It’s Friday evening. I’ve got a film on (but I’m not really watching it) I’ve just finished work for the evening and Daddy P, both the Hairy Hounds and our Dragon are all asleep around me in the front room and my baby boy is asleep upstairs.
Except he’s not a baby boy anymore. He’s a whole, big, grown-up four years old and today was the end of his first week at full time school. We’ve had a good week, on the whole – I’ve moved dinner time up for him from 6 to 4.30 / 5 in order for him to get in from school and have dinner quite early, meaning by the time Daddy P is home from work he just gets to play with J before bedtime. J gets very ratty and we have issues getting him to eat when he’s tired – as I’m sure is the same with many other children – and so this works better as it means he’s eating before he gets to that tired point where he’ll argue about eating and it all ends in tears.
Every morning he cheerfully woke, got dressed in his tiny little uniform that makes him look far too grown up, and we walked the two or three minutes down the road to his school. We went into his classroom, and he quite happily waved me off each morning. Each afternoon I collected him he was full of excited chatter about what had happened, the t-shirt that I’d put on him first thing bright, white and tucked into his trousers now looking smudged and rumpled and untucked from his trousers. Each afternoon his shoes were a bit more scuffed on the toe, his hair was wild and damp with sweat, and I found his sweatshirt crumpled in the bottom of his locker.
I made friends (sort of) with some other mums in the playground – you know how you see the same group of people all the time, and you start off smiling, then it’s a good morning, a hello and a wave as you cross the playground and then you’re standing there chatting to them and someone else they know comes up and joins in and before you know it there’s a group of you stood there nattering first thing, the only thing you have in common the fact that your kids go to this school.
He’s got homework again this weekend. Last weekend his homework was to cover his homework book, which Daddy P did on Sunday night after J had gone to bed. This weekend we’ve got to draw a set of numbers from 0-10 and add images to them like four ducks, five balls, six cakes and all of that,l colour them in and peg them up on a length of ribbon or string over J’s bed. I’m dubious how much of this I will end up doing but I’m going to make a start with him tomorrow anyway. Maybe if I spread it out over a couple of days the interest will hold and he’ll finish it off.
I used my new found freedom this week to my best advantage – on Tuesday I drove to visit some good friends in another village, which takes about an hour to get to, but we had a lovely morning drinking tea and gossiping – last time I saw her was on her wedding day so I looked through her beautiful wedding photographs and then her husband went to pick up their two boys from nursery school. The following day I did a serious turf out of the kitchen. It’s been desperate for it for ages but I just haven’t had the time – I started at 9.30 on Wednesday morning and didn’t finish til 2.30 in the afternoon! I felt so much better for it – I’m not a fan of housework but if I have chance to do it properly and just crack on and do it I’ll have a mad blitz which is exactly what I did.
I know all mums say it, but time is going so quickly. It doesn’t seem possible he’s four already. It’s not been plain sailing but I’ve honestly not enjoyed anything else as much as I enjoy being his mum. Whatever else happens in my life, I achieved at least that one perfect thing. I got to be a mum to a brilliant, fantastic, amazing little boy so it wasn’t all bad!