When my friend Caroline was still blogging as Scribbling Mum (and before she’d started a bid for book-related world domination with the Green Door Bookshop) she ran a monthly post called Live in the Now, where she took time to sit and write a round-up post of all the things going on in her family’s lives, and to appreciate those small happy moments that come from being a parent
I haven’t done one of those posts in a while, but it seems like a nice time of year to pause and take stock of where we are.
As I type, DorkySon is at nursery, having a final run-through of his nativity before we are invited to go and watch. There is a cardboard and tinfoil crown sitting on the dining room table, along with a red velvet cloak that we have borrowed from a friend. I cannot wait to see my little King sing his heart out this afternoon.
He is in brilliant form just now, for the most part. He desperately needs a haircut, which we are finally getting round to later this week, but mop-head aside he is looking very grown-up. He is excited by everything, sings and chats constantly, and seems incapable of walking anywhere. It is run, run, run all the time, sometimes with a few jumps thrown in for good measure. He definitely doesn’t lavish as many daytime cuddles on us as he used to, but he makes up for that with a giant hug before bedtime, where he wraps his arms around my neck and clings on with his legs. He still comes into bed for a cuddle in the mornings, and at the weekend will happily lie-in with us until 10 or 11 as long as one of us will read him a book. He has dropped his afternoon nap almost entirely, which means I seem to be constantly behind on housework (and blogging!) because I no longer get that hour of quiet. On the flipside, he now falls asleep without fuss about 7 every night, rather than dancing around being an arse until 9.30.
This morning, I crunched my way along frosty pavements while peering at a Hertfordshire A-Z, on my way to visit one of the local schools. Our application for DorkySon’s reception place has to be made in mid-January. I have made a conscious decision to ignore the OFSTED reports, visit the three schools that are closest to our house, and rank them in the order that feels best. He will be four years old when he starts school. Friendly, warm teaching staff, a welcoming atmosphere, happy looking children and a large outdoor play area are far more important to me at this stage than exam results that are six or seven years down the line.
I cannot believe that it is only a fortnight since we came back from our holiday. This time three weeks ago, we were waking up to the sound of the sea, and watching the sunrise out of our bedroom window while a pot of coffee brewed.
It was back to earth with a bump. DorkySon always takes a few days to adjust to being back at nursery after time away, so we had a few tear-filled drop offs, which are never fun. The same week we got back, DorkyDad had to fly to Hong Kong for a work trip.
While he was away, our downstairs neighbours came up to say that there was water leaking from our flat into theirs. As it was a Saturday, I couldn’t contact our letting agents, so I had to call out an emergency plumber. Fortunately, they came immediately and fixed the problem.
The next day, the neighbours came up again. There was a second leak. Four plumber visits, seven days, numerous phone calls and one extremely grumpy email later, I think the second leak may now, finally be fixed.
It was just that kind of week; the kind where you’re on your way out of your acupuncture appointment before you realise you still have a needle stuck in the top of your head; the kind where your weekly veg box arrives and a tub of cream has exploded inside it; the kind where you plan an entire Saturday around using restaurant vouchers that are about to expire, and you’re halfway there in a cab before you realise you’ve left them on the kitchen worktop.
Small things, but all little signs that you’re tired, that it has been a long year, that your little family needs to tuck in, stay warm and take care of itself over Christmas and New Year.
We can’t wait to do just that.