little ones, motherhood, stray thoughts
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Into the forest


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


  1. Tomorrow this begins for me! It will be odd to find my way around this strange new world. (Though I’ll be navigating it 5 days a week, 9-12. Impossibly luxurious, I know…)

    • So funny that five days a week really does sound impossibly luxurious! I hope that you both enjoy it. C came home smelling of woodsmoke and burnt sugar, and talking about new friends and marshmallows toasting on the fire. And I remembered how very lovely it is to see them again after a few short hours apart.

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