“Catrin, have you left the living room door open again?”
“Is Bethan at the bottom of the stairs?!”
“She is at the top of the stairs”

I flew down the loft ladder at speed as I saw Bethan’s tiny hands appear on the top step of the stairs. I scooped her up and closed the stair gate with my heart pounding…what if she had fallen down the stairs and really hurt herself? Bethan just looked up at me as if to say “why the fuss? I just wanted to play in my room…”

They are both growing so fast and I had been in the loft putting away the latest of Catrin’s clothes which no longer fit her (future hand-me-downs for Bethan), while Bethan had made her first solo trek to the summit of the staircase. I remember when they were both tiny wriggling, helpless blobs like it was yesterday and now one of them answers only to ‘Fairy Princess Flappy Wings’ and the other one is on her way to giving Sir Edmund Hillary a run for his money. Things change. Very quickly.

Princess Fairy Flappy Wings
Princess Fairy Flappy Wings

Luckily my mood can change quickly too. On Thursday morning I walloped my head on the ceiling above my stairs. I had been running down the stairs in a mad rush to find my phone and get to work (the phone had been in my pocket all along as it happens) and felt a sudden crunch and intense pain on the top of my head which made me fall down the next few stairs, hold my head in my hands, swear and then cry a bit. It really hurt, but I think part of the reason I had a little cry was that I was already so stressed about getting the girls to the childminder on time and myself to work, plus I was operating on very little sleep and no food due to a demanding baby and a dodgy tummy. My day had not started well.

It continued to go downhill when a lack of communication from a colleague at work meant I ended up standing in reception like an absolute muppet with a confused expression and frustration starting to build, wondering what on earth a photocopier engineer, who had turned up out of the blue, had come to install and where the installation kits, which had supposedly been delivered, had been taken. Eventually I got to the bottom of it and the engineer could do his work, but I had reached the ‘send-a-slightly-miffed-email’ stage by that point. Feeling cross about the waste of my time and the engineer’s time, I typed a (polite) snottagram to my manager asking that, in future, communication is more forthcoming and then I stewed my frustration in a very hot office for the rest of the afternoon and nursed by bruised head and churning stomach while keeping the copiers going.

I was totally lacking in motivation and energy after work and just wanted to crawl into bed. Instead I fed my daughters, changed into my uniform and drove down to Maidstone to attend a meeting for the Special Constabulary. I am glad that I did as I can see how much has changed for the better for Kent Specials recently. It really cheered me up to see the range of duties which we can do now and will be able to do in the near future (everything from attachment to dog units, conducting searches with Kent Search & Rescue teams, to policing rural communities on a horse, joining the marine unit or roads policing units…as well as the usual response and neighbourhood policing and many other aspects of policing). I am happy to be involved again now that I have returned from maternity leave and I have a project to work on… The best part is that it allows me to use my mind and my opinion is listened to so I feel that my input is valued (and it is good to exercise my mind again after many months of daytime TV overload during maternity leave).

Can you spot me?
Can you spot me?

Several hours later I was woken to the sound of a spectacular thunderstorm heralding a change in the weather. I pondered my specials project as the lightning zapped the sky outside until my thoughts were interrupted by Bethan demanding more milk….some things feel like they may never change.


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