I know it’s only day 4 but Term 3 seems to be…. I believe the colloquial term the young people use is ”kicking my arse.’
1. Fail to get up half an hour before children to establish peaceful morning routine. Instead, get dragged away from electric blanket violently by small, unnaturally strong and hungry child. The pain in my back wakes up and says howdy. Apply coffee. Commence intense, chaotic forty-five minutes of shoe-searching, lunch-packing, toast-eating. Shit! It’s photo day. Plait hair and scrub uniform stains with kitchen sponge. Do the school drop off. I love you! Have a great day!
3. Take 2 y/old Pudding to town to run errands at Medicare and HCF. (Make the mistake of asking Angriest Woman In The Universe at Medicare office if she knows where HCF office was nearby. ‘It’s where it’s always been, ‘ she snarls. ’Hasn’t moved.’) I love you, lady! Have a great day!
4. Run random in-town errands with small Pudding who deals with the boredom of shopping by playing Hide and Seek. She’s adorable, but she’s heavy to haul out from under shelves and benches. Spit on tissue to rub baby-cino off Pudding’s face and feel connected for a moment to mothers throughout the ages. (Mothers – grossly invading your personal space since the dawn of time!) When Pudding lies full-length on the floor at Best And Less, clutching a pair of sequinned baby high-heels and wailing ‘But itsa my birthday!!!’ it’s time to go. (Past time on the toddlers meltdown clock by about ten minutes, actually.)
5. Home, make lunch for three, call Keith from his backyard office, snarf sandwich, complain to each other about our mornings. While he goes to change over the composting toilet (fun and fragrant!) I put Pudding in front of Play School while I clean the kitchen from breakfast (and the remains of last nights dinner. And maybe a bit of lunch from 2012.)
4. Take steak out of freezer for dinner. Pack bag for swimming (goggles, warm clothes, towels, enough afternoon tea to fill both raging after-school and after-swimming appetites of 5 and seven year old Peanut and T-Bone.)
5. Run a bath. Convince Pudding it’s time for siesta and put her in her cot with her books. Get in the bath with a cup of tea and a book and pray to the gods for half an hours peace.
6. Ten minutes later, Pudding calls out from her room. ‘Mama! I done a poo on my pillow!’ Get out of bath. Curse the gods. Put the bedding on a hot-wash. Apply coffee.
7. School pick-up. Take all three kids to osteopath appointment. Administer a stern outline of Expectations of Behavior. They behave well in the room, but I suspect the red snake I found on the floor of the car and promised to divide in three if they were good was the real motivator.
8. Race against clock to get to swimming lessons. Strip, watch, clap, strip, yell, dry, dress, pack back into car. Smallest child says she doesn’t want her Vegemite roll, donates it to big kids and then changes her mind. It’s world war 3. Pain in my back is growing more insistent.
9. Home. Unpack bags, chop vegetables, cook steak and noodles, avoid racing scooters, negotiate battles. Clean wee off bathroom floor. T-Bone follows me about the kitchen reading the school-photo booklet and making me discuss each possible photo pack. Fuck! Remember have not paid for school photos. Go online and find site, rail against setting up ‘account’, but make it through process. Find new wee on bathroom floor. Set table. Apply Nurofen Plus.
10. Sit down to dinner. Discuss social, cultural and political happenings of the moment. Children contribute with interesting and unexpected viewpoints , i.e ‘put a poo on your head.’
11. Readers, homework, bedtime. Get small ones to bed (I love you! Have a great sleep!) and then do the washing up while Keith combs conditioner-treatment through Peanuts hair for nits. Try to mentally gaffa-tape mouth but cannot stop giving advice To Keith who is doing it ALL WRONG.
12. Collapse on couch.
13. Dribble in sleep.
My apologies, office. I know it’s only day 4 of term but I’m not sure it’s going to get much better.
ps: Send Valium.