(Occasionally I think I might like to film a video instead of writing a blog post, but then I come to my senses, so the closest I’ve come so far is starting my blog posts like a vlogger would.)
This is going to be massively self-indulgent and that’s coming from a woman whose blog title is her own name and nothing else. I make no apologies. Click away if you like. I thought I’d do a little life update because it’s been so long since I’ve blogged about anything other than books (and more about that below…)
Suddenly I’ve got a toddler boy and a girl on the cusp of starting school, which is strange. On the one hand I feel like I normally feel, which is that life is happening at twice the speed it should be and I’m watching my children unfurl into the adults they’re going to be like a sped-up film of a flower in bloom.
On the other hand, it feels like a very long time ago that my life revolved around Baby Things. In fact, we’ve just had a big clear out and I have very little Baby Things around nowadays. The baby bath was replaced with a bath seat. The Moses basket and Next2Me cot (which, in the end, became little more than an appallingly expensive bedguard) were replaced by, you know, just a cot. The muslin cloths got replaced by me not breastfeeding in public (or, occasionally, breastfeeding in public and just popping my boob out and hoping no-one noticed or cared).
(Also quitting breastfeeding didn’t really happen. I’m now doing what I never imagined doing, which is breastfeeding a child that has a) teeth and b) the ability to ask for milk. So that’s interesting.)
The sick stains on my tops were replaced by snot trails. (I wore a black top to toddler group the other day with my snotty child in tow. HUGE HUGE MISTAKE.) The mushy food was replaced with, well, mostly potatoes and pasta and cake (my toddler son’s top three foods.)
And so on. You get the picture. My little boy is growing up. He can say all of our names, and he can say ‘ball’ and ‘car’ and ‘shoes’ and ‘hair’ and ‘nose’ and ‘poo’ and ‘cake’. He can sing the Go Jetters theme tune and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. (Not with entirely recognisable words, but still.)
I love him more than I could possibly tell you.
Meanwhile, my daughter is determined to do everything herself, because she now sees her whole life as training for Going To Big School. I can now have proper conversations with her and she has genuinely interesting opinions (mostly strong opinions about food she likes or dislikes, or the amount of My Little Ponies she owns, which is apparently not enough and will never be enough.)
She spends her days setting up elaborate make-believe games, pretending to be a very bossy teacher, making up jokes, asking to watch YouTube and getting stroppy when I tell her no, dancing, trying to make everyone breakfast, lunch, and dinner, being pestered by her brother and being pretty gracious about it, and drawing people that look a bit like potatoes with arms and legs. (Also she likes to draw ticks. As in ‘correct’ ticks, not ‘horrible parasite’ ticks. She learned to do them properly recently and now she’s constantly marking her own ‘work’ as correct.)
I find out tomorrow which school she’s going to and I’m a jumble of nervous energy about the whole thing.
I love her more than I could possibly tell you.
So that’s day to day life with the kids …
I recently signed up to NetGalley, which essentially means I get to read new or not-yet-released books for free in exchange for a review. YAY! This is basically my dream.
However, I wasn’t sure I would be accepted to review so many nice new books, so I decided to apply for LOADS of them, just in case. Again, massive mistake. I’ve got a backlog of books so big that I actually feel stressed about it which is a nonsensical problem to have. One day I got eight ‘we’re-pleased-to-accept-your-application-to-read-our-book’ emails. EIGHT.
So that explains why I’ve posted about twenty book reviews recently and nothing else.
And when I’m not reading, I’m …
I post about this sometimes on Instagram, but I’ve started doing an access course with the Open University, which is cool. In October (fingers crossed) I will start my degree. So far I’m loving it and for the first time in my life I’m glad my teenage self was a total goon with no idea of what she wanted to do and no feelings of gratitude towards education. Nearly-thirty me has been waiting for a LONG time to do this, so I feel very very very grateful for the opportunity. Everyone is being really supportive (even though I’m technically spending thousands of pounds on an arts degree and not something useful and practical). Chris is being particularly excellent by proof-reading my assignments and putting up with me being really neurotic and stressy about it.
Let’s see, what else has happened? My TN has been happening. Too much, actually. It sucks. I’ve been spending a lot of evenings either crying or clutching my cheek and dramatically shouting ‘I HATE MY FACE!’ whilst eating a lot of cake, which sums up my feelings towards it.
(I’ve just realised if you don’t know what TN is that’s a really strange image that I’ve painted. Oh well.)
I took a break from social media for Lent, which was interesting because I didn’t realise how addicted I was to it until I stepped away from it, but that’s for another post. I now see my phone as a kind of enemy to my happiness that somehow keeps appearing in my hand as if by magic.
We went on holiday with friends which was awesome. Also snow happened. The kids got to experience it for the first time (the verdict: exciting but far too cold.)
Generally, though, apart from TN my life is really, really good and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude tonight now that I sit down to think about it.
Anyway. I’m so sorry, that was just stupidly long.
How have you been?