B is for Birmingham!

Yes, another 'B' stop on our A-Z Tour! So, already I'm proving myself typically incapable of quite making the idea live up to the reality - only two letters in and already A wasn't really an A, and there have been two Bs!

But I think I might be forgiven as yesterday's day trip to Brum was for a very special reason - to meet up with NB and his new mummy for the first time since he moved on to her back at the end of June.

I didn't tell OB until the night before, and I think even that was too early! He was up until nearly 11pm, getting out of bed at least seven times, although he insisted that it wasn't because he was excited about seeing NB. I had told him because I wanted to make a last-minute trip to the shops to buy a present for NB. OB chose a Toby tram that makes a lot of noise (sorry new mummy!) but when we got home he predictably repented of his good intentions and insisted that he was keeping it. Thankfully, I had bought a spare gift just in case.

But in the end I needn't have worried. Despite setting off horrendously late (a whole 'car needs oil' fiasco, coupled with OB's reluctance to co-operate with anything after so little sleep) we made it to the appointed meeting place, and OB walked straight up to NB and handed over the Toby toy. It was an instant hit and a great distraction from the potentially awkward initial meeting. Within minutes, the boys had disappeared into the bowels of the indoor play centre, laughing and chasing each other, NB clutching the new toy in his hand as he climbed up the nets and whizzed down the slides, leaving the two mummies to catch up and drink coffee.

Oh how we laughed!

Playtime was followed by a long lunch in the Harvester next door. The boys insisted on sitting next to each other and making mischief throughout. We left the waitress a pretty decent tip - fairly sure they were glad to see the back of us when we finally left! Then we took a little walk around the shopping centre, stopping off at Clarke's to buy NB some new boots - new mummy was so impressed with OB's that she decided to get NB a matching pair!

Matching shoes! Guess which ones are new!

So, how is NB? Well, he's doing wonderfully. He is taller and his hair is longer. His face looks a bit chubbier, but that might just be his longer hair. His speech is coming on and he demonstrated his ever-improving technical skills by using the Duplo present he had brought for OB to build some really impressive 'things that look like things'. OB is still very much at the tower building stage!

Most pleasingly, despite clearly being excited and happy to see us, there was no sense that he'd rather be with us. He deferred to his mummy in everything, asking her for a drink, not me, letting her put his coat on, not me. He did let me take his scarf off though, and towards the end of our time, I did get a lovely cuddle. There were no tears from anybody and all in all it just felt like a lovely playdate - two mummies out and about with their two sons.

In fact, we were so happy with how it went that we're planning a skype date in the near future, and possibly an overnight trip to their house sometime in the New Year. Like somebody said, perhaps they will have a relationship like far-away cousins. I hope so.

Rather ambitiously, after we said goodbye to NB and his mummy, we then headed across Birmingham with nothing more than a couple of maps printed off Google to meet up with a school friend of mine that I haven't seen in, well, going on for 20 years. That's the wonder of Facebook! This was an unexpected treat organised just the day before, and it was a real pleasure to see her, meet her husband and one of her sons, and hear about her incredibly nerdy job (which totally sounds like a job I'd love!) - she basically collects and analyses statistical data and then tells large organisations what they should be doing differently.  Seriously, I have long wished for a job where I could fly in, tell everyone what to do, and then leave without actually having to do any of it myself! Ah well!

The journey home was a bit tiresome - traffic on the M6 and by then I was getting so tired that I really needed to take it easy on the motorway. We made it home shortly before 10 and I managed to transfer OB straight into bed. Perfect!

I don't know how NB is getting on today, but we haven't really had any fallout, other than the expected grumpy tiredness. OB hasn't said much about it until just before bedtime when he declared NB to be his 'best friend'! Sweet!


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