When you know, you know.
I’m ready. She’s ready.
Today was the last time I will take either of my ‘babies’ out for a day during term time.
It was odd. My baby was the tallest, oldest child at the miniature steam railway park (Yeh, we know how to roll).
Our last day before big school calls has come and gone.
We looked a bit out of place if I’m honest. Both of us walking hand in hand while Buggaboos fought for space in the icandy and Maclaren fast lane.
The lunch area resembled Heathrow bag drop. Travel light toddlers don’t. My ‘baby’ was the one having a conversation with me – and eating solids.
She’s grown up, and today I could see just how much.
But I didn’t pang for my empty buggy.
I didn’t lust over the shiny new Buffalo model next to the swings.
Dare I say I have reached a stage where the sight of a baby no longer floods me with tsunami-sized sleep-deprivation shudders. I simply smile and wave.
Appreciating their toothless balding cuteness.
And think, phew. With a sweet nostalgia rather than a sense of pity that the person before me chose to pro-create.
To top it all, I no longer have my pre-school mum gang.
We are all now back at work. The paid kind.
Today Lila and I were just two. Wading around in a sea of mum-squads doing what we used to, swapping weening tips, drinking coffee by the bucket load and playing ‘knackered Trumps’.
I like it in our new place.
Not in a ‘boring-Brenda’ way.
In a ‘I’ve-been-waiting-for-this-bit’ kind of way.
We are ready to hustle at the weekends for a piece of the park.
To compete for post-5pm Tesco delivery slots.
To juggle school trip permission slips and navigate the school’s innovative ‘parent-pay’ for the girls lunches.
There is one thing I am absolutely not ready for.
Helping our youngest learn to read fills me with a dull dread.
Memories of the infamous book ‘Rat Naps’ or, ‘cat sleeps’ as Darcie used to say it (over and over and over), still haunt me.
I’ll be pouring a gin this evening and toasting the seven and a half years of pre-schooling we have had between our girls.
Here’s to the next chapter:
-Two kids at school.
-Two parents at work.
-One dog in desperate need of a walking service.
And one cat oblivious to the seismic shift that is upon us.