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10th September: Boo Hoo Banana Bread

Be careful what you wish for…

Yes. The Big One has started school.

I’ve described my irrational emotions about this before.
But. Six weeks of intense ‘summer’ ‘holidays’ and I’d been feeling a lot less sad about the prospect of him being out of the house for six hours a day.

My stressed out mother routine hit new highs as I tried desperately to amuse all three children, referee their spats, provide a conveyor-belt of wholesome snacks and hearty meals. The house took a battering, and with nothing much by way of respite, I found myself living like someone off one of those episodes of Kim and Aggie. Had they magically appeared to sneer at my smeggy flea-hole, I would probably have just licked their faces like some grateful Labrador.

But time fair galloped by, and I found myself labelling his little polo shirts and his little trousers and his little sweatshirts and his surprisingly large shoes…Spiderman lunchbox selected (he’s never seen anything spiderman related, yet he’s adamant that he LOVES it)!!

Still, I held it together just fine.

He put in his ‘first day’ food requests. (bacon&eggs for breakfast / salami sarnies for lunch / lasagne for tea)

I packed his little bags and made his little packed lunch.

We all walk up to school together. Older kids shout hello as they cycle past. People shout “Is he starting today?” out of their car windows. I glance down at his little brown hand in mine and the floodgates open…

How did he get so big so fast? How was he going to get on? And, what on earth was I going to do without him??

We arrive at the school gates. The Big One runs joyously towards his friends without a backward glance. I spot a friend in a similar state to me and we clutch eachother sobbing. Other parents look on sympathetically, if not a little gratefully that it’s me and not them making a prize tit of themselves.

He comes back for a perfunctory hug and skips into his new classroom, happy as larry. I walk home red-eyed and snivelling, gutted that I didn’t hide myself in the stationery cupboard so I could spy on him all day and make sure he was happy.

The house is eerily quiet. Fusspot has also started back at Pre-School…and don’t even get me STARTED on that. I wander from room to room. The Baby baffled by the calm and quiet, clings on to my legs, desperate for company. Hometime cannot come quickly enough for either of us.

The following week, as we get used to our new routine, I begin to realise that I can actually start to function within the parameters of ‘normal’ once again. Me and the Fusspot have time to do wholesome activities together while The Baby naps. One day he decides his big brother will be starving after school, so we decide to make a cake for hometime.

Now, I have serious issues with bananas. I find them utterly revolting. The smell, the sliminess. I have tried very hard to not pass this on to my kids. I have resisted the overwhelming urge to vomit as they regurgitate them, or squeeze them through their teeth for a larf. I know I overreact if they drop a piece on the floor *GIP* or put a piece in their juice for me to fish out *BARF*…

There are a couple of blackening horrors lurking in our sorry fruit bowl. I bite the bullet and look up a recipe for banana bread. Cream 4oz butter with 8oz sugar. Gradually add in 2 beaten eggs and four mashed….revoltingly, stinklily, over ripe bananas…along with 1tsp vanilla essence. Fold in 10oz of plain flour, 1tsp bicarbonate soda and 1/2 tsp salt. The recipe calls for 3fl oz of buttermilk. If you don’t have this then use normal milk mixed with a tsp of vinegar. Stir this in to the batter.

Butter and line a cake or loaf tin. Pour in the foul smelling mixture and sprinkle some sugar on top for a bit of crunch. Bake at 180*C for about 45mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

The Fusspot is chuffed. With my undivided attention, with the fruits of his labours…and with the fact that I’m seemingly happy for him to eat the whole thing on his own.

He proudly presents his bro a piece as we arrive at school. We stroll home, brothers reunited scoffing cake together. Bonus as the thing was so massive that it does them in their lunch boxes for the rest of the week.

The Big One seems to be loving school. And my little hell-raising trio are all so very excited to reunited after a day apart. Starting School: A big moment for him….but an even bigger one for me.










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