Of colouring in …..

This week I was further reminded what a stickler for detail Connor is, and how upset he gets when he can’t do something along the way that he feels it must be done.

He is the kind of child who not only wants to colour between the lines, but needs to colour between the lines.

I have watched how stressed he gets when he is quietly drawing and Georgia is sitting next to him.  She takes her crayon and just goes “bos” – colouring with total abandon, and like she is possessed.  She just freaking colours like her life depends on it.

The harder and wilder her crayon strokes are, the happier she is.  The more wild and exaggerated her strokes are, the more concerned Connor gets that she might leave her page and end up on his neat page – every now and then she does and he totally freaks out.

Next to her Connor sits and painstakingly draws each stroke with care and diligence – often with his tongue sticking out the corner of his mouth in concentration.  Totally absorbed in his task, with everything perfectly just so.

This morning we were running a bit late.

I can blame the lack of cold water, so I needed to boil pots and kettles so I can have just enough water to splash around in rather than stand a cold shower.  I had about 2cm depth of water in the bath, once I got in to it.  But it beat the crap out of a cold shower, or going to work stinky.

I can blame the fact that I forgot it was Speech Therapy day.  I had to find Georgia’s book, then find Pritt and sit and stick all her homework stuff in her book –her homework stuff that I did not do <sigh>.  The Speech Therapy teacher probably has me on the “shit parent” list already – and no doubt tut-tuts that this is exactly why my five year old speaks like a three year old.

I could also blame the fact that Georgia was arguing with me about wanting to bring something to school and a little power struggle broke out in the passage.

I could also blame the fact that I had to turn back and go home, as Georgia had forgotten to put her Speech Therapy book into her bag, though I had reminded her four times, and had actually seen it in her hand on the way to the car.

While driving I casually said: “Georgia have you got your Speech Therapy book?”

To which she answered: “Mommy I think we need to go home….”

I could blame all of those things, but the honest reason is I did not get out of bed until 07h05 – so that compounded with all of the above, made me leave home at 07h55 – for the second time this morning.

That being said, traffic lights and traffic flow were on my side and I drove/flew into Connor’s school at 08h05.  There were still tons of kids being thrown out of harassed parents cars at that point, so I took comfort from that.

I say to Connor: “Listen follow that boy, he is going around the back end of the school and you can just walk to class and go and sit down and no one will know. You are barely late.  Look at all of these kids.”

Connor: “I need to go and sign in and go through the front entrance as I am late.”

Me: “Just walk around the side here by aftercare, and go to your class, I bet the kids are not even inside the class yet, the bell probably just rang.”

Connor: “I need to go and sign in….”

Me: “You really do not need to, you are not really late, but if you feel you want to …. well….”

Connor: “I am going to go through the front entrance and sign in …. Bye mom, bye Georgia!”

So off my son goes, avoids the shortcut that I showed him, so he can walk past the receptionist’s office and sign in, as the rules are the rules.

I think he is going to have a hard life with the need to always have to keep his crayon in the lines.

Of items lost and found …..

I am permanently searching for miscellaneous items in our house … the vast majority not being for me.

I place my car keys on the cow-design key holder when I come in to the house.  I put my shoes in my cupboard or next to my bed.  My clothes go into the wash box, and my smaller items go on the side table next to my bed, right next to my book and my cell phone.

I know where my things are, as I do not have time to find them later as I am too busy finding stuff for other members of my family.

My kids come to me when they can’t find their clothes, shoes, bags, toys, books and so on – as if I have a built-in radar to locate these things.

They tend to get upset as kids do – so often misplaced things are treated like critical emergencies.  I have to stop what I am doing and go and assist them to find it – which actually means they sit on the bed and start telling me arb and seldom interesting stories while I am on my hands and knees looking in cupboards and under beds.

Kennith has also taken to asking me where things are – which I find really annoying.  Kennith’s ability to put things away in their correct place is often left wanting.  He will usually go: “I can’t find my xyz – have you seen it?”

I will always reply – with a slight condescending tone in my voice: “where did you leave it?” implying that where he left it is the reason that he is now including me in this rather jolly version of hide-and-go-seek.

Kennith’s answer will inevitably be – on the floor, next to the bed, in the lounge, on the dining room table or some other random spot.  Somehow his inability to put anything back in its correct spot and the fact that he spends ages looking for it, and then asking me to be part of the search has not really correlated in his mind.  So he continues to place items randomly about the house and then gets himself worked up when these items cannot be located.  It often appears to be the “maid’s fault…”

Our maid takes her job rather seriously in terms of tidying up and packing away – which again seems to come as a shock to those who leave their precious possession lying around.

Connor and Georgia are both at school.  Fetching them in the afternoons has really become more a game of remembering what they were wearing, what they were carrying and then retrieving all these items before we get into the car.

If I am distracted, we will drive off and I will realise we are missing shoes, juice bottles, lunch boxes, school bags, jackets and various other items of a personal nature.

None of this affects them directly.  It only seems to affect me as I will need to go and find them the next day.  If they are really gone, then I will need to purchase another one.  It seems you cannot send your child to school without lunch, shoes and a jacket and be expected to be viewed as a good parent – even if you send a note to school explaining that you are teaching a valuable life lesson.

Last week Connor lost his book bag.  It is a large blue zipper bag – and contains all his work that he is doing at school, including homework book, any notices of events, flip files that contain current work – in short it is really an important bag that he needs in class every day.

So he loses it on Thursday.

Friday he says he has looked everywhere for it.  Now I am not sure how he has looked everywhere when he cannot give me a list with one location that he has looked.

We go off to lost property on Friday afternoon and it is not there.  We cannot go to his class as it is locked, so I am convinced it is at home.  I spend a fair bit of Saturday morning and a bit on Sunday looking for this bag, sure that he has brought it home and he has misplaced it there, as he has so clearly explained he has looked EVERYWHERE at the school.

There I am crawling under beds, looking inside things, checking the boot of the car and so on.  Connor, has no idea where this thing in – I think the only reason that he is looking mildly upset is because I have explained how serious it is if this bag is lost for good.  I have used my angry-mommy voice, which is very much like my angry-bridezilla voice at the moment.

Monday I leave work early, as now I am going to school to collect him and play project-find-the-flipp’n-book-bag.

I arrive at school, and happiness is – he has found his book bag.  Yay!

My natural question is “where was it?” He sort of mumbles a bit. I lean forward to extract an answer.  It seems it was in after care.  The same place he said he looked – exhaustively – on Friday.  After care is only so big.

From this I gauge  – and from his manner of talking which is a tad sheepish – that Master Connor actually spent no time at all on Friday looking for his book bag.  He used his time wisely playing with his mates on the field.  Which I concur is a good way to spend your time if you are eight years old.  But not if you are losing things, and making your flipping mom spend ages looking for something that is not lost, was never lost and now mom is leaving work early to come and look for it.

So clearly even though Connor found his book bag  I am slightly less than excited.

Why you might say, in that judgemental tone you reserve for moms who are a tad too hard on their kids.

Well simply because at the time, I was reversing back into the school so Connor could go back to after care to find his lunch bag which he had now lost!

And this my friends, is why mothers MUST drink!

Speechless this morning…

Connor is in Grade 2 and he has a little homework book that he brings home every day. Because I work and often have things after work, he attends aftercare and there they have a great homework programme.

The result is that by the time he gets home he has done his homework – bless – and I can focus on getting him to eat his dinner, get in to the bath and argue with him about whether he has watched too much television. I do have to sign the homework book, which I also try to do each day and may spend a few minutes just touching on some of the homework revision.

But I will confess to being happy to outsource this to the aftercare programme. Trying to do homework with Connor while his two sisters are vying for my attention gets a bit challenging and chaotic.

Last week I was really not compus mentis and really should not have been operating heavy machinery on any of the days. I was having a bit of a depression low ebb funk that lasted all week. I glanced at his homework book and signed it , but did not take cognisense of what was there. What with trying to co-ordinate his chess lessons, getting him to and from his swimming gala, co-ordinating his tennis practice, practicing his numerics and his reading, all while trying to work full time, do the other stuff that moms and normal folk do.

There had been a request to send a box of smarties which I had overlooked. When the teacher placed the note ?smartie box? I had not understood what the hell she was referring to. Only afterwards did I realize my oversight. Well I duly apologized to all concerned and felt like a real tosser for signing something and not reading it (I realize that this alone might make me qualify to work in government) and I thought that was that.

This morning I am looking at the homework book to sign it, and Connor starts talking about the smartie box. I remind him that that was last week’s issue and there is nothing in this week’s homework that says he needs smarties again.

He then says: “My teacher says a SENSIBLE mom would read the week’s homework and get everything for the week, that’s what a SENSIBLE mom would do.” I think I responded with “What! She actually said that…” (I might have said “What the Fukc!” inside my head….)

Connor said yes, and merrily went on his way, our maid Pepe started giggling under her breath.

Note to self:

1. Go and see smartie teacher and give her a smack against the side of the head.

2. Reduce Xmas bonus for Pepe!