How much is too much?


family & parenting

There are so many things where excess is a temptation or a worry. Ice cream, daytime naps, E numbers, hours of TV. I realise I am someone prone to excess. I’ve just made a batch of butter icing. It will take Herculean resolve not to thrust my head into the bowl and inhale the vanilla […]

30th August 2011

Split seconds


family & parenting

A lot can happen in a second. So the phone rings, when I am in my office. ‘Is that Spider-boy’s mother?’ says a voice I don’t know. She has used his full name and her tone is neutral. I pause. Just for a second. Catching a bit of breath in the back of my throat. […]

26th July 2011

Good News


family & parenting

Here’s some good news. With background. When I was 7 months pregnant with Spider-boy, a colleague and friend took me to the side. She had her first son in his pram and she wanted to give me a warning. She said that though lots of people would tell me that giving birth was the happiest […]

10th June 2011

On your marks: The human race


family & parenting

I’ve always been competitive. It is called the human race, after all. But blow me, can parenting be tough on the defensive. Draw your short swords. Pull on your helmet and sandals. It is all about combat round here. The better he can speak the more Spider-boy fights with us – wrestling with meanings and […]

16th May 2011

Blackboard Jungle


family & parenting, hope

I often think that what I love most about children is their brutality. A searingly honest take on life, unsullied by any social expectations. My little sisters used to cry and protest when our mother sang them (tuneless but enthusiastic) lullabies. Last weekend I saw my best friend’s glorious meringues dismissed as ‘disgusting’ by her […]

14th May 2011

Absolutely Fabulous


family & parenting, words

Parenting is a lot about storytelling. Already there are family stories kicking around our house. They are a messy, good-natured, gleeful mix of ours and other people’s; assorted anecdote scraps ready to be sewn into one brilliant mismatched quilt of funny things toddlers/grandmas/parents/teachers et al have said and done. The beauty of babies, the naivete […]

1st May 2011

Life. School. Update. 2


family & parenting

Bestfriend, she of many previous wise words and catcher of tears, has embraced positive thinking about schoolgate-gate. She arrived with her family for pizzas and plastic car games in the garden last night. As our kids frolicked in the evening sun I realised she was toting a bottle of Champagne. Why? To celebrate getting into […]

7th April 2011

Life. School.


depression

So D-day is upon us and we find out today where Spider-boy goes to school. And the likelihood is he will go to a school that on paper is quite poor sounding, but in reality, well, has nice classrooms a good vibe, kids who like it there and is the school nearest his house. I’ve […]

4th April 2011

Recoiling and Remembering


uncategorised

Today I had an IUD fitted and it made me think of sex. Glorious early 20s sex where procreation is a dread fear and your biggest worry is finding a chemist on a Sunday that will give you the morning after pill. (Although in my day you had to do the walk of shame to […]

18th January 2011