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A 7-Hour Break

Updated: May 21, 2020

8th August, 2018

So I've booked in a break today - 7am till 2pm, my longest break by a long way since Isaac was born. I've felt a bit neurotic about it... how to best use this precious and rare time? Only I can feel 'angsty' about an upcoming break. Gosh. 

But at 7.38am I had both children surrounding me, on the bed, and then Gracie trotting off to get 'Starry Bear', thus adding a third. I explained that it was now 'Daddy Time' and it would be 'Mummy Time' later on when Daddy was out. It took some persuading to get Grace to relinquish the idea of me reading her another Beatrix Potter (I confess I find those books so inexpressibly dull). But she could be lured by the image and promise of breakfast, luckily. 

So here I am, itching to write in this free time. But once again, experience does not repeat itself and the current moment does not feel as blissful as last Saturday. Perhaps that was because the house was completely silent and still and, as the front door closed, I became aware of utter solitude. Whereas now I can hear Michael and the two Tinies downstairs. I'm sure that when the house goes quiet one day, years down the line, when the children might be at university or whatnot, I'll lament the silence and want the chatter of children back. But for now, the pockets of utter stillness feel absolutely lovely. I have to 'grab' them when they're here. 

In other news, Isaac has started taking more steps. It was four in a row yesterday, in the middle of the lounge. And then another few when he fixated on something enticing on the dining room floor: a piece of cat food. I'm looking forward to him walking. I always find the transitional phases the hardest and I've found the last few months fairly exhausting, as Isaac's been crawling all over the place but not yet able to do the same activities as Grace. I'll probably regret these words sometime soon. And the downside, of course, would be that we'd be paying out more in shoes... No small expenditure when the price of a child's basic Clarke's shoe is about £38.

* * *

Back from my 'break.'. Well, I'm not sure quite why I worried about what I'd do with my 7 hours of free time. I ended up getting a small segment of that in the end. Isaac started crying (distractingly loudly) at around 9.08am. At which I went down and made my second cup of tea and gathered him up for his morning snooze. Well... he took ages to get off and then Michael came up for a bit of a chat and ... before I knew it, I'd packed up the car for my coffee & cake with my friend Lisa and Isaac was awake. It got to 10.30am and Michael looked at me with one of those looks when I asked for the car key. Ohhh....he thought he was having the car. Okay. I agreed he could drop me off on his way to the park. There ensued a half-hour wait as Michael realised he couldn't find his wallet and Isaac needed some socks. It was nearing 11am and my break was rapidly evaporating.

The car conversation consisted of a long series of musings about where Michael's wallet could have got to, which bit of the train he was sitting on the previous day and finally ending, in a credit-card-cancelling conversation. All while Grace was crying in the back because a very small spider was on her leg. I handed him a £20 note (I don't usually have those in my purse) as I got out of the car and breathed a sigh of relief to be meeting my friend Lisa, (at a local charity event in a Victorian conservatory, involving tea and cake).

I then met Michael at 12ish at Bruntwood Park, and ended up finishing off my final bit of break in John Lewis trying on some new Converse trainers. Phew. And to think I was worried about those 7 hours stretching ahead of me and how I might feel lonely. Home by 1.50pm, and through the door to the sound of Isaac crying inconsolably. Wow, that break went fast. Next time I'm booking in two days.

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