I’m alone in the house. The Pip-Pop, now two and three-quarters, started at forest pre-school this morning. He’s the exact age that the other two were when they became a big sister/brother. Sometimes that seems very small, but most often it seems plenty big enough. He’ll be going to pre-school one morning a week to start with, then gradually increasing until after Christmas he’ll be doing his fifteen funded hours.
He’s been really excited about going. He thinks that he looks like a fire engine in his new red waterproof dungarees. We dropped the older two at school, walked back to the house together hand-in-hand. As I strapped him into his car seat he said, ‘Mumma, why do I have to have my first day without you?’ I told him I didn’t know, but that it would be a lot of fun.
When I got home again, I didn’t know what to do because there was so much that I wanted to do. To read, to write, to go for a walk alone. Even to sleep. I washed up and put the washing machine on while I made coffee. I thought about the brief weeks when R was at pre-school before the Pip-Pop was born. I thought about those days, so long ago now, when T was at pre-school in London and R was just a few months old. It feels like those were rehearsals for this — though I was never wholly alone. I had, I should add, two hours before it was time to go and get him back. Now I have half an hour.
Still, this is just the beginning.
Jacaranda, Balboa Park, San Diego