‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley’
When I turned 40 I had plans, quite big plans. I wanted to travel. I had stuff to do, places to go, people to see. I had joined the British Stammering Association the year before and had my confidence restored. I had attended one of their conferences the year before travelling alone to Durham from Belfast and I was suddenly all brave!
I had taken part in a hill walking event for the BSA too and had travelled to Scotland. I was even a trustee now of the BSA and had to travel to London every quarter for the GC meetings.
I had mastered the freakin Tube.
40 was going to be a breeze!!!
I had met Pete a few months before and arranged to meet him in Dubai (like I say that now all casual….) as he was in the Royal Navy at that point. So by now I felt like a seasoned traveller! Life was pretty amazing!!
So we after a year of just about checking in and out of most airports in the UK, we came home from Prague with me feeling particularly grey. I was having nose bleeds, I was tired, I was dare I say it, ‘feeling my age’.
I decided to go to the doctors, and yes, I was pregnant. Like please. I was now 41. And Pregnant. Like seriously. Pregnant.
So now, I approach 45 and I am doing potty training. My eldest is 18 in a few months and I sure as hell cannot remember even potty training him. I have a vague memory of a blue potty and dodgy Bob The Builder pants.
Now I am being told my little cherub is very young to be toilet training, infact one mum at a play barn made a sniffy noise as I took Kieran by the hand to the potty (which I have attached to me just now) when I recognised his ‘wee wee dance’ and had raised eye brows as he clapped victoriously after doing a wee. Young or not, the fact he rips his nappy off most mornings to run around with his backside out most days tells me to give it a shot!!
The fact is I am a generation older than most of the mums now at these play barns. They melt my head. They have more guide lines than they know what to do with, and most of it as far as I am concerned is complete tosh.
So, my son will be two and a half and most likely toilet trained, he talks like a bloody college professor already and has us all in kinks at his lovely accent, a cross between Cheshire daahling and Belfast ‘here be’s me’ (my NI friends will get this). He even now intersperses everything with ‘wee’. ‘Can I have a wee bit of Raa Raa on tv please mum?’ And yes he does say please 90% of the time and calls me mum, not mummy…
Second time around, almost a generation apart (as after all my eldest could have had one of his own by now – dear God…) parenting is much easier. I stress less about things, buy less crap (mind you Pete did want one of those milk dispensers that looked like a cappuccino machine where bottles practically prepare themselves) and felt zero guilt at going back to work!
So hurrah for the older mums, we do things more by intuition than guidelines and for me that is what gets the job done.