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I was on the train home from work one day last week, feeling tired as usual (do I ever feel any other way? God I’m boring), I’d had a busy day and one that felt harder work for the desperately impractical shoes I was wearing.  They are rather high with rather thin heels and have the affect of making me look like a ‘newborn giraffe’ according to one colleague (less because I’m so tall and thin- I’m not – more because I was flailing around trying to stay upright).  The net effect was tired legs and feet that felt like they were bathing in molten lava.  
Autograph M&S Black Suede Shoe Boots
As I sat on the train trying to lose myself in some music and my book, I could hear a child starting to kick off. Adrenaline flooded my body as I looked around as if somehow Eliza had managed to get on the train, which of course she hadn’t, but there’s some instinct that kicks in isn’t there? You hear a child cry and you think it’s your own.  Anyway there was this little girl, about 3 I reckon and her patient mother doing her best to calm her very upset child on a commuter train on a weekday.  Poor thing.  Everyone clearly felt the same way, many offers of seats were given (bloody unheard of normally), and I looked around in my bag for something that might help her distract her offspring.  I found a fruit bar (one of those Organix things that my kids would laugh at  ”what? but Mummy it’s not chocolate or sweeties, are you kidding?).  I gave it to the mum, she thanked me as only a mother with a child in full tantrum can, and gave it to the little girl. It worked. For a bit.  But she got off shortly afterwards.  
Later that same night I went for a run with the local running group.  There I discovered one of the mums from Eliza’s nursery, and we had a chat about ‘difficult phases’ and how frustrating, deflating, upsetting, insanity inducing they are.  I felt she knew how I felt.  Lately it’s been tough with Eliza, it’s getting better now, but we were definitely in a ‘difficult phase’.  
It’s funny how when you really need it this sort of solidarity presents itself.  Other people in the same sort of situation, struggling with the same sort of things.  I guess there’s a reason there are so many parenting books, it’s bloody tough at times. 
Still today, as ever, my kids managed to restore my faith in being a mother.  I took them to soft play locally, something I dread like the plague, but they love it and actually it uses up ALOT of energy.  I was milling around keeping an eye on them, whilst trying to avoid stepping on any babies (they are at feet level after all).  At one point they were in the bit with the sit-in plastic cars.  Eliza was pushing Tilly around carefully, even “stopping for petrol” at one stage.  She took the imaginary hose out of the pump and put it in the imaginary tank.  Tilly thanked her and they moved on.  It was amazing to watch.  Little sisters getting on, playing nicely, Eliza being the oldest and looking after her little sister.  
I spied on them for a while longer filling with maternal pride, until I got noticed and they reverted to being Whingy and Whingier. In a nice way of course. 


  1. Awww, that is such a lovely post. I’m normally only on trains for long distances with work, and there is rarely the soliditary for parents with children- it is heartening to know it does happen.
    And as for your gorgeous ones, yes, mine definitely have a habit of filling my heart at times when I feel I could lose my marbles! xx

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