Monday, 7 January 2008

I just don't know what to do with myself...

I've got an empty house. Very empty.

I have just taken Rosie off to school for her first full day. She was as happy as a sunbeam, despite the freezing rain. I can't believe that my 'baby' is now four years old and a schoolgirl. When Hannah, who is nearly six, went full time, I had a two-year-old to come home to. Now I have come home to an empty house and a backlog of things to do that has been growing for the past six years.

I've been really looking forward to this time, but dreading it too. I have made all kinds of plans for this sudden flood of 'me time'. But I'm not used to it yet! What to do first? The ironing? Clean the black mould off the wall in the kitchen which always gets black mould on it? Clean out the fish tank? Watch daytime telly that isn't Cbeebies? Eat the things that Rosie hates like tofu and chili peppers?

What I'm really doing, of course, is wandering around a bit aimlessly. There's nobody to tell me what to do. Nobody to demand a drink or ask for a biscuit, another biscuit and another biscuit. Nobody to sit down, eat lunch, then five minutes later ask: "Have we had lunch yet?" Or kiss Daddy goodbye (absent mindedly) then ask, mid-morning: "Where's Daddy." Or, equally, "Where's Hannah?" Knowing full well that Hannah is at school and Daddy is at work. Or to watch a film, then, as the credits roll turn round and ask: "What was all that about then?"

Off she went in her little school uniform. Pint-sized and determined. She's really looking forward to her first school dinner. I think that's one of the main draws. That and her gang of little friends she's known since she was a week old.

When I went to school dinners were scoops of hairy mashed potato, lurid green peas and spam fritters swimming in oil followed by tapioca with a dollop of red jam. Hannah and Rosie's school dinners feature local produce freshly cooked that morning in the school kitchen by Hafwen. When we're dropping the children off at school, the vans are dropping off the food. Local vans, that is, dropping off locally produced bread, meat and vegetables. Hannah's best compliment to me after a meal is: "That was nearly as good as Hafwen's." Hannah loves school dinners. Rosie, diminutive little foodie that she is, has long been jealous of Hannah's lunches. She can't wait, and I only hope the meal lives up to her expectations. Today's menu is salmon grill with jacket potato wedges, peas and baked beans, followed by carrot cake and fruit juice. And this is without the influence of Jamie Oliver: the meals have always been that good.

So. I have made myself a coffee. Drunk it. Visited a few websites. Briefly. Wandered past the breakfast washing up. Ignored it. Now what. Write a blog? Tick. Hmmmm. It's nearly 10am. Only another five hours to go...


  1. What a difficult time for a child to leave his mother . Why can't they do it when there is plenty to do in the garden or the runner up for Christmas when you would wish them out of the house?
    I am sure you get used to it but it always feels strange the first day after the holidays. You are so lucky to have your children provided with a lovely and healthy school dinner like that.

  2. That school lunch surely does sound scrumptious!

    It will be fun to hear about the girl's first 2008 day at school. Maybe you all can start a sort of journal about this month's unique features for all of you.


  3. I remember that day, too. You'll settle into your own schedule after a bit - but it's hard when you miss them. Like you, I wasn't a Mum who could hardly wait for the last one to go out the door - loved having them at home and looked forward to holidays and teacher professional development days.
    I hope her first day was a good one.

  4. I remember that feeling. Trust me, it will pass in just a little while and you'll forge ahead with your own ventures. In the meantime, you have after school adventures to look forward to and school breaks that will be more special than before. Your girls are so blessed to have you as their mum!

  5. Gosh, I remember it well - even though it was a long time ago. Don't worry, you will soon find that time takes care off itself! At least school dinners don't seem to be a problem for your two.

  6. Dont our babies grow fast!!

  7. You'll get used to it! And 3pm will come round too damn fast! But I know how you feel, though it was many moons ago! I've got completely empty nest syndrome coming up!

  8. Wow very impressed with the school dinners.
    Oooo believe me you will very soon be thinking oh good grief only five hours to go I will never fit it all in. It does leave you drifting to begin with, but that won't last. I personally loved the time on my own and it made the time with kids all the better. So revel in every minute.

  9. How was the school dinner? and did she like to be a big girl? Does she want to go again tomorrow?

  10. I know its hard ...but believe me the day will come when you will look back at this and laugh mirthlessly ...because you wont have enough time before they are home! Hope she had a lovely first day and enjoyed that lunch!

  11. Oh I so remember that first day without my 'baby' !!


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