September feels like it’s been the month we’ve been building up to for so long somehow, as it marked the start of school for Max. It feels like it’s been looming over us for so long now, ever since we put the school application in, and as much as I think we tried to pretend that it wasn’t happening, we knew that it was on the horizon. And despite all of the worry and anxiety from all of us, it’s gone more smoothly than we ever could have imagined. Sure, we’ve had the expected tiredness and tantrums after school, but it seems that Max is really enjoying it, and we’ve not yet had so much as a whisper of him not wanting to go.
With the start of school, we’ve had a pretty quiet month really. Right at the start of the month, before school started, Max and I dropped Ben off at my mums and we headed to Legoland for a day out, just the two of us. It’s funny how you forget how easy it is to be looking after just one child, and not worrying about juggling everyone’s needs, and Max loved having me all to himself. It was one of the best days we’ve ever had at Legoland!
Even with quite a few quiet weekends, we have managed to fit in a few National Trust visits – to Scotney Castle, which I always think looks beautiful at this time of year, Claremont Landscape Gardens, and Winkworth Arboretum. We’ve collected conkers, hunted for pretty leaves, and chased ducks (Max is still convinced he’ll catch one one day).
It’s also been the month when Max has started swimming lessons – something which feels like a huge milestone. We did baby swimming lessons with Max, which it soon became clear he hated, and he’s never been hugely comfortable with the water. But I think swimming is such an important skill to learn, so we felt that it was the right time for him to start. Just like with school, he’s been doing brilliantly! He had a bit of a shaky start to his first lesson, where he spent the entire lesson clinging to the teacher like a little monkey, but by his 3rd lesson, he managed to let go of the teacher’s hand and swim by himself (armbands on, but a huge step forward!) I’m so proud of how well he’s doing with it and how hard he’s trying.
Our family photos this month were taken at Claremont Landscape Garden, which is our local National Trust property. Max likes a silly shot, so we attempted a ‘jump in the air’ photo – as you can see, it was a massive fail! I’m the only one jumping, looking like a lemon, Max is holding his huge stick looking like he’s ready to charge, and John thought the camera had finished taking, so had finished his jumping… And then we couldn’t convince Max to ditch the stick for another attempt.
I also really wanted a shot of the two boys together, but when neither of them wanted to cooperate, I thought one of the three of us would make up for it. Max thought this would be the perfect opportunity to dump a load of leaves over me, which to be fair, was pretty funny. My kids are so much more cooperative for a professional photographer!
At least Ben pulled out all the cute stops for this one.