I think I may have seen The Light. The Light of hope and promise that people talk about when your second child turns two. The Light you think about when you're pacing the landing with your crying baby, knowing your older child will be up at six. I think I've had a glimpse of it.
My children have been playing together for 45 minutes. All by themselves. Upstairs. Knowing that absent, quiet children under five usually means mischief, I have been to check. They have not climbed onto something they shouldn't. They have not found my Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and squeezed it along the bathroom tiles 'Like little worms, Mummy'. They are playing nicely. Properly playing and talking to each other. As I write, I can hear the cadence of their little voices and, so far, not once have I heard the shout of 'MINE!' I have tidied the kitchen, had a proper plunge coffee and read The Week cover to cover. For the first time in nearly four years, I'm actually feeling a little surplus to (their) requirements.
I'm almost reluctant to write this down for fear of setting off some sort of Sod's Law alarm which'll rattle me out of my smugness. But I think we might have arrived at the elusive 'There'. This is where people with The Knowledge promised me and The Husband we would get to, when we appeared grey faced and red eyed on most public outings during the first year of two children.
And if we are 'There', where things get a little more manageable, perhaps we can start some of those things we promised ourselves we'd do and get back some of that stuff we once did. Inside my mind is now a mini-landslide of excitement - might we soon be able to go for brunch with the Sunday papers whilst the children chat happily to each other? Could we possibly both get a weekend lie-in beyond 8am, if we leave out some raisin boxes and a selection of lurid plastic toys on the kitchen table?
But then a little voice says, if we are ALREADY Here, at 'There', it means our children are growing up. And all that Knowledge does is make me want another baby.