Learning, learning all the time

Things I learned this weekend. In no particular order of importance.

1) Despite knowing her for 3 days shy of 40 years, my entire life, my aunt’s face has a new smile. It’s on her face when she talks about her grandson, who was born at 26 weeks in June and is doing very well. Cole is in Sydney, in hospital, and will go home for the first time in a few weeks. My aunt will go to Australia later in the year, which gives her son and his fiancee time to settle, and adapt to life with a new baby in the house. She’ll swoop in October to give the wee fella the world’s biggest cuddle. A cuddle that she’s not given in years.

2) My son has started to have nightmares, about death and about people he loves dying. He woke on Friday night and told his mummy that all the people he loves had died. She cuddled him, reassured him that they weren’t dead but merely in London, and he went back to sleep.

Recently my ex-wife got a bit sad in front of T. She was remembering her father who died some years ago. She explained this to me on Sunday afternoon. How she explained to T  that yes she got sad, but that’s what happens when they miss someone they love. And she missed her daddy. When explaining this to me T went over and gave his mummy a cuddle and said “It’s okay mummy. You can have my daddy.”

3) Whenever I’ve left my old house, after putting T to bed, I’ve always gone downstairs and said goodnight to K. She doesn’t go to bed until after T as my ex-wife finds it easier to stagger bedtimes. Apparently, each time I’ve left the house, K has run over to a little Ikea chair by the window, thrown the toys and dolls that sit on it onto the floor, climbed onto the chair and stood at the window waving, blowing kisses and calling out ‘Goodbye Daddy.’

I didn’t know this until yesterday. She’s been doing it for months and usually, to minimise the pain a bit, I’ve always walked away from the house quickly. But this means she’s been waving goodbye to someone who’s not been waving back.

That saddened me a bit. Mainly because I hadn’t been told this before. But now I know. So now I’m going to leave slowly. I’ll walk away slowly, watch her pop her head up at the window and wave goodbye as I walk down the street.

4) That my son wants to have dinner or lunch at my flat more often. A few weeks back my ex-wife went to the theatre and I was asked to pick the children up from playgroup, take them back to their house, make dinner and put them to bed. She gave me a spare set of keys but, when we arrived at the house I quickly found that the key she gave me for the front door was the wrong one. Balls.

No other doors or windows were open, which is good, so I couldn’t get in at all. I hopped over the side door and into the back garden to see if the key worked in one of the doors at the rear to the house, but it didn’t. I tried to contact my ex on her mobile but got no response. So we changed plans. We all went back to my flat, and we had dinner. We played, and I tried to get the children to get some sleep as my ex-wife wasn’t returning until 11ish but no dice.

This evening was a little complicated but we did okay and adapted. And had fun.

T wants to do it again. He wants to be locked out of the house again, to watch me climb over the fence. To go back to mine to have dinner and lots and lots of stories. T thought this evening was so much fun. I feel a sleepover coming. As he put it ‘I want to help you climb over the fence when mummy locks us out of the house when she goes to buy shoes.’

5) My ex-wife is a scientist and a very intelligent and bright woman. She believes in facts and usually she can cut through any confusing situation with a clear head and a simple plan. She sees things logically, and few things surprise her.

But she’s astounded by our daughter, who picks things up quickly and is showing an incredible amount of intelligence at such a young age. Of course we’re biased parents, and know both of our children are bright and able, but K is displaying the ability to do thing and grasp things after a few careful instructions. In conversation about something or other I suggested that my ex was always the brains of the outfit but she responded by saying ‘No. I truly now believe that K is’ which is as astonishing for me to hear as it would be her saying ‘I’ve just seen God driving a Smart car on Jupiter.’

6) Learned is more commonly used in the US, and learnt is more commonly used in the UK.

So that’s it.

Actually it’s not. I know I’ve learnt more, heaps more eye opening stuff, but this isn’t Eastenders so I won’t go into that here. Please forgive my indulgences on this post but I wanted to write about my children as that’s I believe I’m best at being a dad. And I learn something new from them every minute I’m with them.

The wonderful @SunnivaAnne has also written a post about learning this week, and I urge you to take a read, and share with us both, what have you learnt recently?




8 responses to “Learning, learning all the time

  1. I like this post mucho. Thing are falling into place, people are having real feels that are right sized and your ex is realizing how important you ate in your kids lives. Everything is a bit of information to tuck way and use when the time is right. It’s on your side this time for sure. COmmunication is key and you are their dad, they see this and want this and this cannot be denied. Good stuff! x

  2. You write so eloquently, and even though you have split from your wife, your admiration and respect for her shines through in your words. Perhaps as the mother to your children, and I realise I don’t know anything about you, but to an outsider like me you seem very much together in a way that the bond between you can never be broken.

    I hope I don’t speak out of turn when I say that, it’s just that your writing is a breath of fresh air when there is so much hate and contempt in the world.

    CJ x

    • Thank you. Despite things I do respect my ex-wife. We were in love once and that will always be there. If not the emotion then the knowledge that it was, and that is a good thing. Not something to be sad about.
      More than anything though she is a brilliant mum, and while she is also a world-respected scientist and researcher, I know that she knows her best work are two small children who, one day, will probably eclipse up both.
      Thanks for your comment which is not out of turn at all, but very much appreciated.

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