Friday, 4 July 2008

Mad mum on the run...

Look! There she is again! The strange woman running down Whitehall in her silver ballet pumps, high heels and homework spilling out of one bag, the other aerodynamically tucked under her arm. Silver too, just for detail.

Trying hard not to trip over paving stones or tourists, get run-over by enthusiastic cyclists and ministerial convoys, or lose my sunglasses, I try and maintain a steady jog. Big Ben comes into sight but damn, it's already nearly 5pm.

I repeat in my mind my aerobic instructor's mantra, "it's your body, work it", as I pick up speed, appear in another tourist's skewed photo of Parliament, and knock into a free London paper man.

Running down escalators one side, then up again the next, the jog is back on as I wish myself nearer platform 16. Barely pausing to look where the train is going I stagger on, willing the doors shut and a sudden tgv speed to take hold.

My mantra now is "east dulwich, east dulwich, east dulwich, come ONNNNN!" (Also part of my aerobic instructor's motivational word pot).

From train to bus, then back on the run, I hardly notice the hail and thunder as I stumble down my destination road - on the last leg now, not quite 6pm, pant, pant, thud, thud...and I'm there.

A cool, calm and collected large man with a larger umbrella arrives just behind me, "I'm really quite wet" he says, looking very dry to me. "I' have...made it" I gasp; I look down and realise I'm actually dripping now. Rain? Sweat? Blood and tears??

The door opens and there she is - my little snotty jewel. Hellloooo Iris!! "Hallo" she says back, waving and crying at the same time. The nursery staff try and convince me she's settling in now, and even enjoyed her spaghetti hoops and sand play today. Iris and I back out into the rain, shaking and nodding our heads respectively...

Friday, 4 April 2008

welcome to the fold...

It's official. I have rejoined the workforce with a vengeance. London Lite in hand, I now cram myself in to silly tube spaces for far too long and pay good money for bad coffee.

After an emotional few weeks of weepy goodbyes and frosty hellos, Iris is now a fully fledged member of the childminded brigade. "Yes, yes, off you go mummy (or dada as she calls us both out of convenience), but first, a little snot on your suit for good luck, mmwaaah".

As of this week I am a full-time employee, and part-time mum. I'm not sure it's ideal, but then, what is?

Sunday, 16 March 2008

One small step for babykind...

Having pretty much consigned myself to second-hand accounts of Iris' various 'firsts' from my Bulgarian alter-ego (my childminder and I share the same Russian name), I was caught off-guard this afternoon.

While Hubby and I chatted about Sunday nothings, Iris decided to make a brave break for freedom and shakily took her first steps. Seven to be precise, and she seemed completely unaware, focussed as she was on a new piece of electric flex to chew on.

I came over all misty-eyed I have to admit, as did hubby. So what if she looked a bit like her mum after too many spritzers and refused to repeat it for the camcorder - she walked and we were there.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Controlled 1

It's 9:38 in the Controlled Crying house, and currently silence reigns, only broken by the weak strains of Heart FM drifting over a still wet kitchen floor.

Mum is in the sitting room, an evening glass of wine keeping her company as she hurriedly taps away at her pet laptop.

Dad is in his study, expletives flowing as he realises his newly bought PC is a dud and the company has gone bust.

Baby is in her room, quietly snoring and trying to erase the memory of her first night of discipline, hoping her parents will have seen sense and will tonight revert to the 'soft-touch style' she has grown accustomed to.

Little does she realise that a new phase has started. Controlled crying. Seemingly simple in its concept, Mum wonders whose crying is meant to be controlled (and how many glasses of wine will assist in its successful delivery).

Baby's crying is heartfelt, desperate, pleading, angry. Certainly not controlled.

Mum's crying is heartfelt, desperate, pleading and sorrowful. Also not controlled.

Dad doesn't cry but feels desperate, miserable and tired.

As the day's smiles and toys are packed away, the night's wails and tools await.

Baby: Teething granules; check. Bonjela; check. Muslin, blanket and spare grobag; check.

Mum: Ear plugs and eye mask; check. Tissues; check.

Dad: Battlestar Galactica dvd and player, headphones; check.

Let the battle commence and the tears flow, a harmonious family life awaits, and maybe even a previously uncoveted Gina Ford gold star.

Tune in for more updates from this riveting new reality household series...