Redster: Four years and eleven months
Cutester: 20 months

I still don’t have time to blog, though this might bode well for getting time to myself in the future:

How did that happen!

They are making me wait until the 29th September, to let the youngest in the year settle in first. (She will be one of the oldest.) It will have been a 12-week ‘summer holiday’ in sole charge of two small children, so motherhood can only get less intense from October onwards, right? However – I was in the Natural History museum the other day and a class of school children turned up. I found myself seeing in a new light each schoolbag, lunchbox, and immaculate uniform; and then some of them had plaits – how many hours’ work was I looking at? (That was the only Natural History I learnt that day, as I recall.)

But I only have to contemplate that the start of school for the Redster will spell the end of something which, as every older mother always says, you can’t get back, and then these final weeks take on a kind of sepia-tint gooiness preventing me (crucially) from losing my temper too often. We went shopping today without the Cutester. Shopping for me, not for her, and she helped me look for things in my size and sat in four different fitting rooms and made pertinent comments on the clothes I was trying on and didn’t whine and didn’t get bored and only asked for me to buy her one thing which only cost £1.99. She caused two oldish Asian ladies in one shop to nearly cry in admiration and we left them fondly reminiscing about their own daughters together. So I can’t really complain.

(I have had about one hour alone with the Cutester since the ‘summer’ began. It was hilarious. We were in a cafe. She unzipped the nappy bag, took out the changing mat, unfolded it in the middle of the floor, took out a nappy and then lay down on the mat with the nappy in her hand. That was when I became aware of the smell.)