Sobs, splits and super sweet blogs

Tired, snot-filled children, new routines, mountains of ironing, brain-ache logistical juggling. School’s back and don’t I know it.

I was very much looking forward to Littlest H starting nursery school last week. Dare I admit I was desperate for it.  Not only have I survived nine months full-time mum-ing (yay, I can do it), but (wait for it) I’ve actually enjoyed it.  But by the end of the summer holidays, I was definitely ready for a breather; some time-out from being just Mummy and Queen of my Domestic Realm.

Littlest H is so ready for nursery,” I told myself. “And he’ll love it – all his friends are going, he’ll see Little H at playtime, he’ll do cool new stuff, learn social skills away from me, etc. etc.

For someone who is supposedly of reasonable intelligence, I really do a great line in failing to think.  Or, at least, to think through. Usually at the very, very last moment, or, come to think of it, once something has just happened, I suddenly work it through in my head and realise it had consequences I wasn’t ready for.  I honestly try hard to learn from this, yet continually manage not to.

And so it was with nursery.  I rocked up with Littlest H on day 1, ready to drop and run with a cheery ‘see you later, gorgeous’ and a big hug.  Imagine my surprise when he clung like a limpet, had to be prised off me by his teacher, and wailed at top volume as he ran full pelt after me into the playground.  Versions of that have played out every day since – heart-wrenching sobs from him followed by slightly pathetic, trying-to-hide-it sobs from me round the corner.  They don’t make it easy for us, these little people. I know it’s good for him and his social skills / school readiness, I know he is fine a few minutes later, I know his anxiety won’t last forever.  But in the meantime, it’s a bit of a downer on the otherwise miraculous sudden appearance of that most precious parental commodity: Time To Oneself.

Funny how opening that pandora’s box almost makes having a couple of hours a day to myself feel worse than none.  It’s a bit like when you’re hunkered down in a massively busy work period and there’s no option, you just have to get on with it.  Once it’s over, the blinkers fall away and you see what a mess your life is in.  Having some quality me-time seems to have opened up a sealed away part of me and made me want more, almost (but not quite) to the point of resenting the kids once they are back again from midday onwards.  Weird, I know.  That too will pass.

I’m not complaining, mind you. It’s many years since I could attempt to train with any likelihood of actually achieving my aims.  I dutifully record my running split times and heart rate, noting how little my pace changes, how close to my max heart rate I normally am, and feeling slightly over-awed by trying to do anything about either.  I’m ruefully realising how long it is since I pushed myself out of my comfort zone physically. It’s easy enough to be all gung-ho in theory – talking a good game, signing up for races, downloading training plans, buying kit.  But getting out there and going faster for longer and more often than is enjoyable, hurts.  Really hurts. And my nearly 40 year old body is complaining. The knee support is back on, my feet are sore, my left hip aches.  Mental toughness seems to have seeped away as comfortably active years have sidled on.  I do have a pin up spurring me on though.

Look at those legs! That stomach!  Wow. I know, I know.  Aiming at an Olympic cyclist’s body is a teeny bit unrealistic, but hey, whatever keeps me going. (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

And then there’s a gem of a surprise, a nomination from fellow blogger, Mrs D’s Maunderings, for a Super Sweet Blogger award.  Me? Really? Cool :-).  Apparently I, in return, have to answer a few questions and nominate my own bountiful bloggers – a happy virtuous circle of a process.  So see below for more on that, and wishing you happy days till next time.

1. Cookies or Cake – Cake all the way.  Home-made, moist, preferably a big wedge of it with a really good coffee. Often swayed by weird combos – last one was orange, pistachio and polenta.  Yum.

2. Chocolate or Vanilla – Tough call.  Really good vanilla is a total delight.  But then again…

3. What is your favourite sweet treat? – Too many to choose.  Most anticipated and savoured: a sweetly tart lemon tart, a warm, gooey chocolate brownie with ice-cream, crunchy, tart fruit crumble with custard… I’ll stop or I won’t be able to.

4. When do you crave sweet things the most? – 3 or 4 in the afternoon.  A lifetime of tea-time I can’t escape.

5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be? – Little Miss Variety.  Nothing gets me more ridiculously excited than trying something new and exotic-sounding.

And … drum roll…my Baker’s Dozen super sweet blog nominees are…

Keeping up with the Holsbys for tasty treats and parental / general life chuckles

MrsMcIndoe for cool crafts and how they happen

A Detailed House for a plethora of house do-er up-er ideas, both cute and cool

The Book Sniffer for fab children’s picture book reviews. Find the new stuff before it’s even out there.

Playing by the Book for more cool kids books coupled with crafty fun to complement them

World Moms Blog for wonderfully diverse international takes on motherhood

The Bumble Files for posts that resonate and amuse

Brute Reason for an invariably forthright, often thought-provoking read

ClotildaJamCracker for hilarious, off-the-wall stories

Diapers or Wine, a recent discovery that I’m enjoying very much

Suburbia Interrupted for five kids craziness, and posts unafraid to tackle the underbelly of family life and relationships with humour and candour

From Mouths of Babes another recent find I’m enjoying getting into

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