Everyone will tell you that the age gap they have between their kids is brilliant. Unless they got pregnant immediately after giving birth and have less than a year between kids and oh god can you imagine?
Friends with a small age gap – say, fewer than 18 months – like the fact that, although the early days were tough, they got all the baby stuff out of the way ASAP. Friends with bigger age gaps, perhaps four years, like that their eldest was at school leaving more time for the new baby.
We have two years and eight months between G Major and G Minor. It would have been a little less but I changed jobs and hung on for the enhanced maternity pay. “Stay away from me!” I would shout at Big G. “I can’t get pregnant till August at the earliest!”
2.8 was good for us. G Major was potty trained, could have a stab at dressing herself, had been in a bed for ages, obeyed the Gro-Clock, could climb in and out of the car herself and so on. But there’s no such thing as a perfect gap.
Except, sometimes, there is.
Right now, for a few golden weeks, G Major and G Minor are playing together beautifully. The baby adores her big sister and watches every move she makes with fierce concentration. Better than telly for keeping her engaged. And G Major, who loves imaginative play, now has a willing (read: helpless) participant. G Minor is sitting well but is still stationary, so she chews the props and chuckles while her sister bosses her about, covers her in hats and narrates her lines for her.
The other afternoon they did this for 45 minutes. 45 MINUTES! A parent can get a lot of stuff done in three quarters of an hour. I stuffed and folded the nappies, put away a load of washing, emptied the dishwasher, prepped dinner, set the table and swept the floor. And still had time for a quick look at twitter. What a glorious day.
It won’t last, of course. As soon as G Minor is mobile, her sister will find key characters missing as one sidles off to attempt the stairs again. Recasting her as Sven rather than Olaf may work temporarily but I anticipate great exasperation from the director.
But not quite yet.
There’s never *THE* perfect gap, but sometimes there is *A* perfect gap, just for a little bit. And right now I’m going to sit here, with a cup of tea and a magazine, enjoying ours.