I am a little crazy, my hands are most definitely full, rather me than them and it is amazing seeing how close these babies of mine are.

Four under five is exciting, challenging, noisy and a constant learning experience.  We are only three weeks in to this new adventure and I won't pretend to know what I am doing, but I am feeling confident about the challenges ahead.

The boys absolutely adore their little sister which makes everything a bit easier.  They are used to sharing, used to life with siblings and one extra is exciting but not as world changing as getting a brother or sister for the first time.  They love to stroke her, cuddle her and cover her in kisses (Finn).  They hold her hand and sing her songs and interpret her squeaks and expressions.  Finn is still too little to understand the term gentle, but he is wonderful with his baby sister and his face lights up when she is put down within his reach and he crawls over to show her love.

We are very lucky in that the bloke works from home and his job has some flexibility.  The key to these early days for us is teamwork and for the three mornings a week where Archie is at nursery we split the school runs, I take the biggest and the baby to school and he takes the middle two on the nursery run.  Being able to divide and conquer, or to take all 4 for a short while whilst one of us cooks in peace makes things much easier.  

Planning is most definitely the best way to combat stress and taking them out on my own involves a very large bag, enough supplies for a small holiday and a double buggy.  Having more nappies and spare clothes than we can possibly get through seems sensible and having a large supply of snacks means we are prepared for all eventualities.  Cora is mostly in a sling at the moment, but having a double pushchair means I have the option to put her down should I want to and more space for storing the mountain of 'stuff' that we need.

The school holidays are looming close and I know things are going to be manic.  I am looking forward to the more laid back mornings as we won't have the school runs to force us out the house so early, and my plans involve meeting friends at the park and beach as well as plenty of playdates in confined gardens and houses.  Finn is the hardest work at the moment as he isn't yet walking but he just loves to climb so the biggest challenge will be keeping him happy and safe whilst looking after three other little people.

In these past three weeks we have discovered the best way to fit us all in the (new 7 seater) car, how to get all four in bed (well three as Cora stays up with me still) and we have even braved eating out as a family of six (it wasn't really any different as the littlest one slept through the entire meal).

I may be looking frazzled and tired this summer, but I think it is going to be a great one with my tribe of small people.


  1. They are adorable, I think you are very lucky and it's amazing to have little friends to grow up with. I am sure it will be a very special summer, mania and all xx

  2. How I wish I'd had my children closer in age, they will all have a great bond

  3. I also have 4 children. They're a bit older than yours (10, 8.5,6 & 3). I had 3 babies in the space of 3 years & 3 months & then a good 3 year age gap between my 3rd & 4th. I remember those precious yet very tiring days when they were all young & close. I find it much more challenging the older they all get & would love to go back to when they were all younger again (double buggy and all), those were the days (of course it's still rewarding & special when they get older but it's different if that makes sense). Once your younger Two are at an age where they don't need a buggy is even trickier as you've only got 2 hands but 4 kids that want to hold YOUR hand (when taking all 4 out on your own). However, you find your way through all the changes in dynamics with 4 kids. I'm close to convincing the OH for no 5. Enjoy those moments when they are still babies as it flies by. I'm taking bad not having a baby in the house anymore. You'd think that after 4 kids the urge to have a baby & be pregnant would subside, for me, it's gotten stronger than ever to have another.

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  5. I love this. I look on with envy and admiration. Mine was three under 2, and I wouldn't change it for the world. The bond now at 5, 5, & 7 is immense. Their ability to play without parent intervention means I now drink hot coffee again!
    The temptation to have another has been great, but I think it is now over. So I look forward to your photos. Of the bond that will become visible and of the best of times.

  6. You are awesome and you have 4 beautiful children! I cannot wait to see them growing up together x


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