The Terrific Twos

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It was nearly nap time as we left the pool this morning after a good, energy burning session. Little M, seeing Dad use his entry card, resulting in a fascinating beep and flashing light combination, wanted to exit through the turnstile. From her height level, I could imagine the noise, lights and the shiny turning bars, like a untried climbing frame, were nearly irresistible. Much more interesting than the child friendly swing gate we would have to use. “This way” I cheerfully sang out, aware that this needed to be handled swiftly to avoid melt down. “No” came the reply. The line of people trying to leave had started to form behind the two exits, and I could already feel the tension from the irritated adults with so much to do in the remainder of their morning. This situation could play out in a number of ways.

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We have come full circle

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I have started to watch you sleep again.

I didn’t realise I was doing it, but it’s gradually dawned on me. Things have changed, again.

No longer am I disturbed from a book, or my notes, or the washing

No longer does the sound of you crying out for “mama” echo through the monitor

Because I am sat there, with you, watching you as you rouse, blurry eyed, smiling, reaching for me.

It feels like we’ve come full circle, but this time I am choosing to sit next to you as nap.

I recall the times when I had to hold you, here in our darkened room, as you cat napped your 45 minutes.

In those days I longed to be able to put you down, to walk away, to read, to write, to wash. People said, “She’ll get there. She’ll sleep alone. You’ll get your time back”,

And I did.

I have cooked and eaten hot meals, savouring each bite, not having to share. I have  taken long showered, languishing in the warm water. I have watched films, lists collated over the past 2 years. And I have cleaned the house.

I have reveled in two hours to myself

My time

My only time all day

But here I am again, shunning the books, ditching the writing pad, leaving the dishes congealing in the sink.

But I choose this

I watch you sleep again, because I know these days are numbered. This time is coming to a close. Soon there will be no more naps. What do I choose to cherish, to take with me on our continuing journey, from this treasured time of afternoon rest?

Not the book time

Not the writing space

Not the clean kitchen

But the sight and sound of your sleep.

The peace on your face, the sweaty hair, the drool on chin.

You still breathe from your tummy, like a baby. Your whole body using the breath to make you grow, make you strong.

It is this I now choose during those quiet times. I feel like I didn’t take any notice or pay close enough attention in those early days, when I wanted escape, wanted to be needed less, wanted to have my time.

I try now to capture your naps, be close to you as you dream, as I know one day very soon it will just stop.

And there will no more naps….just…like…that…

So now my time is your time again. My choosing. You are my time.

We have come full circle.

I have started to watch you sleep again


Febfast 2018


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It’s been 4 weeks and 5 days since I started my Febfast health challenge. That’s 33 days of no alcohol, reducing my sugar intake and incorporating a new weights program into my weekly fitness plan. I know there aren’t 33 days in February, but that’s a teachers OCD, feeling more comfortable with a Sunday start date and a Friday end date. I must admit that when I weighed myself today at the gym, I was a little miffed that I’d only lost 3 kilos. I have stuck to it religiously. I work in a place that always has cakes on the shared staff table, and haven’t  touched a single one. I have been quarantined with an infectious toddler (Hand, Foot and Mouth arrived in our home), and still managed to get to all my fitness sessions. Four Saturday nights have come and gone, and I have sat sipping tea after bubs has gone to bed instead of a decent red.

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In spite of everything, we are good enough

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I knew it would be a struggle, if not down right impossible, to write a post in the first week back to work. Readjusting to a new timetable, a reduction in the all important me time and the general malaise of February, it was bound to impact my ability to include any creative time. I also thought that after a week immersed in curriculum, professional development goals and new students, that my first post would be a reflection on career and aspirations. But no, even as I throw myself into this new academic year, full of hope and drive, I find that my deliberations are on my role as mum. Maybe I’m finally grasping that being a parent, is always going to be my number one, my first and foremost, even when I attempt to bring my job to the forefront.

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28 days

IMG_20180202_123608_537Pinch, punch, first of the month.

What a way to start it, a super blood blue moon eclipse, a new school Term and a new health regime. What could possible go wrong? I actually have a problem with the word ‘regime’ for anything health related. Maybe too much time spent teaching 1984 and other dystopian literature, but it sets me thinking I will not succumb to it. This is never a good place to start mentally when you are attempting change or improvement. How about using the term ‘new health direction’? This has positive connotations and gives a sense of challenge and confidence. Much more appealing.

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That sinking feeling

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A very familiar sense of dread, started to creep into my Australia Day weekend, around about midday last Sunday. I knew immediately what this foreboding was. It has occurred at the same time for the past 12 years in my job, and for probably most of my time as a school student. That sinking feeling that comes with the end of a really long holiday, after spending lots of time outside, enjoying the summer. (Yes, this was even doable in Wales, the season does exist there). You try to avoid all the ‘Back to School’ advertisements in the futile hope that if you don’t acknowledge it, it won’t happen. But then you are struck down with this almighty blow; as what seemed an infinite amount of time last December, suddenly comes to an all too abrupt end. Continue reading “That sinking feeling”