Category Archives: celebrations

What you know at five years old…

These two met in primary one:

Now we’ve got kids of our own starting primary one and it’s a proper headf**k.

In our heads we’re not old enough – or mature enough – for this.

But turns out half of us are 40 now. Not me, I am but a spring chicken at 36.

Last night Lorna (above), her husband Dave, Helen, John and other old friends got together for Jen’s 40th. We love her parents (they let us use their fabulous Florida villa for our honeymoon) and it was a very special reunion for the kids who met at school and grew up and away and came back again.

We must have been extra-lucky, Rod and I, because we’re both still close to our primary pals. There’s something weighty about friendships that have withstood adolescence and university and careers across continents.

I want that for our kids.

You can’t help but project when your 4 year old informs you: “I’m going to marry Ailsa Murray”, the same day he tells you he does  “really love Willow, I can’t stop hugging her” and asks repeatedly if Ella can come to play.

I’ve only been in Edinburgh three years but I’ve gathered a group of wonderful women around me, whose kids I love and whose lives I’m totally in tune with. It makes me so happy to think of us all growing up together. I particularly love it when their daughters talk about “Auntie Kim” and ask me to paint their nails and braid their hair. “God she should have been your daughter,” they laugh as I reply “She is – I just get the best bits then hand her back.”

[“Well I’m sending her to you when she gets pregnant at 16” is usually the tart reply]

We got a bit emotional last night as everyone drunkenly told each other how much they meant to them. Jen’s mum, whom we love to bits, put her arms round Rod and I and reminded us how hard you have to work at a marriage, but you do it because you love each other.

It’s our 12 year anniversary today.

We got married when I was 24.

We met when I was five.

And no, it’s not all easy, and you do have to fight through the hard bits, but I love him endlessly. He bought me flowers and -gasp – wrote me a card today, so I reckon he probably loves me back. It looks like I knew a good one when I saw him.

Perhaps KD has met The One already true enough…

PS Rod wants me to add that I got him nothing.

Well, I wrote him this.

 

 

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Filed under anniversary, celebrations, Edinburgh, Kid free, love

Lucky number three

I have somehow become the mother of a three year old.

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I haven’t blogged for a while because I’ve been finding things tough and anything I tried to write just came off like a huge moan. Who wants to read that? It wasn’t even anything serious, just a bout of illness, a crazy work schedule for both parents and the trials and tribulations of switching from a cot to a bed.

Now, though, the Terrible Twos are Officially Over.

Every since he turned three on Friday, the wee man has been on sparkling form. He didn’t even scream when I got him dressed this morning (usually an epic battle). We had some wonderful, quality, family time for three days, first with Daddy being off work, then with both sets of grandparents and an auntie visiting from Glasgow for the weekend. He just loved it. He adored having his daddy wind him up, his auntie dance around with him and his grandparents spoil him – and no doubt a relaxed and happy mummy had an effect too.

We spent Friday at Edinburgh zoo – an absolute five star hit for a small child obsessed with animals. My slight trepidation, based on an upsetting experience at Barcelona zoo last year, was quickly allayed by the focus on conservation and the wonderful design of many of the enclosures. The new chimpanzee house was a particular highlight, the wee man pressed his face against the glass, waving and mimicking the noisy chimps – though he did just about sh*t himself when they got rowdy and started banging on the glass. He stood in awe in the bird enclosure as they flew around him and squawked at him from nearby branches and tried to catch one as it hopped by his feet. The penguins were a big hit, especially when they paraded past, and he roared at the tiger and lions, even though they were sleeping and couldn’t care less.

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We met my friend Karrie and her gorgeous wee girl at a local Italian for dinner afterwards – both kids were very well-behaved and totally fascinated with each other. The wee man only thew one thing at her, and it was a cuddly panda he’d chosen for her at the gift shop, so she didn’t really mind.

The rest of the weekend was spent just hanging out with our family and anticipating his birthday party on the Sunday afternoon. We went for an early dinner on the Saturday at a Thai restaurant and a lovely Mother’s Day lunch on Sunday. Both times he sat at the table for more than an hour and a half without protest, playing with his sticker book or colouring-in or watching Toy Story on the iPad. We were very pleasantly surprised by his good behaviour. Was it the fact he was surrounded by parents and grandparents? Was it the fact his mum and dad were more relaxed? Or is he just growing up?…

The party on Sunday was a triumph, even if I do say so myself! We’d arranged to rent the local community centre, a lovely new building with a huge hall and a nice cafe for the birthday tea. We hired a bouncy castle and ball pool, borrowed all the cars, scooters, soft play blocks, slides and climbing frames from the toddler group and just let the kids run free. 15 of them played beautifully, no fights or tantrums, and sat very nicely for the pizza we ordered from across the road and sandwiches we’d bought in M&S. Mum had made a couple of dozen cupcakes and we stuck in the candles and sang Happy Birthday as the wee man blew them out one by one. I didn’t even cry –  I was just so happy that everything had gone according to plan, everyone was having a good time and the wee man was content.

I really think this is a bit of a turning point – even if only in my own head. He’s growing up and becoming more of his own person every day. This morning he woke up, trotted through with some sticklebricks and a huge grin and climbed into bed beside me, giving me a huge cuddle and lying happily in the crook of my arm as he pulled the bricks apart and reassembled them for five minutes. I think it was one of the nicest ways to start my day. I hope we can have lots more moments like this and the battles will become less and less frequent…

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Happy Birthday Boy

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