I. Am. Knackered.
Weary beyond words (well - almost. Not completely, clearly).
Why? Well, it could be because Boy #1 started primary school today, which meant that instead of lounging lazily abed of a morning, as has been our habit for the last few weeks, I turfed myself out from under the warm duvet at a revolting 6.40am. School registration started at 8.00am sharp, you see, and in order to avoid what I knew would be the queue from hell (wailing children, impatient fathers, tearful mothers), I wanted to be there promptly.
However, due to a combination of factors including - but not limited to - slow-go on the breakfast eating front, Boy #2's refusal to leave the train set behind, his subsequent dropping of James the Red Engine down the drain by our front door, and a truck driver with the temerity to turn his pantechnicon around in the middle of the street on MY shortcut, we didn't get there until 8.10am. By which time the 'early' ship had sailed and there were at least 40 children (most with two parents in tow, some with the trump card of a grandparent as well) in front of us.
But actually, I'm fairly certain it wasn't the early morning or the pressure of making it to school on time that has brought on the tiredness.
I suppose I could also put it down to the emotional stress of dealing with an unwilling Boy #1 who, up until the moment he climbed out of the car opposite the school, had been showing cautious optimism about the 'adventure' ahead. (Well, that's how I had been billing it, anyway). Feet on the pavement though, and faced with the group of scary, slightly deranged looking parents on the other side of the street his nerve went, and I spent the next half an hour cajoling him into the building, wiping his tears and trying desperately to find answers to the question "Can we just get back in the car, Mummy?" that, whilst not including the word 'yes', also didn't force him to confront the awful truth that THIS IS IT - for the foreseeable future. Which of course it is, and which we both knew, but neither of us really wanted to face right then.
He stayed, in any case, and I left him in the capable hands of Miss K, his teacher, but not without his shedding a few tears. In other circumstances I might have joined him, but mercifully I was too busy wrangling Boy #2 at the time, who had decided -unlike his brother - that he did want to stay, and would somebody just pass him that box of cars from the top of the shelves please, and what do you mean we need to go home, this place looks like fun, and I can't believe it, I have to go and he gets to stay, you have got to be kidding, and NOOOOOOOOOO! all the way out of the building...
But I don't think it was that.
No, I know what it was. The winds of change have been blowing through the Potty household for a few weeks now. The alterations have been so subtle, you might not notice them at first glance; the old leviathon high chair has disappeared, and the spot where our Dutch version of a playpen used to be, is empty. (This is a bit of a nightmare actually, since as the boys and their clothes have got bigger it has done sterling service recently as an additional clothes drying rack). The pile of 0 - 24 months clothes that has been building up - for, well, 2 years, unsurprisingly - has disappeared, and plans (though no real preparations, of course) have been made to sell the double buggy on E-bay.
Yep, Boy #2 is growing up. And what really knackered me out today?
He refused to take a midday nap.
Normally Boy #2 goes to his bed with a smile and a laugh, clutching his cuddly blanket, and breathing a sigh of relief as I switch out the light, pull the blinds, and gently close the door. Today, though, was a different story. Perhaps it was some freak surge of testosterone, perhaps the chocolate coin he purloined off another mummy outside the school following this morning's drop-off, but for whatever reason, he was not going to sleep. "No way!" he said. "No way!" (It sounded cute last week when he first trotted that phrase out, but it's losing it's charm now, I have to admit.)
This determination on his part was helped by the fact he is now tall enough to reach the dimmer switch by his cot. When I went in to investigate the sounds of merriment, I found all lights blazing, and him bouncing around like a kangaroo, shouting 'Whoo Hoo!' at the top of his voice, and waving his blanket in the air for all the world like a morris dancer on acid.
40 minutes later, my 'ignore it and he'll crash' tactic clearly wasn't working, so I gave up the ghost and got him out of bed before dealing with the testerone-fuelled nappy he produced in next 5 minutes before leaving to fetch his brother from school.
But it's not the fact that he didn't sleep this afternoon that has so sapped me of energy. It's the fact that, aged 2 1/2, he might not EVER sleep again during the day. I remember, all too well, when this happened with his older brother. But Boy #1 was older - by at least 9 months - before he refused to take a rest. And whilst that was bad enough, at least Boy #2, at the time, was still a babe in arms, so one of them was still napping during the day. But now?
There will be no escape...
I'm praying that this is a temporary abberation. All together now: 'Hail, Holy Queen...'