MUM’S THE WORD COLUMN: Big wrench of our first night apart

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Wow – what a week.

There’s been several landmark firsts – in fact so many I’m not quite sure where to start.

The big ‘one’ I have to mention is that today is Nancy’s birthday – so before I get on with the main business of this week’s column I’m going to start by wishing my beautiful baby girl a very happy first birthday!

At the time of writing this I’m still in ‘mum on a mission mode’ – cake-making, present wrapping and party organisng. Suffice to say that at the time of reading this the celebrations (fingers crossed!) are in full swing.

So I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until next week to find out how all the excitement pans out!

The other landmark – equally as momentous – was my first night away from home for a friend’s hen night in Sheffield. The date had been in my diary for several months; at the time I agreed to go like a shot but in reality I don’t think I fully appreciated how much of a wrench I would find it to leave Nancy – even though she would be in the capable hands of Mr Chapman.

And although I wouldn’t have missed the chance to celebrate Clare’s forthcoming nuptials for the world, a little part of me was still at home, wondering what Nancy was doing; was she missing me as much as I was missing her?

And I’m sure I wasn’t the only mum suffering anxiety separation during the course of the weekend.

Nevertheless, convinced the whole experience would ‘do us both good’ I headed off on Saturday morning. And as soon as I was on my way I felt like my right arm had been severed.

There was no me and my shadow – with Nancy padding across the floor following my every move, I was able to go to the toilet in peace with no spectator and there was no sleeping with one ear half open in case she stirred.

I managed to restrain myself and only sent a few inquiring text messages home and dutifully received reassuring responses that all was well, not that I ever doubted it wouldn’t be.

I arrived home on Sunday to find her tucking into a lunch of macaroni cheese, followed by custard and dressed immaculately – not in a tights and T-shirt combo as hilariously suggested she could be, if left to Dad’s devices.

I had a fantastic weekend but the big cheesy grin I recieved the instant I walked through the door melted my heart and reminded me that there’s no place like home.

It’s great to go away but it’s always better coming back again – especially when I’ve got Nancy to come home to.