Charlotte Philby's Parental Leave: My daughter's hair is stuck to her temple in a dishevelled bun, and she is moaning quietly

A mother's weekly dispatch from the pre-school frontline

 

Share

6.35am. At this point it's just me and the baby. I'm flicking through photos of someone I've never met before on Facebook while absent-mindedly humming the theme tune to Cloud Babies, when I hear the creaking of floorboards from the three-year-old's room.

I breathe deeply... We had friends over last night and drink was drunk in such a way that I must have imagined myself to be someone quite different. Someone with the option of laying in a dark room quietly sweating Captain Morgan until 4pm, perhaps; rather than someone for whom mornings start at 5.15am and involve an endless stream of sentences ("But WHY do some children have lots of things and some children don't have lots of things?... ").

Today, though, something is different. The short distance from her doorway to the top of the stairs seems to be taking an awfully long time. The first creak on the step is an elongated groan. "Hello?" I call towards the staircase. There is no answer, just the sound of a second foot descending, very slowly. Finally, a noise by the door and then a face, smeared with black – the remnants of yesterday's face-painting session carried out around the same time the kids were consuming their third chocolate egg of the day, taken from the stash I'd hidden at Easter in moments of better-judged parenting.

Now my daughter's hair is stuck to her temple in a dishevelled bun, and she is moaning quietly. The pink wrapper of a mini chocolate egg glistening behind her ear. "Hello, darling," I say, "did you sleep well?" She stares back at me, throws a look of disgust, and then turns back towards the stairs, moaning: "Why are you still talking, mummy?"

@philbycharlotte

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Recruitment Genius: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

£17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Caitlyn Jenner's first shoot is a victory - but is this really best version of femininity we can aspire to?

Sirena Bergman
The sun balances next to St Albans Church in Earsdon, North Tyneside.  

The world’s nations have one last chance to slow climate change

Michael McCarthy
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral