First day: Off we go to pre-school
So, last week was the week.
The week I’ve been dreading. The week I’ve gotten tearful about more times than I’d like to admit. The week I’ve been so tempted to push back. To put off. To ignore until I can’t ignore it any more.
Last week, Sonny Jim started pre-school.
It was only two mornings. A grand total of six hours. But it has left me something of an emotional wreck.
On his first morning, I was stunned in the best way, when my rather shy boy shed not one single tear when I left. Simply gave me a kiss, a big wave and a reminder to be “back soon mama.”
It didn’t last.
Big step: Pre-school starts this week
This week Sonny Jim is going to start pre-school.
He’s almost two and a half, it’s only for two mornings a week and it’ll do my rather shy little lad the world of good.
But, however I dress it up, for me it’s a big HUGE (I’m channelling Julia Roberts here) thing.
It’s my boy’s first real steps of independence. Of venturing out into the world without mummy (or daddy) there to hold his hand. It basically marks the end of his babyhood.
And although I think he’s so ready for it – I’m not sure I am.
In this respect, I don’t think it makes any difference what age your little one first starts nursery/pre-school/school – it’s still a wrench.
Living the life: Sonny Jim at the Zach Willsher
I made a bit of a discovery last Saturday night.
My brother was celebrating his 30th birthday at the Zach Willsher in Benfleet.
And, as most of my family were going to be there, including rather a lot of my cousins we don’t get too see that often, I decided we’d head along too.
Nevermind that it’d be a late night for Sonny Jim and he’d probably be rather grouchy on the back of it come Sunday.
His daddy was out at the football, so we’d give an evening at a pub a whirl.
What I hadn’t accounted for though, was the brilliant little play area at the Zach.
Throwback: Me and the triplets, circa 1990
Last week my triplet (I know!) brothers and sister turned 30.
Which gave me an excuse to dig out the old family albums, tucked away on the top shelf of a wardrobe at my parents’.
For an hour or so I got lost in a little bubble of nostalgia. Laughing at our chubby cheeks and gap-toothed grins.
And then I found myself thinking about the rather inglorious death of the family photo album.
Most of us new parents have probably got more photos on our phones of our little ones in the first month of their lives, than there are in existence from our entire childhoods.
Pretty much every single day of Sonny Jim’s life has been snapped on my phone. A fair number of them end up being posted on Instagram, and being WhatsApped to his daddy.
Heart breaking: This image has haunted me
Millions of people have now seen the photo of a two-year-old girl screaming, while a US border agent pats down her mother.
Taken last week the snap has become symbolic of the “zero tolerance” border policies in America, which has caused hundreds of children to be separated from their parents.
My Sonny Jim is the same age as that little girl.
And I haven’t been able to get that photo out of my head since.
To be entirely honest, I’m not big on world news. So much of what goes on around the globe seems to shoot straight over my head as I battle the will of a toddler who doesn’t like eating dinner or being indoors.
Yet that image, when it flashed up on my Facebook feed, cut through all the little mundanities of my day. Continue reading
I can’t imagine anyone will have missed the fact that tomorrow is Father’s Day.
Hardware stores must do their best business in the first weeks of June and sales of bacon probably go up as fry ups are prepared.
But too often the role of daddy is seen as secondary to mummy, surplus to requirements in many ways when it comes to parenting. And admittedly, some dads ARE rubbish. Those mamas, single-handedly doing both the job of mum and dad, are nothing short of heroes in my book.
Yet there are a lot of good uns. And the most important thing they ever do, is just be there. Whether it’s a snatched kiss before bedtime, a cuddle on the couch, or push on the swing, those moments are like tiny beads on the necklace of a child’s life. A tiny, tangible bit of love that helps build them a brighter world. Continue reading
Picking strawberries in his pyjamas: Sonny Jim in the garden
Helloooo strawberry season!
It’s a sure sign that summertime is here when strawberries hang heavily from their runners.
Last year more than 137,000 tonnes of strawberries were sold in the UK, with shoppers spending upwards of £1.3 million on the classically British berry.
And the cold start to the year (remember that snow?!) mixed with the recent warm days and cooler nights, has led to a slightly later start to the strawberry season. The resulting slower strawberry ripening means this year’s British strawberries look set to be packed with more flavour than usual. (Sonny Jim certainly seems to be enjoying the dozens he picks daily from our garden’s strawberry patch!)
And Essex has more than a couple of spots where you can pick handfuls of strawberries yourself. Here are some of the best… Continue reading