Archive for August 2011

day trips

We had Grandma visiting for the past two weeks and the boys are really missing her at the moment – but we’ve lots of great photos of our adventures with her. We spent one fabulous day at St. Andrews – visiting the cathedral ruins, the aquarium, and rounding out our day at the beach. Scotland has amazing beaches, especially in the east near us. The weather isn’t always beachy – but when we can get away with it, there really is nothing better than a couple shovels and a pail and acres and acres of sand.
We’re a bit run-down at the moment with all the emotional stress of starting school. Duncan’s doing really well but it’s a heavy load for him to manage, including dealing with teasing from his peers about how he draws (like his parents basically) and one kid that keeps hitting him. It’s definitely a bit crueller than I expected – not the teachers and the school but the behaviour of some of the other kids. From an environment that’s primarily dominated by adults to one where he’s expected to sort things out on his own is quite a big change and we’re proud of how he’s handling that stress so far. I want to rush in and make it all better but I don’t think I can and I wonder if I need to let him sort this on his own. And shattered boys do tend to have meltdowns more often than they usually do….

First Days


Duncan had a big week last week – his first day in primary one. Even after two years at nursery, it’s still a big transition – a full uniform, a school full of big kids, and the promise that he’ll learn to read – which is much anticipated. He’s loved it and we’ve loved watching the excitement in his eyes. School could be a big scary place sometimes and there was a moment the day before when I thought he might be a bit nervous but mainly he’s been thrilled. He’s got so many friends at school already and I think he feels like he’s hit the big time. Long may it last.

It’s probably been more stressful for us. Any time there’s a lot going on in our lives I end up with this sickening feeling of “what have I forgotten” and it’s been in full force this week. I think it’s the working-mother guilt too – the “if I was home full time I’d know what was going on”. I know next month it’ll all seem completely straightforward but at the moment it’s still all new and I’m afraid I’ll mess it up – forget to send him with snack or a pencil case or some all-important forms. But so far so good and I’ve not had any emotional reaction to seeing him off to school – just proud of the wee man he’s become and hopeful for his future.


Fortunately Duncan’s not been the only one who’s had a new adventure this week – Fraser’s started at nursery and is very excited. He’s been going there for two years to see Duncan off so he’s more than ready to go himself. He looks tiny in his school uniform – but so pleased. And aside from the logistical difficulties of having them in different schools (the nursery isn’t attached to the village school for space reasons but is 6 miles away!) it’s lovely that they are both getting to start something new and be excited at the same time.

Fraser will go to nursery five times a week for two and a half hours – although since attendance at his age isn’t compulsory there may be Friday afternoons where we decide to stay home and relax if we’re exhausted. For the next four months, until the January intake, he’ll be one of the youngest kids in a class of 15 and for all he’s high energy, he’s not always high stamina. So we might need some quiet time – which is fine by me. I’m the one that’s always exhausted by the end of the week.


And of course just starting school isn’t really enough is it? So Duncan started rugby yesterday and then swimming lessons in a week’s time. It’s actually a strange luxury with a baby or toddler than nothing is really scheduled except to suit the parents and sleeping. If we wanted to go away for the weekend, we did. Now we’re tied to the area for most Saturday mornings and every other Sunday for Sunday Club for the kids (when I’m leading it). I miss those spontaneous weekends away, even if in my head I’ve blocked out all the exhaustion and the tiredness that still honestly keeps us stuck close to home. But Grandma’s visiting at the moment so there’s been lots of mini-adventures – pictures to come – I just didn’t want to distract from the milestones we’ve had lately.

Pictures: top – Duncan’s first day and looking as grown up as possible. Middle – Fraser’s first day and absolutely thrilled. Bottom – Duncan carried his friend’s bag to school along with his own (what a gentleman) and we even got to follow him into the classroom to see him all settled.

Morning cuddles

20110802-070412.jpg someone has a cough that’s keeping him awake at nights and waking him up far too early. Cory got up with him in the night, while I’m the recipient of the morning cuddles. I think I won this time.

Fraser’s been sick now since our holiday in Yorkshire and has not managed to shake this cough – probably through a combination of doing too much (he’s always shattered by mid-afternoon) and being too excited to sleep (which I suspect is why he got run down and then sick in the first place). He is still little after all – and as much as I’d love to have the type of kid who travels well and is ultimately flexible, our adventures need to be small for his (health’s) sake.

We were planning on camping this weekend ….