All These Cartoons About Mothers Overjoyed at the Kids Going Back to School.
Call me a jumbo dumbo but WHY is everyone so excited?! Granted, my kids have driven me bonkers in other ways this summer (leaving their underwear ALL over the house, never switching a single fan off after leaving a room and hardly ever remembering their sunglasses or sunhats in this intense Mediterranean heat) BUT I’m still not filled with glee at them going back to school.
If you’ve read my post about the Exhausted School Mother you’ll have a pretty good idea of:
Why I’m Dreading the New School Year.
In the space of just one week of the first term last year, I managed to:
– mistake day two of the cycle for day one
– dressed K in P.E. clothes when they didn’t have P.E.
– dropped them off late twice
– left K’s folder at home twice
– forgot to listen to Dreamy D read his book
– didn’t get round to buying the mini whiteboard requested by his teacher
– and ‘overlooked’ the twelve – yes TWELVE (that’s what you get for having so many kids) – forms that needed completing and signing.
In fairness, the latter was sort of intentional: I ‘overlooked’ them until I had a sufficient supply of wine to help me cope with completing the whole damned lot. But let me explain:
Why I’m Not Putting up the Bunting to Celebrate The Start of Another Academic Year in:
1) INSTEAD OF LYING IN TIL LATE O’CLOCK enjoying the peace because MDK creep downstairs quietly and get their own breakfast and then switch on the TV (yes my kids do this because they know Mummy would love to raiser her kids on zero screen time but #LetsHaveAGoodLaughAboutThatOne)
I NOW HAVE TO GET UP EARLY AND FACE THE DAY. Anyone who’s ever met me will know I have never coped well with this and cannot gel with the “I’ll sleep when I die” motto because when I’m dead I won’t have the satisfaction of waking up and looking back at a great night’s sleep because I will be dead…
You KNOW I”m right (unless you’re up half the night with your kids in which case, sorry, sleep when you’re dead).
2) INSTEAD OF YELLING AT THEM FOR not being able to pack a single swimming essential or beach item the entire school holidays despite practically living on the beach every long hot Maltese summer
I AM NOW YELLING AT THEM FOR not being able to put their reading book/homework/school folder/lunch box – in fact anything – in their bags despite two of them having attended school for several years. “Ooh I wonder where they get that from then Prabs…” Stop it. “You know yelling doesn’t achieve anything right Prabs?” I said stop it.
3) IN PLACE OF ENDLESSLY RUNNING AROUND the pool/beach searching for their swimming goggles, flip flops etc after a day of swimming,
I WILL BE ENDLESSLY GOING BACK THROUGH THE SCHOOL GATES every afternoon to go up to the classroom (ha! classroom x 3) just as everyone else is trying to come through the gates the other way, to try and find water bottles, hats, clothing etc
4) I HAVE SWAPPED TWO MONTHS OF SINKING INTO A SUN LOUNGER after mentally high-fiving myself for my kickass organisation because I’ve packed everything we need for a Summer’s day out [see 28 Reasons],
FOR NINE MONTHS OF SINKING INTO DESPAIR having actually high-fived the teacher because I’ve remembered everything from sports gear to school trip money to art class clothes, only for her to say “You remembered his library book right?” following it up with “Oh bless…shall I move in with you to help, love?”
Seriously…this actually has happened!
5) INSTEAD OF REALISING I’VE HARDLY GOT ANY FOOD IN THE HOUSE but it’s no biggie cos I can jolly well give them pancakes if I want to (or another bowl of cereal)
I NOW HAVE TO GET MY SHIT TOGETHER AKA actually planning lunches and snacks…oh God the planning…it just kills me.
6) RATHER THAN JUST ENJOYING THE BENEFITS OF MDK relaxing, playing, not getting in my hair at all and being super low maintenance housemates
I WILL BE SPENDING FIVE DAYS a week ferrying them around the island to tennis, football, swimming and choir (well alright, not quite ‘around the island’…more like within a one mile radius..but FIVE days MAN!).
7) AND DON’T GET ME STARTED on all the time spent trawling through every computer I’ve owned trying to find old photos for some project or another, spending my mornings running around buying items for various school productions and my evenings gritting my teeth doing internet research to help them create – oh hang on, help me create on their behalf – presentations.
8) AND DEFINITELY DON’T GET ME STARTED on…cue Pyscho’s shower scene music……MATHS HOMEWORK HELL!
9) BUT WORST OF ALL, THERE IS MY OWN TOTAL BEWILDERMENT OVER HOW LITTLE I GET DONE DURING THE DAY now that Cheeky K is finally at big school with her siblings.
I honestly struggle to the point of depression over not being able to find enough days or hours in the week to fit in the housework, school run, blogging, after-school activities and (dare I say it) some exercise…and I’m a stay at home mum for goodness sake! What’s my excuse?! Working mothers have it far worse; alright the blog is my work and I take it seriously but it’s not the same as having an actual job with an employer and official working hours and all that jazz.
I Can Feel a Blog Post Coming on About Trying to Manage it all.
It will be very short post and will consist mainly of me crying all over the computer and typing “Just. Can’t.” and possibly ending with a plea for free chocolate.
So no, dear reader, I am not shouting Hooray at going back to school. (Well silently mouthing it at the thought of going for a coffee alone I admit…)
Can you relate? If so, what’s the bit you dread most about the school year?
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So I’m baaaaaack from that mummy blogger break. (You know, the one where I still managed to sneakily read other bloggers’ posts when the kids weren’t looking and didn’t exactly do a great job of getting off the Twitter train.)
I thought I’d bring you up to speed on what I got up to the last ten days of the school holidays. How can I rant about that for the #effitfriday linky that I’m co-hosting this week, you wonder? Oh but I can, believe me… Impressive huh? Just say yes and make a blogger happy.
1) I watched my babies eat ice cream by the bucket load and drink milkshakes by the gallon.
I’m telling you, I can’t keep my kids in enough gelato. We have a looooong hot hot hot Summer here. You say ‘Junk Food. I say ‘Vital cooling mechanism.’ Let’s face it, there are two things that every kid has a right to: homemade chocolate cake and damned good ice cream. I’m rather good at the first one and I know just where to take them for the latter (sadly my own ice cream machine is useless). Now please let me sing you a song from my home country so you can leave some coins to donate to my ice cream fund.
While my babies watched their mum drink a LOT of iced coffee.
You think I jest? I almost single-handedly caused a coffee shortage in Malta and they couldn’t pick the replacement beans fast enough back in Brazil. And no I’m not showing you all the iced coffees I had.
2) Almost seven years after buying our house, I finally bought some plants!
You’d think I’d given each of my kids an iPhone judging from the squeals of delight and excited gawping at the plants and flowers and pleas to buy a lemon tree. Seriously people, this was the only thing we did on that particular day. Yep, I took my kids to a blooming garden centre (wow that pun just fell from my fingers all by its clever little self) and yet they were so excited and couldn’t wait to get back home and help me pot these babies.
What could I possibly have to rant about? Well obviously the fact that everything cost twice the amount it would in the UK which still pains me all these years after moving here but hey ho, nothing you can do about that. No, the peeving thing was how I had great service and advice from the staff (because believe me the only horticultural thing I know is that plants have leaves and flowers have petals and I can kill either very flipping quickly)…great service that is up to the minute it was closing time. Then Mrs oh so helpful Jekyll turned into Miss you must leave immediately Hyde and almost kicked us out the door.
3) I’ve had the longest saga in sun glasses shopping history. You say #FirstWorldProblems…
I say when you live somewhere with a yearly average of 300 days of sunshine, this merits a rant! Long story long: I tried to spend my birthday money on replacing my five year old faithfuls and went to seven different stores in London before making a Ralph Lauren panic purchase at the airport minutes before my flight closed (you should have seen those poor kids running with me, and by with me I mean behind me, to the gate) only to get back to Malta and discover they had a defect (the glasses, not the kids). Last week what should happen? I walked into a shop here and found THE pair. Figures. There they were looking at me seductively from the middle column calling my name. I looked in their direction and thought You belong to me and I belong to you. I tried them on and that was that. They were perfect..a different shape from the Jackie O style I’ve worn for years, a gorgeous tortoise shell colour making a change from my usual black and they fitted perfectly instead of sliding down my face like the damned Ralph ones ended up doing. Even better, they covered half my face. Yes I’m perfectly aware it looks like the glasses are wearing me instead of the other way round but frankly, when your face is falling apart at an alarming rate because you’re not exactly 21 anymore, that is good!
Yep even sunglasses this big can’t mask my neglected eyebrows and middle-aged train wreck hair.
So what’s the problem? Sunglass hut never emailed back to confirm if they would refund the money on the faulty glasses which Hubster is willing to return to them on his next business trip…so they have just sat in a box for the last two months and I don’t know if I’ve wasted my money on a useless pair. I have been wearing an equally large – but nowhere near as good quality – pair as the ones in this pic, the last few weeks. And the sunglasses that are a match made in heaven are in fact not protective enough for the strong sun here and fade half way down the lens which causes eye strain. Back. To. Square. One. Then I walked back to my car only to find this guy wearing them. Unreal.
Told you it was worth ranting about!
4) And what on earth happened to the blockbuster summer?
Apart from the fact we’re a big movie loving family, I depend on cinemas in the summer for their air conditioning ha ha. There were just TWO kids’ films appropriate for my lot the entire holidays: Minions and Inside Out. Minions irritated me and I thought I’d love the second as its all about feelings etc (and I am ALL about feelings etc) but it bored me rigid. What can I say? I think I’m becoming a grumpy old woman. That left only two other kids’ films: Jurassic World and Pixels. Jurassic had a 13 ting so no go. So I waited weeks for Pixels only to find out it was a PG (I’ve never taken my kids to PG rated films as I think five year old K is still too young) but went the day it came out I was that frickin desperate to do something not involving sand. You’d think I’d given each of my kids an iPad (it’s my blog and I can recycle one of my own jokes if I want to) the way they nearly fell over with delight when I surprised them with this.
I have to say, uninterested as I am in the whole video/computer game culture (I could have cried when my kids were given a Wii because I’m such a back to basics mother) I honestly thought this film was one of the best family films I’ve seen in years.
Seriously, most adult comedies don’t even have scripts this good (okay it’s a bit redundant if you’ve not seen the film but I promise you’ll find these funny if you see it):
Well if it isn’t Zac Efron, Gandalf and Harry Potter all in one room.
Just when you think Adam sandler is typecast and so over, he surprises you (well ok he is typecast but whatever).
Now if you could leave the room so that those of us with long pants and government positions can get on with their job….
I love the actor Brian Cox (he scares the shit out of me but I love him).
My dad left my mum for his 19 year old pilates instructor called Sinnamon with an ‘s’ which pretty much tells you all you need to know about her. My mum says she’s going to develop a slut-seeking missile to take her out.
I think my kids missed the word slut. I’m praying my kids missed the word slut. They caught the other saltier words though. Despite being quite active in the potty mouth department myself, I did think it was an avoidable shame that there was a bit of bad language in it but ya know…. #YouWinSomeYouLoseSome
5) At last I got round to using the Zara birthday vouchers from my Sliema sexies and co, one week before they expired!
Yep, totally chuffed with the gorge blanket-like shawl, smart casual cream skirt, edgy smart jumper etc but… I found the most perfect summer shoes, the kind I’ve wanted for ages (wow for someone who n-e-v-e-r goes shopping I’m starting to sound like a shopping whore) only for them to not fit properly. And I stupidly didn’t get the top I’m wearing in this pic all because I had one of those dumb “I don’t need this” moments. Even Cheeky K saying “I think you should try this top with those trousers mummy because it will look nice on you” didn’t sway me. Doofus. Me, not her.
6) I took ten days off yet my house is no cleaner.
I just don’t know how I tidy but it gets no better.
You know what? Funny as this meme is, it’s not the kids that mess the house up that much. It’s their mummy that’s the problem and she could never keep a tidy house before she had kids!
7) I did manage a mega clothing sort and clear out.
Where is all this clothing I’ve sorted? Yep, umpteen bags in my lounge tripping me up cos nobody at the 3 charity places I’ve called is picking up. #Pfffft.
8) And basically enjoyed this little rock we live on.
We caught crabs (for goodness sake, no not that kind), swam, took mama-baby selfies, swam…you get the picture… All in all, a nice little break with my kiddos.
No, they’re not real rants BUT today really is a 100% first class humdinger of an #effitfriday because…
…it’s the last day of the school holidays!
Soooo not ready for school to start… and I’m already dreading this in ten months’ time…
Linking these posts to the following:
It’s only Monday and I’m thinking “Oh heavens” (actually anyone who follows this blog knows I’m not that polite and the word that follows “oh” is not “heavens”), “So much coming up, where do I start?”
Gifts, GIFTS! Buying gifts, wrapping gifts, contributing to gift collections: teachers’ end of year gifts, M’s birthday gifts and goodness how many other gifts. Birthdays…soooo many birthdays: my niece’s 1st and Musical M’s 10th; the sheer amount of bloody baking for the latter…a cake for school, a cake for home, something else for her sleepover. Elementary end of year school play and costumes (thank you Hubster for your artistic skills doing Dreamy D’s musical notes tshirt). Osteopath and physio sessions to try to fix me. End of year class parties, leaving dos (it’s Malta – I swear there’s a leaving do for someone almost every other month), 40th parties, 50th parties! and God-knows-what-else-th parties. Summer activities info-gathering, decision-making and registration. Trying to book a summer holiday. Dreeeeammmming of going back to running. Getting the house ready for Summer guests. The BLOG! Oh and the small matter of managing a house with no cleaner and all the dust flying around from the roadworks 1 minute from us not to mention the laundry nightmare plus winter/summer clothing changeover that continues to engulf the upper part of the house. Getting rid of remaining baby equipment. Emptying out and reorganising the storage room and the shoe room and the everything-else-room…still not done since I posted Make Yourself At Home: Tidy My House.
I’d list everything else but it would tire me out even more.
Yep, it’s only Monday and I already need a drink.
Or a nap.
I’ll go with the latter.
Crap. Just realised it’s Father’s Day soon. Better add that to the blooming list then.
I don’t know about you but I’m fairly sure it’s not normal:
1 To have had a knee operation but not remember which knee it was.
2 To answer “Just bring yourself back safe and sound” when Hubster asks “What shall I bring you from my work trip?” and then raid his suitcases when he’s back to see if he successfully deciphered my woman code and brought something…anything. Then I’m deflated when it turns out he did decipher the code and brought back…a set of wooden kitchen spatulas (if you’re a guy, don’t even think about asking “What..did you want metal ones then?”)
3 To forget the names of half the people I’ve met in the last five years and most of my colleagues in the noughties and yet remember every single person I worked with in Paris in the early nineties.
4 To make plans for the second Friday of the Holidays only to learn there is no second Friday because school resumes the second Wednesday (which I’d know if I occasionally looked at one of the two school calendars they send out).
5. To lose the two school calendars they sent out (ah…there you go).
6. For one of my kids to bring home a piece of work describing chores he does, claiming “I help clear up after a crafts activity” and “I clean up the dog’s poo”…when as far as I know, I never do crafts with them and I’m sure we don’t own a dog.
7. That there are flies on the inside of my window insect screens. (What’s the point of having the damned things and are the flies laughing at the other suckers who haven’t managed to make it into the house yet?)
8. To look at my wine glass after a friend and her kids leave, decide to have a cheeky refill, open the fridge and feel my heart fall into my socks because I can’t see the wine bottle.
9. To start a playdate with “Do you want a tea or juice before we move onto the hard stuff?”
10. For you to have read 9) and thought I said that to the kids.
11. To find a clump of hair on the floor and discover that my preschooler got busy with the kitchen scissors…and did such a good job of cutting her hair that I consider getting her to do mine.
12. To buy four desserts for my family…when there are in fact five of us.
13. To forget I collected my youngest from preschool, pull up outside my house and almost jump out of my skin when she calls my name from the back seat.
14. To end up watching Scooby Doo reruns (after the kids have gone to bed) because I’m desperate to watch something and there’s nothing on TV on the one night I’m not working.
15. To run out to the grocery store before it closes because I forgot the bacon for tonight’s pasta, get back and realise I also don’t have the wine I needed for it, go to pour myself some water but find the case is finished and know it’s too late to do anything about it and that I really should have cut this crap out way befoe my mid 40’s.
16. To stop off on the way home from errands to pick up a bottle of wine at only 11am (shame it was a Rose and I couldn’t use it for the pasta).
17. That my kids and I end up crying over episodes of Masterchef (well alright they get misty-eyed while I’m postively bawling…and let’s not even talk about the finale).
18. To discover that a mother who has never liked me and always ignored me is now following my blog.
19. To jump for joy when a new kids’ movie comes out but not be fussed when an adult one does (no, not that kind of adult movie…goodness me people!).
20. To get pelted with water by a guy driving by in a white van whilst I’m out running.
21. To tell myself every night I tuck them into bed that I will be a better non-shouty mother tomorrow…and then wake up the next morning and repeat the same behaviour.
Seriously, is it normal?