Making the Most of It

“Make the most of them being that small.” People say that all the time, when babies are pink and clingy, when they’re shouting rubbish from their buggies and when they are toddling in front of you. People say it so much that you just smile and don’t really take any notice. I wish I had though.

Tom was on Half Term last week. I took him to the park for a bat box building workshop. (No birds allowed – see above.) On Friday, I took him to Experiment at MOSI.

“Do you know what I miss?” I said, as he shrugged his coat and his scarf off and I fumbled with them and my own.


“I miss the buggy. I miss being able to hang our coats and bags and everything else on the back of it.”

“Oh.” He was off.

As he ran around, discovering vortex canons, turbulance domes and a cycling skeleton, I realised what else I miss: Tom not being in school and being able to take him out. I only worked three days when he was little. These days, by the time I get to the end of the week and my Mum or Auntie J ask me if I want them to take Tom at the weekend, I am so knackered that on autopilot, I usually say ‘yes.’ It’s ages since we’ve had a good day out, just the two of us. I took him in the gift shop and let him choose one thing and he picked a glow-in-the-dark Jupiter for his bedroom ceiling.

I took Tom to a Japanese restaurant for tea. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before: ‘guess the next dish to come along the conveyor belt’ provided ages of pre-tea fun, as did the at-table taps ( “Are you sure you don’t want any more water Mum?”) and the big screen cartoons. When dinner was served, he loved popping edamame beans out of their pods and grappling with the chopsticks. “This is the best restronaut I’ve ever been to Mum.” Who needs Wacky Warehouse?

After dinner, I went to the posh supermarket and treated myself to a bottle of red wine, which cost exactly the same as the not-so-posh wine from the corner shop near home. When I was faffing around looking for our ticket at the bus shelter, I dropped it. It landed with a sharp click and poured dark and fast into the gutter.

That wouldn’t have happened if it had been hung safely on the back of the buggy.

“Mum,” Tom said, on the packed bus, “You are an expert at dropping bottles of red wine. Remember last time you did it, in Morrisons?”

“Ssh, don’t tell the whole bus.”

I got him inside and tucked him up, but thankfuly I didn’t feel like the red wine any more. I was tired and content and I just wanted to go to bed.

I’m glad we had that afternoon out, because on Saturday morning, I woke with unbearable tootache and had to whisk Tom with me to the emergency dentist.

“How will the dentist be able to understand what you’re saying in your sore tooth voice? Even I can’t understand you and I’m your son.”

Afterwards, Auntie J came and took Tom to the match and kept him with her overnight as I took antibiotics and excellent painkillers that gave me weird dreams. (They worked very quickly and I feel almost normal now.)

Tomorrow morning, Tom’s back at school again. I’m planning an adventure for the next Bank Holiday weekend, possibly involving a teepee…

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