Archive of ‘The School Years’ category
A few weeks ago, I was going to write about how May 2nd marked 21 years since one of the hardest and most significant events of my life: the day I moved back to London from Paris. Unfortunately, I never got round to writing the article because this May, another life-changing incident happened that has pretty much preoccupied my every thought and dominated most of my days. My husband and I reached a decision which (like the one to leave Paris) is for good reasons…but is nonetheless heart breaking and involves the hardest goodbye.
For some people reading this – especially those suffering intense trauma and hardship – my ‘sad life-altering’ event is just a precious first world problem… It’s probably one of those things you have to be a parent to understand too.
After 11 years at the same school, we are changing schools.
Yes I know! Nobody has died. We haven’t lost the roof over our heads due to war or financial crisis. Nobody (touch wood) is suffering an awful illness. We haven’t had our lives devastated by a natural disaster or a terror attack.
Yet in the years that have passed since that fateful day in 1997, few things have impacted me or caused me as much heartache as the thought of my children (and er…me!) leaving the only school we’ve ever known and all that changing schools entails (even if, as I said, we feel we are making the right decision). We started in 2007 with a then three year old Musical M who is leaving (aged 14) as one of the ‘longest attending’ pupils. 11 years of school socials, plays, concerts, class presentations etc. We were almost a part of the furniture!
So I won’t pretend the last few weeks have been easy.
Realising ‘we’re really doing this’ – looking at other schools and obtaining application forms (something I’ve not had to do since my 14 year old was 19 months old!) – sent my nervous system into shock.
As did this: Visiting a school that I just sobbed walking around, dealing with an archaic obstructive mentality that exists in certain school administrations, learning that certain schools teach specific subjects only in Maltese (a non starter for my kids), discovering that many schools (from both the government and the private system) set a COLOSSAL ten to twelve compulsory Matsec (Malta’s GCSE) exams in addition to the optional subjects, realising that some schools don’t offer art or design or music or drama at Matsec level and one school doesn’t teach geography or history at all!
The tears, they did flow.
Schools exist in all sorts of shapes, sizes, facilities, curriculum, teaching style and philosophy. State…private…grammar…international…a high scoring school that everyone’s desperate to get their kids into…or a jungle you wouldn’t send your worst enemy to…
Whatever the options available, there is no such thing as the perfect school. What you might see as a school’s best points might be my very reasons not to choose that school.
Were there things about our school I didn’t much like, that may possibly not be an issue after changing schools? Yep…
A preoccupation with encouraging Valentine’s Day and Prom celebrations in place of honouring World Book Day or culturally significant days, an inadequate language programme, increasingly expensive school events, modest facilities, a rather ‘relaxed’ health and safety approach in certain scenarios, a seemingly non-existent approach re teaching manners/enforcing a respect for authority and an inability/refusal to deal with bullying behaviour, which you may recall from that viral post I published last year.
But of course there were things I just loved. Things that made it so so very special. Things that I will sorely miss….
The cosy inviting feeling of the converted buildings and their wonderful historical significance.
The family/community spirit.
The nurturing, collaborative educational methods (at primary level).
The theme-based curriculum.
The EXCELLENT art programme and art festivals that used to leave me speechless with admiration.
The relaxed understanding attitude regarding absences and vacation time.
And the class sizes of 17 or so.
The list goes on.
My kids have been blissfully happy there for the most part.
So the more I researched alternative schools and
– heard stories of physical bullying
– spoke to friends who told me about teachers who simply don’t show up
– managed my children’s reactions and feelings
– got told by friends that changing schools will have a damaging effect on the eldest
– and discovered that two friends were pulling their kids out of the very school for which I’d applied only to be told by that school that we’re not in the right catchment area anyway (!),
I was a tad drained.
By the time I went to inform the Head of our current school of our decision, I thought I’d at least be able to get through the conversation in one piece, with no tears.
Wrong. Seriously, how were my tear ducts not exhausted?
Then there was this week’s Grade 8 drama show. The last time I’ll see my eldest sing at this lovely school. Once again she simply blew us all away with her strong moving solo. (No I’m not a stage mum. She’s got a great voice. Simple.)
As Musical M belted out the lyrics of This is Me, a song about self-empowerment and rising up against tormentors who try to drag you down, there were more tears. (I thank God for my enormous black Ralph Lauren’s without which my blubbing would have been totally exposed to everyone.)
The painful irony of M singing these lyrics, standing next to the very mean girls who’ve made her life a misery the last few years, was not lost on those people who know the situation.
How have the kids taken it?
M is very emotional about the move. And quite frankly terrified. Dreamy D (now 11) said “Mummy, it’s really hit me how I don’t want to leave my school”. M told me that Cheeky K (8yrs) burst into tears the other day about it all too.
Will I cry my eyes as we walk out the gates for the last time? No need for me to reply.
Will I lose sleep the night before they start at their new school, whereever that may be? No need for a reply.
Will I spend the long (even longer than we had in this current school) Maltese summer holidays staying strong for my kids? No reply needed.
BUT all three totally understand our reasons for and benefits of changing schools.
There hasn’t been one outburst or flash of anger or even plea to stay. Their reaction has filled me with pride.
I am convinced it will also do them good in so many ways.
They have spent years saying goodbye to at least two classmates at the end of each academic year. It’s the nature of the international school; students come and go all the time. It takes its toll. M has been heartbroken every single time a friend has left the island. This is their chance to make and hang on to more long term friends. And to be honest, 11 years for M and 8 for D is more than most students stay at this school! There are worse things in life.
As I finish this post in the small hours, before our last morning at this school, I feel strangely numb. There will continue to be many times when my heart is heavy but I also know there are several more reasons to have faith in our decision.
There are always reasons to be positive!
The earlier schoolday start and finish times sure as hell aren’t one of them though.
Fancy giving my kids a lift…?
Are you one of those people who’s an arts and crafts wizard?
The kind who can whip up the most amazing creation with nothing but a few buttons, some glue, a piece of foil and a cereal box? Or are you like me?
The kind of person who can barely draw a straight line?
Why do I ask? Well, all I’ll say is this week’s words of wisdom and vlog are inspired by none other than my a total parent fail…and my 7yo daughter who led me to come up with the following:
Want to know why I came up with this? Of course you do. Go watch 🙂
In the eight years we’ve been in the school system, we’ve seen a lot of transition due to the frequent arrival/departure of expats.
My kids have made and said goodbye to a lot of friends and obviously I have met many different types of parent over the years. People are people are people. Despite the myriad nationalities and cultures of people whose children attend school,
I think it’s fairly safe to say parents tend to fall into certain types or groups and to be fair, these types can be spotted all throughout life.
In fact, I read somewhere that writing something like this is similar to writing horoscopes: most people are bound to fit into at least one of the categories. Well so be it. The fact is, I have ‘spotted’ all these types of parent at some point or another over the years. It goes without saying, I’m one/a few of the:
1. The Interrogator
Asks more questions in a one hour orientation meeting than most kids ask in an entire academic year. If the Spanish Inquisition were around today, this parent could ‘out question’ them. You can actually hear the teacher’s eyes roll back in his/her sockets as he or she is continually interrupted or asked questions about topics that have already been covered or were in the introductory letter that was sent out for crying out loud.
This is the teacher, not the parent!
2. Mr and Mrs Nice
Just arrived and genuinely lovely people. They both exude warmth and are always smiling even when they’re having a bad day. In fact, one wonders if these two ever have a bad day. They also seem to have bags of time on their hands as they are often seen dropping off and picking up together. Every kid wants a playdate with their kid…every mum wants a coffee date with the mum and every dad wants to play golf with the dad.
3. The My-Kid My-Kid My-Kid Parent
Can you provide more PE lessons a week for the sporty children? Will you provide extra homework for the advanced students or more activities for the ones who need extra stimulation?
Good grief, for reals?! Don’t get me wrong. I can see they are all actually quite valid questions in a way. But the My Kid My Kid parent does not ask these to genuinely acquire useful information. Nope. It’s mainly to drive it home to the rest of us parents that their child is the leader of the pack. Let’s face it, they could just have a quiet word with the teacher about that, n’est-ce pas?
This parent will often trample over other parents’ kids to get theirs ahead in life because apparently playing fair is for losers. Whether it’s practically knocking another parent out of the way to get to the front of the queue for after-school activities enrolment (alright knocking just sounded good) or sneakily grabbing the last slot at that popular party venue they heard two others discussing at the school gates, there is nothing the My Kid My Kid parent won’t do to get their child ahead. Beware, this parent’s mission is to raise masters of the universe and heaven help you if you attempt to get in their way (and by get in the way I mean simply do right by your own child).
4. Ice Queen / King
Looks right past you when you attempt to smile or say hello. They will never know who you are despite both of you having kids in the same class (for the last four years). No prizes for guessing they haven’t the faintest idea who your kid is either.
5. Too Cool for School
Happy to make an effort chatting to people at the gates, this parent is friendly but has long given up on getting close to anyone after being burned a few times. Feels like it’s all rather hard work mixing with the melé. Some may think them a bit aloof but this parent has simply learned the art of self preservation by avoiding the cliques and making most of their friends outside school.
6. The Old Timer
Typical characteristics are friendly, approachable and helpful for the genuine good of the school and not for any personal agenda. This parent has been around the block a few times with kids of various ages at the school. There is no smug ‘Been There Done That Got the Tshirt’ aura emanating from this one. They are just a genuine good egg.
7. The Calculated Networker
Beware of this charmer. First name: Uber. Last name: Popular. An absolute pro at schmoozing their way into mutually beneficial circles. Knows everyone with five minutes of arriving and has sized everyone up (wealth, partner’s job and useable connections). Cleverly ‘recruits’ best friends for their kids as well as a BFF they know inside out (despite only just having met) and wouldn’t you just know it…their spouses are best buds too! Moves onto the next posting, new country and deftly does the same all over again at the next school.
8. The ‘Wait…I Have Kids?!’ Parent (MIA)
Rarely to be seen as they usually send their child on the school bus or with the nanny so you never get a chance to get to know them. They’re never at sports day or concerts. The nanny is though. They don’t help with homework. Another member of staff does that. Playdates? The nanny’s there… And then you find out it’s not because the MIA parent is a busy working mum or dad. Rumour has it they just don’t like the erm parenting part of parenting. Ouch.
9. The Non Participator
Wouldn’t mind offering the odd day here and there for school trip attendance or reading assistance but has enough trouble fitting in mother/household duties never mind fitting in all that malarkey too! Ahem.
Hmmmm….who’s this then?
10. The Frazzled One
Looks permanently stressed even when not stressed and actually having a good day (yep I’m looking at my shoes right now). Totally struggles Monday to Friday to get anything constructive done beyond grocery shopping and occasionally hoovering the house and genuinely wonders how on earth other mums help out so much at school and get stuff done in the the six hours between drop off and pick up (or seem to…). Often late. (Much looking at one’s shoes right now…)
Not to be confused with:
11. The Frightened Deer
Looks more worried than their own kids the first day (week…month…term) of school. Extremely quiet and hardly anyone knows their name nor they anybody else’s. It’s like they are there but not there. Literally looks like an animal caught in headlights, the poor deer, I mean dear.
12. Queen Bee
Ah…there is nothing, N-O-T-H-I-N-G let me tell you that this woman (yep it’s usually a female) is not involved in. Every school event, reading day, library help, school trip, concert, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g…they are right there at the forefront. Unlike the Seasoned Old Timer (who has no ego-driven reasons for helping out and simply wants to do their bit for the betterment of their child’s school) Queen Bee sees herself as crucial to the smooth running of the entire establishment. Don’t you know the entire school would fall apart without her?! Woe betide anyone who tries to ‘steal the show’…you know, by just trying to do their bit too.
13. Not-My-Kid Not-My-Kid Parent
Extremely competitive, this parent cannot/will not even entertain the thought that their precious little cherub could possibly intimidate their way throughout the school day or indeed entire school life. It doesn’t matter How. Many. Times. this parent is contacted by the school regarding their child’s behaviour (which clearly violates the school’s official code of conduct) it will always be the other child’s fault. (Funnily enough, this parent will not hesitate to wave the same code of conduct in the Head’s face when it suits them.)
14. The Go With The Floooooow One
And finally, the one I’d love to be. They are neither the tiger parent you wish really became extinct like the animal that gave its name nor the frazzled one; they’re just über calm and laid back. They are neither popular nor unpopular; they are just happy with their circle. They’re neither over-involved nor totally detached; they just do enough. Zen. All the way. And just look at those happy kids.
On a serious note, we parents come in all shapes, flavours and colours. The one thing we’re definitely (hopefully?) united in is our love for our kids…yep, even those Queen Bees without whom the whole operation probably wouldn’t run as smoothly!
All gifs courtesy of http://www.giphy.com
You might also like the fabulous 9 Different Types of Parents at the Playground by the hugely talented Talya of Motherhood The Real Deal.
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I had a surreal dream the other night.
(impressive because I don’t usually dream) that I’m pretty sure featured some famous actor type in it. Nope I’m not going to share the details because a) having three kids has destroyed my brain and I can’t remember who he was (there are no words to describe how cheated I feel by this…NO words) b) even if I could remember the details, it would be just my luck that my mother or one of my kids’ teachers or that helpful lady at the bank who I probably shouldn’t have mentioned my blog to, would read this post and be slightly stunned by the revelation. Of course, knowing my dumb luck, nothing exciting even happened and he probably just changed my car’s tyre or told me where the washing powder aisle was at the supermarket (because only in dreams do weird things like that happen).
Anyway, my mind wandered a bit and I got to thinking about this motley crew.
Okay, perhaps my mind wandered a bit too far.. I am married after all. Married, in fact, to a man who trumps all of these guys (I have to say this because that nice lady at the bank might miss this post but HE won’t). It turns out, they’re no threat because the more I thought about it, the more I realised it just wouldn’t work out between me or any of them. No, it’s not because one of them’s young enough to be my son and one of them’s old enough be my dad. Or the small fact that they’re all screamingly famous so I wouldn’t stand a chance anyway. Stop coming up with your own theories, thank you very much Now, do you really want to know why? Of course you do!
So here are some confessions…
Warning: get the blood pressure tablets ready.
Oh Bradders. Why so orange? I’ll tell you why: Too much fricking fake tan. Silly boy.
You are THE man. But how can I put this? We’re from physiologically different origins. Basically, you’d hurt me.
Yeah, you’re gorgeous with that yummy accent of yours plus the fact that you’re a fellow Brit helps. But how I can I take you seriously, when you wear your underpants over your clothes, mon cher Henri?
First, you’re gay. Second, even if you weren’t, there’s no way I’m changing my name to Bomer. Because Boner. Sorry mate but I can’t keep a straight face over things that aren’t even half that funny.
Oh Adam ADAM! Of all the men in all the world… YES, YES, YES! I mean I just know you wrote Animals and Sugar for me, you lovely man. (Thanks awfully by the way.) But all those tattoos…I’d just get distracted and stop in the middle of ‘proceedings’ to read you.
Here’s the thing…I would. But you’re all loved up with that Eva. Now, I may be a strong Punjabi woman but man those Latina girls… I’m no match. All fiery temper and hypnotic wiggly hips. Nah. Not worth the headache, mate.
Once upon a time. Yes, defo. You could have been my very own Pirate of the Mediterranean. (See what I did there?). Now? You look like you need a shower JD.
I just have this weird feeling we’d never leave the house. Not because of non stop rabbit-like activity. But because you look so well groomed I don’t think you ever leave the bathroom much less the bedroom. Be a love and move along now.
Hey Jude (I know…me so original). Look I don’t blame you. It’s just that receding hairline. Now I admit my beloved Hubster hath no hair (what can I say…I think the stress of meeting me made it all fall out). But he was like that from early on so no surprises there. But you Jude on the other hand, YOU won me over in the 90’s and noughties with that full head of hair. Alas, now you’ve lived up to your name and it turns out you’re a proper JUDAS for letting it fall out, mate. Okay, so maybe I do blame you.
Because you’d break my heart. I’ve always known it. And besides, I’d fall asleep waiting for you to get out of that damned red metal suit thing judging by how many times it malfunctioned in Iron Man 3 (seriously man it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r ). Can’t. Deal.
You really do seem like a nice guy and all. But there’s just no room in my life for someone with that amount of hair product. NO ROOM you hear me? Plus I reckon I’m old enough to be your mum. #AintNoCougar
Not it’s not the most recent pic but it’s a good one ha ha. Have to admit I’m tempted because a) I want to relive that Jerry Maguire scene and tell you to show me the money (seriously show me the money right now) b) I’m RIDONKulously excited at the thought of not needing a step stool just to reach you as you’re barely taller than me. But that megawatt smile of yours. Soooo 80’s. Sooo over it.
Mr Neeson…oh Mr Neeson…honestly I’d love to. You’re a man’s man. That gravelly voice. Those brooding eyes. I love that. And that accent. Oh God help me.
But you see I’m… wait for it…
Drops mic. Exits stage left.
P.S. Please note Justin Timberlake and Dave Grohl have been omitted for a reason…I’m still clinging to hope.
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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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A mother of three is being treated for exhaustion as the school year draws to a close. Our Daily Fail undercover reporter (posing as a stressed father with Man Flu) managed to obtain a copy of the hospital admissions form containing Mrs Prabulous’s own reasons for seeking help. It makes for sorry reading. Amongst her sins were:
– Failing to RSVP to birthday party invites
– Telling her youngest there were no more spaces at an after-school activity because she “couldn’t bear to spend one more minute in the effing car to get there”
– Failing to check homework folders since May April
– Hardly ever remembering ‘”that fricking library book”.
Even worse, the pint-sized British Asian mother who lives in a four bedroom house by the sea in Malta (this is the Daily Fail remember…we love to throw in totally irrelevant shit like that and pretend it’s real journalism) confessed that her biggest crime of the school year was feeling actual relief when her eldest went down with a suspected case of chicken pox forcing the whole family to miss a school event. She confessed:
“I nearly did a jig in the middle of the lounge upon realising that I was off the hook having to make entire trays of tandoori chicken for the British table at the biggest event of the school year. Wrong. Attitude.”
A senior consultant at the clinic that deals mainly in treating Syndrome of The Underachieving Chronically Knackered Yelling (SUCKY) Mother said “This is not an isolated case. We’ve actually seen a sharp rise in this sort of case over the last few weeks. It’s not unusual for stressed out mothers to be admitted complaining of lunch box boredom, school project frustration, PTA exhaustion and utter dread over ‘that stupid new maths long division method’. However, if I’m honest, this is the most severe case we’ve treated so far.
“Mrs Prabulous is not just suffering from run of the mill fatigue. Upon closer analysis, we noticed serious symptoms of general disorganisation and apathy. When interviewed upon her arrival, she admitted she:
– has considered giving her kids a packet of crackers and a jar of nutella between them and “just letting them fight it out in the playground” as she was tired of coming up with lunches that all three would finish.
– was the last parent to pay for end of year teachers’ gifts
– resorted to using her five year-old’s Hello Kitty markers to write the children’s names on clothing as she never got round to ordering name labels. Ever.
– got the school start date wrong once leading her kids to miss the first two days of term.”
Mothers at her children’s school have been shocked by the developments. “We always knew she wasn’t the most organised or involved of mothers but this is a shock” said one who did not wish to be named.
The Daily Fail’s special investigations unit has learned that the clinic was full of mothers repeatedly asking “Is it wine o’f*ckingclock yet?”, clutching crumpled unsigned class trip forms and muttering something about waiting for the bell to ring on the last day of term and collapsing at the finish line.
Doctors have identified the condition suffered by Mrs Prabulous.
It is called Sheer Relief.
It is often replaced by another disorder 48 hours later:
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Live from the Absolutely Prabulous household, I bring you seven of my family’s bloopers this Father’s Day weekend. Okay, so the photography isn’t exactly stellar but hopefully you’ll forgive me. Nevertheless, don’t say I don’t spoil you.
1. YOU KNOW HOW KIDS MAKE STUFF (LOTTTTSSSSA STUFF) FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS…and then bring it aaaallllll home so that you have to throw yet more essential items out of your house just to display/store it all? Well Dreamy D made a booklet about his relationship with his father. Now I’m not denying his dad is bigger (and darker) than him and I’m NOT laughing at my kid’s artistic abilities (because frankly, the boy can do a better job than I can of drawing). But…but…isn’t that Indian Rambo (or should I say Ram-bo?) on the left and Pee-Wee Herman on the right)?? What is with Ram-bo’s neck?!
2. ISN’T IT SURPRISING HOW KIDS VIEW THEIR PARENTS? I have to say I was ‘interested’ to learn Dreamy D thinks his dad is both short and tall at the same time (two small balls on the left…no I’m not making personal comments about his dad…I mean that’s where you’ll find it on the pic). Apparently, his dad also plays golf…who knew?
3. HIS DAD’S A SUPER HERO…HANG ON, WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT NECK? Alright, what kid doesn’t think his dad is a hero? It’s more how Ram-bo’s neck seems to have disappeared that’s worrying me here (and has my son got his dad wearing a cape or a dress here or am I nit picking?)
4. CHEEKY K GOT IN ON THE ACTION TOO. I love the little wallet style card she did with treats on individual paper tokens for him to pull out. Woah…but how is him ‘picking a chore’ a treat? (And anyway, it’s hard enough getting him to do chores the rest of the year, so how is that going to work on his day OFF?)
5. DID CHEEKY K’S TEACHER GET THE KIDS TO DO AN UNDERWATER SCENE because she knows that this is where all Mummies would like to throw Daddies when Daddies are being completely bloody annoying? No? Oh, my mistake.
6. I USED TO READ THINGS PROPERLY BUT IT’S NOT GOING SO WELL LATELY. After buying my son a birthday card for a “Dear Cousin…”, I think I may have gone one better with the Father’s Day one I bought on behalf of my kids. Can you spot the problem? You know, considering I have two girls and a boy… What can I say? I’ve turned into my mother; well they say it happens…
7. THE ICING ON THE CAKE HAS GOT TO BE THIS… A while ago I was worrying about how to explain the birds and bees to my kids but I don’t think I need to worry anymore. It looks like Dreamy D’s figured out how he got here (although it’s a bit weird he chose to show this on the Father’s Day card he made). Oh no, wait, those are celebratory balloons…
Gotta love it.
There’s a certain female chef on TV…I won’t say her name cos I’m too damn chicken…she’s Australian though. I can’t decide whether I love her or hate her. I think it’s a bit of both. I love her for the yummy oh-so-simple peach and almond tart she’s introduced into my family’s lives. I quite liked her red fruit millefeuille and Thai fishcakes but I aged about 20 years watching her slow-roasted lamb recipe (and quietly wondered if Australians don’t actually have to pay electricity bills as they seem rather obssessed with slow roast dishes which take two days to make).
Hubster recently went to Australia on business and his business contact invited him for dinner and made a roast lamb dish that took about seven hours to cook. If I roasted something in my oven for that long, the Maltese Electricity Board would hunt me down as I’d have single-handedly caused an energy crisis.
Anyway, just as I was warming to this Australian female celebrity chef whose name I’m still feeling cowardly to reveal (all I’ll give you is that she wears a lot of white), she embarks on a blueberry muffin recipe with the opening line “I love this recipe as I can make these while my kids are still sleeping so I can get lovely warm muffins in their lunch boxes by the time they’re ready for school”.
Let me tell you how the mornings go down in my house: I run around like a lunatic with wild hair trying to dress myself, reminding three kids to brush their teeth and wash their faces etc like I’m saying it for the first time each and every bloody time, locating missing library books, rolling my eyes while they take forever to eat breakfast, raiding the fridge and cupboards for vaguely healthy lunchbox ingredients and generally losing the will to live.
This woman gets up and BAKES MUFFINS.
It’s a good job she’s in Australia. It’s too far for me to go just to punch her.
You know you haven’t got this parenting thing right
when you decide not to send them homemade lunches today, in favour of buying them hot pizzas at lunchtime. And then later you sit in your favourite cafe writing a post called 10 Signs of the Scatty Mama mentally patting yourself on the back for spending quality time with your youngest (when in actual fact she’s occupying herself with jigsaw puzzles, colouring for three hours and sipping babyccinos while you work on your blog).
And then you head off late to the grocery store
and as you’re salivating over the baked goods section and putting doughnuts into a bag as an afternoon treat for the kids, you shriek “**** I FORGOT THEIR LUNCHES!” so you grab some sorry-looking pizza slices from the bakery but you can’t call the kids’ teachers to let them know you’re on your way because you left your phone at home that morning (again) and you feel sick to your stomach at the thought of your other two kids sitting at school wondering where the hell their stay-at-home-mum is while everyone around them eats food lovingly prepared by proper mums, some of whom work and who don’t forget their kids’ lunch.
So you end up flying around the store like a lunatic
literally throwing stuff into the trolley at breakneck speed with your three year-old in the front seat firing nonsensical questions at you and then you line up at the ‘under 10 items checkout’, realise you have 11 items, line up at the correct checkout, literally throw everything onto the belt at breakneck speed like a lunatic, throw it all into shopping bags, run to the car, get to school way after they’ve all gone back in after lunch, endure hurt looks from your kids and faintly disgusted looks from their teachers and learn that some of the teachers scrambled around for food for your son who was crying.
Afterwards, you rush home and throw the food into the freezer
and fridge, grab your phone, nuts and chocolate (yep I really did say you grab your phone, nuts and chocolate), head off an hour late to your amazing baker friend for her help in grinding them up for a dessert that you promised to make for a fundraiser the next day because you bust your own food processor the week before when you made the same dessert.
Then your husband (who never questions your parenting)
calls you and questions your parenting…and you feel so deflated at your rubbish mothering skills that you end up gratefully accepting your friend’s invite to stay for lunch when you should really be heading home to put your toddler down for her nap and hang out that laundry load. And later when you’re going to school to get the kids, you think how celebrity mums like
Angelina, Gwyneth and Victoria just don’t have days like this
(how would they when they have an entire army of childcare and domestic employees helping them fake the image of the hands-on-mum?) and you get to school so late that your kids have gone back into the school building…and then you get your husband from work and he drops you back at your baker friend’s house but turns up again a bit later because on his way back to work he discovered you’d left your phone in the car. Then you go home, finally prepare dinner, get the kids fed and get everyone upstairs for bedtime but as you’re bathing them, you think
“Oh crap, I don’t have eggs or sugar for the dessert”
and you realise the local store will close before you’ve finished bathing the youngest. So your eldest has to change back out of her pyjamas and run to the store to buy some and as she’s leaving the house, she discovers the house keys in the front door and it’s at that point that you realise how fitting it is that you wrote 10 Signs Of The Scatty Mama just that morning…
…and that you need to borrow one of those employees from Angelina, Gwyneth or Victoria…