Today, my little boy turns three years old. He’s so ready to be three! He’s tall and strong and clever and asks questions about hydraulic cylinders and whether there is a hole at the back of his mouth for the food to go. He’s logical and considered and daft as a brush, full of life and spirit and just all round wonderful. He’s testing and challenging and exhausting, and loving, kind, gentle and surprises me every day by doing and saying the sweetest things that just catch my breath.

It’s been three years since I had him, three years since this post, and this post, three years since feeling so awful. Three years since we had no central heating, three years since I had to put someone else before myself for the first time, really, and three years since I became a mother. It feels like the longest time ever and the fastest time ever, and I’m sure I’ll come and write that on here every birthday!

He has changed me, for the better. I am proud of who I am and I am that person now from being his mum.

And while that’s very soppy and sounds a bit silly, it’s true, and I can’t approach his birthday without thinking about absolutely everything from around that time. It doesn’t hold the same dread for me as it did at his first birthday, but it still makes me remember everything: waiting for him, going to the hospital, coming home again (twice), that awful night on the induction suite, pain, gas and air (happy times!), “you’re going to need a caesarean”, no more pain, a baby, first feeding, feeling awful, blood transfusion, long stay in hospital, too scared to come home, no sleep, what am I doing? what have I done? will I feel normal ever again?

and then … yes … this is how we do this. Slowly finding our feet. Now, three years on, I’ve dropped him off at playgroup with a bag of chocolates to hand out at the end, and a box of raisins as our snack contribution for the week. Greeted my friend and her new baby, born on Saturday. Bought a birthday cake on the way home … and now I’m typing this with his little sister snuggled on my back in the sling (you should know that I’m swaying side to side as I type!), with nursery appointments and playdates with friends lined up for the week.

I don’t think I could have seen this point from where I was three years ago. I owe a lot to this little boy, the boy who made me a mum, the boy who changed everything and made it so much more.

Happy Birthday, Tiny Tin Bird. You’re amazing. And I hope you like your new Massey Ferguson :-)



Big Ships

It’s been three long years since I was last at the seaside. I wish that I could be at the seaside every day! I miss it so much. Unfortunately I live miles away from the sea and I don’t drive, so daily coastal visiting isn’t really an option. Last weekend we went to Hampshire to visit Andy’s dad and we were able to go to Calshot Beach for a couple of hours to watch the cruise ships leaving the docks at Southampton.



I can’t tell you how good it felt to open the car door and breathe in the smell of the sea. It smelt so right! It was raining and both children were asleep but that didn’t stop me and I ran down the shingle slope to the edge of the water and just took it all in. Stones! Sea! Saltiness! Sand! Shells! Aaaaahhhhhh.



(Look: you can see all the way over to the Spinnaker Tower!)

This was followed by quite a lot of rain, a baby who wasn’t too pleased about being wet (she had an angry feed and went to sleep in a huff, each to their own I suppose), an angry TTB who didn’t want to be woken up, lots more rain, sheltering in a beach hut porch, an ice cream in the rain and then some more rain.


Caribbean Princess

But it didn’t matter! At least not to me. When the rain eased a bit I left everyone too it and went for a walk. The tide was going out and I followed it as far as I could, walking over the soggy sand and looking for shells, worm casts, seaweed, gulls, and anything else seasidey. Remembering all their names and breathing as deeply as I could. I walked out as far as the seaweed bed and then the first of the big ships appeared. Well “appeared” is a rather optimistic term for the long, slow journey the ships seem to make out of the docks but you know what I mean. This one was “Caribbean Princess”. Pretty big, but not the biggest. We waited for the second one, “Anthem of the Seas” and she was much bigger. Apparently all ships are female.

Anthem of the Seas







I hope that it’s not another 3 years before we can go back to the coast. It just feels like the right place to be. But just in case, I brought back about a million shells! That should keep me going until next time :-)

Seeing the cruise ships was impressive and I think we’ll do it again. TTB keeps talking about “the big ships that we saw another day with Grandad Simon on the beach!” and the police boat he saw. It was actually the harbourmaster’s boat, clearing the way for Anthem of the Seas, but he’s not having it. How can a boat with a siren and flashing lights be anything other than a police boat in the eyes of a nearly-three-year-old? Exactly.