It’s not you, it’s me…no really it is me.

It’s been so long since my last post & I’m sorry, although you may have felt relieved! Goodness, these last few months have dragged & flown by all at the same time. So much & yet so little has happened. Apologies for my contradictions, but that’s how life has been lately & in all honesty I’ve been feeling just a bit ‘meh’. I guess it’s mainly because we’re in a routine now, I work, Tim works, Benjamin goes to his childminder & life kind of falls into a predictable pattern: it’s not bad, it’s not a hundred miles an hour, but it just works. End of day exhaustion kicks in, free time is sorely missed & writing for pleasure becomes a rare ‘luxury’! Part of my reluctance to ‘put fingers to keyboard’ has also been because I felt like an imposter in this crazy thing called ‘motherhood’ & blogging for that matter too. I kept thinking (& still do): who was I to write about being a Mumma? I’m in no way an expert by any stretch; I’m only doing this gig ‘part time’ (See blog post https://thegeriatricmumma.com/2019/04/26/yay-we-survived-the-10-month-check/) for goodness sake! My son can’t even talk yet! He babbles & chats in his own way, but doesn’t say animal noises on command, couldn’t give a stuff about colours & saying “thank you” for things just takes on a two tone noise of “ah ah”. I’m not ‘The’ Geriatric Mumma, I’m only one of the millions of older ladies who are ‘Mumming it’ & they’re probably doing things a whole lot better than me! My patience is not as good as I’d like it to be & for the most part, I’m tired & run on way too much caffeine, but hey, who doesn’t, right? I think I’m over this panic now; yes I am only one of many, yes I am new to blogging, but the reason I set this up was for Benjamin to look back on when he’s much older & for him to realise that yes, for the most part his Mumma was definitely ‘winging it’ & I can live with that. I think.

Back in October, our darling (but it has to be said, ever so slightly lazy) boy decided to take his first steps. Of course, we were totally over the moon that Benjamin started to walk & it seems very strange to think of him as crawling now – he’s pretty much mastered things, although sometimes his gait is suspiciously akin to my drunken stagger after a few G&Ts! Yes, we’d cracked it, or at least we thought so…however now it seems that people no longer ask the elusive “is he walking yet?” Because they can clearly see the answer they’re looking for, but rather, their attention has turned to, “is he talking now?” Seriously?! Give us a break! The boy could chat for England; as soon as he wakes, we hear him having full on conversations with himself or Scruffy Puppy in his cot; but exactly what is being said still remains a complete mystery. He knows what he’s saying & that’s all that matters. He kind of skipped the one word phase & went straight into “it’s down there!” Grumpily pointing at his muzzie that had been sleepily thrown out of his cot overnight. A lot of things are “down there” & he’s great at showing us the floor where the offending item maybe. I’m not worried about his speech particularly, he understands what we’re asking him to do, although his participation is often selective & I’m pleased with his progress: until I compare him with his friends & then I worry. Sometimes I fear that he’ll always sound like an over-excited pterodactyl & no one will quite understand what he’s getting at, other than “it’s down there” & “I don’t know!” when asked a question. Or worse still, I’ll always have to explain to him (with a rather red face) that not every man is ‘Daddy’! & it’ll only be us that can interpret his vocalisations. It got me thinking; this was always one of my biggest fears of motherhood; that my child wouldn’t be the fastest, the first to do things or the one who other Mumma’s use as a benchmark of achievement. But after a few long months of procrastinating, a few months of balancing motherhood, being a (hopefully good) wife & working; I’ve decided that I’m okay with Jamin not being the prodigy of Wool. He is a charming, very cheeky, happy chappy. He can ‘work a room’ & be friendly & sociable to everyone he meets. He shook hands with everybody at the hairdresser’s the other day & got them to engage with him & I’m proud of that. I’m proud that he is complemented on his ‘lovely smile’ or his general friendliness. I also wish I had a pound for every time someone says it too!

Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t perfect all the time & he’s most definitely learned the fine art of a good tantrum already. We deal with it, we pick our battles (yes, I have let him take Daddy’s screwdriver & a piece of wood out with us for an easier shopping trip!) & we explain things to him. Sometimes he accepts the explanation, other times not so much. We’ve introduced “1, 2, 2 & a half…” we’ve only reached 3 a few times back in the beginning when he wasn’t too sure what would happen (& sometimes Mumma wasn’t either!) He’s now realised that three is not a good number! Although it slightly concerns me that he’ll end up with some kind of trauma when he learns his numbers properly & gets to four, then finds out there is more than just 1 & 2, said in a rather stern tone.

The biggest development over the last few months has to be his new found love of DIY, in particular: sanding, drilling & screw-driving things to ‘help’ his Daddy with jobs around the house. He is careful with his tools has a little wooden box in the kitchen, which he’ll sit with for ages to smooth, attach screws & measure; all while I make dinner. It works for both of us. His Step Sister & Brother think we should set up his own YouTube channel when he’s older called ‘Jamin’s Jobs’ – watch this space! They’re also trying to negotiate a Management Fee of said rising star toddler, although I think I’d pay them a lot of money to manage him when he’s in one of his stubborn, hangry moods. But don’t tell them that though!

Anyway, I’ve included some photos of the last few months & things we’ve been doing. Quite a few things really, but it has to be said, we still hate soft play!

Thank you for reading. I promise not to take so long to write my next post. Feel free to comment below, I’d love to hear from you xx

My 100,000 Miles to Geriatric Mummahood

Last week, my car’s mileage reached 100,000 miles & I realised that I’ve actually driven all of them, but three. I bought my car brand new & I loved it then & still do now. I also realised that this milestone (& my car itself) represents my long journey to motherhood rather well. I bought my trusty Suzuki Swift eleven years ago, I was 28, almost 29. I was newly married to my first husband. If truth be told, we’d never really spoken about having children; it wasn’t on my agenda during my 20s: I was busy teaching other people’s children & I was more than happy with that arrangement. That was until one month in 2008 I missed my period. I was terrified, but part of me was excited at the thought of being a Mumma. I duly bought a pregnancy test (the first of many over the years) & waited what seemed like forever, for just one pesky line to appear. It was negative & I felt sad. It was at that precise moment, whilst sat sobbing on the loo; that I knew I wanted & thought I was ready for a baby, but didn’t realise I’d have to wait ten more years: get diagnosed with PCOS, go through a divorce, marry my soulmate, lose over three stone in weight & suffer a fair bit of heartbreak in between before I got to hold my bundle of joy.

I met Tim back in 2003 & I was instantly attracted to him. There was something about him that I was drawn to: he was (& still is) fun, techie(!), driven, successful & passionate in his career. He always inspired me with so many things & we talked for hours & continue to now – providing we can both stay awake long enough (ahh, the joys of late parenthood hey!) But the time we met was not the right one. We had our own partners & families & so I put it out of my mind that we would ever be together. To cut a very long story short; after a lot of courage to vocalise our thoughts we discovered that neither of us were happy in our current lives. We met up to talk about things, knew we were attracted to each other & wanted to be together & the rest, as they say, is history. I’m secretly hoping that Tim wanted to be with me all along too, but I’ll never know for certain! We’ve been together ever since. Who would have thought that a chance meeting all those years ago would lead to this? Our paths would never have crossed & I think it proves that if you’re meant to be with someone, then the universe has a way of making things happen & at exactly the right time. It hasn’t all been straightforward by any means, but we firmly believe that you shouldn’t stay in a situation that makes you unhappy. Yes, it’s selfish, but life is painfully too short. My favourite film quote (from ‘Steel Magnolias’) is, “I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special” & it’s so true. We had no idea how our relationship would go; whether we could even live together, but we were prepared to take the chance & I don’t regret a single day. Tim might though?!

Tim knew from the beginning of our relationship that I wanted a child. He already had two of his own, so this was a big thing for both of us in different ways. I knew my fertility was dwindling so we tried quite soon into our relationship & during 2014 – the year we got married, we thought our prayers had been answered. I had been having a lot of pain in my side for a few days & after a lot of paracetamol not having any effect & not being able to sleep for a couple of nights because of the agony, we went to A&E. It was like something out of a film. They did all my stats & then asked for a urine sample. I waited ages in a cubicle worrying what they might find, then a Doctor came in to tell me that I was ‘strongly’ pregnant & the pain could just be muscular as my body adapted. I was in absolute shock & over the moon all at the same time, but unfortunately, I was already bleeding heavily & miscarried a couple of days later. I was distraught, although had a little hope that we might conceive again soon as the Doctor said I was at my most fertile. We were pregnant within the next month & ecstatic, but terrified. I bled again, so we went to a private clinic for a scan. The sonographer said everything looked fine & it was a healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately a week later I miscarried; literally at the hospital during my first scan. The sonographer couldn’t find the foetus because of all the blood. Looking back, I don’t know how I got through this dark time if truth be told. My heart was literally broken into a million pieces, I could feel it. Then, in 2016 I lost my wonderful Mum & couldn’t cope with anything in that whole year. I had no focus, no goals, I was just trying to get through one day at a time. It wasn’t until 2017, when I’d pretty much given up all hope that I’d ever be a Mumma, that Tim suggested one rainy October morning that he thought I should take a pregnancy test. We had just received a letter from the fertility clinic & ready to try other alternatives, again. I remember we sat on the landing together, waiting for the result. After a few minutes, the annoyingly familiar single control line appeared, a few more minutes & I gingerly looked again. Nothing. I was absolutely distraught, as I felt this was our last chance. I was just about to throw it in the bin when I glanced again, just to be sure. When I did, I saw the faintest of lines in the test window! Could this actually be real? I immediately showed Tim & he thought there was something there too. We quickly went to the supermarket to get some digital tests & there it was on the LCD screen: I was 2-3 weeks pregnant. But this was just the start of my journey. Despite my terror in the early days & my almost PTSD terror at each scan appointment, I had a fairly straight forward pregnancy. This changed towards the end as my darling boy was measuring quite large (well Tim is 6’1”!) & they had to keep an extra eye on me. Then I developed pre-eclampsia, so couldn’t have the water birth I so dearly wanted. I also have a negative blood group & Benjamin’s is positive, so had to have injections & more obs. But, in the grand scheme of things all went well. I think I held things together, until the ‘final push’ when I lost it a bit. I remember thinking afterwards, “I’ve done it, I’ve actually done it, but now what do I do?!” I still have these thoughts now! Every stage of having a baby brings its own magic & wonder & I genuinely love it. I look forward to Benjamin’s next milestone, I cherish it. I do get sad sometimes that I won’t be having any more babies, but I honestly don’t think my body could do it again. And Tim keeps telling me that he is only meant to have three children in this lifetime! So I count my blessings daily: my very special little boy that I was never sure I could have.

So, going back to my blog title, I guess my little car has been a constant companion; through my marriages, house move: it literally drove me out of my old life & into my new one, my miscarriages, many road trips, a few different jobs, lots of trips with friends & family (some of whom are sadly no longer with us), throughout my pregnancy, transporting Benjamin, through my maternity leave & into a completely new career. And now here I am, a nearly forty year old Mumma of a 1 year old, still with the same car! I don’t think I could have ever believed or even imagined all that would happen in the decade to come; as I drove off the forecourt on that June Saturday morning back in 2008. We spend such a lot of time in our cars, that they become part of us. I have so many happy thoughts & memories that come flooding back to me whilst driving. It’s my bubble, my safe-haven, my thinking space & I’m not ready to part with it just yet, unless of course I’m offered a Mercedes SLK & then I might reconsider?..

NB. This has been a difficult post to write, I’ve not talked about this as openly as I have now & I apologise if there’s too much information. I hope that by writing about my experiences, it may help someone in some way; offering hope to never give up on your dreams; they just might take a little longer than you’d originally planned.

Thank you if you’re still reading!

The milestone…

My boys 💙

Miss you so much Mum…

I love this photo of my wonderful Mum. It was taken before she was my Mum…about 3 years before I believe. She looks so happy, so cool even & so young! I know that I would have been great friends with her back then, just as we became as I grew up. We were totally on the same wavelength, we laughed at the same silly things & we shared the same opinions on so many things. This got me thinking, that we never really think of our parents as being young & carefree; glowing with the joy of youth & having hopes, dreams & ambitions. We see them as sensible, practical & older; having the answers for everything & seeming to know what to do in any situation. Then we become parents ourselves…our own youthful looks change; we worry, we’re tired & we ‘wing it’ a lot! And then realise that that’s exactly what they must have done too, but all very convincingly!

I am increasingly envious of my friends who still have their Mums in their lives. Even more so now that I’m a Mummy myself. Sometimes I just need the reassurance that only a Mum can provide: that ‘all knowing’, sound advice & unconditional love. And the time to listen & help. It breaks my heart every single day that she never got to meet Benjamin – the grandchild that she so longed to have. I know she would have been the most fantastic, fun, hands-on Granny & he would have adored her as well.

I can’t believe that it’s been three years today since she passed away. I think about her so much; often trying to second guess what she would suggest or say, but of course, will never really know for certain. It makes me realise how precious our time is with our children & try to show Benjamin how much he’s loved every day; even when he’s being a little monkey! I want to give him lots of good memories, to hopefully provide comfort when I can’t be there for him. Sounds dramatic I know, but I’m very aware that our time on this earth is so incredibly fleeting & we need our happy memories to carry us through the grief & hard times: knowing that we were loved, wanted & important to someone too.

Love & miss you so much Mum & really that you’re watching over us xx

Letters to my baby…

Today I have finally finished writing all of Jamin’s 12 letters ☺️ This has been such an emotional experience: from the moment Tim gave this book to (a newly pregnant) me during Christmas 2017, to when I was thinking about what I wanted to write in each of his letters, right up till now, when I feel a bit sad that it’s all over.

I guess losing a parent & some dear friends has made me even more acutely aware of my own mortality; so writing my thoughts, hopes & dreams for my own (now not so) tiny baby seemed so surreal & really quite daunting. I just hope that we will bring him up well enough so he can cope with anything that life throws at him & also give him lots of happy, precious memories to cherish & take comfort in when we can no longer be with him: ultimately knowing that he was long waited & prayed for & loved more than he’ll ever know 💙☺️

Now I’ve just got to remember where I put it, ready for his 16th birthday! 🤔

Such a thought-provoking book…

My First Mother’s Day Gratitude…

For the last couple of years, Mother’s Day has been hard, really hard. Especially last year, when my pregnancy hormones were surging through me & all my grief seemed even more consuming than ever. My own wonderful, beautiful Mum passed away almost three years ago & not a day goes by without me thinking about her & wishing we could chat one last time. I take much comfort in my many happy memories of her, but get more upset about all the things that she’s missed: specifically Benjamin & being his Granny, which I know she would have been over the moon about. I also know she would have been the best grandmother & I often tell him about the things she used to do or say. This year, I was determined that things would be different…this year I wasn’t going to be quite as sad; yes I still miss her more than words can say, but mainly I wanted to be thankful: thankful for being lucky enough to have had such a fantastic Mum & having such a close relationship with her, but also truly thankful that I got to celebrate being a ‘proper’ Mumma for the very first time myself, something that I’d almost given up hope on becoming. I still think it’s incredible that in my Mum’s last letter to me, (when she knew that her health was seriously deteriorating) she wrote that she knew I would be a Mumma. I just thought it was her usual optimistic self; telling me that ‘things would be okay’ as she did regularly, but maybe, deep down, in her fast-approaching ‘end of life wisdom’, she really did know? Benjamin sometimes looks just above my head & giggles or smiles: I’ve convinced myself that it’s Mum playing ‘Peek A Boo’ with him, & ask him if it’s Granny. Sometimes his bedroom smells so strongly of her in the mornings, that I’m sure she’s been watching over him while he sleeps. It certainly gives me some comfort.

So as I look at my gorgeous cards & exquisite infinity orchid & Emma Bridgewater ‘Mummy mug’, I am incredibly thankful to be Benjamin’s Mumma (he knows me so well already it seems!) His cheeky smile & laugh completely lift my mood if I’m feeling down & I have to pinch myself that this precious tiny human is mine & I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s been a great Mother’s Day…we had tea & cake at Poole Park, visited Tim’s Mum & Grandad & Benjamin charmed them both. I even got a surprise camellia plant from Grandad, as he knows I love them so much. Yes, I’ve had moments of sadness as I remembered my Mum, but I’ve tried to stay more positive this year.

I hope you have all had a fab Mother’s Day too, filled with happy times & good memories.

Me & my wonderful Mum...many years ago!

The Highs & Lows of My Geriatric Mummahood…

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Easy like Sunday Mornings…a rare ‘lie in’ until 7am!

So twice last week, two of the lovely ladies I’ve been working with recently were surprised to hear that I’m turning 40 in just under six months. I was shocked that they were shocked to be honest; maybe it was my hormonal breakout that fooled them or maybe they were just being kind. It certainly made my day, as since going back to work, I’ve certainly felt my age more than ever (it’s only been two weeks!) & it’s made me think about all that geriatric mummahood actually entails for me.

I guess it made me realise that older, doesn’t necessarily mean wiser. Well certainly not in my experience. I’m not naturally maternal & I know I never have been. Even as an early years teacher, I loved my job, adored the children, but was more ‘Mary Poppins’ than ‘Molly Wealsey’ about things – but certainly not, “practically perfect in every way” that’s for sure! It gave me a great insight into how I wanted to parent: I’ve been lucky to have known some absolutely inspirational Mummas in my career & this, combined with my own parents’ methods & reading the fantastic “French Children Don’t Throw Food” by Pamela Druckerman (www.pameladruckerman.com) have shaped my ‘style’ so to speak. We’re strict with Benjamin already; he’s beginning to learn his boundaries & he knows if he’s over-stepped them. This may sound harsh for an eight month old, but both Tim & I are firm believers in setting ground rules early on, then loosening up a little later. We’ve both found it successful with Tim’s other two children (for all involved) to do it this way, rather than allowing a ‘free for all’ to start with, then trying to rein things in later when it’s all gone a bit wahey! It’s harder than I thought it would be, but I keep having to tell myself that I’m not Benjamin’s friend, not just yet. For now at least, I’m just one of his guides & mentors in this crazy thing called ‘life’. What a responsibility!

For me, the lows of being ‘an older Mumma’ have to be the extreme tiredness, the complete achiness & the occasional overwhelming feelings of frustration. I’m sure this is no different from other Mummas, of all ages, but at times I’ve felt like my age has exacerbated these negatives. Looking back, I don’t think I fell into the complete depths of Post-Natal Depression, but on some days, back in the beginning, I was definitely paddling in the shallows. My emotions consumed me: I was angry with myself that I felt ‘trapped’ in this new role of motherhood; something that I had wanted so badly, for so long. I hated the fact this beautiful tiny human, that I had, in part created, was dependent upon me for everything. Literally everything. And part of me wanted to run far far away. I’d had 38 years of just thinking of myself, I was (& probably still am but to a lesser extent) a selfish person to a certain degree. I like my own time, company & space & always have. It’s taken a lot for me to write this, it’s not something I’ve really vocalised, let alone typed. I’m lucky in that I had Tim to talk to, to shout at even. He listened to me vent & talked some sense back into me. Thank goodness. But I can see how easy it would be to slip into the vicious cycle of depression. I found: http://www.mind.org.uk to be a fantastic source of information. My other main ‘low’ has been the intense physical pain. For the first three months, I felt brittle, like an old porcelain teacup. Every movement was agony & some days I was genuinely terrified that I would ‘shatter’. Then I developed ‘de Quervain’s tenosynovitis’ aka tendonitis of the wrist. My age, my gender & my recent motherhood were all contributing factors apparently. Joy. So after seeing two doctors, a physiotherapist, being given exercises & a sexy black splint that I’m meant to wear 24/7, but found that I’m allergic to, so can only bear wearing it at night time (along with my fluffly socks & dressing gown) Tim’s a lucky man! Haha! I feel that things are getting better. I don’t have to think about how to pick the boy up & everyday tasks are getting easier again thankfully. Thank you NHS. I could go on with other ailments: breakouts, hair issues (various!), dry skin etc. etc. but I’ll leave it here for now!

The highs of my late motherhood on the other hand, are that I know how I want to parent, as I explained earlier. I have high expectations of Benjamin. I am confident to correct him in public, if necessary. My patience for his learning is high, although my tolerance for his whinging is incredibly low(!) On particularly bad days I have to walk away, then come back a few minutes later: ready to start again. Most importantly though, I appreciate the ‘now.’ As clichéd as it sounds, I guess I’m more aware of ‘the moment’ than ever before. I’ve always been aware of poignant ‘now’ markers in my life, scenes/moments that I’m drawn back to time & again. Things that I knew were significant, but I was unaware as to why at the time. I spend a lot of my working life listening to people reminisce about their interesting lives & I genuinely love it. I’ve always been fascinated by people; hearing about their memories of loved ones & the special times they’ve shared, holidays, laughter & their ambitions. Sometimes, these wonderful people can’t remember what they ate for lunch, but can remember the most intricate detail of years gone by: of fleeting moments when they fell in love, or when their children were growing up & homes they’ve lived in. I’ve decided that ‘mindfulness’ is not really a new trend, people have always been aware of the ‘now’ but not really realised its significance: it’s equally important to remember those ‘now moments’. It’s proved in our older age, as these are the things that we hold onto. Essentially they get us through life: they help us to cope.

We’ve had a great few days; it started on Friday when Benjamin & I went on a ‘Spring Hunt’ – looking for signs of new life & longer, warmer days. And although the boy slept for most of it, I rediscovered my mojo for snapping things on my iPhone that caught my eye, mainly flowers & landscapes. Saturday & Sunday were spent with some of our fabulous friends & it was great to entertain & make dinner for everyone. It was lovely to be just us again & this was highlighted to me. We were even allowed to enjoy our bed until 7am on Sunday. What a treat! Time with Benjamin continues to be precious & I cherish the subtleties of his weekly developments. Nothing makes us happier than hearing the boy properly belly laugh & giggle when I pretend to “eat him up” at the end of the day or Tim tickles him. It’s truly heart-warming & the troubles of the day just melt away for both of us.

For the first time since giving birth, this weekend has shown me how to reconnect with just ‘being me’ & combining this with being a Mumma. I can do both. The ‘highest of highs’ for me though, is that I actually can’t wait to reminisce upon my own family memories: all whilst not forgetting to be mindful of being ‘in the moment’ of course!

Thank you for reading. I’d love to hear the highs & lows of your Mummahood…

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We’re Going on a Spring Hunt!..What a beautiful day…

Time…

Earlier, whilst listening to Time, in my opinion, the most beautiful piece of music by Hans Zimmer & watching the boy fall asleep in his cot, the tears were streaming down my face. This was the music that I first played to Benjamin, when he was a tiny baby, usually while I showered & watched him snooze in his rocker through the open ensuite door. The days were hot & my maternity leave stretched out before us. I thought we’d have those days forever. It’s crazy how quickly the time has passed; I haven’t even caught up with all my series-linked Homes Under The Hammer for goodness sake! Today also marks the day that Tim & I first got together, eight years ago in fact. We’ve been married for almost five & Benjamin is almost eight months old.

I’m not going to lie, these last eight months have been some of the best & worst of my life: the most challenging, physically & emotionally painful too. I have a feeling that these emotions will stay with me for life now! I don’t think I’ve missed my wonderful Mum quite as desperately as I have over the last eight months either. I’m sure she would have understood what I was going through & known exactly what to say. I wish we could FaceTime Heaven. I am so grateful to Tim, along with my amazing friends, both old & new, who have kept me sane.

But here we are, tomorrow (exactly eight months to the day) I return to work. I know that I’m not the first & certainly won’t be the last Mumma to feel overwhelmed with emotions about going back to work. Part of me feels sick that I will no longer spend my days just being ‘Benjamin’s Mumma’, but part of me feels excited at the prospect of having a brand new ‘proper big girl’s job’ & getting my old ‘Lucy’ identity back again. I think it’s even more daunting that, after lots of evening studying & twenty exams later, I’m going into a completely new profession of becoming an adult Social Care Worker.

I guess my biggest worry is that I’m scared Benjamin will forget that I’m his Mumma: the one who soothes away his tears, the one whose face he strokes so gently when he drinks his milk, or makes him giggle so much he snorts (much like I do!) I’m terrified that this magical bond that we have created will be lost & we’ll become ships that pass in the night, only seeing each other to wake up, drop off, pick up, then bath & go to bed. I know millions of families do exactly the same thing every single day. We are not unique in that respect. I need to remember that at least we’ll still have Fridays together & the weekends as a family. We are very lucky. I also need to tell the boy that he can only achieve his milestones on ‘our days’ too! He’s so close to saying his first word it’s crazy & I’m sure he plays us when we’re there, like training a reluctant parrot; “say Dadda. Jamin, say Dadda!” I bet he’ll come out with his first sentence this week, when neither of us is there to witness. Let’s just pray that his first utterance isn’t obscene or incriminating, although I’m sure his Daddy would be equally as proud! Another part of me, the ex-Early Years teacher part, knows that this is absolutely the best thing for him: the best time for us to start to leave him, for him to socialise with other children & the best time for him to learn from other adults; not just me & Tim: & we have found the most perfect child minder to do this. I want him to learn early on to be mindful of his audience & adapt his behaviour accordingly. I’m praying that he’ll ‘play nicely’ with others, be kind, be friendly, but not a push over, to stand his ground & be assertive when necessary. I guess it’s what all parents want for their children. We don’t mind if he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, we’d rather him be practical, likeable, have people skills, be able to communicate & I am sure opportunities will present themselves to him in life.

As I sit here, now on the sofa: Benjamin deep in his slumbers, lunch boxes made, clothes ironed, alarm set (not had to do that for a while!) & tomorrow’s dinner planned in my head at least, my nerves are steadied slightly (although this might be the gin?!) And providing I don’t hear the theme tune of Howard’s Way, or Tales of The Unexpected (which would take me straight back to 80s Sunday nights before school as a child *shudders*), I am confident that things will work out for the best, for all of us.

Wish us luck!

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This is us…eight years together, nearly five years married, an almost eight month Benjamin & a black & white filter applied to hide the wrinkles!