It is not unusual for DS to fall over and display some sort of mark from an accident, however Sunday was different. There was actual blood dripping from his face. Perhaps I am being overdramatic and a bit precious over my baby, but it was pretty shocking from where I was standing.
So the story goes, Daddy and DS were setting off to Tescos for some cream cheese to accompany our smoked salmon lunch, which I was very much looking forward to. But within a minute of closing the door behind them, there was a loud frantic knock on the door followed by the sound of DS’ cry. Upon opening the door and seeing DS’ face, I froze and became motionless. I am not sure Daddy knew exactly what to do either, as this had never really happened before.
We decided to clean up the cut with a wet towel, much to DS’ dismay. We dabbed some Savlon on his lip and proceeded to cure him with love and kisses. He most probably ate the Savlon, as he was very keen to prod his lip and investigate after he was over the initial shock.
He seems absolutely fine now, a few days on, though I am still getting over it. It is awful watching your child bleed and feeling helpless, but knowing full well what happens next is up to you. I guess it was one of those milestone moments that follows all the childbirth/nappy changing/weening ones, when it suddenly hits that you are Mummy (or Daddy) and in charge now. No one else can fix that boy.
So the weeks have passed and I am now residing in the filthy town that is Gravesend. My days are spent in denial of this fact, concealing my devastation behind my desk with my Admissions hat on. It is only when I set out on my arduous journey home, crossing the Medway border on the M2 and the skies turn grey, does reality smack me in the face.
It has only recently occurred to me how much I took for granted, living in the city centre, working for a decent wage with no travel costs and a neat apartment minutes away. I would enjoy regular visits from DH and DS during working hours and finish my day at 4:30PM, to find my bouncing baby boy waiting for me at the door.
I no longer have these privileges living in Gravesend. I see DS for a maximum of two hours a day, in which the morning hour is spent rushing around trying to get ready for work. In the evening my boy greets me with red eyes, exhausted from having such a fun day with Daddy, and slums into his high chair eager for dinner before bed. I barely spend any time with my boys before it is bedtime and I am forced to wake for the next day.
I remember I came across this battle when I first committed to working full-time. Yes it got easier, because my son was across the road. Will it get easier again? Doubtful. I am becoming worn, reliant on caffeine and desperate for my son’s attention.
As term two commences at University for DH, DS is also returning to nursery. I have been dreading this side of Christmas for some time now, as DS will pick up Friday all day, on top of his two half-day sessions. It has taken a while for him to settle in and I blame it on their incompetence. Harsh? Not really.
The nursery workers are not the Mary Poppins cliche I had wished for. When he first started nursery there was a series of events which lead to me disliking them; I am not just being unreasonable. On numerous occasions they forgot to make him lunch as they assumed he would not need it during his five hour stay; even I need feeding in a five hour period. They are unable to put him to sleep so he remains tired and moany throughout his whole stay, itching away anxiously at his eczema. When one of us picks him up he is sniffing with red eyes, sitting on one of the worker’s laps. The worker explains, ‘he has only been upset for the past five minutes, he has been happily playing by himself all afternoon’. Lies.
DS does not attend nursery as much as he should, because each time he goes he picks up an illness and is too unwell to go the following week. Which is just as well, I hate him going in that place. It does mean that DH has to miss his lectures and we end up paying for nursery fees kind of like tax; it is nonnegotiable, it comes out automatically and you end up feeling bitter for not receiving anything in return.
I rant and rave about the nursery but there is no other solution. I am hoping the situation will improve the more DS attends. The workers will get to know him and he will feel comfortable around them, playing with other babies and not grow up being shy. Apparently in the last session, DS and another baby were chasing each other around the room and playing with a ball. Things can only get better..
Suited and booted I ventured out to my first day at work yesterday. Filled with nausea/excitement I was catapulted into a grown-up’s world. Obviously being married and having a son does mean I have had a head start with this growing up business, but this was different. Somehow, going into work 9-5, stepping away from a life of education and earning big bucks (compared to minimum wage at a coffee shop anyway), has dramatically altered my lifestyle. Being a wife and a mother does not change how I live or my habits. I am having to adjust to a new environment, surrounded by normal working people, not family, or fellow students with their drunken tales.
I have already organised my desk, drawers and stacked up my collection of post-it notes. I was so excited to get my own desk; the novelty still has not worn off. I suppose it has only been two days.
Despite being eager to start something new, I find myself calling home on my breaks, using my hour lunch to see my boys; I practically run home after work. I miss them and have an overwhelming anxiety; how can the show go on without me?