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.

Am I the only one wanting to run away from this year?

What the hell happened?  No seriously, what the hell happened to this year.

It is the first week of February and I feel like I have already been beaten by a rather larger, heavy and wet stick.

I am totally stuffed, and it is only the first week of February.  I have already suggested that I need a (several) weekends off, away from the kids – I just want to eat, read, drink tea, and sleep, and then repeat cycle, until I do not want to do any of the above.

I do not feel well rested.  I do not feel like I have built up sufficient resources to get through this stupid year.

The idea that I need to get through 10 months of this year before it is the “end” paralyses me with fear.

I do not have the resources to survive this year based on where I am and that I still need to cover a few dozen school books, do school projects that are given to me in the last minute, clean up dog poo as the stupid dog refuses to be house trained, probably go through the entire recruitment exercise to locate a new Pepe, make decisions about whether to eat a McMuffin or drink Herbalife every morning – for the record McMuffin has pretty much won hands down this week, and the rest of the stuff that life has to offer.

I am totally frayed and exhausted and have zero emotional cushion for this year ahead.

It is the first week of February, and I seriously cannot do an hour a day of driving kids to and from school, with them fighting and bitching and arguing.

I seriously cannot get through another hour trapped inside my car, with three kids fighting about who is looking out their window or who is touching who.

You know when you grab the steering wheel, and your knuckles go white and inside your head you are convinced you have burst an artery.  I am already at that point, and it is February.

I am actually trying to brace myself at the moment for the drive home with kids, I really really cannot do it today.

The next person who tells me to “savour every moment” is going to get a slap.  through the face. with a rusty spade.

On a related topic.

It is the first week of February, and I miss Aden Thomas on 567 more than I can say.

I listen to 567 Cape Talk when I drive the kids around.  I really am not a fan of loud incessant music, so the chatter of good folk, warms and often calms my soul.  I like to hear adults talk about adult things, in a fairly intellectual manner, and open subjects up to debate.  I learn something most days listening to Cape Talk.

This year I am stuck with Kieno Kammies.

Oh gawd, it has all gone so horribly wrong, and so quickly – I barely had a chance to regroup.  One minute I was happily listening to CapeTalk and bracing myself for the day, next thing I was wondering if I would have to find another radio station.

I love 567 Cape Talk.

Or I used to love 567 Cape Talk.

Now I am feeling somewhat betrayed that I am having to suffer the village idiot in the morning.

Could I not have Redi at 6 – 9am and who ever wants to listen from 9 take Kieno. Actually if Kieno went on from 13h00 – 15h00 there would be less of a chance that I hear his voice.  Africa, could I interest you in an early morning slot?

I feel more passionately about this than the referendum from 1994 or what ever.  I would so stand in a queue on this issue.

I would swap, good grief, I would so swap him right now.  If I had the power, I would push the copy and paste button and switch their schedules.

Aden Thomas used to ease me into my morning, and he was the calm in my morning drop off mania – he was the calm voice of reason – I chuckled with him, and sometimes I disagreed with him, but I still liked to listen to him

Now I have Kieno who makes me want to stop the car.  Dig in the boot to find my kid’s school bag.  Rummage through it for their stationery bag, then find an HB pencil and STAB MYSELF IN THE EAR.

I am almost sure a ruptured ear drum would be less painful than Kieno Kammies.

This morning I turned off the radio at a certain point as I could no longer bear him.

I ask you with tears in my blue eyes – karma what the fk are you doing to me?  What am I left with in the morning?

Screaming, arguing kids … that is what!!!!

Aden please come back.  Can we send Kieno where ever it is that you went, and leave him there?

I cannot do this year already.  I know I can’t do it with Kieno Kammies … when life hands you lemons, find an annoying kid with a paper cut!!

The lament of the reluctant mother with school going kids ….

The last two weeks are the mania that all parents face in January.

The happiness that school has finally started and that you have survived the school holidays.  The reality of handing large sums of money over to school outfitters and stationery store.

Can you say “how fast can my Xmas bonus disappear?”

There is a certain joy as you hand your child over to the teacher and think “thank goodness, that gets me at least 5 – 6 hours a day where my child can whine at someone else…” You try not to punch the air in happiness as you skip out of the classroom.  You wave good-bye to your offspring – or just run out and not wave good-bye.

Sometimes you are able to hold back until you get to the car, and then you can scream whoop-du-fkn-whoop at the top of your lungs.

Again, this might only occur in my neck of the woods, your reality may be far different.

I do not think that school teachers are being paid enough.  I have no idea what they are paid.  But what ever it is, they are not being paid enough. If they were being paid more, we may have negotiating power to insist they only take the mandatory 15 working days holiday a year.

When I was at school, we had to fill in a form in standard 8 about what you wanted to be when I grew up.

I filled in “school teacher” as I thought “winner, I love school holidays…and how difficult could it be?” My career counsellor looked at me and said “But you hate kids ….” and I agree that this detal may well be the flaw in my rather fantastic plan.  Instead I wrote “vet”.

This December/Jaunuary I was seriously considering offing myself with a bottle of wine, and car exhaust fumes if school holidays carried on for much longer.

At one point Kennith looked at me and said: “I am really tired of doing things with the kids ….”  I wish I could pass a reply in judgement, but the reality is I had already had the thought two weeks ago, and just been chewing the inside of my lip in the hope I could just survive until the 11 January.

This year Connor headed to Grade 4, and Georgia started Grade 1.

Georgia was dead excited about being in big school.  She only showed a mild annoyance with me that I deemed to hang around in her class while I looked on to see she was settled in. She wanted me to bugger off and leave her so that she could do some serious colouring in.

Her first week has gone off swimmingly, and she is as happy as a bat in guano.  I am already drowning in the deluge of school notes and co-ordinating her extra-mural schedule.

Isabelle started her first day of school today.

I was a bit blasé about the entire thing.  You know, what with being an old hand at this and all.  Love them and drop them.

Isabelle is so supremely confident that I thought I might just send her to school with the bus and enough money to get home.

I realised that judging by the other moms and their super kean keanness around open day, I should probably arrive in person for the first day.  I diligently went along and did the “first day thing” with the drop off, her sleeping mattress and her funky pink school bag, and packing all her stuff in the right place.

Unfortunately it ended it as all “first days do” with her clinging to my leg, screaming like her limbs were being removed, and the teacher nodding at me that it was okay to leave.  Me looking rather forlorn as my off-spring screamed and the tears ran down her flushed pink cheeks.

I did not so much punch the air as I got into the car, as let out a rather sad sigh and wished it had gone better.  I already regretted that we had reached this milestone so quickly – remember when she was born, it was just the other day.

I feel a bit guilty now about judging new moms so harshly that they want to sms the teacher during the day, and start fretting about Junior.

It is all I can do to not call the school to check on Isabelle … I am sure she is fine … or at least I really hope so.

First day of school pictures – trying to get that “thing” that is each child, and I think I have got it in each of these little montages/collages.

<<Connor – January 2012>>

<<Georgia – January 2012>>

<<Isabelle – January 2012>>