September holds a special place in my heart. Its the month I started my UK journey, cementing it as one of the most nostalgic periods of my life. I associate September with newness and adventure – return to Hogwarts, that first month of nonstop rain in Glasgow, cool winds stroking strange fingers on my brown skin.
September provides me with an opportunity to look back at the 13 years that have passed since I left my birth city with big, giddy dreams. So much has changed, from the matching kameez I wore with my sister on my first plane ride from Dhaka to Glasgow, to my curated Autumn wardrobe which didn’t even exist once upon a time, to the more invisible changes that have transpired quietly in my heart.
September this year has been very strange, to say the least. Weather wise, it was more summer than autumn, giving us unexpected heatwaves interspersed with cold spells. This was evident in the mix of coats and summer dresses in the streets, as people veered between holding on to summer Vs kickstarting autumn. Autumn Equinox on the 22nd was a pleasantly warm day with a mild breeze – neither Ary nor I wore a jacket for our lunch walk.
The weather finally got the memo about 3 days before the start of October. Mornings darkened, the skies poured forth, and we started turning the lights on earlier than usual – suddenly, it was September like its meant to be. Except perhaps for the fuel crisis. A lorry driver shortage has sparked another wave of panic buying here in Britain – only this time, it aint eggs or loo rolls. The crisis has been a nuisance and given us some hilarious memes but fortunately in London, you can certainly get by. Here’s hoping I have a fuelled up car to run to the hospital in a few weeks!
This month, London saw its busiest morning rush hour since the pandemic, as more and more people returned to office. Bangladesh was finally taken off the UK red list, a news that was warmly welcomed on both sides (the UK quarantine costs had shot up to nearly £3k). I had not been paying much attention to the travel rules as we have no immediate plans to fly but with the traffic light system scrapped this month, more and more people around me seem to be jetting off to holidays. After a long hiatus, travel bloggers have started posting new content again. US has lifted its travel ban for double-vaccinated UK and EU travellers. Furlough schemes have also officially ended. It still feels too good to be true but it certainly looks like we have left the worst of covid behind us here in the UK.
Two exciting things happened on the blogging/freelance side of things for me this month. I unveiled the title of my first book with @bok_bok_books – ‘The Boy With the Dancing Bells’. Tap below to read some BTS on how the title came to be. 🙂
I also did a photoshoot with UK maternity brand @freerider.co, a first for me.
My nesting instincts really kicked in this month. Despite the epic tiredness of third trimester, I felt my brain activating itself with renewed urgency. I struggled to sleep at night because my brain was so fired – it would rattle off all the things that needed to be done (a lot).
While my brain buzzed, my body buckled under the extra weight. The physical tiredness was all-consuming, with twinges of Braxton Hicks catching me off guard. To add to the already long list of third trimester woes, my nausea and caffeine aversion made a surprise comeback, much to my dismay. The mounting pelvic pressure makes walking extremely uncomfortable at times but I still try to get my steps in as much as possible.
We did our first baby shop this month – mainly cute clothes, which had all of us excited, including Ary who chose his sibling’s first shoe. It got us reminiscing about our first time as new parents-to-be, browsing John Lewis at Southampton’s West Quay Mall, clueless but oh-so-excited. We both feel very lucky going through this wonderful journey for a second time.
This month we didn’t have to try too hard to find something to watch over dinner, thanks to new show Clickbait and Money Heist Season 5, Vol 1. We also binged watched the Matrix trilogy, undoubtedly influenced by the trailer for the upcoming movie. So. Damn. Excited!
Ary is like a sponge these days, grasping and adding new concepts to his ever-expanding world (he knows what LAVA is. I mean, HOW?). He has the most adult like observations in his 3 year old brain and it often starts with ‘Mummy, did you know? Butterfly turn into caterpillar!’ I feign surprise and pretend to be clueless but secretly, I am perpetually in awe of my son. However will l cope when he will know more of the world than I do? When I am no longer the one he wants to run to with all his little and big discoveries?
He is currently going through a wild obsession with superheroes. He has been watching the Avenger movies with his dad and begging him to hulk smash him. With his sartorial senses picking up, he will often insist on choosing his own outfits, with the newly acquired Hulk and Captain America costumes being firm favourites.
He can now fall asleep at night without me – possibly the biggest milestone he has hit this year, second only to being weaned off bm. The first night it happened, I didn’t think much of it. Then it happened again. And again. He stopped asking for me. With just over a month left to go before Baby 2 joins bedtime shenanigans, this is undoubtedly good news. But a part of me feels small and sad knowing that my baby no longer needs me the same way. Which I assume will become more and more of a normal thing with time. Two weekends ago, I left him at a birthday party for 1.5 hours – unsupervised, my heart in my throat. To think I wished for more freedom from parenting only to find myself passing those times feeling nostalgic – it’s bittersweet! (Update: he has been asking for me at bedtime again, and I am happily obliging – for now!).
Last week at nursery pickup, we found out that Ary has been sharing the name of his baby sibling with his teachers and friends. We knew that he was excited about the baby but this sweet proof of him proudly discussing his sibling with the world outside our home came as a wonderful surprise. Witnessing him embracing the concept of a 4th family member with this much love and acceptance has been one of the highlights of my pregnancy.
We have been making a lot of lasagne this month, thanks to this yummy recipe by Kitchen Sanctuary.
A baby. A brand new baby, In Sha Allah. Will it be next month? Or will it be bang on the due date on 5th November? Either way, I am so ready to start maternity leave!