The sun is out – hallelujah! I had not realised how badly affected I still was by the lack of sun. I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder many moons ago, but as I haven’t felt depressed for a long time, I assumed it had kind of gone away!

Today is Day 3 of AIP. I am having my sautéed courgette, mushroom and onion breakfast again and then I am prepared to take on mother and toddler group, the Mairie and shopping. I feel alive, energised and able to take on the world. And all because the sun is shining.

Lets hope it doesn’t rain!

Ok , I’m back and it’s raining. Still, I think a morning’s sunshine has given me the boost I needed. I did see some daffodils out -another thing that always cheers me up. On the Isle of Wight, there’s a bend coming into Havenstreet where hundreds of daffodils are planted on the bank. For all the years I worked in Newport, my spirits would be lifted to see the first ones peeping out of their lush green beds. It was more symbolic for me – spring, depression lifting and new beginnings.

Tyla has a day off today, as the teachers are on strike. They are being made subject to reorganisation of the system, which could involve longer hours, a different schedule and for Primary School teachers to work Wednesdays. One of their reasons for striking, as written on the letter we were given, is that proposing primary school children attend school on a Wednesday will interfere with their “biological rhythms”. Now as an English mother, who worked pretty much all of Tyla’s early years and where all children aged 4 and up attend school daily, I’m not sure how I feel about such a claim. Also, I am not sure that we have any po-school biological rhythms, whatever age we are. I certainly didn’t!

Whilst I’ve been at playgroup, Tyla has folded away all the washing; hung out the wet washing and completed all kitchen cleaning duties. People say we are lucky that we have a well behaved child. Lucky??! It most definitely is not luck! It has been months of blood, sweat and tears to get her this disciplined! If it weren’t for Ed, I would still be struggling on, doing all the chores myself, not wanting to “burden” my child with anymore duties. However, now the hard work is done and she does most chores with little/no grumbling, I can totally see the benefits of making your child independent and a team player around the house. In fact, Tyla will often say she is proud of the fact that she can clean up a kitchen and do the washing. We’re playing the long game here!

Tyla tells me there is a new girl and tells me she is “out there”. Tyla has already taken a dislike to her, especially as the new girl has befriended Ty’s current bestie, Maelise. She explains that this girl has what the French call an “air du mal”. It’s a good opportunity for discussion baout how new starts are hard for all of us and that we express our nerves in different ways. Some people come across as overconfident, others are shy and then some pitch it just right, but are no doubt still feeling just as nervous as the others. Tyla gets this, but I know she is still not convinced!

Tyla tells me that today she misses her friends and can’t wait to see them Thursday so they can chat about Valentine’s Day and see who has been given what. This confirms three things: 1) Tyla does have friends; 2) her French is good enough for her to be bitching about the new girl and 3) bitching at any age, in any language brings people closer together!

So, the sun is back out, I have a ton of stuff to do and I’m ready for it – wooohoooo!

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