You can go now, mummy

You can you go now mummy”, one of you said, engrossed in your Lego construction.

I thought I had mis-heard, or misunderstood…..I must have done. This wasn’t the way we did things. I am always there until the bell goes and the bell wasn’t going for at least another 5 minutes. At least. I didn’t need to go; you don’t usually want me to go. What about sitting you down on the carpet like I normally do? What about the kisses and cuddles and then waving at the window?

“What do you mean?” I asked.

You can go,” they said…..almost as if they’d agreed this between themselves beforehand. Apparently Boy A’s mummy leaves before the bell, and so does Boy B’s daddy, and….. well, that meant that I was supposed to go too.

For a moment I felt a bit lost…. I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I was convinced that you would soon change your minds, so I aimlessly wandered around the classroom before realising that I looked like a bit of a spare part.

You barely even registered my bizarre behaviour.

I left the classroom feeling like I had left something behind. I peeked through the window but everything was as it should be – you didn’t even look up from your Lego.

Where did this come from, boys? It had felt like a normal morning……Well, mainly normal, but maybe a little bit different too. As we walked the short walk to your school, you shouted across the road to greet your friends – hi to this one, hi to that one. It doesn’t sound like a big thing, but I had never seen you do that before. As I dropped big brother off at his classroom, you both ran after a friend into the playground. You didn’t stand at my side as you normally do, giving shy stares to the other parents around us.

Then you were off again with another friend, racing towards your classroom. You were in the classroom and taking your coats off before I even got there.

There is a special drop-off arrangement for Reception children at your school – us parents can, if we wish, be in the classroom for the first 10 minutes of the day to help you get settled and organised. And so this is what we always did…..up until today, that is.

I always stayed up until the bell rang. I was always there to see where you sit on the carpet and who you sit next to (even though you sit in the same place and next to the same children every day). At least one of you would usually be hanging off my arms or legs; and often there would be a squabble over who got to show me their carpet place first. Once we were ready to say goodbye, I was required to give you several cuddles, kisses, a high-5; and finally wave and blow you kisses through the window.

You were never upset at being left, but this was your routine…..this was what you were used to and what you were happy with. We had done it this way since September. There was no sign, even yesterday, of you being ready for this to change. There was no sign that I was about to hear “you can go now, mummy”.

Is this it now, boys; or was this morning a one-off? Is this the start of your independence? No more hanging off my legs or begging for another cuddle. Are these the words I will hear every school drop off from now on?

“You can go now, mummy.”

I know it is a good thing. I know it is what we all want for our children and what we all need to happen at some point. And I feel proud of this huge step you have taken. Proud of the smiles you both gave me as you reassured me this was what you wanted. Proud of the simple, uncomplicated way you had decided that you wanted to try a new, more grown-up way of doing things.

But at the same time I feel slightly deflated and like I just don’t know what to do with myself for those extra 5 minutes you have just granted me.

And really….. a little bit desperate to feel you both tugging on my limbs just once more.

Adjusting collars



When Mummy attempts to get small people out the front door

This is Mummy. Woman having headache at home

This morning, Mummy had to leave the house to take her 5 year old to school. Mummy had her two 3 year olds with her. Mummy does this trip regularly.

Mummy finds leaving the house with her three children in tow one of the most stressful parts of the day; which is a shame, because Mummy has to do it a lot.

Mummy remembers a time when she would brush her hair and even put on make-up before leaving the house.

Mummy remembers when leaving the house didn’t involve shouting ‘put your shoes on’ and ‘go to the toilet’ and ‘stop wrestling with your brother’ 27 times.

Mummy returns to the present.

A 3 year old announces he would like to take his four toy eggs to school. Mummy tries to stay calm.

The 3 year old is quickly distraught. The 3 year old has realised one of the eggs is missing – he only has three eggs to take to school. This is very bad news indeed for the 3 year old.

Mummy does her best impersonation of Topsy and Tim’s irritatingly patient mum, and suggests that he take three eggs; which he should carry in his bag rather than in an egg box.

Mummy is finding herself quite ingratiating.

The 3 year old refuses to accept that he will be walking to school without the fourth egg.

The 3 year old is now lying on the floor doing an excellent impression of a wooden plank.

Mummy knows deep-down that she will never be like Topsy and Tim’s mum. Mummy returns to her normal voice, and attempts to explain to the three-year-old-with-no-concept-of-time, that getting his big brother to school on time is more important than a lost egg.

The 5 year old wonders whether he will ever make it to school.

The 3 year old eventually agrees to compromise and the three children make it to the door.

Mummy catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror.

Mummy realises that, although she still thinks about what she’d like to be when she’s a grown-up, these days she does in fact look very much like a grown-up. A tired grown-up with quite a few grey hairs.

It is only 8.30am, but Mummy has already been up for 3 hours and feels a desperate urge to go back to bed. Mummy knows she won’t be going back to bed.

The three children finally make it out of the door.

Mummy watches her children squabble over who gets to carry the eggs. Mummy would like to apologise to all the neighbours who were, until 5 minutes ago, still fast asleep.

Mummy decides she’ll write all this down when the children are asleep. And also pour herself a large glass of wine.

at the door in slippers

When we don’t need to go anywhere, we love standing by the door ready to go out.