This week, my 21 month old makes another appearance. Her speech is developing rapidly now and she will suddenly say something that makes me stop and think “you’re really growing up!”
It was really simple. We’d got into the car and fiancée had returned to the house to get his wallet.
21 month old, clear as day: “where’s Daddy gone?”
I thought this was brilliant. It showed that she was pondering something in her little mind and was able to articulate it. Well done, little one! (and poor me…two chatterboxes to contend with…)
Recently, my fiancée said to me “it feels a bit more normal now, doesn’t it?”.
This was following an afternoon where I had been out for a friend’s birthday, leaving him with the children. Now, a year or two ago this event would have been accompanied by a set of instructions. Sometimes, these would even be written down, forming a ‘schedule’.
It would look something like this:
…and so on. This weekend, we both realised that I had just gone out. With no, or very little, instructions.
Now they’re nearly 4 and nearly 2 they’re a lot more independent and can just get on with things. They had a fab time that afternoon – they went to the shop to pick up some items we’d ordered, watched a film and had a lovely tea. They were – the shock of it – even half ready for bed when I got in! They had freshly washed hair!
Not that I’ve been previously unconfident in my fiancée’s ability. I currently work part time so I’ve been the one who’s more familiar with the routine. When fiancée was suddenly plonked in the middle of it, it was daunting. Now, we don’t need so much of a routine to keep everyone happy. We can muddle along ok!
We’ve noticed other things that have become easier. The house is a lot tidier these days, with fewer toys strewn around our lovely lounge. It’s less of a flap to go out in the evenings when we have a babysitter, and I’m not on pins anymore, wondering if the baby has woken up and started screaming. They can communicate now – if they need something they can just ask the babysitter. (Interesting point here – I told this to my nearly-4 year old and she promptly appeared at the top of the stairs after we’d gone out, shouting to the babysitter “I NEED SOMETHING!”).
It feels like the beginning of a new stage and new adventures – with I’m sure many obstacles and issues along the way, but it feels good. My eldest girl starts pre-school in September which will be a big change for all of us, but she’s ready for it, and we feel ready for our new beginnings as a family.
I’ve had a few weeks off Forget-me-not-Friday, mainly due to wedding planning taking up all of my time! It’s only 6 weeks away. My nearly-4 year old in particular is very excited about ‘her wedding’.
Anyway, this week she has been contemplating the issue of spiders…
Nearly 4 year old, screaming and pointing at something in the garden: “Mummy!! It’s a spider!!”
Me: “Well it’s ok, it’s not going to hurt you. It’s friendly!!
Nearly 4 year old: “It is not!”
Me: “I promise you it is.”
Nearly 4 year old: “It is NOT friendly! It doesn’t even shake hands with me!!”
I’m no expert at attending restaurants with small children, but I have had a reasonable amount of experience.
Some of this experience has involved considering locking myself in the restaurant loos and pretending I don’t exist, if only for a few brief minutes of heavenly respite. Sometimes, I find myself so stuck in my own personal hell that I don’t realise that the whole place is staring at me, as I’m scrabbling under the table to retrieve that cutlery yet again whilst shouting “If I have to do this one more time, you’ve lost one story at bedtime!”
Recently, our skills as a family on the restaurant-attendance front seem to have marginally improved. This may be partly due to the age of my children – now almost 4 and 2 – but I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned over the past few years that make family restaurant outings less like taking a couple of stray cats to a mouse farm.
Last weekend, I even enjoyed a calming glass of wine with my lunch, in reasonable peace. Here’s hoping it lasts…
I’m a 38 year old mother of two pre-schoolers. I should know better.
Yet it was my hen party, after all.
I first glanced at the ‘task list’ my chief bridesmaid presented to me at the outset of my hen party, the majority of which took place at Revolucion de Cuba in Manchester last Saturday evening, and thought “naaah, that’s too silly for me – I’ll never do most of those”.
I did all but two of them it would seem – and only because we ran out of time!
I do have to qualify this by telling you that the evening was reasonably sophisticated – it involved a cocktail masterclass which was really good fun, nobody got stupidly drunk (ok maybe ‘elatedly drunk’ but not stupidly) and we were actually home by midnight (I had been drinking for over 12 hours by then – albeit pacing oneself).
I’ve had little flashbacks over the week of the silliest things that took place. These were:
- getting a piggyback around the (otherwise very cool) dancefloor by my friend
- taking a selfie with the (bemused and only participating to get rid of me) bouncer
- convincing an unsuspecting punter to pull a moony to our group of 20 women (and standing next to him and having a photograph taken)
- telling a specifically chosen very unfunny, loserish joke to the two coolest dudes in there, who in fact turned out to be the DJ for the evening and his hype man
- doing a chicken dance around the bar
I can see you cringing. I have no defence other than hen parties do this to people. More than that, it was the best fun and took me back to my school days when work/parenting/life had not yet taken over and we were mostly carefree and – silly! It was an evening of utter freedom and harmless fun and I loved every minute of it.
Actually, I don’t think the man who pulled a moony was that embarrassed, come to think of it – he did it twice!
So, if I double my age I would be 76. Phew! This is always my benchmark for whether or not I’m ‘too old’. If I can live my whole life again and still be potentially still around, I’m ok.
Last year, I wrote quite a lengthy post on 37 reasons to love life, now I’m 37. I loved writing that post – it sets out lots of key elements of my life that I love, namely my children and family, achieving and learning new things, and things that are just ‘me’, like scaring myself stupid and being a total coffee addict.
Yesterday, my birthday came around again. This year has been mad and very busy but totally exciting. Mr EC and I got engaged at New Year and have been busy wedding planning for August. We’ve also organised lots of work on our house to get it to a stage where we can really love it as our family home. Our eldest girl starts preschool in September which is also the beginning of a new journey.
This is why I thought the image above of the swan and her cygnets was just perfect. The swan has had her brood and is moving forward purposefully on their adventures together.
The other week, I was moaning to someone about turning 38 and she turned to me and rightly said “but life’s just taking off”. She was right and I’ve reflected on her words ever since.
They say life begins at 40, but 38 feels like a year of new beginnings for me.
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