A few moments of quite at home to catch up on my To Do List, then I am left alone with Smallest Boy Child for many, many hours.
During this time, I am to ensure the house is ready for an Open For Inspection this evening, swimming bags organised for this afternoon and my sanity to remain intact in order that we may all survive it all with minal physical and psychological damage.
I was doing ok. I’d accepted that Time In My Office was a mere fantatsy, and I did what I could to tidy the house and clean bathrooms before Chippie discovered I’d put all his toys away, neatly, and entered the realm of the Toy Room, located the toys he was playing with yesterday, and a multitude of others he probably can’t remember we ever owned. The only place that can go is Toys Scattered Everywhere And Mummy Losing The Plot Completely.
So I took him for a walk to purchase coffee and milk instead. We wandered past a Kikki-K, which has the file organiser racks I wanted in order to safely house each of the projects I’m working on and keep them within easy reach on my desk. I was offered a ‘buy three get one free’ deal and found myself wandering the store, trying to locate post-it type notes that I could actually use and leaving, dumbfounded as to what the point of Kikki-K even is, aside from being “pretty, but useless”.
(And also explains why I created my own range of organisers …)
Arrive home, get the house in as tip-top shape as possible, leaving only the kids to put their clothes away and clear any and all surfaces in their rooms of any item that may or may not be (mis)construed as mess/clutter/personal/fun/enjoyable or that renders the impression that people actually live in this house that potential buyers, tire kickers and sticky beaks are wandering through later on.
Chippie, having been sent outside to eat his lunch of strawberry jam on toast, brings his plate, complete with uneaten crusts, inside. He yells, from the kitchen, that he would like more toast, please. He then wanders up the hall, towards the bedroom I’m tidying, and promptly tips the crumbs and crusts on his platein onto the Just Vacuumed Floor.
Leaving plenty of time to do all that, I wander up to the school to collect said children, only to receive a phone call from the Vice Principal when we’re a block away, asking if I will be at school so we may discuss an incident Monkey Boy was involved in today.
“Sure,” I sigh. “Why the hell not?”
And sigh again.
The discussion not only cuts into the kids tidying time (although it does significantly reduce the amount of time we will be at home between school and swimming, thereby leaving almost no time for them to make any mess whatsoever) and leaves me feeling extraordinarily guitly, as I have been drumming into him for years about being compassionate and understanding of other kids, and not to take so much personally.
He’s like this naturally, so it’s not been hard. Except, clearly he’s been holding it all in and trying, as best an eleven-year-old boy can be, understanding. Today, he was pushed too far, trodden on once too often, and treated like shit to a point where he and a kid twice his size got into fisticuffs. The VP encouraged me to encourage him to “speak openly about how he was feeling”.
Excellent point, and I can’t help but feel I’ve totally fucked up.
I nearly cried.
Then I walked away and did. That was partly due to my calling for Chippie, who came racing over. What with my being all distracted, he’d had plenty of time to play. He’d chosen the sandpit. He was head-to-toe sand.
Even more Yay.
Home we go, where I stumble on a dog poo the size of a small chihuahua. What fucking arsehole lets their dog shit in the middle of a footpath across from a school?
I’m now fuming.
We arrive home, where I shout instructions from the front door as I strip Chippie of his sand-covered clothes before he enters, and hose my shoes off.
“Put your clothesaway! Tidy your rooms! Get everything off everything! DO NOT EAT anything! Do not make a mess! No, do not use the toilet! Do not wash your hands! Put that away! Do NOT touch that! Hurry UP!”
And I cannot wait to leave. Am feeling like Nazi Bitch Face From Hell right now and wonder how long before anyone snaps.
We are now running minutes late for swimming lessons, so I encourage the kids to run in whilst I find a park.
Normally, I can’t wait to get home, but as the inspection time is at a stupid hour, I am forced to delay it all. I tell the kids we’ll get hot chips and chicken for dinner and attempt to time it so that we can be home as early as we are allowed, without crashing the inspecton.
Monkey Boy has neglected to bring a change of clothes, so wanders to the car, wrapped in a beach towel. There goes my plan to send him in to purchase chips and chicken. Leave them all sitting in the car whilst I do so, and my order is taken by a man who had ordered the same thing, but he decided his need was greater than mine, and said “I was here first”.
Had it not been for my need to have quiet time, away from the kids, albeit standing in a brightly lit chicken takeaway place, he may have been tackled to the ground and had his meal forcefully removed.
I may also have sworn loudly at him. As it was, I was using all my energy to just breath, so he was in luck.
Make it home again, eat, have wine and feel slightly better.
Remember Monkey Boy has a test for a high school tomorrow, and he is being a right little arsehead.
My best of intentions aimed at having a calm, loving and empowering evening are shattered by his smart arsedness, my distress over the incident at school and the compounding stress of life as we know it right now … a screaming match ensues and I find myself on the kitchen floor in tears.
The only saving grace is that Monkey Boy is nowhere near as affected by my behaviour as I am, and he’s happily in bed. Reading.