Magic Moments…

It was always going to be a risk, my husband and I both quitting our nice, reliable, respectable jobs of 13 and 10 years, and moving away from our friends and family, our 4 year old daughter’s guarantees of an outstanding Primary School, and our son’s gorgeous nursery, where we were all for the most part, contented. I’ve said before, that we’ve forever been the kind of people who take the safe option, and I know the move from Dorset to Wiltshire isn’t exactly a mammoth emigration, but for us, it was the biggest thing we’d ever done. It was mostly very exciting, but as any parent will empathise, you worry far more about how it will affect your children than you.

Three weeks in to term though, (and several play dates already!) today I had one of those special moments when it all clicked into place why we’d moved. I say special moment, what it really was, was one of those moments where a Mummy gets overcome with emotion in a public place, then spends the rest of the time trying to compose herself so she doesn’t look like a complete hormonal idiot in front of her daughter’s peers or their parents (that’s normal right, please don’t tell me it’s just me that has those?)!

That moment today occurred when I went to my daughter’s school for the first Celebration Assembly, which was today celebrating the Harvest Festival.

In Dorset, our daughter had a place at an outstanding school, one of the best in the area. We loved it when we looked around, were overjoyed when she got a place there, and to be honest, gutted when we had to give it up. I know she would have done well there, and it would have been nice for her to have had some of her closest friends in her class. I don’t have a bad word to say about that school, but the school she has now started at in Reception is completely different. Instead of having 90 in her year group there are 28. Instead of being in a town, this is a local village school. It has its own vegetable patch, and the children enjoying digging for worms at break time! It’s a school where the children and the teachers are all part of a little community and the teachers don’t turn up on a Saturday for the school fayre because they feel they should, they’d have been going anyway because they make up that community!

Yesterday, I turned up to the Harvest Festival, with my son to watch my daughter stand up with her class and sing “Here’s what we do at Harvest time” to the whole school. Being a music teacher for a large part of my life, the one thing that always gets me is hearing young children singing. It rivals tiny babies giggling when it comes to my favourite sound, I could sit and listen to them for days without stopping! So I was already in my element, on my emotional brink, but seeing my daughter get up and sing her song and get all the actions in time, made the tears blur my vision. They didn’t finally plop until she saw me in the back corner watching, gave me the biggest smile and blew me a secret kiss! I was no longer in control of my tears!

I also have to thank my son for drawing attention to my secret blubbing by producing the most poignant belch I have ever heard in my life at this precise moment, causing about 250 people to turn my way!

It was a truly special moment though. I don’t think this event would have happened at my daughter’s original school, but if it had, I wouldn’t have been there to watch her, because circumstances would have meant I would have been at work and had to miss it, along with all the rest of her celebration assemblies to come, and that would have been a million times worse than there not being one! Suddenly, in that moment, I realised that moving was so the right thing to do. I can go back to being a teacher in a few years time if I want to, but I can never get these special moments with my children back, and they are far more important. I suddenly feel very lucky that I’m able to enjoy them.



The Gallery: Guilty Pleasures

Having been in the process of moving house for what seems like a year, but what is in fact only a couple of months, it’s no wonder I haven’t managed to keep up with the Gallery, which I used to love taking part in each week, and when I flicked on to Tara’s blog having purchased a dongle to keep me going until the broadband finally gets set up and saw that the theme was ‘Guilty Pleasures,’ I wasn’t sure where to start. It’s not that I don’t have any, I just don’t tend to keep photographic evidence of them!

I was wandering around the house ‘unpacking’ and trying to decide whether to put a picture up of the cookie tin, or the tub of Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer, only to find that these pleasures are rather too guilty as they were in fact both empty! Then I stumbled across one of my biggest guilty pleasures (although the picture doesn’t show the full collection, we just haven’t upacked the rest yet!) – perfect!

It just so happens that my daughter shares this love, so I can pretend I’m doing it for her, but I have such a soft spot for Disney, I can’t help but shed a tear during pretty much every film, and have to confess to absolutely bawling my eyes out at the end of Toy Story 3! Snuggling up under a duvet with a bag of dolly mixtures to watch a Disney film is most definitely my guilty pleasure, but please keep my secret, because then I’ll seem like a very good and patient Mummy being prepared to sit through all these films in the name of being a parent!

Other guilty pleasures will be exposed on Tara’s Blog over at Sticky Fingers!

Growing up too Fast?

“Mummy, can you come and help me please?”

“I’m on my way!”

About 10 seconds later…

“Mummy, I’ve asked you already, can you come and help me?”

“And I’ve just said I’m on my way!”

“Well it doesn’t look like you are, this is doing my head in!”

A different occasion, walking home from school, making a tortoise look like a Ferrari:

“Come on, giddy up!” (in retrospect, this was perhaps an odd thing to say, but nevertheless)

“Mummy, am I a horse? Do I LOOK like a horse?!”

My big girl is only in her 3rd week of school. She’s doing fantastically, and is already learning to read and construct simple sentences. I think her class teacher is an absolute genius. Given that I have trouble leaving the house with 2 children, I find it amazing that she can get 30 of them ready for outside, inside, lunchtime and PE all in one day, let alone help them learn things, and remain so calm throughout it all. Primary school teachers are truly very special people!

I wasn’t one of those mums who sobbed as I waved her off to school for the first time, she was definitely ready to go, and I found it very difficult to be sad, when all I could see in her eyes was excitement and enthusiasm. Who was I to dampen that?! But all of a sudden, my daughter has developed this immense sense of sarcasm. She’s pretty intelligent so somehow it’s still quite endearing and she can get away with it, but I’m definitely going to have to keep an eye on it or she’s going to rival my sarcastic skill!

The rhymes and the toilet humour are now in full flow too, it’s amazing how the poo jokes are the same ones I used to find hilarious when I was little (ok, perhaps I am still incredibly immature and have to stifle sniggers and fake disapproving looks even now)!

The fact is, I’m actually quite excited that my daughter is growing up (and my son too!), but I feel sometimes like I’m wrong to feel this way. Obviously I’m tinged with emotion that she isn’t that newborn baby that I held in my arms any more, and I get incredibly googly and broody when I do see newborns, but there have been so many times when my husband or I have said what a fantastic age our children are at, and how we wish we could just freeze time and keep them like it forever, but then a few days down the line, they’ve learnt to do something else, reached a new milestone, and that just fuels my excitement and pride even more. What will they do next?

Last night was such a gorgeous moment, when my son went to choose his bedtime story, and then took it into his sister so she could read it to him (she knew it off by heart!), and they sat on the bed together, while she let him lift up the flaps and say what animals were underneath, then continued with the story. My husband and I just hid round a corner and watched. A month ago that wouldn’t have happened, but it was such a beautiful moment, and I’m now looking forward to a few weeks time, when perhaps she will actually be able to read the story.

I’m not wishing time away, I’m just trying to treasure every single moment, but is it weird that I’m more excited than sad about my children growing up? I’m sure when I have to buy my son his first razor I’ll feel differently but for now I’m going to embrace it!

This is the First Time…

I’m Michelle.

I live in Bournemouth.

I run the music department of a local secondary school.

I have two preschool children…

Well that would have been the case if you’d met me 3 weeks ago, but things are a bit different now. I now live in Wiltshire, I’m a stay at home Mum and my big girl now goes to school!

From this... this - where did the time go?!

So far, I’m loving everything. The house is great (though I’m not confident the cream carpets throughout are going to survive the impending potty training), hubby’s loving his new job, my daughter’s settling well at school, the people are friendly, and I’ve found a fab little toddler group for my boy.

I was very emotional when I left my job back in July, and not working is probably the biggest change for me, but I don’t think that reality will kick in for a while, as I’ve ‘left’ before, when I was on maternity leave. I guess the only difference is this time I’m not going back! I’m sure that my lack of professionalism being substituted with opening the door to delivery people whilst wearing princess tiaras and fairy wings will become more natural as time goes on!

So here’s to a new chapter. I’m now a domestic goddess, who lives in a harmonious and tidy house, never a toy out of place, 2 perfect children, and with the school run being a killer uphill journey which amounts to 5 miles every day, I’ll surely be looking like a supermodel by Christmas too! Hmm… come on, even a stay at home mum can dream!