I think I have heard the word "no" approximately 8000 times today. My son is definitely on to us about this new baby lark and is having none of it this week. He's only two so it's easy for me to project in error, but I'm sure he is sensing that something odd is imminent. I've been a lot less mobile recently and subsequently a bit rubbish. Now only adequately described as “fatty boom boom”, I am less able to carry him about and play as actively as I usually would, and the poor little mite is not happy about it, quite understandably. We've had a lot of "challenging" behaviour and a fair bit of: "Baby not come out. Baby go in the loft." Oh good. Today has definitely been a day of first world problems. Nursery has been closed for the past week so I have been juggling childcare with my last few days of work. I somewhat optimistically thought that I’d be finished with most jobs by now and that this multitasking would be completely doable, but in hindsight, this has been a pretty bad idea. I'm now feeling exhausted and somewhat guilty to be looking forward to the prospect of being at work for the next 3 days so I can actually get stuff done and sit down for more than 30 seconds. But I'm also feeling sad that these are our last few days together before the baby arrives, and although we will of course have many more lovely days, just the two of us, it will never quite be the same again. Cue uncontrollable sobbing. We have mostly had a lovely time this week visiting the zoo, the farm, picnicking in the park and hanging out with friends at the paddling pool today, on an absolute August scorcher. However, today hasn’t quite gone as planned. I didn't get to talk to anyone for very long as my son has been on his own agenda and I've been running around after him through the paddling pool and playground, round the pirate mini golf, and back again. After our friends left, bundling their seemingly delightful and cooperative children into buggies for appropriately timed naps, my son refused to get in his buggy and wanted to go to the beach instead. Not a new or surprising occurrence but no less irritating because of that. Whilst on the beach, I ended up climbing after him over a seaweedy breakwater numerous times, and scaling the steep shingle and impossibly large steps up to the prom in hot (and very sweaty) pursuit, shouting: "Please be careful!" Much to the amusement of onlookers, I'm sure. A definite Benny Hill moment at 38 weeks pregnant with a newly acquired dodgy back from excess clingy toddler carrying. We then spent 20 minutes observing a digger located at least 100 metres in the wrong direction, before finally negotiating going back to the car. With no shoes on of course. Shoes are for losers, and people who don’t want to cut their feet open on sharp stones, glass and debris, but who am I to insist. I finally managed to get him into his car seat after he was adamant about loading all the bags into the boot, and the buggy as well, then climbing up with no help (all really slowly if I'm being critical — crack on with it!), whilst saying "no" about 3000 times more. He then fell asleep instantly, clearly tuckered out following all his activity and helpfulness. A sigh of enormous relief escaped me, now slightly more broken than I was this morning but delighted to have anything from 40 to 90 minutes of relative peace and quiet, albeit sitting in the bloody car on a beautiful, hot, summer day. I am currently parked up in the shade, dicking about on my phone after demolishing a very overdue lunch purchased from a drive through fast food establishment (dirty, dirty). Subsequent to my initial enthusiasm, I am now feeling a bit too full, having placed an overly ambitious order, mostly due to excessive tiredness, wrongly interpreted as hunger (an easy mistake to make). Despite realising my folly half way through, I proceeded to eat everything anyway and I wish I hadn’t. Winning at life. Stomach cramps aside, as I watch my son sleep, I can't help but feel a colossal sense of love and a need to protect him from all the change that is about to happen. Being a youngest sibling I've never had to experience the challenge of a younger brother of sister arriving, but I know there will be times after our new baby is born when our eldest son’s emotions overwhelm him. At the moment I am trying really hard to give him all the love and empathy and kindness he needs and stay patient and caring, as much as I can in my physically and mentally exhausted state. I am pretty sure that the scooter we have bought him (in pre-emptively guilty desperation) will also help to soften the blow, but we’re almost certainly in for a rocky ride.