Friday, 24 August 2012

What she said!

I did not write this, but so wish I had. In honour of the latest stranger to tell me how to look after my kid (the receptionist at the osteo, on hearing I couldn't make the appointment due to the fact that Jack had been crying for three hours straight, asked if I'd tried feeding him that day. Lucky for her, it's actually impossible to rip a person's face off over the phone...) I give you this:

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Wake up call

The cruellest thing about starting work at 7a.m. in West London when living in South East London is that, in order to catch the 6:08 train, you end up walking past several coffee shops -- all of which are all shuttered.

It was dark this morning when, for the first time in seven months, I woke up at 5a.m. to an alarm clock. In a word? It sucked. Thanks to my tiny demanding human, the actual early wakeup was a lot easier than it used to be, but also thanks to that guy, leaving the house was excruciating. It took all the restraint I could muster not to wake him up for a cuddle (you're welcome, Alex!).

But here I am. Green tea in hand, hoping that Jack's feeling better than he has been for the past few days, feeling grateful that his Daddy is there to take care of him if he needs it and -- thanks to a very slow news day -- counting the hours till I can head home to cuddle my boys.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Fever pitch

Despite last week's tears, I'm happy to say I kept my cool Monday morning when I dropped Jack off at nursery to set off for my first day back at the BBC. My pass card wasn't activated, my computer login didn't work, but I got online and settled blissfully into the task of cooking up story ideas, writing briefs on naughty Tory ladies and investigating whether Alice Cooper does or does not have anything interesting to say (verdict: he does not). Is it bad that I took so much pleasure being back in the office? Maybe. But I've definitely taken greater pleasure in worse.

About an hour in, however, I got a call from the nursery. Jack was running a fever and they were asking for permission to dose him up with some Calpol. I granted permission, shook off the shaky feeling and got back to work. Two hours later, they called again. His fever had gone up and someone had to go get him. I wondered if maybe it was abandonment fever, but conceded that in all likelihood, it was a bug or teething. Lucky for both of us, Daddy was able to come to the rescue. I didn't see my sick boy until I got home around 7.

He's hanging in there. Still grouchy and lethargic, but a trip to the doctor this evening confirmed there's nothing really scary afoot. 

But I guess there was one person who had to deal with something really scary... The woman who, when I called this morning to say I couldn't make my osteo appointment due to the screaming babe, asked me if I'd tried feeding him. That was a poor, mother's-wrath-incurring statement. But lucky for her, it's actually impossible to rip someone's face off over the phone.  

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Annnnnd... cue tears!

To be fair, I think I'm okay now. But despite getting up early for a big play and nice breakfast, going for a long hilly walk to help Jack nap and scare up all the endorphins I could for myself, dropping my boy off at nursery this morning was, in a word, horrible.

It's a perfectly nice nursery. An exceptional one, even. Just two months ago, when we were making plans to put him in two days a week, I was excited about the warm staff, sweet children and lovely amenities it had to offer. But somehow today, it seemed too dark, the staff smelled weird and the image that seared into my brain on arrival was little Rosie (it's her first week, too) clutching at the baby gate and wailing her little blonde head off.

Lauren, his main carer (the one I suddenly feel smells weird) was steely but, I suppose kind. She took him out of his pram and subtly shifted her body away when Jack reached his little arms out and I moved to grab him and run away. Then she started moving toward the baby playroom before I could even think of ways to prolong my departure and gently ignored the tears welling in my eyes. It's almost like she's seen all this before.

I was surprised (and not surprised) by the torrent that followed as I stepped out into the sunny, back-to-school crisp day. I've left Jack with my friends, with Alex and my Mom before. But I guess the wave of separation anxiety is to be expected anyway.

So what to do with my two hours of anxious freedom? One Mummy friend suggested I take a nap. I told myself I should do a long workout. But racing brains and queasy tummies are no friend of either pursuit. I am sort of tempted to Google "separation anxiety in babies". Or look through old photos of Jack (which, sadly, I sometimes do when he's asleep). But that's probably a very bad idea. I think instead, I'm going to turn up the music, putter around the house and get it tidy and organized for my boy's return. And my return to the world of grown-up work next week.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


They say seven is a lucky number. And I can confirm I pretty much feel like the luckiest woman in town, wishing my little boy a happy Seven-month birthday. Hard to believe he's been in our lives for more than half a year and that this half-year-and-a-bit has unleashed more love (for the Bug, for my fiance, my family and for life in general) than I ever thought possible.
Tomorrow, Bug will attend his first settling-in day at the nursery at the top of our road and on Monday, I'll be heading back to work two days a week. I haven't accomplished even a fraction of the things on my mat-leave to-do list -- pitching articles, knocking out a novel outline, getting back into my skinny jeans or learning guitar -- But as I've watched my boy grow from a helpless, awe-inspiring little human to a hilarious, squirmy, smiling boy, my heart has grown at least seven sizes -- as has my ambition to be a woman and mother my son can be proud of and trust to take care of him. 
Happy Birthday, Bug.