And all of a sudden, you’re 40…

Or, rather, I am. There I was, merrily failing to pay attention to anything (this has resulted in a rather fraught afternoon as between us, we’d failed to tax the car. Or, indeed, register it to me. Or, in fact, keep track of the MOT certificate. Honestly. The DVLA and the Post Office were very helpful in sorting it out, but it was not an experience I’d care to repeat). Anyhow. There I was, failing to pay attention to anything, and all of a sudden, I had a birthday with a zero, a really rather impressive cake, and a nice pile of yarn to play with to make a crochet lamb for LK. Not that she’s in any way, shape, or form, deprived of soft toys. She has an entire menagerie on the shelf. Including a swan masquerading as a flamingo, a husky, a lion, an elephant, a penguin, a monkey, a lamb, four teddies and a whole bouquet of unicorns.

She has also, thank goodness, fallen asleep after complaining for about 40 minutes about the iniquities of being asked to go to sleep On Her Own and Not Attached to Mummy. She has two teeth now. I’m not keen on being nibbled to sleep, and she needs to learn how to go to sleep on her own. It’s a fairly basic skill. The second tooth appeared yesterday, half-way through lunch at nursery, and resulted in her second settling-in session being a maelstrom of sobbing, falling asleep on one of the staff, and waking up faintly confused when I went to collect her. Poor little girl. She is horizontal across the cot, but I’m not going in to deal with that quite yet. I’ll give it half an hour to make sure she’s well and truly off.

For, I am back to work from 8th April – LK is in nursery from 1st April. She’ll do four days a week for the first month, as I’m able to have 4 days a week at work, but be paid for 5, so we still have a few more buggy runs to ourselves (showering after one of those is a bit of a challenge, so I tend to do them on Friday when N works from home and he can keep an eye on her for 10 minutes while I de-mank). In some ways, I am ready to be back at work – in others, I am not. I would love to be able to go part time, and spend more time with LK, but that’s simply not an option. And I’m really not ready to find a new job when this one does let me work from home any day I fancy – vital to get LK to nursery. As she weans, I’ll get my lunch hours back, and be able to run rather than pump milk, and this will be a vast improvement on going for a run after 8pm – I don’t feel safe all the time, and intervals on partially digested supper are no fun. Buggy running I love, and she tends to fall asleep mid-run, which is a bonus. Child can manage to remain awake for 7 hours solid without getting particularly grouchy – but she does like to be entertained while that’s going on, which makes keeping track of nappies and laundry particularly spectacular. Weaning is easier – she’s quite happy watching what’s going on from her high chair. She can roll, she’s trying to crawl, she feeds herself with her hands (she ate a fish finger, some broccoli, some cauliflower, about three peas and a fair amount of mashed potato for supper – baby led weaning is brilliant. No faffing about with purée, just give them the same as you’re having, but without any salt, and see what happens). She’s getting more and more strength in her legs, she babbles, and giggles, and gurgles, and bashes her electronic kitty to make it sing songs, and attempts to mountaineer off the changing table given half a chance. Her smile lights up the room, and her eyes are pools of blue to swim in.

So yes. I turned 40. I ran a 10km race in Reigate which measured 1/3 mile under 10km – I’m not quite sure what went wrong there, but I’m not the only one who measured short. The organiser is failing to respond. It was rather gutting, so I went and bought a book in the town centre to recover. Then I failed to effectively escape Reigate, owing to a combination of narrow streets, a weird one-way system, a crucial road being closed, but Google Maps not realising that it was closed, and general panic. There was a point when I wondered about driving around faster and faster and praying that I just sort of pinged out of the town centre and landed on the M25 in either direction. Never again shall I drive to, in, or from, Reigate: by the time I had escaped, my carefully planned rehydration-bladder emptying strategy had completely gone to pot, rendering the drive along the M3 a rollercoaster of emotion combined with a burning desire for one of the incontinence pads I was given in case of my waters breaking in the car. Not a pleasant experience. Nor shall I run a 10km organised by that particular race promoter if I can help it. It’s a pretty fundamental thing: to get the distance of the race correct. When it’s a 10km race run over 4 laps, it’s even more crucial to be accurate about which path to take, and where the corner of the lap should be, and where you should run round it.

40’s OK. I can hit a 9 min/mile reasonably easily again. I can run 10km without collapsing. I can see that I will manage that sub-4 hour marathon in about a year’s time.

40’s brilliant. I have an amazing daughter, a loving husband, a comfy sofa, and I don’t have to share a washing line.

40’s ace. I don’t have to apologise for being me. So I intend to eat some more birthday cake, and have an early night while N goes to see one of Megadeth’s former guitarists in the next big town over.


2 thoughts on “And all of a sudden, you’re 40…

  1. Happy belated birthday!
    It is a pain when courses measure short, but GPS watches aren’t always accurate and if it is loops they often cut corners when you would be running around them, so I wouldn’t stress about it too much. The escaping via car sounds like a nightmare though (it gave me flashbacks to the GSR where the car park got gridlocked due to an exit being shut and so we were in the car park for about 3 hours…).

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