Memory Days

Some days, you just know, will stick in your memory. Or maybe not the whole day, just snapshots from it. You can take as many pictures as you like but you know that if you close your eyes you will be right back in the moment, every sensation as vivid as it is now.

Today was like that. Having pre-arranged to meet Twitter friends Jo Cannon and Jane Smith in Whitby, I suddenly found myself without car and the trains running at such intervals that I’d have to either be in Middlesbrough at 7am or miss it altogether. As a last resort I tried the bus timetables and lo and behold, not only was the bus fare cheaper than the train or the petrol, it was also a quicker journey than the train. I still can’t quite figure out how…

So, anyway, I reckoned this would be an adventure. Due to us being gas-guzzling, spoiled-rotten car users, my kids can probably count on one hand how often they’ve been on a bus.

I was SO right. Daniel loved it, Emily chafed a little by the end of the hour’s journey at being strapped into her pushchair but she was as good as gold really. So what could have been a total nightmare (2 small children on a bus for an hour… my blood runs cold at the thought of what could have been) was delightful.

Meeting Jane and Jo was as wonderful as I’d hoped. Chatting with them on Twitter helped me get over my stupid shyness and I tried very hard (I really did!) to not talk about the kids the whole time – difficult when they kept complimenting them on their manners and general gorgeousness (yes that was a gloating mum moment. Get over it). By the way, if anyone is in Whitby I cannot recommend Bothams enough. A special atmosphere, gorgeous tea and cakes and such friendly, lovely staff. And especially try the peach cheesecake. Anyway…

We wandered down to the sea afterwards, seeing parts of Whitby I hadn’t seen before but will again. We got a snack from a chip shop and sat and ate it by the water and watched the swing bridge let a couple of racing boats through. Eventually we got the bus home and again the children were near angelic. One of the happiest days I have had in a very long while.

And on the bus on the way home I looked at my beautiful children and just knew. This was a memory day.

Bye Bye Baby!

B in the A – Z challenge is probably for birthday. Next week Emily turns one, although some of the stuff she does makes me wonder at times if she’s actually closer to ten. And with her first birthday we’re leaving babyhood behind.

She’s already more of a toddler anyway. She wanders around the house, sometimes purposefully, sometimes aimlessly swinging her arms and looking for mischief (which she always manages to find) but always steady and sure. She babbles away with herself and us; Daniel loves trying to decipher what she’s saying. I have a feeling we won’t be able to stop her once she can talk properly. She’s beginning to show a strong stubborn streak and a temper and it’s obvious that we’ll be having some battles. So in some sense we’ve already left babyhood. Or it left us when we weren’t looking.

Of course, we’re not just talking about Emily leaving babyhood. It’s all of us. We’re not planning any more children and that means that we’ll have to retire things like the crib (which is still standing in our bedroom, as if we can’t quite bring ourselves to dismantle it), the pram, the steriliser which never really got used much anyway since we had a small microwave one that was far more convenient. The babygros are getting put aside for a car boot sale instead of the next baby, and for every piece of clothing that she outgrows I have to decided if I can let it go. Some things, like her coming home from hospital outfit, or that dress or those booties, are being kept as long as we have the space.

Some things I’ll not be sorry to lose. The weaning spoons – I really didn’t enjoy weaning. I love the stage she’s at now where I can give her real food and watch her enjoy it and discover new tastes. She seems to have a broader range of food than Daniel did, but sometimes the memories are a bit hazy and maybe Daniel ate a wide range of things at this stage too. That’s scary – it’s only two years since he was at this stage and it’s hazy already? How am I supposed to remember these things when they’re ten? Or twenty?

I look back at Daniel’s baby pictures and sometimes it’s hard to relate that baby to my little boy. Daniel is so strong and vivid a personality, he comes out with the most amazing words and phrases, how could he ever NOT have talked? Or walked? Or decided he was going to do something and then just done it? And how did he interact with Emily? Wait – there was no Emily??

So we’re leaving babyhood. But I know from watching my clever, beautiful boy that toddlerhood is just as wonderful and scary and amazing. I’m waving bye bye to that part of our lives as happily as I waved goodbye to the part where I wasn’t a mum or the part where I was a ten year old girl dressing up as a bride or rocking my baby doll to sleep. They’ve all been amazing parts of my life, but there’s a time to wave bye bye to it and look to see what’s next.