It has been a week! A whole week and I have not written anything and I feel removed and lost and neglectful and deep, deep shame. But I am also tired from my new life. My new life of 6:30 am false starts where you get up to have a shower but realise your conditioner is in the boy’s ensuite and so to get it you risk waking them but you need to condition your hair as yesterday was a swimming day (which is a whole other story – expelled screaming babies and the like) and so your hair is a bit crunchy-feeling and you have the faint whiff of bleach about you and so you enter the room which smells of clean little boys and sounds of congested sinuses and you creep in and then – the baby wakes. A convoy of waking ensues, and so the day has begun badly once again. And so I am tired. And of course this morning we had the Scooter Argument. Which goes like this.
8:03am – we are two minutes late – we should be out the door but are not, and Barnaby still has Nutella smeared over his teeth and Noah has only just recovered from his hissy fit owing to having to put on Some Clothes.
8:04 – Barnaby sticks one of the flayed communal toothbrushes into his mouth, then out, I pronounce his teeth as “very shiny, well done” and we grab the double pushchair (still whiffy of dog, despite the scrubdown on Saturday) and yank it up the stairs, then grab the baby who has been playing in the rotting leaves and has no shoes on, and we head out the door
8:08 – we race along our road and get to the top and Barnaby has stopped and is crying and yelling. “WHAT?” says me, all cranky and loud with a wild angry look in my eyes and a bit of madwoman-spittle at the corner of my mouth. “I want my SCOOTER!!!!!” wails Barnaby.
I make a decision. I have no time to get the scooter, and if we are late we have to sign The Book. Which chills me to the bone. But this crying will continue until we get to Edgware Road – a good 20 mins walk away – and I have not got the strength to endure it.
“GO back NOW and RUN!”
The yelling scary voice coming from deep within my pregnant hormonally-compromised body not only draws the attention of the residents of our genteel street, but also reduces Barnaby to racking sobs, then silence as he holds his breath in deep despair while running back to our flat. And he gets to the top of our stairs, turns bluish and flakes out. As I am actually used to this, and I am scared of signing The Book, I can only sigh and swear a teeny bit under my breath and walk calmly back to the uniform-clad little form lying down on the pavement and say “Get UP! We are LATE!” And he does, and the blood returns to his face, and he grabs the scooter and we get there on time. Just.
So mornings are variations of this. We are all slowly figuring this all out. Bear with me.
School PE kit:
I decided to photograph our way home from school to show you what we see. Consider this a photo essay in the manner of, er, the great photo-essayists, if you will.
The gallery outside school:
The Lebanese deli with amazing baklava and nuts and bottled water for 40p!:
A barber. Maybe not the most stylish place to go, but cheap:
A big fabric shop:
New building at Paddington Basin:
A sad Barnaby sulking because I did not say “Ready, Steady, Go!” loud enough:
Paddington Basin. We HAVE to hang out here going up and down the stairs and jumping on the grassy bits and playing “Freeze” every single day…:
A leafy basement flat:
School tie misappropriation:
And finally home.