Dydd Dewi Sant Hapus

I helped the kids make Saint David’s Day collages at the weekend, for them to take into school and show their teachers / classmates.  We should have taken them in this morning (obviously) but the weather forecast had predicted rain (and boy, was it right) so we took them in yesterday and everyone was very impressed with their art work and incredibly basic knowledge of the Welsh language.

Our six year old was pleased as punch revealing he was “half Welsh” to his teacher and she asked who out of us parents was from Wales, I think expecting it to be me, since I was the one who’d clearly encouraged the poster-making.  It made me think about culture and identity and how interesting it is that of the two of us, it’s usually me trying to promote that side of the boys’ identity and heritage to them.  We both use the odd Welsh phrase or word at home, and visit our family in Wales regularly, but when it comes to the other stuff- like the making collages and baking cakes for Saint David’s Day, those kind of things are driven by me.  I’ve been wondering why that is- sheer practicality and circumstance (i.e. me being around more to do those kinds of activities) or if it’s a personality, or even a male/female thing?

It’s hugely important to me that the boys are aware of their family history in a way that I can’t really explain very well and that took even me by surprise when I realised it, since I don’t think I’d ever really given it much thought prior to becoming a parent.

Regardless, I intend to continue baking (and eating) cakes on St David’s Day and buying daffodils, and saying “nos da” and hoping that it is enough.

Happy Saint David’s Day / Dydd Dewi Sant Hapus to all my readers 🙂

Father’s Day

It doesn’t seem like 2 minutes since I was enduring physics in the name of celebrating father’s day last year, but once again here we are.  A nation celebrating all that is good about Fathers.

And there is a lot that’s good about them, so it’s right that we should, but I also think it’s important to remember that not everyone has one to lavish their attentions and/or a pair of hideous socks or a bottle of cheap red on today, and that even those that DO may have their reasons for not wanting or not being able to.

My Dad hasn’t been around for father’s day for a few years now, on account of he passed away at the ridiculously young age of 49 after a lifetime of alcoholism, and so father’s day for me is now much more about celebrating the wonderful guy who I’ve chosen to build a life and start my own family with.  But today that guy is off to work for an eight hour shift in a place where just yesterday he was assaulted by one of the young people he works with, many of whom also won’t be feeling warm and fuzzies towards their own fathers- if they have them- today.

Fatherhood, and in fact parenthood, and indeed families in general, are so bloody complicated.  It’s like that old adage “Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em”

As parents we don’t need to worry that we won’t have an impact on our childrens’ lives, even absentee parents make an impact- just by the very fact of not being there.  Everything we do and say (and indeed everything we don’t do and don’t say) has an impact on our children, the real worry is whether it’s positive or negative, and what that will mean for their own lives, and relationships, and children (if they choose to have them) moving forward.

It would be wrong to hold my Dad up as an example of what is fantastic about fathers on this day, when his battle (and it was a battle) with alcohol coloured my entire childhood, and is something I carry with me always.  Not to say that everything that has ever happened to me has been his fault- or because of the drink, but that when someone in a family has an addiction, or an illness, be that physical or mental, it is never just them it affects, and it is never really over, even when it is.

But he was my Dad, and as I get older I can appreciate more and more that to be a Dad can mean so many different things.  For me it was having someone teach me calligraphy, and how to play chess, and show me how to make a garden from a pile of dirt.  Incidentally, all things I couldn’t do now if you paid me.  It was a shared loved of pork scratchings and old books and a million broken promises, all forgiven.  My Dad loved me, and I loved him and although that wasn’t always enough, it is enough now.

For my own children- there’s much more.  Their Dad loves them, and he’s here everyday, sometimes they might not see him because he’ll have left for work before they wake up and be back after they’ve gone to bed, but when he’s here he’s HERE.  He plays with them (and is much better at it than I am) and teaches them things I know nothing about, and swings them around and throws them in the air higher than I’d ever dare.  He can put his own worries aside to listen to theirs, and he works hard to make sure they never go without.

He got out of bed at 7 this morning to make a bottle for a baby that isn’t his, and then taught the boys to play snakes and ladders whilst I made breakfast.  Now he’s off to work, and when he gets back tonight I know he’ll ask about our day before he tells me about his.

When it comes to Dads, he’s definitely one of the good ones.  Maybe even the best in fact (but shhh don’t be telling him that, his head is big enough as it is 😉 )

Father’s Day is just always going to be one of those funny days for me, an out-of-the-blue reminder of how things were, what they could have been and what they actually are right now.  I just feel lucky that the latter is such a good place and with such fantastic people around me, that I wouldn’t swap it for anything, no matter what came before.

Happy Father’s Day to all those Dads out there who deserve a bit of recognition and appreciation, and massive hugs to all those who for whatever reason can’t celebrate today- why not buy yourself some socks and a cheap bottle of red and remind yourself just how wonderful YOU are 😉

rebeccaandjonathan

Does our son look like a girl (and does it matter)?

I started writing a blog post and, not for the first time, during the writing of it I realised that what I actually wanted to say, what needed saying, was not what I had originally intended to say, so once again have ended up writing something that bears little resemblance to my original idea, but really, what else is new?!

RudyAfterTheDentist

First of all, here’s the context for this blog post: today we made our bi-annual trip to the dentist, where not for the first time in his life (and I assume not for the last either) our 3 and a half year old son was persistently referred to using feminine pronouns by the reception staff.

This is a thing that happens a lot, so much so that it really elicits a reaction from me anymore.  Sometimes I correct the person/people in question, but I have to say that a lot of the time, I can’t be bothered.  The trouble with saying “ACTUALLY, he’s a boy” is that:

a. People are embarrassed and apologetic.  I feel like I’m being an arsehole pointing out their mistake.  They are usually flustered and basically no one wins.

b. Their (usually emphatic) apology suggests that to be mistaken for a girl (or indeed, be a girl) is in someway derogatory, or inferior to being recognised as male and no amount of “really it’s fine”s can seem to stem their horror or prevent that message reaching my children’s ears.  This is clearly not something I believe because…well…uh…I am a girl myself.  And don’t see “looking like a girl” (whether or not you identify as one) as an insult.  In fact really, when someone says “Oh, but he looks like a girl” they are just saying “I applied my socially constructed ideas of gender to your appearance and one or more criteria met what I imagine a female to look like” That’s not really an insult is it?!

The trouble with NOT correcting people is that:

a. If we aren’t leaving immediately, they may just keep going ON AND ON, and eventually his 5 year old brother will likely correct them and then they’ll be EVEN MORE flustered and also be looking at me like “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SOMETHING?”

b. I kind of want to teach my kids that if someone gets something wrong you can call them on it, even if it’s an adult, and this is one of those occasions where I could do that, except it feels like the wrong one to use as an example but there aren’t many other instances when I can demonstrate it?!

So, you see my dilemma.

This is a thing that happened at Halloween a couple of years ago when we went trick or treating:

spiders

Stranger: “Oh look a spider! And what is your baby sister dressed as?”

(Then) 3 year old: *looks around in confusion for baby sister he wasn’t aware he had*

Me (eventually): “It’s his little brother.”

Stranger: “Oh I’m so sorry!  I couldn’t see him properly in his buggy/costume/the dark”

Me: “It’s fine, please don’t worry about it”

Stranger: *showers the kids with sweets and shuts the door really quickly*

I genuinely don’t care that people think he is a girl, and seemingly, he doesn’t either.  I reckon half the time he’s oblivious (given as he’s only just learning about pronouns himself anyway) and the other half of the time he’s just *meh*.  A couple of weeks ago, when accosted by some girls in the school playground who were admiring his hair, he was outright asked if he was a girl by them and he said “yes”.  I think more to be agreeable than because he identifies as one, but his older brother thought it was hilarious and immediately ran over to tell me all about it.

His brother, you see DOES care if people mistake his brother for a girl.  Because he is FIVE and since starting school he is all about THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A BOY AND THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A GIRL AND THERE ARE NO GREY AREAS.  This sudden hatred for all things “girly” and indeed, even the identification of what is girly, has been very sudden and without mercy and is already driving me absolutely crazy.  I can’t believe the difference that school socialisation has made to his concept of gender and identity within the space of 6 months.

As for his Dad, I wouldn’t say he is ‘bothered’ if people mistake his youngest son for a boy, but he has on more than one occasion suggested a haircut as the solution.  Something I disagree with because it surely isn’t our job (or his) to bow to societal expectations of appearance just to make it easier for people to correctly identify our kids gender when there’s actually no need for them to do in the first place?

And that, is where my issue lies, I think.  In the need for people to assign him to one of the gender binaries immediately on coming into contact with him.  Like they can’t interact with him as a human until they know if he is male or female.

He is three and a half.  He had short hair last year (at his request, he was keen to get a “big boy’s haircut” like his brother and his Dad at the hairdressers) but has since declared he wants me to only cut the front of it (so he can see where he is going) and leave the back of it long (which I have done).  He mostly wears traditionally boy-ish clothes, i.e. lots of blue, and shades of mud, emblazoned with superheroes or monsters or dinosaurs.  He is shy around strangers but rambunctious around those he knows well.  He can usually be found in a puddle, or halfway up a climbing frame (upside down).  He also loves watching Frozen and Tangled and The Little Mermaid (oh my god, The Little Mermaid, 3,000 x a week on repeat)  He’s very affectionate (much more so than his older brother who is all “GEROFF ME” when you try to cuddle him).  His two best friends outside of nursery are girls, but at nursery he seems to mostly play with the other boys (one or two in particular who he is constantly mentioning by name).

He is who he is.  Just like I am who I am.

If you see him scaling a fence in his Batman wellies with his golden ringlets and think he’s a she, then on one level I’m glad that you don’t immediately think “must be a boy because a girl wouldn’t do/wear that” but on another level- really wouldn’t it better if we all just asked?

I mean, in the wider sense, if we didn’t spend entire bus journeys staring at someone down the aisle from us thinking ‘BUT REALLY IS THAT PERSON MALE OR FEMALE” driving ourselves crazy speculating and (presumably) making the individual in question feel uncomfortable, but just decided that since we don’t know them and they don’t know us, it isn’t in fact any of our business and what difference does it make to us anyway?  And then, when we are actually interacting with someone whose gender we’re not sure of, maybe just ask them which pronouns they’d prefer and take their word for it, since…well…they would know, being themselves and all?

Basically, when I first started writing this blog post, my instinct was to go off and google famous males with blonde wavy hair and litter the post with those images in a SEE AND NO ONE IS QUESTIONING THEIR MASCULINITY sort of way:

heath ledger Chris Hemsworth Brad Pitt

and it was during this (admittedly quite pleasant, but a little bittersweet, because: Heath Ledger) distraction that I realised that my approach was all wrong.  I was trying to defend my son against being called “a girl” because of his hair when actually

a. Being called “a girl” doesn’t bother him right now, so he doesn’t require my ‘defence’ on this blog, IRL, or indeed anywhere

b. The problem is not that people think he’s a girl because of his hair, the problem is that people think outward appearance is indicative of identity and/or worth.

So then I decided instead to write out a list of things I wanted our sons to know:

  1. You can be male and be masculine and have long hair
  2. You can be male and be feminine and have long hair
  3. You can actually have any kind of hair you want
  4. You can actually be whoever you want

So then I wrote:

“You can be whatever the fuck you want to be, identify with any gender, or consider yourself gender fluid, and have whatever the hell hair you like or none at all, and really it’s no one’s business but your own and it’s your choice which parts of your identity and body you share and who with and when and actually this blog post is spiralling out of control….argh.”

Does our son look like a girl?

I don’t think so.

Does it matter?

No.

Should I correct people when they mistake him for one?

I still don’t know.

So if anyone has any answers (or painkillers, since I have now given myself quite the headache thinking this all through) then please let me know!

3

Boarding schools for three year olds: do such a thing exist? And if not: WHY?

I’m not even talking about entry age 3 until they leave school, I’m talking about: drop off the day before their 3rd birthday and collect at 3pm on the Friday after they turn 4.

Seriously.

I don’t know what it is about this age, developmentally, but it pushes aaaaaaaalllllllllll my buttons.

I feel terrible saying it, I mean obviously I love my child, that goes without saying.  And we’re approved foster carers now so perhaps I should have more coping strategies at my disposal other than ranting about my parenting woes here on my blog…but there’s a very good reason we put ourselves forward as baby carers.

Babies.  Babies, I get.  They’re demanding as hell, but in a whole other way.  I’d take a newborn over a three year old any day.  In fact at this point I think I’d take a baby AND a hormonal teenager over a three year old to be honest.  Because having a three year old seems to be a lot like how I imagine it is to live with a moody teenage son, but with the added ‘bonus’ of having to devote every single ounce of energy I have to keeping them alive, and having them in turn hate me for it.

I mean, let’s be honest here, who would given the choice, elect to spend time with someone whose idea of social interaction is to scream in your face at every suggestion, and whose idea of stimulating conversation is to ask 75 times in rapid succession for an ice cream?

When it comes to parenting, I am a firm believer in you get back what you put in.  Maybe not right away, I don’t think it’s always instant- but eventually, things should balance out, right?

Like the fuzzy feeling of a soft newborn head sleeping against your bare chest after cuddling them to sleep, every shallow baby breath seeming to whisper “thank you for loving me, thank you for keeping me safe” or the way your five year old’s eyes light up when they’re chatting about their new favourite topic and you ask them questions about it.  There’s something about 3, that makes the input/output more unequal.  Oh he says he loves me, but it’s usually after I’ve agreed to let him watch Ninjago for the 3,758th time (Coincidence?  I think not) He wants to show me affection but only on his terms, and usually when it’s highly inconvenient, maybe even downright painful for me, like when I’ve just sat down on the toilet, or I’m putting the shopping through the checkout at Aldi, or I’m in the middle of phone call with my bank. Then he’s all over me like a rash, elbowing my boobs, knocking my glasses off, smooching his face into mine, leaving a trail of snot in his wake.

In some ways it’s a bit like being in an abusive relationship: say yes to them and they’ll claim to love you forever, say no and expect violence.  But regardless of whether you’ve just had Buzz Lightyear thrown in your face for suggesting they tidy their toys up, you’re still expected to cook their meals, wash their clothes, and wipe their arse. And you’d better be smiling when you do it to, lest they somehow sense your resentment bubbling under the surface and take it to heart, growing up believing themselves to be unloveable at their core, when really, all you wanted was for them to be nice to you for five fucking minutes out of the day.

3

(Let the fun begin!)

This blog entry was brought to you by THURSDAY MORNING!

And the fact that it’s not even 10am and already my 3 year old has hit me with an umbrella, screamed that he hates me, and peed his pants in the park as well as crying/shrieking/whining about the following things:

having to take his brother to school, wanting to be under the umbrella with his brother, not wanting to be under the umbrella with his brother, wanting to hold my hand, not wanting to hold my hand, the fact it was raining, the fact that wind exists, the fact he couldn’t go directly to playgroup from school drop-off (because it doesn’t start until 10am), the fact he needed a wee in the park, not wanting to pee against a tree, wanting to pee against a tree, unsuccessfully peeing against a tree, my refusal to buy him a McDonalds at 9.15am, my suggestion that he take his rain-and-pee soaked clothes off when we got in the house, his inability to take his trousers off standing up and so necessitating that he sit down, my offering him dry pyjama bottoms, his inability to put on said pyjama bottoms standing up and so necessitating that he sit down, my not turning the tv on immediately upon arrival back home, me leaving the room without specifying where I was going (the kitchen) and when I would be back (30 seconds later).

And if you found reading that in any way monotonous/confusing/frustrating then please spare a moment to consider HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW.

5 Years

5 years ago today I became a parent.

I remember, as vividly as though it was yesterday, a midwife named Faith passing a brand-new baby up onto my chest and thinking “It’s you!  I knew it was you” as though we’d met before.

“It’s a boy!” the midwives exclaimed.

“What?” I said, gazing down at this new life in my arms

“It’s a boy!” Chris repeated

I wondered what they were all talking about.  Of course it was a boy, it was my baby boy.  I felt as though I recognised him instantly.  It wasn’t until later that Chris reminded me we hadn’t known for sure, as we’d never found out the sex. (Although both of us had strongly suspected he was a boy during the pregnancy and the midwives had been referring to the baby as a “him” during labour).

That baby boy turned five years old today, and I could say “What even?!  How did that happen?  It seems impossible!” because on the one hand, that’s how it feels- the last five years have gone by so quickly, it seems crazy to think that 1,826 other days have passed since that one we spent in Room 6 on the Delivery Suite at St Mary’s Hospital.

On the other hand though, it feels as though he has been a part of our lives much longer.  In fact it’s hard to remember exactly what it was like before he came along.  No one tells you, when you are pregnant, that when this new human arrives, they will continue to be as much a part of you as when they were inside you.  Physically, you have the option to put them down, but even when they’re not with you, they still always are, in some way.  They almost become an extension of you, so that now, when I think “He’s five years old” a part of me balks at the passing of time, but another part of me knows and accepts, because I can see him growing in front of me, see him changing every day, feel our relationship shifting continually, reforming and rearranging.

Five years of parenting has taught me a lot,  I could probably write a pretty long list of all the things I’ve discovered, and maybe I should have…maybe that’s what this post should have been instead.  But then maybe that’s the biggest thing out of everything I have learnt- that the true lessons of parenthood are not quantifiable, and defy explanation.

So instead, I am going to go and bake a huge chocolate cake ready to sing “Happy Birthday” to the little boy who made me a Mama.

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5 years ago

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school

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Birth Story- Revisited

The original, written a few days after the actual event is already here on the blog, but exactly 3 years on I felt like revisiting it afresh.

So, here goes:

The Birth of Rudy

I woke up at 12.47am on Monday the 10th October to a contraction. Another one followed 8 minutes after.  I was 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant and I thought “this is it, here we go…”

I had a “show” at around 8.30 that morning, and I continued to have irregular contractions all day Monday.  At times they would be regular for an hour or so, and then become irregular again.  We burnt clary sage oil, and I spent a lot of time bouncing on my birthing ball, or later pacing the living room.  For most of the day I was excited and happy but by early evening I began to feel a bit tetchy.  I had a feeling things would possibly ramp up once Toby, who was almost 2 at the time, went to bed and sure enough, they did.

By 9.30 that evening I was contracting every 3 minutes.  At around 11pm I called the midwives and about an hour later, a midwife P and my case-loading student midwife H arrived.  P read my birth plan (H had seen it a couple of weeks before), and took my blood pressure.  I agreed to a VE, mostly out of curiosity, and H declared my cervix to be “2cms and stretchy”  They both left shortly after, recommending that I try to rest or have a warm bath and call them back if I needed anything.

More or less as soon as I heard their car pull away I had my strongest contraction up to that point, and had to grab on to the bookcase for support and moan through it.  I almost felt like running to the front door and yelling “come back!” but felt like that was ridiculous.

It was clear that the plan to relax, either in the bath or in bed wouldn’t work, so Chris ended up watching cbeebies in bed on the laptop with Toby whilst I knelt on the bedroom floor, leaning over the side of the bed, contracting regularly and moo-ing into my balled-up t-shirt.

At some point Chris hooked me up to my tens machine and fetched me a couple of paracetamol and a glass of apple juice.  My friend Emma made her way over and when she arrived she took over from Chris looking after Toby, so that he could go downstairs and start filling the birth pool.

At some point I told Emma that I wanted Chris to call the midwives, and at 2.20am he did.  Around the same time, I decided I’d better get down the stairs or I never would, and once down there I found a comfortable spot kneeling on the sofa, leaning over the back.

I didn’t really experience transition as such but I did have a brief period of time where I felt very hot and then very cold, and slightly queasy, so asked Chris for a bucket, which he put by the side of me, although by that time the feeling was gone.  I also got a bit narky briefly, annoyed that my headphone cables were tangling with my tens machine cables, so in the end Chris put my relaxing birth music on the hi-fi instead.

The pool was ready but I was aware the midwives were on their way back and that they’d probably want to examine me when they arrived.  I detested the idea of getting in the water and then having to get out so decided to stay put, unaware of how advanced things were.

Chris told me afterwards that he knew things were happening quickly because he recognised the noises I was making from Toby’s birth, and that he was really anxious that not only were the midwives not there yet, but that I hadn’t even taken my pants off at that point.

The contractions were strong and steady now, and took all my concentration but I was still perfectly happy and lucid between each one, and could hold a conversation (arguing with Chris that if I took my pants off, my bare ass would be the first thing to greet the midwives as they came through the door).

At 3.05am I heard car doors slamming, and knew that P and H were back.  They said they could hear me contracting from the street (oops, sorry everyone in Leve I guess!) and asked if they could examine me and check baby’s heart rate before I got in the pool, which I agreed to, although they had to wait for a sufficient gap between contractions for the VE.

P estimated my cervix at 8-9cms and went out to the car to get supplies (I was feeling quite happy at the prospect of some gas and air at this point) whilst H started removing my tens machine so I could get in the water.

At which point I told her to stop, because “the baby is coming”.

Both her and Chris thought I meant in the wider “the baby will soon be here” sense, and were all “yes, yes…we know…we’re getting you in the pool now..” to which I replied “No, I mean, the baby is coming NOW”

H thought perhaps the pressure I was feeling was my waters about to break but she looked anyway and lo and behold, there was a head (told you so!)

Chris said she seemed kind of panicked and out of her depth at this point (he was at my head end, she was at the other, so they were facing each other, but all I could see was Chris’s face and the living room wall behind the sofa) but I didn’t pick up on that at all, I thought she sounded really calm as she told me that baby was being born in his waters, which was considered lucky.  She asked me to “blow” the contraction away.  I shook my head but tried it anyway.

There was nothing to be done for it though, I understood then what people meant when they had told me that the second stage of labour is like vomiting downwards- you know it’s about to happen and there is nothing you can do to stop it!  P came back from the car and was greeted by a crowning baby, Chris said she didn’t even have time to get her gloves on.  I don’t think I even pushed, there was just one mighty contraction and then there he was- born at 3.16am.  Apparently his waters broke as he was born- I so wish I could have seen it from the other side!  I still couldn’t see him, but everyone assured me he was fine, and then helped me to sit back without squashing him, and we had skin to skin.

P confirmed what she’d read in our birth plan- that I wanted a natural third stage, and I said yes.  H then said she thought the placenta was already ‘there’, and asked me to give a little push.  I did and ta daaaa, away came the placenta.  The cord had already stopped pulsing so Chris cut it, and then Rudy had a feed.

At some point Emma, who had been stunned to hear a baby crying came down to confirm she hadn’t lost her mind, and Chris went to fetch Toby downstairs as well, so he could meet his baby brother.  Both P and H completed their paperwork whilst me and Rudy snuggled and Toby played with his toy cars on the side of the birth pool (occasionally dropping them in).  There was some lighthearted discussion about what to record the times as, since things had progressed so quickly.  In the end they settled on:

1st stage: 5 hours, 46 minutes

2nd stage: unrecordable

3rd stage: 4 minutes.

For me labour began in my mind with the first contraction so the whole thing from start to finish was 26 hours, 33 minutes.  Before the midwives left Rudy had his vitamin k injection and was weighed, I was checked for tears (1st degree- no need for stitches, which I was truly delighted about!) and I went upstairs for the obligatory pee and to get a fresh nightie on.

Emma killed a spider for me, brought me a glass of water and some paracetamol (for the bitching afterpains), had a quick snuggle with Rudy and then headed home to bed.  Rudy had a good feed and then at about 6am we all went to bed too.

Toby was up a mere two and half hours later and so began our life as a family of four!

People think I am joking, or crazy (or both!) when I say that I enjoyed my second labour and birth.  A lot of people ask “didn’t it hurt?” and the answer, for me, is that yes, it was intensely painful.  But the intense part of that, for me is key.  It wasn’t frantic “shit, I’ve chopped one of my fingers off with a kitchen knife: searing pain and panic!” or “argh, my leg is broken, this feels wrong and horrible and I’m quite worried”.  In the whole 26 hours and 33 minutes, I never once felt frightened, scared, or even worried.  I felt very calm (excepting perhaps one contraction just before he was born when my tens cable came unplugged and I may have slightly, bit Chris’s hand…shhh!) and I felt confident that everything was happening as it should, and that both me and my baby were safe- and we were.

I can’t honestly say it was my “dream” birth or even perfectly to plan, as clearly we had inflated a birth pool for a reason!  Also with the wonder of hindsight, I’d like to have tweaked a couple of things, including maybe using my placenta in some way- even if just to do placenta prints and/or bury it somewhere.  BUT it was awesome, and in a way, it was perfect, because everything just happened, without me needing to think or act, it just was.  And I loved every minute.

A False Start

So, after my major freak out, the first two days of school were totally and absolutely fine.

He was fine, we were fine, everyone was fine, it was fine.

On the first day parents were allowed to stay until 10 past 9, so we did.  Then he gave us kisses and went and sat on the carpet for register without so much as a backwards glance and we left and that, as they say, was that.

The second day was much the same.  Both days we were able to linger on the school premises for a little longer as they’ve put on tea/coffee mornings every day for the first two weeks, which I think is a great idea as not only does it feel less dramatic than striding straight out of the gates, but it’s also been nice to meet and start getting to know some of the other parents.

So I wasn’t quite at the stage of congratulating ourselves on ace-ing the whole starting school thing, but I was feeling like I had a grasp on the whole situation, when The Puking Began.

Yes, it would appear 4 year old’s have their own version of Fresher’s Flu, and it involves a tremendous amount of vomiting and diarrhoea within a fairly short but intense window.  So, as it turns out, this whole plan we had, of Chris taking a week off work to help us all get into a routine etc has been shot to shit (no pun intended there, sorry) as days 3 and 4 of the first week of school were a total no-go.  We’ve spent them at home, in our pyjamas, doing laundry/watching movies.

So the first week of school, has actually been a bit of a false-start for us, and I feel like if we’re going to run into ishoos (his, or ours) then it’s more likely to be next week, because not only will he be doing five full days at school in a row for the first time, but it’s also my final week before IVIG, which will make the whole getting up at 7am and walking 4 miles a day errrr….interesting?!