I spoke too soon in my last post: my cold lingered on and I passed it onto M, so the both of us had been coughing away and blowing our noses and generally struggling through each day. We finally called a doctor on Sunday, who prescribed us antibiotics; M took Monday and Tuesday off work; and we generally tried to take it easy.
Fortunately, my mother was able to spend an entire week with us last week to help look after Little Planet. Little Planet's cold has also lingered, but thankfully it is not as bad as ours. And this week, she is spending most of the day at her childminders' house so I've had the chance to take it easy on my own. I'm sleeping, reading (Graham Swift's Tomorrow, Gillian Slovo's Black Orchids, Richard Yates' Young Hearts Crying), listening to music I haven't listened to since my student days (Mercury Rev, Divine Comedy, Radiohead), and generally pottering around.
It feels strange being in the house without Little Planet. It is so quiet. I have spent many days in the last 10 months of her life away from her, so being apart from her has not been sad for me. However, whenever I have been away from her I have been away from the house - spending the day in central London or visiting my parents in East Anglia. This is the first time I have been away from her, but able to stay in my own house. And it feels so wonderful pottering around the house on my own. Not since I started maternity leave a month before she was born have I been able to have uninterrupted "me time" to simply potter and chill in my own home.
Instead of feeling sad that Little Planet is no longer here with me during the day, I am happy. Happy because she is so obviously having a wonderful and stimulating time with her childminders. They are qualified childcare professionals; their house is large and warm and homely; they look after just two other babies (both 16 months, so six months older); they sing and dance and read and play; they are very much into early, pre-school, education. She is napping well there and feeding far better than with me. She has developed so quickly in the last two weeks she has been with them. She spends alot of her day trying to copy what the older two babies are doing, which is great.
I do not doubt my abilities as a mother, but I honestly believe that she is now in better care.
And today, M was able to return to work and I too am feeling much better. I am still coughing but less than before. This week, Little Planet has been spending 10.30am to 4.30pm with her childminders. Next week, after Easter, she will go fulltime - 8.30am to 6pm - in preparation for my return to work two weeks later. Next week, I hope to be better enough to spend leisurely days in central London: eating out, visiting galleries, shopping...
I have to make the most of it, because soon, too soon, my days of leisure will be over.