Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Two to go...

It is Monday evening.  The kids start in new school on Wednesday;  the Boy in Big Class, the Girl in a new nursery class. I’m meant to sewing  name-tags onto their uniforms, but I’d rather eat my hands off, so I’m drinking wine instead.  Apparently this sort of thing (the sewing – not the wine-drinking) is just the tip of the iceberg of hell that is parenting primary-school children. From here on in it’s 8 years (shit actually it’s waaaay more – 12, fuckit)  of sewing, retrieving, sandwich-making, driving, mud-removing, spelling, adding/subtracting, out-of-bed-dragging, hair-brushing, time-tabling, name-remembering...  OHGODWHYDIDNOONEWARNME5YEARSAGO?? 

Anyway.  2 more days to go until that level of responsibility falls on me / shame falls on the children (I feel SO sorry for them, imagine having me as your mother: 10 minutes (hahahaha, if only) late to everything, noone’s hair ever brushed, fees always paid late, the cheaper version of everything bought (“sure it’s just as good, cover up that missing button will you”), projects never done, home-made flapjacks /  popsicles as close to sweets as they’ll ever get) so PLENTY of time to get everything done.   I’m still recovering from the journey home, which wasn’t as bad as it was loooooooooooooong.  Noone should have to listen to 2 feral beasts bicker and squabble for 12 hours straight. And I still can’t find the Baby’s missing projectile vomit.  How can half a litre of vomit just disappear?  It’s like the Marie Celeste of puke.  One minute it was there, hurtling itself full of surprise from her mouth, the next... puff! ... gone. Only the vessel remained (looking rather astonished).  I bet as soon as I move all the half-eaten flapjacks from the passengers’ footwells I’ll find it.

The remainder of the holidays passed fairly lazily;  alot of dvd watching (the town’s XtraVision shop was closing down, E1 for a dvd! Never mind that they were scratched beyond repair, THEY COST ONE EURO), rock-pool-fishing, and nudity.  (How do you explain to a child that it’s ok to get naked on a beach/ in the beach car-park / on the long walk from the beach to the car-park, but not so ok in a playground?  Or a cafe?  Or a ferry?  Or a supermarket?  Or any one of the other 57 places the Boy insisted on getting his kit off, because “I just like to be nudie, ok?”)  My own personal highlights included:

Story-time with the Girl
(The Girl and Boy insisted on sharing a bedroom on holidays (all the better for 24-hour squabbling).  The Girl likes to lie in bed and chatter for hours;  the Boy is more of a bloke:  You.  Go.  To.  Bed.  To.  Sleep.  Full. Stop.  [In years to come he will be ringing me solely to impart factual information.]  I overheard the following the other  night.  It’s more amusing if you imagine the Girl’s squeaky mouse-voice:)

Girl:  Would you like a ‘tory Fweddie?
Boy:  I’m.  TRYING.  To.  Sleep.
Girl:  Just one teeny weeny ‘tory?
Boy:  OK then.  JUST ONE.
Girl:  What would you like it to be about?
Boy: Ummmm... (Looks around – I imagine – and sees what I’ve taken to leaving out beside his bed to try to mitigate against early-morning antsiness) A banana!
Girl:  Once upon a time there was a banana.  The End.
Boy:  WHAT???  That’s not a story!
Girl:  It is!  It’s a teeny weeny ‘tory.  Night Night.

The Day the Pets Died:
(The Boy wants a pet more than anything else ever.  I have promised him a dog - when he’s MUCH older and I’m nearly dead.  In the meantime he brings home wriggly live things as much as he can.  He was ECSTATIC about the prawns (shrimp?  What’s the difference? ) he found in a rockpool one day.  They almost made up for Crabby, who he’d rescued off the road, brought home, left outside and then... disappeared. I didn’t like to point out the nearby seagull looking replete. )

Boy:  Mum, pleeeeeeeeeeease can they sleep in my room?
Me:  Ha!  Not a chance.  Leave them outside.
Boy: But THE BIRD will get them... (I just said I didn’t like to point out the greedy gull – not that I didn’t actually point it out)
Me:  They won’t. Prawny and his family are safe in their big glass jar.  Birds can’t get them.  PUT THEM OUTSIDE.
Boy:  Sniff

The next morning.  Late morning.  Late, hot, sunny, morning.
Boy:  MUM!  Come and see Prawny!  He’s asleep!  And he’s turned pink!

Oy Vey.  

To cheer him up I very considerately didn’t serve prawns for dinner.  (This is where the effortless flow into what I did serve should occur, but I haven’t done ANYTHING of any note in the kitchen recently [other than sew and drink] – unless anyone wants a great recipe for fish fingers?) 

Post-script:  It is 2 days later.  I’ve DONE it.  The Boy has started school.  There were no tears, and I managed to get them there on time, which is pretty impressive (especially considering, for the first time all summer, I had to wake them all up. At 730 am. For an 8.10 departure.)  Alas, I was 10 minutes late collecting the Girl, AND I forgot her smock and her change of clothes.  I also “forgot” the Boy’s trainers (in as much as I didn’t get around to buying them), ditto his blazer and hat.  And, as he told me as soon as I appeared at the school gates, his water bottle (“You FORGOT my WATER BOTTLE.  I was the ONLY ONE who DIDN’T have a drink ALL DAY.”)

But minor things all;  they seem happy, and, most importantly, completely knackered.   

One down... 


  1. I think it's a conspiracy against childless people. We were so worried about the pregnancy and the delivery and the newborns and perhaps even the "terrible twos." No one ever talks about the school years. I didn't particularly like school the first go around. No one said I'd have to be doing it all again. I might have reconsidered having one child forget three.

    Having said that let it be known that there are more of us who are delinquent mothers of school going children than there are those of us who aren't. Although teachers and children will have you think differently. That's why we have blog friends - to set that record straight.

    And get iron on labels or "Tag Mates" (see Mabel's Label's dot com for what I'm talking about and no I don't work for them!)

  2. Seriously, no reason to ever sew or iron anything on anything. Waterproof labels that you fold over and secure with a plastic tack and button arrangement. Plus a name stamp for vests/t-shirts/anything with a label large enough to accommodate it. Also: totally agree with WLDU above - waaaay more delinquent parents than not - all those apparently "perfect" parents? Nah. It's a front. Good luck, and enjoy the (relative) peace.

  3. Oh my days, this is wonderful! And I have all this to look forward to... It's 'rentree' season here in Brussels and today I saw a woman with a little girl, her rucksack bigger than she was, chattering away. The little girl suddenly stopped and said something along the lines of 'noooooo mum you forgot [insert thing here]' the mother did the most beautiful Gallic shrug and carried on walking.

  4. I'm going to set up an online site where you can buy labels and gin in one go. There is def a market for it. (In the absence of this, thank you for the Mabel's Labels nudge - it's brilliant. A friend also told me about letters you just iron on to the sole of the sock. Fabulous stuff. If only I ironed.)

  5. This is the best thing I have read in forever!

  6. Enjoyed your post very much. ALSO DELIGHTED Boy is Now In Charge of remembering his own drink! Keep passing the buck/job/chore what ever to the child who benefits from remembering. Makes such more capable responsible adults! SUPER GOLD STARS to you for doing it right!