Parenting, profundities and humour

Mr Works? May I Introduce Mr Spanner? — January 10, 2016

Mr Works? May I Introduce Mr Spanner?


So here it is.

I updated my spreadsheet of child related activities.

This has to be done each term when clubs change. It lists days of the week and the clubs each child attends at what time and where and with what equipment.

Not much had changed from last term. In fact a small ‘win’ saw Eldest no longer attending after school rugby on Mondays. Giving him a bigger window between getting home from school (allowing for Middlest’s Strings until 4.30pm) and Scouts…yippee…he could do his homework rather than saving it for Tuesday.

Tuesday was still a disaster zone… collect Eldest at 4pm and bring home. Go back for Middlest (badminton) and Youngest (netball) at 5pm and get home. Stuff food into children. Hustle Middlest sufficiently to get him fed, changed and ready to leave at 5.45pm for football training. Collect Middlest at 7pm. Relax.

Wednesdays remained…shall we say …difficult. Collect Eldest and Middlest at normal school time and deposit home. Feed Eldest and Middlest. Collect Youngest at 5pm from Choir on Week 1 or 5.15pm from Girls Football Week 2. Get home. Without trying to swear too much at the traffic. Chuck her indoors. Grab Eldest and drive to 5.45pm piano lesson. Feed Youngest. Get them to get changed for Cubs. Drive to piano for 6.15pm to collect Eldest and then straight to Cubs for 6.30pm. Leave Middlest and Youngest at Cubs. Collect them at 8pm. Relax.

Thursdays were not much better. Collect Youngest at 3.45pm. Rush her Maths homework and get her to get changed for football training. Leave at 4.45pm to drop her at said football training. Drive to school to collect Eldest (choir. week one; hockey, week 2) and Middlest (football). Come home. Collect Youngest at 6.30pm. Feed kids. Relax.

Friday remained the day I got all three of them at normal chucking out time. I merely perform the piano lesson hokey-cokey. An easy day.

So OK its bad. But do-able. Just. As long as Cubs isn’t anywhere unusual.

Then I got an e mail from Youngest’s football coach. They had moved her training to 6-7pm on a Wednesday. Just for this term. But still.

Not sure what I am going to do yet. It doesn’t start up again until the 27th Jan. And so currently I have my head in the sand.

I may never take it out.



Enough Already… — September 11, 2015

Enough Already…

Ahhhh just Ahhhh

I want summer back.

No, I mean seriously, I do.

We are one week in and already I have had enough. Of it all.

Of the getting up at stupid o’clock. Of dragging curled bodies damp with sleep into consciousness. Of watching them stumble blearily downstairs with sandy eyes. It is cold and dark. Already. And it is only September.

I am fed up with the morning routine. I am fed up with badgering and cajoling and nagging in order to have them fed and dressed and vaguely clean before leaving the house with the proper books and snacks and water bottles and sports gear and musical instruments.

I am fed up with the school run. It took me 15 minutes to get out of the car park tonight. Fifteen minutes. I have to say I lost my rag with the poor parkers and the slow drivers and those taking too long at roundabouts as I fought against yet more time to get Youngest to her piano lesson. We were late. A bit. But I hate being late.

I hate the logistics. I hate trying to work out what to cook when so we can all eat something vaguely hot and nutritious. At a time that fits in with our various clubs or returns form work. Well when I say ‘our’ I mean their. And that they will all eat without pulling up their noses.

I had a man out to mend my oven today. I was ridiculously excited as I hoped to get my automatic timer function back. To ease the pressure of those logistics a bit. But no. He just came out looked at it and ordered a ‘bit’. And needs to come back next week and waste another day of my diminishing life. And I will spend the most part of another week trying to work round it.

I hate the homework. Tonight Youngest had to fill in a timeline of her entire life. Writing ‘at least’ a sentence for each year. But she wants to get onto the ‘Wow’ wall and so ‘needed’ to write more and add pictures. And of course as she can’t remember most of those years it wasn’t really a solo job. And Middlest was badgering me about pH scales and Eldest needed to do a poster about the number 10. Really. Yep really. He is eleven. Not sure what the aim of that was.

Tea was late. Clearing up even later. And so Youngest was late to bed. And she hasn’t read to me enough. Apparently. So we had to do that too.

And tomorrow they all have fixtures. Both husband and I need to drive miles around the countryside delivering children. And we still need to get up at stupid o’clock to deliver Eldest to school for 8.30am.

I am very, very close to just saying. You know what? Give it all up. Drop it all. So we can just slob around.

I won’t do that of course.

But I am tempted.

5 weeks to half term.

Relaxing weekend — June 25, 2015

Relaxing weekend


Last weekend was a tad…frantic…  I would like to say it is unusual. It isn’t really… I am sure some of you can empathise..

It started off on Friday. I was a due a day with no workmen…just a furniture delivery and a furniture collection. Oh and the grocery shopping. But then the wooden floor man asked if he could start prep for Monday’s job and of course I agreed, hoping to salvage Tuesday.

And so I was confined to barracks again waiting for people. In any event I had a cake to bake so really it wasn’t too bad. And my in-laws were due so things had to be prepared and cleaned. The floor man arrived at lunchtime and immediately got VERY noisy doing unspeakable things to my architraves… I left him with the in-laws to collect eldest and youngest from school. He had thankfully finished when I got back.

We dashed off a bit of homework and then I took youngest to piano, you know that hokey cokey I think I have mentioned before. After a bit more desert natural life adaptation work I took eldest and his cello to piano (don’t ask) and picked up youngest. I slowed down outside our house, booted her out of the car, checked the in laws had answered the door and drove off to pick up middlest from his school trip. After the obligatory wait for the bus to crawl up we left and I took my Tudor boy to the chippe. Youngest is banned. The blood splatter is still there.

We got home around 6.20pm and stuffed down chips.  At some point the kids went to bed and I then packed for the following night and built a football out of rollable icing for the top of that cake.

The next day dawned, wet. Husband and I did the usual fielding of football games/ training sessions, made slightly easier by eldest having the weekend off. I watched youngest and her team comprehensively beat the opposition, in the rain, with Granddad and latterly Grandma and eldest, who, showing his empathic side, had brought a folding camping chair for Grandma…I had time for a momentary flash of pride.

We managed to get home before middlest, who was merely training, and his father. So, damn, I had to start on lunch. Spag bol for seven. Whilst that was steeping I emptied chests of drawers.

After lunch the husband of a lovely friend (of course he is lovely too) turned up to help shift our extremely heavy chests of drawers out of our bedroom onto the landing in readiness for our fitted wardrobe…fitting. I bet he wished his wife was not in the Monday morning coffee group I attend. Where we regularly offer up our husbands for ridicule (in a loving fashion) and the occasional job.

We then spent a few hours at the kids’ football club annual presentations, in the rain. The children seemed to enjoy the stalls on offer, despite having to wring out their socks after utilising the bouncy castle obstacle course. Husband and I managed to see youngest receive her medal and take a team photo before we had to rush home to get ready for an evening out. We left the in laws to watch middlest and eldest get their awards. They were there until gone seven. Ouch.

An evening out is a rare and wonderful thing. This was work though. We had to schelp to Birmingham (an hour and a half drive- in the rain) in time to host a table of 12 at the Rep Theatre’s fundraising 1920s murder mystery dinner. We arrived in Birmingham at around 6pm and drove towards the hotel. We were slightly disconcerted at the large number of ball gowned ladies tottering towards our venue. We couldn’t check the time that our function started as the details were in the boot of the car. Fingers crossed husband had it right then.

He did…we had about 50 minutes to get changed and make ourselves over from soggy football parents into scintillating black tie dinner guests. Posterity will show if we got that right, along with the annoying photographer at the event. Husband assured me that the venue was ‘right next to the hotel’ so off we went. Luckily it had stopped raining. I tottered, he strode; I shouted, he slowed down. After crossing a canal, walking past hundreds of bars, dodging pools of sick (never easy in a floor length gown)and walking through what looked like a shopping centre we arrived. I may blame that ‘quick walk’ if I look less than scintillating on those photos.

Luckily the guests husband had chosen were actually quite good fun, they were even more fun after a few glasses of free wine. Them not me, I don’t drink. In fact I love watching other people drink. In a kind of anthropological experimentation kind of way. One mentioned that they had passed the Annual Slimmer’s World awards ceremony on their way- ah those ball gowned ladies. On the menu- one shake and a green salad?

So due to the company the event was actually fun. There was also a really quite good murder mystery to solve. And a live jazz band. Well we were in a theatre so I had expected a certain level of acting and music. There was a quiz. I love a quiz. There was an auction to take the mickey out of (we were at a table of bankers and guests I leave you to decide how much was spent collectively). I managed to be amusing and good fun so all in all not a bad night’s work.

All too soon it was time for that ‘quick walk’ home. I purloined husband’s jacket to avoid garnering too much drunken attention en route. I may be the wrong side of 40 but still scrub up OK in a ball gown, especially when the audience is pissed.

After a terrible night’s sleep (clearly chucking out time is now 3.15am- when did that happen?), we awoke, packed, and left to head back to the kids and relieve the in-laws, stopping en route for a sausage and pancake meal somewhere on the M6.

We got home around 11am. During that 3.15am early morning call I had realised that this was going to be my only window to get my prize winning children to a book store to choose appropriate books ahead of Friday’s deadline. Yep you read it right, my only window. So I scooped them up and drove to town, leaving husband to rustle up some roast potatoes and cabbage for a 1pm lunch. We browsed the books, fought over suitability and discovered that the book tokens provided by the school would in no way cover the cost. On the way home I picked up a ready cooked chicken.

We ate. We cleared. We had a small space for a sit down. We then left to host youngest’s 8th birthday party at a gymnastics centre in a nearby town. Once everyone had arrived, and I had reminded the staff of what I had actually paid for, the party went quite well. I rolled out that cake, children were collected and I drove home. Really this does not in any way sum up two hours with 13 very excited children, two Year 9 boys ‘in charge’ and a host of dangerous gym equipment but I let your imaginations fill in the gaps. I am too traumatised to go through it all here. Suffice to say it wasn’t what I needed after 4 hours sleep. But then children’s parties are never something I need even on a full 9 hours.

We came home, unwrapped presents, assembled kit for the next day & accomplished the bed time routine. I discovered it is actually possible to fall asleep whilst reading aloud from Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix.

We got some tea for the in laws. Who looked a bit shell shocked.

And then I sat down and fell asleep in front of the Antiques Roadshow.

I make no apologies for that.

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