30th July 2020: Hello Armstrongs!

30th July 2020: Hello Armstrongs!

Dear Edith,

Happy (belated) three month birthday!

We’ve been busy for the past few days, hence my disorganisation. The lifting of some of the strictest lockdown restrictions means that people can visit us in the house, which means we can finally start introducing you to some more of our family.

First your grandad came up from Plymouth, and we went back to the village where we’d hung out with some new mum pals the previous week for a walk and some coffee. I’m still a little bit anxious about taking you out places because we’ve done it so infrequently. What do I do if you scream uncontrollably and I can’t get you to stop? What if you do an enormous poo in the middle of the street?

Fortunately by now we’ve worked out that you only really cry when you’re hungry or tired, both of which are easily remedied. You decided to wait until we were at the furthest away point from the cafe before you decided you wanted a bottle, so we had to trot back through the village (with Dad carrying you part of the way) so we could feed you.

We did not, however, feed you this scone.

Then your Great-Nanna and Great-Grandad drove up from Derby in their motorhome for two weeks! They had originally planned to come almost immediately after you were born, but lockdown scuppered that plan, so they’d been waiting for the campsites in Scotland to open so they could come and visit in their motorhome. We managed to get four generations in a photo on the first day – in the car park of the caravan site, because we weren’t allowed to go in.

We had some days in the house with lots of cuddles and some days out. We had fish and chips at the beach (and discovered that you don’t like taking a bottle if it’s windy, after a hasty trip to the back of the car) and our first trip to a high street since before lockdown started. We were hoping to take you for yout first trip to our local game store, but we misjudged the day and it was closed. Next time! Magic: the Gathering is a huge part of our lives – it’s how your Dad and I met – and we can’t wait to introduce you to it as you get older.

Going into a shopping centre for the first time since the pandemic hit was pretty anxiety-inducing, but we sat and had a coffee and it was so emotional to have a little bit of normality in the midst of the pandemic and new baby turmoil that I’m actually quite emotional looking back on it. I hope it’s something we’re able to do again.

We’ve been waiting a long time to introduce you to the rest of your family, and I know they’ve been waiting a long time to meet you. One of the saddest bits about the pandemic and the lockdown was that it robbed everyone of the chance to see you for the first time as a newborn, instead of various angles of your head through a video call.

More than anything I hope that, whatever happens, we’re starting to claw back some of whatever counts for normal now. I want your family to see you grow up.

I don’t want you to only know the people who love you through a Facetime screen.

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