I know you can’t hear it, but imagine a house without a child in it……………………… Yes, you’ve got it. It’s quiet, oh so quiet (don’t fret yourself, I’m not about to go all Bjork on you!)
Lily has stepped boldly (or not so boldly. I’ll tell all in a while) in to the realms of being a school girl. So, yes, it is very quiet around here right now. I have to admit to feeling a little bit happy about having some peace, but on the whole, it’s a wrench for me too.
Being an older mum has not bothered me at all. I don’t feel like I stand out from the crowd. No glaring neon sign flashing menacingly over my head, screaming, “Geriatric mother”! (friends and family please enlighten me if I have it all wrong).
No. I think (I hope) that I blend in okay with the other mums of small children. I have never been asked if Lily is my grandchild. That is not to say no one has ever wondered. I was asked years ago when my baby was due. To the horror of the lady asking me, I replied I was not in fact expecting, just a little on the tubby side! It’s quite satisfying watching someone recoil with embarrassment. I would not feel terribly put out if anyone did ask me if I was Lily’s Grandmama. In fact, I am already, to three little ladies.
So then, after all of that, why do I take umbrage at a little passing comment from Lily herself?
We were watching the ads between TV shows. There was a lovely smiley older lady sat on a very chintzy sofa, being wooed by an equally lovely sales person, who demonstrated how comfy the sofa was, by releasing the footrest, and showing the lovely older lady how to recline for comfort. It all looked very tempting. The next scenario was of an older, even more smiley gentleman being wooed by yet another lovely sales person. His armchair had wings for head comfort, if he so wished to have a sneaky nap, and the piece de resistance of his chair? At a flick of a switch, the chair wondrously raised itself up and forward, to aid the creaky boned old timer, up and out of his resting place with ease.
Lily piped up, ” You and daddy want those chairs”! Eh? Allan asked her why. She must have thought, silly old duffer, when she replied, “Because you and mummy are old”!
Being a stay at home mum, and shrewd home baking business woman, I take my role very seriously – ahem! Sometimes though, to give this mum a bit of respite, Allan will step in and do his bit. One day he said he would cook dinner. This is something that he rarely does these days, given he works long hours, and I’m home all day watching TV and eating crisps sandwiches! Lily watched with anticipation at her daddy working his culinary magic. She finally couldn’t keep her awe under wraps, and said to me, “Daddy’s cooking dinner! Oh my days. It must be my imagination”! Ha, I love a bit of sarcastic banter.
Allan is always teasing Lily about being a Northern lass, which for the main part she disagrees with, because she lives in the South. To Lily, living in the South, and having a Southern softie mother, makes her Southern. She’s such a smart girl. Anyway, daddy being daddy, and doesn’t let an opportunity slip by, still likes to tease her. He was telling her one day that she was Northern and should talk with her Northern accent. She was getting a little frustrated with him because, in her words, if she spoke Northern down South, then no one would understand her because Northern was a different language! Sigh, sigh, sigh……Then everyone would say, “What the heck is she talking about”?
We have had a bout of being poorly here recently. Nothing awful, just colds and high fevers. Lily had the high fever and because she had to have some medicine to reduce it, it unfortunately affected her system. Bowels, in short!
Being a big girl of 4 now, and in an attempt to try and get her to do personal tasks by herself, we encourage her to wipe her more smelly areas, by herself! I don’t relish the idea of being summoned upstairs with a, “You might wanna come wipe this one mum”! You just never know what to expect. During Lily’s poorly time, there was one particular summoning that Allan volunteered to do (phew!). On his arrival at the toilet I heard him gasp and exclaim, “Oh, Lily”! That said everything to me. It said, messy, it said pebble dash! The clean up done, and Allan came downstairs quite amused. Having cleaned up the offending area, and Lily standing to inspect her waste (she does this – I don’t know why, but she likes to see what is lurking beneath the water), she saw the reality of it all, and with great enthusiasm said, “That’s crrraazy”! I truly feel that she was very impressed.
This is Lily’s first week at school.
Well today marks her fourth and final day of the week. Lily would ideally like it to be the end of her schooling full stop, as she feels she misses mummy too too much. She tells us about all of the wonderful things she does, how lovely the girls are (not boys, as she only wants girl friends), and how she loves her favourite teacher. The one she goes to when mummy or daddy abandons her in the classroom.
The first morning was honestly, quite horrendous. She was excited to go, she got dressed and had her photo taken. When she saw the school gates, the tears streamed. I remember thinking, oh why isn’t Allan here? I can’t see her in to school, because if she carries on I will be in distress too. I was. I had to peel her away and abandon her. I know it was for the best, as being there was only helping to make her more upset. That stabbing pain in your chest after you have caused great distress to your child, is awful. I cried all the way home, and for around an hour after. I tried to console myself with a small bar of Cadbury’s fruit and nut, but no! I was tormented. I maybe should have got a bigger bar.
At 3.15pm I walked to school expecting the worst, but Lily had had a wonderful time, despite crying on and off all morning, then crying when she saw me. The pattern repeated all week, but no tears coming out of school. Last night (Thursday) she took a new turn and cried at home, telling us she could make her own mind up about going to school, so she chose not to. I know she will settle, but it’s still a huge wrench for her. One minute being with me 24/7 then whipped away and plonked in a room full of strangers. I would probably cry too.
She brought homework home on the first day, which was reading a story from observing the pictures. She excitedly told us about putting her hand up in class because she knew an answer to a question, and she has made some new friends who are just lovely. I saw one little girl sitting on the mat with Lily, while she cried, and she very gently stroked her hair and back, while talking to her. That little girls mummy should be proud.
Tomorrow is treat day for being a brave girl.
Fingers crossed for Monday morning.