Hug

When your chest is touching mine the beat of your wee heart fluttering and thumping so close and you are sad and you have been screaming and it’s been oh, such a long day (it’s only 9am) and I am sad and I have been screaming time calls a truce. An infusion of love happens […]

Fog

I am wading through fog at the moment, my brain feels like mashed potato, and with too much butter in it, to boot. I have all these theories as to why I feel like I am lost in the mists right now, all terrifying and unhelpful like ‘early onset Alzheimer’s’ or ‘mercury poisoning’. Can such […]

Respite

I came across some words this morning and fell in love – a poem by Billy Collins called The Present, introduced by William Sieghart in The Poetry Pharmacy. It pokes fun at the current obsession with mindfulness and living in the moment, which conversely can cause a lot of needless guilt. (Like, often I’m with […]

Lines

I’ve written here before that I try to modulate my turn of phrase with my children, as per parenting advice of the day – or really, just common sense if I want to keep my kids out of therapy when they are older. So, if the situation calls for it, I say ‘that’s naughty behaviour’ […]

The X-files

Today I came across the term ‘emotional bandwidth’. Jessica Grose wrote a piece in the New York Times parenting magazine about why she is resisting having a third child. She has reached her limits with two. Everyone, she posits, has a different emotional bandwidth when it comes to raising children. How she puts it: In […]

Growing pains

Yesterday my son came back from the park, mortified. Something which he found really embarrassing happened to him (I won’t say what), and it was in front of the older kids, who all laughed at him. He felt hurt and ashamed. It was the first time I had seen him like this. It was like […]

Party tricks

Yesterday my five-year-old picked me out an enormous black ‘crystal’ necklace from the local discount shop. It is hideous, and one of the most beautiful presents I have ever received because he is beside himself with the joy of giving. The three of them were taken out to buy me a birthday present last night, […]

Mud song

I was in the countryside yesterday, visiting a relative. There was a cherry tree. Pots and pots of muddy things, seedlings of vegetables like radishes, kale and carrots. Scallions stood in a row like soldiers, their tart green tops fading into pristine white bottoms, nestled smartly in the warm brown earth. There were large, unidentifiable […]