Grrr. I used to love snow: the excitement of waking to an unmistakeable muffled sound; the prospect of either being snowed in or having the heating broken down at school; building snowmen until your fingers freeze and you’re beckoned inside for hot orange squash… yum.
Last year spoiled all of that, unfortunately. The night I went into labour with my son, it started to frost up and I remember watchingt the road sparkle in the early hours as we travelled to the hospital. Lovely. Four days after he was born, the snow fell and from that moment my son and Iwere prisoners. Having had a section, I was unable to walk comfortably and so pushing the pram was impossible anyway and using the sling was not an option. I couldn’t drive, so… the baby blues had a grip on me like a vice.
So, forgive me if the snow this year doesn’t quite tickle my fancy like it used to. When it appeared this week, there was hardly enough to snow me in and prevent me going to school (this time to work, not learn!) and so it just lay there, thinly spread and useless. Until…
Until I fell. OUCH. I was carrying the baby in the sling, as I always do on the school run. More of a school slide on Tuesday though. I landed with a bang on the side of my hip and promptly burst into tears as soon as someone asked if I was ok. Luckily my baby was fine, I instinctively held him close as I fell, to protect him. I think this was the only reason I didn’t break my arm.
Today, I am the walking wounded. I have massive swelling to my upper leg, a bruise the size of a watermelon and pain to my shoulders, back and pelvis. Like I said, OUCH.
So I’ve fallen out with the beautiful white stuff that has been falling steadily today, turning my road into a winter wonderland and keeping us all inside today. Unless… my baby keeps saying ‘wassat?’ and pointing with a big smile; unless… my daughter keeps excitedly announcing ‘IT’S SNOWING!!’ whilst jumping up and down… unless I just cheer up a little and accpept it.
That’s a little bit better.
My son isn’t sleeping. Again. I think he slept through for about two months, during which time we stupidly breathed a huge sigh of relief and congratulated ourselves on at last having a ‘good sleeper’. How wrong we were. Since I started back at work, the amount of sleep we’ve been getting has been getting less and less and this weekend we were back to newborn status once more. Blurgh.
It only occurred to me on Saturday night, around 3am, that I was sat in the exact same place at the exact same time on the exact same day in 2009. I’d been to my sister in law’s for dinner and had spent all night in the bathroom throwing up (no relation to her lovely cooking, I’m sure). I’d gone downstairs with pains I mistook for contractions and was absolutely convinced I was in labour. So, like any terrified mum-to-be, I turned on the lap top to chat to my fellow mums-to-be and some mums-already that were up feeding their treasures. We comiserated about the vomiting and eventually decided maybe I wasn’t in labour… so I watched TV until the morning, unable to rest my head unless I fancied lying in a pool of sick…
I’m digressing. The point is, this time last year I was awake and exhausted, with my baby tucked safely inisde me. How ironic that I was to be up again 365 days later with that same boy, this time lying on me snoring softly! Did I mention that last year I ended up aptly watching a programme about babies who don’t sleep? This year it was the fabulous I didn’t know I was pregnant and Your kid ate what?!
Despite the exhaustion, the tears derived from lack of sleep and the huge HUGE circles under my eyes, it was slightly amazing being up with my boy on Saturday. Admittedly, being up again two hours later wasn’t quite so amzazing, but still… it was just us two. Soon he’ll be 18 and maybe only just rolling in the door at that time- who knows? I guess I’m going to have to make the most of these days.
In the meantime, do matches actually work?
I’ve always found it amazing how tastes and smells can bring so much back to you; how alert our senses are! Last night we went grocery shopping and when I saw they were giving away tasters of stollen, I pounced upon it immediately and declared triumphantly: ‘It’s back! Christmas is here!’
To explain, this time last year I was heavily pregnant and P and I discovered the wonders of stollen for the very first time. It’s fair to say that, as cravings go, this was one obsession that well and truly saw me through our last days as a family of three. I wanted stollen for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If it wasn’t covered in icing sugar, forget it. If there was no hidden layer of golden gorgeousness (marzipan, incase you were wondering), then I wasn’t interested. Stollen was where it was at.
So, stollen. I tasted it last night and I don’t think I can ever do that again. The taste was bittersweet this time as it transported me back to the person I used to be then. Then. When I didn’t know what was around the corner. When I was unaware of the pain I was about to face, the heartache and the realisation of the fragility of life. When I was so excited for Christmas and all the magic memories we were sure to create with a brand new baby and a new status as a mother of two.
I am a mother of two, but it took a long time to become a happy, sure and relaxed mother of two. The stollen I tasted last night was drenched in the agony of his birth, the misery of that Christmas and the desperation of my emotions as P and I struggled to understand what had happened to the dream. The stollen I tasted last night took me back to stark white operating theatres, expressionless eyes and hidden voices. The stollen I tasted last night took me back to that second I missed, that minute I missed, that hour I missed, that first cry I missed, that first breath I missed… The stollen I tasted last night took me back.
Who ever knew there could be such a thing as stollen memories? Just as I thought I was over it all, getting on with it all and dealing with it all so well! I feel almost indignant at the audacity of that doughy baked good. How dare it come back into my life and whisper reminders of a pain that should be soothed now? So I decided last night- no more stollen. I am going to make this Christmas as happy as can be. And no more stollen! Besides, it’s incredibly fattening, you know.
I’m linking this post up as part of The Boy and Me’s Show off Showase- the one that should’ve done better.
I took my son to our local soft play place this morning, after spending much of yesterday with him clinging tearfully to my leg, wanting to be picked up then immediately wanting to be put down and then ultimately not wanting either of those options. Once again, he slept terribly, waking at least once an hour and requiring a night-time dose of Ranitidine that he hasn’t needed for months. SO.
So I decided that the soft play place might just have enough distractions in it for both of us. There would be no laundry to sort and no tidying up to be done that might distract me from him; there would be more children to marvel at and other, possibly more interesting toys to play with for my son. Experience has shown that baby groups do wonders for both of our moods and so it seemed the best idea all round…
And it was! He played happily for two hours, practised walking, learned to give me a toy when I said ‘ta’ and even managed a small piece of toast! Hooray! Usually soft play places are quite stressful with the huge amounts of roaring children, parents who are ignoring them and staff who are just plain bored. Usually I am there for a party with my eldest and usually I sit with the other parents and complain about being there again. Usually my son is strapped to his pushchair and is too little to get out and play. But today was different.
Today was a mother and baby session and also free! So, no resentment at paying £5 to get my daughter’s face kicked and legs pushed in all the excitement of ‘having fun’. For a child like my son, all the climbing and throwing of yourself in places like these is perfect! Did I mention it was free?
So, all in all we had a lovely morning. So lovely, in fact, that my son then proceeded to eat some lunch that wasn’t porridge or biscuits! Double hooray!!! In conclusion- soft play places, I love ’em. Today, anyway.