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Babymother: 39 and a half

I haven’t updated you on the Redster’s eighth birthday extravaganza (a film party! Easiest yet! 13 children sit in complete silence for an hour and a half, eat cake, go beserk on the trampoline and go home!) or described the progress of her incredible half term project Eiffel Tower model, or boasted about the Cutester’s nascent reading abilities (she sounded out ‘f-r-o-g’ all by herself!) but I have done this:

The View from the Tank – a non-cycling mother writes

so that will have to do for now. Sorry.

The Cutester: Four and three quarters

So… the Cutester has started school. She’s completed a whole week of mornings – though, being in the oldest third of the class, by next week she will already be doing 9.00 – 3.30. While on the one hand all sorts of freedoms beckon me, I am not looking forward to finding out what shape she’ll be in when full days get underway. She’s already completely toasted.

(At this point I have to explain that the family photographer has gone out for a drink without first posting recent shots of the Cutester on Flickr, so you’ll have to make do with mine instead.)

The first day went as well as can be expected. She breezed in easily, knowing a good proportion of the class already as siblings of the Redster’s friends or alumni from her nursery. (I did my best not to feel superior towards the new parents at pick-up time, though I did graciously condescend to advise on parking, reading books, PTA, and so on. Then I took my rightful place in the clique of established parents which stands slightly upwind of the rest of the herd.) It will probably be remembered forever, poor child, that on her first day she came out of school wearing borrowed underwear, her tights and pants being handed to me gingerly in a plastic Sainsbury’s bag with the handles tied firmly together. It seems that she was too busy to realise she needed to go, and then too embarrassed to ask. She didn’t seem too flummoxed though, as she was very taken with the knee-high grey socks she’d been lent.

New kids on the block

On Thursday and Friday mornings she didn’t want to go to school – why? It’s boring, the teachers always tell you off, you have to tidy up constantly… but as soon as it was time for the queue of very short people to file from the playground into the school, off she went, without a backward glance.

It’s a good thing that at her age, she can’t possibly conceive that there are at least twelve years of all this stretching ahead of her.

Come Friday, it seemed right to drop my normal objections to MacDonalds and treat her and some friends to a celebratory meal, followed by messing about in the sprinkler at another mum’s, followed by some probably quite damp cakes.

It is, after all, the first week of the rest of her life. And mine.