I think the thing I miss most about smoking (and I've already come to the conclusion that I am always going to be a smoker, even If I am not smoking), is not the nicotine, but the 3 minutes. It was 3 minutes standing outside, usually, with the most interesting people. I would take a breather (even though I wasn't, I was inhaling), and have 3 minutes away from whatever I was doing. I'd chat about something frivolous. When alone, my first and favourite fag was the one when I got home from work. I was never a first-thing smoker, I always went all day, but my first cig when I got in, before I started the marking, was just the best. On the balcony, 3 minutes just letting go of it all, breathing the commute into the air and starting the day again.
Of course, as soon as I realised I was pregnant with son, I stopped and didn't even notice, really. The observant ones will be saying, well, if you didn't have one till 6pm anyway, you're not addicted. Well, I was. But to the minutes, not the fags. I didn't notice pre-son, because I was busy, and my evenings were mine. I just replaced the evening cig with a devilish cake. Job done. It was only after son, and then daughter, that I realised that I was addicted, to my 3 minutes outside without any of them. Because ever since son was born, Jan 2007, I haven't ever had more than 30 minutes alone. Not ever. I poo in company: "Mummy, don't strain. Do you want a book? Stella has weed on the bed". I suppose there was a brief moment, as they took daughet to weigh her post labour, before 15 month old son and husband arrived as visitors, but I can't remember it. I spend my entire day, 6am, sometimes earlier, till 7.30,. with company of the most demanding type. I never have 3 minutes to nip outside and go "ahhhhh".
It was only as the nights are drawing in, and husband has been getting in earlier, at 7.30ish as opposed to 8, that I have felt the terrible urge to yell. 7.30 till 8 was MINE! It was me, sitting on the bed, reading, blissfully. Let me put you in the picture. 7 is bedtime. It starts at 6.30. We read, we argue about teeth, we threaten that there will be no stories if teeth are not cleaned, we resort to headlock. We read that stupid Bog Baby book 3 times, sing "My Bonnie" and then that is one down. She is out like a light, to gather her strength before she rises at 3am to demand that I straighten her duvet. Now. Boy has "Cops and Robbers" (at least Ahlberg is interesting) and no song. But he decrees I must stay upstairs till he is "actually asleep" which leads to lots of "Mummy? I am not asleep? Are you here?" and so I have taken to reading a book, yes a BOOK upstairs while he dozes off, before going down and doing husbands tea. I sound 1950's, but there is revolution in my veins.
That half hour is MINE! Without it, as I discovered when husband rocked up at 7.25 and prevented kid to bedding, and lost me my half hour, I am crazy enough to consider murder. Or a fag, again.