I’ve got the car for most of this week. It feels like I’ve been given the gifts of Space and Time! Monday Bernard awake before 6am, goes downstairs to watch television until a more civilised hour. Pete takes him to school and I forego my only weekly exercise, the walk to the Children’s Centre, by taking the car. One mum is already waiting for me with her baby, in the little creche where we hold the Breastfeeding Support Group. I see six mums in two hours, then dash home to grab some lunch before heading over to the next town to visit my new doula client. I make her lunch, fold her laundry, change her baby’s nappy, and chat with her for a while. Then back home again to pick up Bernard from school. He is in a funny mood. Turns out he missed his slot for reading to the teacher, and he does really love reading to the teacher. He has to have a tantrum over unrelated minutae before I find out about this, though. Make failed vegetable crumble for dinner; the boys manfully consume as much as they can manage. Pete heads out for a rehearsal with his band and I read two chapters of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory to Bernard before bed. Waste rest of evening online, chatting with Lisa.
Tuesday I am no longer going to St Albans every Thursday, to sit in an empty room for a couple of hours. Now I go to Radlett, near Watford, on a Tuesday. I work alongside the Health Visitors and have seen more mums in my two sessions there than I saw in four months at St Albans. It takes me a bit longer to get to and from, though, and this week the M4 was hideous.
Back via Sainsbury, but I realise I have forgotten both shopping list and shopping bags, so I wing it. Still spend silly amounts of money. Have you noticed how much food costs these days? I also purchase books: one Julia Donaldson book as a tombola prize for the school fair, one book to donate to the school library, and a Lego sticker book for Bernard, to cheer him up. I thought I had a half hour shift on the Breastfeeding Line, but I’ve been double-booked with someone else and I’m quite happy not to do it. I sit on my bed and read a book instead. Half an hour of peace!
Bernard comes home in a happier mood, he got to read today and he loves the Lego sticker book. While he’s playing with that, I write a book review for my Doula blog. We have toad in the hole with roasted cauliflower for dinner and the boys are much more satisfied with that. However, Bernard spots the tombola prize and is most upset that he is not allowed to keep it. Pete says he cried at bedtime; I avoided this by being out teaching an antenatal breastfeeding class, in the church hall on the other side of the railway line. It’s nice to be close to home and not get back so late.
Wednesday Bernard sleeps in until nearly 7am; school is making him very tired these days. Very tired and very sensitive. I take the tombola prize into school a few days early so it isn’t lying around the house torturing us all. I have about half an hour to kill before a small group of mums and babies arrive at the house for an Introducing Solids workshop, so I sweep the floor. The workshop seems good, but I’m never very confident with these. More than ever, mums want precise how-to instructions when it comes to starting solids, and I want to convey that it’s okay if everyone does it differently. A mismatch.
After lunch it’s back to the next town for a Bumps & Babies group, where I am the BFC In Residence. We have a talk from an Early Days leader, and the mums grumble about being too tired for sex. The ED leader tells me I always seem very calm and lovely. Ha. We’re supposed to finish at 2.30 but it’s nearly 3pm by the time I’ve kicked them all out and I have to race home for school pick up.
Wednesday is swimming day, so that’s another reason why it’s nice to have the car this week. Bernard enjoys swimming lessons but his teacher upset him in some way this week, probably by getting impatient with his bimbling about, from the few details I can glean. I give Bernard his tea as soon as we get home, and Pete and I make a pizza later, and drink beer and eat chocolate and do all those indulgent things that are allowed on weeks when we only have one night in together.
Thursday Bernard sleeps in again. So do we. Rushed breakfast, Pete takes the boy to school. I have few plans, for once. Walk to the post office to collect a parcel and post another parcel. Meanwhile Pete is talking to a plumber who has come to look at the leaky water tank in the loft. I do not like this sort of job, as I have no confidence with the teeth-sucking adding on of extra costs business that always seems to occur. Pete sorts it all out and then goes off to work. I can finally tackle the mountain of email that has been building up all week, type up my book review, and organise my diary a bit. I have a two-hour counselling shift over lunchtime, and then a bit of extra free time because Bernard has a french lesson after school.
This brings me up to date. We’ll be having tuna and pasta for tea, and I’m teaching in the next town this evening.
Friday Going to see my doula client in the morning, probably a bit more light housework and listening. Then down to Basingstoke for a meeting and a conference call as part of the Introducing Solids training team. Then home in time for school pick-up and straight out for our weekly playdate with Alice. Bernard will have tea there, Pete and I later, watching Waking The Dead with some beer.
Weekend Our only plan for this weekend is to give the wall a second undercoat, and buy some plywood. There might also be a curry on Sunday lunchtime.