When an older child leaves home things change. It takes some getting used to, not having them around any more. The extra space at the dinner table, the difference in noise levels, the whole family dynamics – they all change.
It feels strange that when an independent child comes home it’s just to visit. They grow up, become independent (or try to the best they can… sometimes they still need Mum and Dad’s help!) and things change. Lots of things change.
Steph lives in the next county to us, the county in which Mike and I grew up and moved away from in order to take advantage of cheaper property prices. Until recently she was also working two jobs which has meant we haven’t got to see her very much. She came over to visit on Saturday and visits from Stephanie are cause for excitement… for the younger ones at least!
Stephanie does all the fun stuff. She’s gregarious, loud, active and really quite hard work for the adults to keep up with – we’re always pleading with her to ‘please calm down!’ – but the kids, well, they love it!
From Hokey-Cokeying around the living room to playing a very loud game or three of Fruitominoes (which she lost, not on purpose, every time), Steph is a constant source of entertainment.
She also takes her big sister responsibility seriously. She reads with the little ones, and has the younger ones read to her. She also sits them down to practice spellings…
… but spellings get boring after a while so she keeps their interest by introducing naughty words to spell. Young boys find practising spelling words like ‘bum face’ and ‘poop’ very amusing, in case you didn’t know.
And then she cuts them super-large slices of birthday cake covered with lashings of buttercream icing which is guaranteed to give them extra oomph before bedtime. A face-pulling competition thrown in to add to the excitement…
… and then she goes home and leaves us with the hyperactive, over-excited aftermath of the masses.