Valentine’s Day Massacre …

Last night around 19h00 – Connor tells me he has an oral to present today.

I try not to smack him along the side of the head.  But he reasons with me that he already knows what he is going to say, so it really is not a big deal.  I ask him does he needs props or posters, or pyrotechnics, like previous orals?

He looks at me in a way that indicates “yes, there needs to be a light show and some solid gold dancers…”

I take a deep breath, and try to remember that I actually do like my children, but for a moment there understand why one would send a child in to the woods, with a little red cape, a basket of food and knowing full well that a wolf might well eat your little darling en route.

Knowing this, you still send them off.  And pack some food into the basket to elicit the interest of wild hungry animals.  I now so get these little fairy tales.  All makes sense.

I suggest that I print some pictures out for him, and he can use that. Connor agrees that will be fine.

I sit down to do this task, trying very hard to keep the anger I am feeling at bay.  I am so tired of being told last-minute things from my kids.  It is exhausting.

Anyway, I do the pictures, we get kids into bed – as Connor comes in to say goodnight he reminds (insert tells me for the first time) that tomorrow is a Valentine’s Day picnic, and he needs to bring a picnic blanket and picnic stuff!

I freak the hell out.  Kennith tries to calm the situation down, and explains that we have enough odds and sods in the cupboard to put it together, so really nothing to go bezerk about (however bearing in mind no one packed this basket with goodies, as it was added to the things I should tackle in the morning, you know, because my mornings are so breezy and relaxing……)

This morning, I am getting Connor’s stuff together for his picnic, I am chasing kids to the car, the usual chaos of the morning – you know how it goes.  Packing bags into car, and Georgia goes: “We have a picnic at school, please can I also have a picnic blanket ….”

I think the vein in my neck popped.  Like through the skin – blood pumping against the garage wall — or it just felt like it.

I know I swore like a sailor.  I do think my kids all took one step back from me, because this was what they knew was going to happen, and the day had arrived.

I mean seriously, it is their stuff, how am I meant to remember everything? And whilst I am remembering, rushing to work, doing all the other shit that is life, I must have the “crystal ball” skill to know all the stuff I am not told, but have to prepare for.

It really annoyed me this morning.  Like EPIC PARENT lose your mind stuff.

I stand there and weigh up whether I should just say “well fk it, if you did not remember it, you do not get it …” and then know they will be the only kid at school without.

That will be fabulous, so of course I can’t let that happen, and now I kick into higher gear than I was before.

Get them in the car, get them each a picnic bag, blanket, we drive through the traffic to the shop – traffic is hectic.

I am sitting there quietly trying to work through why I am so angry, and that I should not use the time to rant in the car, because Connor will take it all on as “his fault” and I am not wanting to make him feel bad.  I have the radio off, as I think I will kill Kino Kammies this morning if I hear his stupid voice.

I am focussed, I just want to drive and not kill anyone.  Just get them to school.  To their safe place.  I promise myself a McMuffin if I behave.

So we are driving, and I am thinking about what I will get at the shop, and that this really is not a big deal, it is fine, no worries, just remind kids AGAIN to please tell me with sufficient warning.  It is fine.  This chaos is fine.  Really fine.  I am trying to remain in my “calm” place.

Then suddenly I get this feeling.

This morning I told Connor twice to put the “photographs for his oral” into his school bag.  Twice!

My hands grip the steering wheel a bit tighter.

Me: “Connor, please let me you put the photographs in your school bag, like I told you twice.  Please tell me you did not leave them lying on your desk table.  Because I sat up late last night to do them.  And I reminded you twice they were on the desk and you must put them in your bag.  This morning.  Twice.  Do not tell me that they are still lying on your study table…”

Silence … and this little voice “sorry mom….”

I really do not know at which point it would be acceptable to lose my frikn mind!  I swear on my Mcmuffin, that if I do not remember it all, and do it all, it fkn just does not get done!

I am seriously at my wit’s end – and it is February.

Please bear in mind, I have notice boards with notes on them in each kid’s room.  I tell them – clearly – that they need to do something.  I remind them.  I remind them again.

I try to stay on top of all this stuff – for them.  But I get no warnings, I am constantly been put on the back foot.

They do not have the milk the cow, or walk 25 kilometers to school – most of it is done for them, I give them 2 or 3 things to do per day.

Small things.

The problem is they still do not do it – unless I remind them over and over again.

And then really it is just easier to do it myself.

But I don’t – they must do it – they must learn some responsibility … right?

I swear how the hell are these things happening in other people’s homes?  I have clearly got this entire chapter on child raising wrong …. horribly wrong.  Are there study notes someone can send me?

Is the solution to just let kids eat, sleep and shit, and you pretty much do everything else for them, because they do not appear to retain a memory of anything.  Nothing.  Except of course if you promise them a lollipop and forgot to give it to them – then they remember if forever and bring it up repeatedly as a sign that your promises are worth sh&t.

It does not matter how much you scream, threaten, curse, promise treats, threaten to take things away, give things for doing, buy stickers are prizes for getting it right – I am so over this stuff – nothing works for a long time.

I have officially been beaten in this parenthood malarky.

I really need a holiday.  From my life.

Leave a comment


  1. Reading this post made me feel one helluva lot more comfortable with me and my kids. I am not the only one on earth dealing with this problem 🙂

    Good luck xxx

  2. Kennith

     /  February 15, 2012

    Today I took Connor and Georgia to school – Georgia told me half way that she forgot her tennis racket and i said tough! I then turned to Connor and said to him,”Aren’t you lucky that I did not take you to school yesterday when you had your oral, because you would have done it without your pictures.”

    Connor looks at me and says (no shit), “If you were taking me to school I probably would not have forgot it at home”

    Celeste – listen to the advice on this post – let them learn the hard way! And don’t punish him for his honest comment, learn from it.

  3. Charlotte aka Scaredmom

     /  February 15, 2012

    I didn’t read any of the comments – sorry. I have a little solution to your problem. It might help. Every week on a Friday I get a list from my daugters school fo what htey need and are doing the next week, I have made it clear to her that if anything changes she needs to call me. I cannot run around like crazy. Maybe phone the school and ask them for such a list.

    My brother is in high school and my mother gets monthly reports from his teachers to know id there are any projects to be done the month. Long story for why – but it can be done.

    PS: thats what I am doing now in my MY lunch time.

  4. Hilary

     /  February 15, 2012

    I agree with Carmin and Tara. You have to let them suffer the consequences. Trust me no one will think you’re a bad mother. And to those who do – fck them!! Who cares what they think? You certainly shouldn’t.

  5. Stacey Vee

     /  February 15, 2012

    There’s an article in the Jan/Feb issue of Good Housekeeping that has an article written by a mom whose daughter was late for school every day. She interviewed therapists and psychologists and child behaviour specialists, and eventually she made getting to school in time her daughter’s responsibility. She made a prezzie out of an alarm clock, and bling-blang-boom… the kid was late for school a couple of times (and it broke her mom’s heart, but she rode it out)… but after that, problem sorted. Not too sure I have the balls of steel necessary for this kind of life lesson, but hey – that’s one solution.

  6. Perhaps they do need a moment where they get the ‘well you forgot it so tough sh*t” treatment? I remember getting that once and never forgetting my gym kit ever again.

  7. Shelby B

     /  February 15, 2012

    I relate to your your posts often, but seldom respond. I’m just glad I’m not the only one – the lone rangers facing motherhood one crazy morning at a time. Sometimes I just throw my hands in the air and say OH WELL, I guess you can take it tomorrow. I am not Elastigirl, dammit!

  8. Been there, done that, with my two older stepsons (who might I add are in their 20s and STILL do F-all around the house, never mind sorting their own stuff out). And for my sins, I have 2 younger children waiting in the wings to look forward to doing everything for. Oh, the joys of parenting. We love them anyway, but boy do they drive us fkn nuts. Loved this post!

  9. countesskaz

     /  February 14, 2012

    While you’re probably still spent from your thrombo this morning, I think I wee’d in my pants reading about it. You are so funny. Like, in REALLY funny! Laughed out loud. Thanks for that. Bless your cotton socks.

  10. Tanya

     /  February 14, 2012

    hahahahahaha! loved this. sums up most of my mornings…

  11. HA! This is MY LIFE!!!!! I loose it daily when en route to school I get “MOM this book must be covered” or “I need R20” and EVERY day I ask them what they need, remind them to do this or that.

    It is freaking exhausting.

  12. Oh my hat, this was me this morning but you were me x10!! I feel a bit better now about my own freakout. My 13yr old always leaves everything till the last minute! After screaming and shouting at him to hurry up all morning and telling him 10 x last night to pack his stuff and make his sandwiches before he goes to bed, was it done??? Oooh, noooo. And when I dropped him off at school (after enduring the toddler’s performances too) he says ‘Uh mom, I know you have a meeting at 9 this morning but I left my Valentines sponsorship form at home…….’
    I did NOT go home to fetch it and almost burst a blood vessel. Deep breaths, deep breaths, happy thoughts!

    You are not alone

  13. Angelique Claasen

     /  February 14, 2012

    My one & only son is 3 yrs old so I’ve not lost contol yet…LOL but my mother told me something the other day that made me freak out..

    She said that we have children and then we have to take care of them until they are adults…but in today’s times it seems that we will have to take care of them until they grow old too… So I guess it’s a never ending story.

    Hope you enjoyed your McMuffin

  14. Loretta

     /  February 14, 2012

    Oh my greatness Celeste! You are a saint for not marching them off to the woods. I think Carmen has some sage advice. A couple of times of ending up at school and facing teacher’s wrath or the shame of being the “one without” may be just what is called for. I sometimes think our mom’s approach (or maybe it was just mine) to have her kids sort out their own shit (i.e. your school project, your problem) from a really early age is the only reason why she could manage having four kids and not lose all her marbles.

  15. Hi Reluctant Mom

    I get what you saying, why must you remember everything and I agree – WHY? But your kids take advantage of you and have no consequences when they do not tell you about something.

    So, I would say, don’t do all this sh@t, at least once. Like this morning, you should have let Georgia go to school without stuff. i can promise you, just once or twice of major embarrassment for them and you will probably have more willing children. Try it!

    Good luck! Seems like chaos at the moment…

  16. Colleen

     /  February 14, 2012

    omg, OK. I am having a mini anxiety attack just reading this! OMG, how do you cope??? Is this what is in my future. We are trying for # 2, DH wants 3. I love my son but he is still a baby… If this is what lays ahead…

    I am one of those anal people who has made the shopping list and planned in advance. Even his school stuff, but that is because he is a baby and his teacher reminds us all over, and over again. When he is older, I am not sure how I will cope… I hate last minute panic.

  17. Sharon

     /  February 14, 2012

    FEK! That’s meant to be humorous!

  18. Sharon

     /  February 14, 2012

    LOL! Sorry I’m laughing but you do have a very humours way of describing these things!

  19. carmin

     /  February 14, 2012

    I spoke to the boys mom, (the boys I look after) we decided that if our punishment did nothing when it came to me doing their projects that maybe the school should sort out ‘their problems’ (talk about washing your hands…) Anyway. After about 2 months the teachers punishments were working better. If the boys told us things on the last minute we wrote a note in their homework books. Teachers are the ones they have to ‘live with’ all day, not us. They all wanna be the teachers pet and have the best project. So let them work at it, they will learn, or at least the boys did 🙂 good luck.

    Ps- eat the mc muffin, have 10 as long as it makes you happy 🙂


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