The Redster: Five and a half
The Cutester: Two and a quarter

The Redster illustrates

The Redster illustrates

Sorry about the horribly blurred photo of this masterpiece. Babyfather may well intervene shortly.

This week the Cutester started nursery (three mornings a week). I’ve vaguely both looked forward to and dreaded this for months. I even delayed her starting for half a term, deciding that she was just too little and it would be better to make the most of my time with her when the Redster is at school. On the day she would have started we drove past the nursery and she shouted, ‘I go nursery school!’ at the top of her voice. That’s gratitude for you.

Anyway, we’ve started, and she lets me leave her every morning without particularly seeming to notice. The nursery is gorgeous. It’s right next to my favourite park in the whole of north London, in a sort of wooden cabin, in a small field surrounded by trees. The children spend most of their time outside, the birdsong is actually louder than the traffic and the staff have sometimes seen deer. Not bad for London. The Redster comes with us to drop her off before school, and our favourite feature is the doorbell. It’s wireless, and the button is in a plastic bag tied to the fence. There’s something makeshift and hippyish about it that appeals to me.

As for the Cutester, I asked her what she was most looking forward to on her first day (she’d visited the nursery twice) and she said, ‘Doing a wee,’ adding, ‘in the little toilets.’ Unlike me she hadn’t forgotten that they have miniature toilets plumbed in. In the event she didn’t go the whole of her first morning – that child has a bladder like a horse. I asked her afterwards who she’d played with and she said, ‘Thomas,’ but she turned out to be referring to the train.

Now, how can I fill my two and a half hours per morning, three times a week? Lucrative home-based work? A session at the gym? Time with friends? Expressing my creativity? Read the paper in a cafe? Ah yes, the week’s shopping, cleaning the kitchen floor, and reading emails. Never mind. I think I might have found a bit of space in my head for my own thoughts, and for now I’m happy with that.