Previously: The kids’ washing bucket is overloaded to the point of commandeering the bathroom, and a portion of the hall, it’d been raining for three days straight and the weather, combined with a dose of CBF’d I was suffereing, had prevented not only their washing, but also ours (ie the adults of the household) being attended to.
I did get around to doing it, and the clothes line currently holds 5 load sof washing, still damp. There’s another load waiting to be hung out, a load in the machine, and we have swimming lessons today … Monkey Boy, after perforning an “OMG I have no pants!” tantrum and finally accepting I was not going to entertain it, just put on yesterday’s pants. Whatever. I’d been wearing these jarmy pants for a week. He’ll survive.
Last night:Heading to bed, my To Do list having been scribbled on a piece of paper, and, therefore, out of my head. I’m satisfied I have a clue was to what needs to be attended to tomorrow morning. I may even get stuff done. Grumpy informs me he has been asked to work tomorrow morning. Ta muchly … and I silently scream …
The Chipster has woken and come into our bed at a stupid hour again. My brain still can’t manage the concept of shutting the fuck up at 4.00am, which only makes Grumpy’s snoring, usuallly tolerable, insanely annoying. I move into Chippie’s bed for the second time in two days and get me another hour of relatively decent sleep.
Up later than normal, thanks to ability to get sleep, have coffee, remember my day has already gone to shit thanks to last night’s “Oh, I have to work tomorrow morning” announcement and squeeze in what I can.
I already knew the afternoon was chaos and mayhem … I was prepared for that! Just had to get my head around the new “plans” for the day. One of which now involves me doing toddler swimming lessons. Which reminds me that it’s been a while since I’d had my underarms, legs and bikini line subject to a hot wax and tearing of hair out treatment.
Heat home-wax-kit-wax in microwave whilst responding to emails, answer the “what’s that?” quesitons while quietly trying not to go insane, and successfully ignore the bashing on the bathroom door whilst removing hair from under my arms.
Attend to Chippie, who has tripped in the hall and smashed his forehead on the bottom stair. A feat in itself, as I’ve just thrown on my well-worn pyjama top, and my underarmse have attached to the material, restricting movement at the shoulder.
The legs and bikini line? Not going there … I’m just going to have to pretend I’m one of those really annoying mothers who loudly plays with their kids at the pool and annoys everyone else; pretending to be a crocodile, crawling around the pool,chasing Chippie and hoping like hell the 3 inches of water I’m creeping around in adequately hides the lack of deforestation on the backs of my legs.
Go with “I can’t see it, cos its the back of me, therefore no one else can”. It helps me cope.
Arrive home, feel washing on like – still wet – stuff food into Chippie, set him up with a DVD and will him to sleep – doens’t happen – as I attempt to finish off some work. School LEGO Club time is looming, check diary and phone calendar in vain hope that I have inadvertently thought my afternoon was packed full and it’s not really. It is.
Packed full and insane, that is.
Decide to drive “just in case” something doesn’t work as scheduled. Glad I do. It gives me 15 extra minutes to pack a vast array of snacks for the afternoon’s proceedings, some trains, also for the afternoon’s activities, and take several deep breaths as I’m really not sure how well I’m going to manage it all.
Arrive at school in time to hear Monkey Boy and friend announce the School LEGO Club reminder. Phew. Had had horrible feel that it was cancelled. But no. Some kids arrive. Monkey Boy and his friend, also a club leader, do not show. We wait and wait and Moneky Boy arrives 15 minutes late to inform me that no-one has turned up so it’s cancelled. As I point to the kids who have actually shown, Chippie slips out the door.
Race after him to find him doing laps of the oval, which is also being used by a horde of grade 6 boys playing soccer. Given his experiences with head-clonkings, I race after him, acutely aware that the knee high boots I’ve worn, in yet another bid to keep myself from freezing to death, are highly inappropriate for running around a school oval after a toddler.
The bra I’m wearing also appears to be significantly unsuitable.
Eventually catch up with him, and ponder the idea that I probably should have just left him to it and waited, as now there are two of us at risk of being hit in the head with an errant soccer ball.
Back to LEGO Club, finish LEGO Club, and figure as I’m at the school and there’s little point in going home and coming back, except for an unnecessary drive, I’ll go help in one of the classrooms. So I do. Chippie entertains himself by climbing the stairs of the Book Nook, and up to the mazzanine, where he leaps onto a beanbag. A teacher wanders by and suggests the stairs are a little too high up for a toddler.
I advise, whilst feeling just a wee bit naughty, that I’m not so worried about the height of the stairs, but the bean bag on the edge that he’s leaping into is a different story.
Aid some kids in doing some stuff, whilst another decides he’s going to harrass and intimidate one of the kids I’m working with. He commences a meltdown, I race off to grab some support for her, and return to find Chippie at the door, screaming his lungs out and surrounded by 6 grade 2 girls all trying to comfort him.
Feeling really great about myself by now, the school bell goes, which is my cue to head over to Monkey Boy’s room and attend my “Student Led Conference” (SLC) appointment. These are in place of Parent-Teacher interviews and are conducted by the students themselves.
Already, I have failed as the notes home specifically requested siblings to not attend these conferences. I’m doing what I can, with what I have.
Waiting outside and the teacher – who has already on a number of occasions not only alluded to my inabilities a a parent, but as outright stated them at times. Of course, an unmarried, childless woman of only a few months older than myself has a better clue about my kids and my life than I do. Thank goodness, as obviously I’m clueless.
She’s not ready for the “conferences” yet, so am patiently waiting outside the classroom for my appointment; large handbag full of mum and toddler paraphernalia, big bag of trains and Chippie in hand. She pointedly looks at Chippie, looks at me, hands me an information poster and says “You won’t have had a chance to read this yet” and points specifically to the bit that says “your child will need 15 minutes of your undivided attention, so please make sure you are free from all distractions” and stuff about mobile phones, siblings and the like.
Well, welcome to reality, babe … 15 minutes of my undivided attention is just going to have to happen when I can schedule it in. Deciding its going to happen at 3.30 on a Wednesday afternoon, when my husband is working and I have no other support or help at that time is just bad frigging luck.
Besides I’m capable of providing a good portion of my attention to one child when the needs necessitate.
We undergo conference, I’m satisfied with the info I have, no I have no questions, and, besides, there are other people waiting for their time, of which we have already cut into.
“That tucker you supplied the little one kept him quiet,” the teacher informs me.
“Um, yeah,” I reply. “I do have some tricks up my sleave.”
I really wanted to add “I’m not a complete fucking idiot and failure, you know!” But I didn’t.
And we head off to Godzilla’s interview, which I’m pretty sure was at 4.00, but THE Sheet says 4.30. It’s 3.50 and the 3.30 parents are still in there.
As we’re waiting, and just as I’m about to send Monkey Boy to locate the whereabouts of Godzilla, I’m approached by another Mum who advises me that Godzilla fell from the monkey bars and landed quite hard. He was badly winded, went pale and was most upset.
I felt sick and more than a little guilty that I wasn’t present. Not that I could have done much; he would have fallen despite my presence. Not that I should feel guilty, I had a very legit reason for not being there.
Also, it was this Mum who go the “Well where are his parents!?” when she took him around to sick bay. There are a few Great Mums in this world; this woman is one, as she calmly explained that I was probably in a bloody SLC and we have specifically been requested not to have siblings present. She suggested Godzilla was just keeping out of the way whilst I did what I was aked to do. By. The. School.
Head towards sick bay as Godzilla is being escorted out, ice pack on his back. Cuddles and wiping away tears. I send Monkey Boy to the car to dump bags and excess stuff in it so I don’t have to cart it all around, and sit outside Godzilla’s room, waiting, and reassuring him.
Glance up to find Yet Another Mum, walking in the door. Holding my toddler’s hand.
“Found him doing a runner out the gate,” she tells me.
Explain situation, and how he was supposed to be with Monkey Boy, whom, it appears, has run well ahead to get to the car, thereby leaving it looking like Chippie was headed out the gate of his own accord. He wasn’t. It just looked like it.
Wish could crawl into hole in the ground. My only consolation was the also greatness of this mum – she’s fabulous. And completely understands.
I look at the time. I wonder, honestly, how I’ve managed up to this point. I wonder how I’m going to get through the rest of they day, as my entire body – and mind – are willing me, quite strongly, to curl up into a ball and make the rest of the world go away ….
Discover I have minimum 4 more hours of “stuff” to get through before I can slip into bed.
Get through Godzilla’s SLC mostly unscathed, head home to find line still full of clothes – now dry – and two loads of washing still to be hung out. Make that three, as I’d managed to wash the swimming stuff as well.
Lament fact Washing Fairies don’t actually exist. Well, technically they do, and that Fairy is Me. Monkey Boy has told me on many occasion.
So as I’m yelling at kids to pack guitar stuff and eat, I manage to remove entire life-full of washing and hang out three more.
Load pram up with guitars and let toddler walk.
Am thankful I made the decision earlier in the day that I was probably going to struggle today and considered chicken and chips from the shop across the road from guitar lesson …
Home. Eat. Bath. Sit on couch.
The only thing that stopped me from falling alseep on the couch – the oh, so comfy new one – was the fact I had a wet-haired, naked toddler falling asleep on me …