Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just call me Chucky

Unless you count talking as a sport (and I totally do), then I am not what you could call a 'natural athlete'. Oh sure, I played sport when I was a youngster. My poor Dad coached my basketball team and tried fruitlessly to teach me how to catch the ball properly. It wasn't his coaching efforts that gave me a broken nose, I can tell you. I trained for years as a swimmer, until I gave it up (because I wasn't competitive enough). I loved my netball, especially before my knees turned 100. And for some very strange reason, I adored the hurdles in primary school. Not athletics, mind you. I abhorred any sort of track-and-field type event. Still do. But for some reason, I enjoyed throwing myself over the little steeples in the middle of a running race. I enjoyed it even more when I didn't hit them. (This, of course, was in the golden era before I needed a bra. Nuff said.)

If I was ever going to be a Spice Girl, it was never going to be Sporty. (Actually, promise you won't tell? Ok. I totally was Ginger Spice. Once. In my first year at summer camp in Pennsylvania, I wore a Union Jack tea towel and shook my jollies to a spectacularly-choreographed version of 'Stop'. Impressive, huh? Oh. You stopped at 'tea towel'. Gotcha.)

So anyway, given my lack of sporting prowess, it has come as a complete shock to me this week to discover that I seem to have grown a pitcher's arm. A scarily accurate throwing technique, if you like. The ability to hurl objects at moving targets without so much as batting an eyelid.

For example. On weekends, I have begun throwing any leftover vegetables I can find lurking in the crisper, into a saucepan, and somehow it turns into soup. There's no discrimination involved. Not much chopping, either. I just aim the veggies at the pot, bung in some stock, and simmer away. Voila. Instant soup. (As far as flavour goes...meh. Why go there?)

Since our household now resembles the 100m sprint every single weekday morning, I find myself throwing all sorts of things at the children in an effort to get out of the house on time. It's like magic. I chuck clothes at the big kids, and somehow the clothes end up on their bodies (I've tried this technique with the Mouse, and although the clothes are technically put on her body, obviously my throwing arm needs some work as her outfits don't always end up in the correct places...) I hurl breakfast at them, and sometimes it lands on a plate or in an actual bowl. I throw clothes on myself a tiny bit more accurately. Would hate to go to school naked. (Can't afford therapists' fees for my own kids, let alone 600).

I throw food in the supermarket trolley. I chuck clothes in the washing machine. I hurl toys away in various baskets and containers. I sling food into lunchboxes. My throwing arm knows no boundaries.

Just yesterday, my new skills were brought to my attention when I threw my child into her kinder room. Which totally sounds more violent than it was (well...sorta), so let me explain.

Being a Tuesday, I had to get to work, right? And being late is never in the plan. So when we were about to exit the building, and the Ballerina said she needed to go to the toilet, I huffily agreed and continued to throw essentials into bags. After five minutes, I called out to her. Was she doing something that required extra time? A magazine, perchance? No, Mumma, I'm finished, says she. Rightyo then.

Five more minutes later, I find my almost-five-year-old daughter standing in front of the mirror, mooning at herself and her bee-yoo-ti-ful hairstyle. Totally my fault, you see: I had put her hair into a 'bun' for the first time (and I use the term 'bun' very loosely) and she was completely in love with her reflection.

Seeing as I was now ten minutes late, you can imagine that I lost my mummy cool and chucked a tanty. Just a little bit. Which is why we arrived at kinder five minutes later, only to discover that not only had Phoebe been wasting time loving herself sick in the bathroom, but that she was shoeless and kinder bag-less as well.

Snatching the spare pair of sneakers out of my car boot, I ran the length of the daycare centre's corridor, threw Phoebe, the shoes and an apologetic glance at her teacher into the room, and bolted. I was so cross, I wasn't even sure if I'd slung my daughter into the correct room. Don't worry. I didn't really throw her. Not properly. She didn't bounce, or anything.

(And being the complete sook that I am, I nearly threw up with remorse when I got to school. So at lunchtime, I hurled myself back in the car and whizzed into her kinder to hug her in the middle of her sandpit. Apparently, she forgave me.)

Perhaps she should have thrown some extra kisses in my pocket THAT day. Huh.

So needless to say, I shocked even myself this week. I would never have guessed that I was capable of such sportiness. More specifically, I would never ever have contemplated chucking a kid into kinder. (Knowing my skills, I'd sling them into a wall or something drastic like that...) Not that I plan on throwing my children anywhere again soon. Goodness knows, Phoebs has been ready and waiting at the door every morning since, shoes on, bag in hand, hair un-admired. As has the Mouse and Jack. Hmmm...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A pocket full of kisses

I guess by now, most of you know me pretty well. (What's amazing is, you've stuck around...?!?!)

And it would be fair to say that I don't usually blog unless I've got something specific to get off my chest, or remember, or commemorate. Or rant about. Let's not forget about the ranting.

Now, I'm not dismissing my rambling. Or just plain old talking nonsense. I humbly acknowledge that the majority of stuff that comes out of my mouth (or out of my keyboard, if you want to be pedantic) is sheer blather. Even I don't know what I'm going on about most of the time.

But usually, mostly, on the whole, there's a point to my blogging. A reason, if you will, to get some sort of meesage across.

If I have nothing new to tell (or more specifically, if the cat has NOT wee-ed in my bed that day), then I generally leave you alone.

So, given that this is my usual style, and given that today was fairly ordinary, I had no intention of blogging tonight. There was only one little thing that I would have told you about, because it was so gosh-darn cute that I really, really want to remember it at Phoebalina's 21st (and obviously, at other times too. But you'll see why I need to tell it when she's trying to be a grown-up. It's squeal-makingly delightful). But other than that, all I had was a fart joke. Truly.

See, what happened during the kinder drop-off this morning was this: the kids and I all trooped into the daycare centre and started saying our kissy-huggy goodbyes to the girlies. The Mouse was having a happy morning, which meant I was too. As I hugged Phoebs goodbye, she blew a plethora of kisses at me through the air, and said, "Here, Mummy. Put these extra kisses in your pocket for later, when you miss me at school." And she patted my coat pocket, took Maisie's hand, and went to play.

Oh my. I think my heart just about burst with love and unshed tears. My beautiful, beautiful, baby girl. What a sweetheart. I patted my pocket, and took Jack back to the car, thinking about my Phoebalina, and what a loving little thing she was. What an amazing person to have in my life, reminding me every day of the incredible feeling of loving, and being loved.

I was aglow with love for my children, and honestly felt as though Phoebe had left me a little parting gift to make my day so much brighter. I felt those kisses in my pocket as much as if they were made of something tangible.

I buckled Jack into his car seat, hopped into my seat, and started the engine. Only to cop the full appreciation of the Mouse's parting gift to me, right in the nostrils. My youngest cherub had very kindly and thoughtfully left something in the car so that Mummy wouldn't forget her in a hurry either...the strongest fart known to toddlerkind. She must have dropped it as we exited the vehicle, in a silent-and-very-deadly fashion. It was a monster. Even five minutes after blast-off, Jack and I had to drive the rest of the journey with the windows down. Talk about wrong.

So as you can imagine, I really wanted to make sure I never forgot Phoebe's words to me this morning. That little act of kindness is something I want to tell her about when she's 15, and doesn't want to be in the same room as me.

And, in some small, disturbed way, I wanted to remember what Maisie did to me and my nose this morning. One day, that story will come in handy. Probably when she too, is 15.

But I hadn't really thought that I would blog this evening - just that I would probably whack it in the Drafts folder and do something proper and nice with it on the weekend. Well, proper and nice with Phoebe's story. The Mouse's vindictive little blast of hot air would most likely go in the "Stories My Children's Therapists Will Love" folder.

That was until I ran into a certain young lady at work this morning, who accosted me outside the staffroom, wanting to know where "her" blog was this morning! How could I expect her to eat her breakfast without a nice, juicy little post to read? My pleas of a very naughty toddler who refused to go to sleep last night, coupled with an absent husband and lesson prep to do fell on very deaf ears. Nope. Nothin' doin'. She wanted her post.

So here you are. Just like in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, when he dedicates his song on the parade float, "to Cameron, who thinks he hasn't seen anything good today"....Libby, this is for you. It may not be the best blog post ever written, but it was created with lots of love, good vibes and even a complimentary fart joke. Happy reading sweets! See you in the morning! xxx

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Random Hat Mumblings and Other Non-Handbag-Related Stories

I wrote this post a few weeks ago. Maybe four weeks ago? I can't remember. Anyhoo, I was too tired to finish it so I chucked it in my Drafts folder and promptly forgot about it. I can't even remember what I was blathering on about. Sorry. A post. Wooo! *says she slinking away after not actually writing anything this evening due to blatant laziness*

I'm not a hat person.

I love love love handbags. I have way too many, considering how unfashionable I am. It's not like I actually coordinate them with my outfit (Haha!! 'Outfit'. What a grown-up word. Makes me sound like I don't look like a bag lady most of the time...) or use them for anything other than carrying nappies and tissues.

And I adore shoes. Oh, how I worship lovely shoes. Have I been known to drool over the displays in Wittner? Have I been asked to leave Nine West for mildly disturbing shoe-related behaviour? Is there an imprint the same size and shape as my nose on the window at Jimmy Choos in the city?


That's not the point. (What IS the point? I hear you mutter. Geez this woman rambles.) And you'd ramble too, I reckon, if you were perched atop a pile of freshly laundered sheets, on the couch, still in your work clothes, late at night, tapping away on your trusty pink laptop while you waited for yet another load of washing to finish and the cake for tomorrow's staff morning tea to come out of the oven (also pink - the cake, not the oven).

Hang on. I'm so tired I've forgotten - are you talking, or am I? It's me? Oh. Sorry.

Anyhoo, the point is, I was so tired on Tuesday night, it wasn't funny. I'd had yet another insane very busy day entertaining  teaching the Preppies. I'd managed to get all of the kids to daycare / kinder / school in the correct clothing, at the (roughly) correct times. I'd even managed to wear clean clothes to work. I'd raced Phoebe to her appointment with the surgeon after school, to see about her dodgy adenoids. And may I say, my girl was mighty impressive. Even with a camera stuck up her snozz, she still managed to keep her cool (and her pom-pom beanie on). It took me a minute to convince her that the doctor wasn't about to shove Daddy's SLR up her left nostril (the look on her face was priceless). Even considering the micro-camera on the long thin tube was pretty small, I was still dead impressed with how cool she was about the whole thing. Best of all, she scored a photo of the inside of her nose to parade around at kinder. I think it made the whole ordeal worthwhile. That, and the pink jellybean the doctor gave her for being brave.

So what with this full-time gig and whizzing around the hospital appointments (not to mention the weekend spent with Argie in hospital, the ballet and swimming lessons, the five meals made in advance of the working week, the washing and ironing (hahahahaha!!!!!) of "work" clothes, etc., etc), I was pretty knackered on Tuesday night. Which meant that when I climbed into bed at 11.15pm, straight into a cold pool of cat wee, I wasn't the happiest lady alive.

Poor old Ernie must have struggled to get down the stairs - arthritis is a bugger - so my bed must have been the next best option. Unfortunately, he neglected to let me know this little fact, so when I pulled the wet sheet over my legs, it wasn't the most pleasant surprise. Given that we only have one underlay for the double bed, and one doona, Christian and I slept on towels (to soak up the excess) and blankets on Tuesday night. And again last night, since I have been at work (and the magical housework fairies have not visited) and the rain made my washing all wet again.

Quite possibly (unless my darling husband has done it for me...???), we will be sleeping on towels and blankets again tonight. Whatever. I won't be awake to notice. Tomorrow is Friday again, and the end of my second week as a full-time working mummy of three. Which brings me to the subject of hats. (Really???)

Yes, really.

Regardless of whether a mother works for fun, or for money, or for the "adult conversation" - even if a mother does paid work outside of the home simply so she can go to the toilet by herself (with the door closed, without having to narrate the experience) - it seems to me that by doing this she is forced to wear many different hats. Sometimes, more than one hat at once.

Personally, I tend to wear the same couple of hats over and over again. The hat of pride I wore at Phoebe's appointment with the surgeon was adorned again at the school assembly on Monday when Jack was the Prep Student of the Week. I also threw it on when collecting Maisie from her first day back at daycare after three weeks' absence, when she was so breezy and happy to see me, without the usual teary palaver.

But the Proud Hat is usually worn over the top of the Every Day Mummy Hat - you know, the one that goes with pretty much every outfit and hides stains easily. I have my Teacher Hat, which goes on every morning as I fling my Every Day Mummy Hat off and chuck it in the back of the car, ready for home time. The Teacher Hat makes me stand up a bit straighter, and wear clean clothes. I'm quite fond of the Teacher Hat. It also comes in very handy when faced with unruly teenagers on public transport.

Every so often, I drop my bundle and whack on the Beanie of Sloth...the hat which means that I stay in pyjamas all day and try to convince myself that someone else will clean the house and feed the children. Usually, the BOS is replaced swiftly with the Kercheif of Housewifery, in which the house is returned to more sanity standards swiftly (and usually just before the arrival of visitors).

My prettiest hat doesn't get paraded often enough. It is, of course, my pink, sequinned, fabulous Party Hat. When I put that particular hat on, the clock winds back more than a few years. (Let's just leave it at that, shall we?) The funny thing is, as much as I love wearing my party hat, I can only keep it on for a short time before it starts to feel funny. You might say I even begin to miss the familiar contours of my Every Day Mummy Hat.

Right now, there is dirty hair under my Every Day Mummy Hat. The Hat is accessorised with the old faithful Hello Kitty pyjama bottoms and a hoodie that used to be blue. Even the Hat itself could use a wash. It has a trail of something on it, left over from the Mouse's massive hug before she went to bed. It has texta on it, after helping Jack with his "homework". It has some toast crumbs mashed into it, courtesy of Phoebalina's time spent on my lap at breakfast this morning. It's pretty filthy, actually, the old Mummy Hat. But it's comfy, and it fits my head. I may not look pretty in it (I told you, I'm not a hat person!) but I can't seem to go a day without wearing it. Besides, it hides my unwashed hair.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mummy's Pensieve

A few weeks ago I found my precious box of home videos while tidying under my bed (read: pulling out the old tissues, clumps of dust and random items shoved under there during a 'clean-up').

Rather than arranging them neatly and putting them somewhere appropriate, I perched on the edge of my (unmade) bed and began looking at them. Somewhere along the way, I rediscovered my babies (and lost several hours).

There were the messages we made for each child while still in my tummy. There were precious minutes captured of each newborn, most likely between those interminably long feeding sessions that delineate the first few weeks of a new baby's life. There were first smiles, breathy little oohs and aahs encouraged for the camera. Rolling over. Crawling backwards. Bum-shuffling. First steps. Birthdays. Christmases. Random little vignettes that were simply captured because the camera was at hand.

They were so, so little. And so very gorgeous. It was magical, watching my babies grow up through the tiny lumps of time captured on tape.

But it was also a tiny bit sad.

Watching these pieces of my children's lives, I realised how much I have forgotten. And yes, I understand how pathetic I must sound right now. I also know how lucky I am to have children to video at all. I know that if we spent our lives recording every event to watch later, we'd miss out on life altogether...but I still wish I could remember it all. Stupid, I know.

I suppose it's Life's Big Filtering System, really, isn't it? Actually, now that I come to think about it, forgetting the minutiae of parenting is probably an evolutionary survival mechanism, honed over thousands of years of wiping bums.

Watching my old video tapes, I can see the enormous jowls that Jack developed after breastfeeding every two hours. I am reminded of his Leo-Sayer-esque hair at age two - huge, bouncy, ginger-hued curls that were the envy of many a little girl at playgroup. I remember how much he adored trains, and the Wiggles, and his baby sister. I remember how I used to find him on his "naughty stool", just sitting there, biding his time until he decided that he had done his penance. He would cheerfully tell me what he had done 'wrong'. I had a very hard time not laughing at his self-discipline.

I don't remember much about Jack's monumental temper tantrums at age 3. I don't remember the months when he would refuse to go to sleep at night. I don't remember how terrible it was, each and every time he had a new tooth come through. I don't accurately recall his phenomenal bouts of vomitting, his reflux, his eczema. I am so glad not to remember his toilet-training phase. Oh, the trauma of opening his kinder bag at the end of a working day, to discover how many pairs of soiled undies that needed to be dealt with. Motherhood at its' finest.

Moving on to other tapes, I find a smiling, chubby little baby Phoebe - the Baby Who Never Cried. What a little doll she was. I always feel particularly guilty about the black hole that is there instead of memories of Phoebs as a baby...but I suppose that's post-natal depression for you? What I do remember though, is golden - Phoebe's obsession with our cat 'Nernie'; her sheer relief when I finally gave her solids at four months instead of horrible milk; her funny little one-knee-bent-forward-bum-shuffle that allowed her to "crawl" while still talking to us face-to-face; her painless teething and toilet-training; her wispy fairy-floss hair that has only now begun to grow in earnest. How there was one night, when she was about 6 months old and she just wouldn't sleep. I distinctly remember telling myself to relish the sensation of having her fall asleep in my arms, because very soon she would be too big to hold for that long. How I rocked her, and rocked her, and her entire body relaxed and curled around mine, while her breathing calmed. How I stood there, for another 30 mins, simply rocking and humming, for the sheer pleasure of holding my sleeping baby while I could. How, when she was about 18 months old - maybe 20 months? - she did something naughty and I asked her to come to me. I counted to three. She looked me dead in the eye and said slowly, "four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten", and then walked over to me, while Christian shook with laughter and mouthed at me, "Did you know she could count to ten?" Point made, Phoebs. Cheers.

Sometimes, I look at my daughter and wonder how on earth she will be five in a few weeks. I have forgotten her toddler tanties. Her refusal to eat anything at dinner time. Her determination to convince everyone that she and Jack are in fact, twins. I have tried hard to forget how she broke her nose, aged 2, jumping on the bed, but memories like that are hard to erase. Especially when she did it with a week-old baby sister in the house, and a Daddy who had had heart surgery only 24 hours prior. Fun times.

Being Baby #3, there are fewer videos of the Mouse. Still, it makes me gasp to see how small she was when we brought her home...and how little Jack and Phoebs were too. I can vaguely recall her wispy mullet and her folded-up froggy legs, but only the video can help me recall the squeaky little mouse noises she used to make when beginning to wake. Watching footage of the Mouse, aged a few weeks old, I can recall the heat of the summer, the hum of the ever-present air-conditioner, the small weight of my babe in arms. The theme song of Waybuloo can transport me back to the gentle days of a three year old Jack, a two year old Phoebalina, and a newborn, snuffly little Mouse. I suppose, being the most recent bub, time has not yet erased my unprompted memories of my baby Maisie. On the rare occasion that she falls asleep on me now, I can catch a glimpse of my tiny baby...but only for a second. It's just nice to know that my last little bubba is still there, tucked inside the body of a two-year-old teenager.

I know that, eventually the edges of my memory of this time will go fuzzy. The daily screeching and battle of wills that we are enduring with Miss Mouse will fade. I won't need to use the naughty step on a daily basis (fruitlessly, it often feels). I won't recall the round-and-round conversations in which I might ask my youngest child, "Would you like some lunch?", to which she screams her reply, "No!" At which point I say, "Ok, then, it's time for bed." To which she replies, "No!" "They're your two choices, Mais. Lunch or bed." "No! No! No!" And so on, and so forth. Sigh. In years to come, I will desperately try to recall the mumbly baby-talk 'conversations' that I have with Maisie  - those long-winded sentences that end with one or two recognisable words, but are given in such an enthusiastic manner, you can't help but laugh and join in.

I watched my kids playing this morning, and I thought, I won't remember this day. This particular Sunday, just like so many before and after it, will be swallowed up by my brain. Being an ordinary day, there is no reason to video it. So after a while, I will not remember my girls flitting around in fairy dresses (Maisie trying on three before being satisfied with her fairyness) and dancing with each other, just like Hermione and Viktor Krum in the Harry Potter movie. Indeed, I won't remember that being a cold, wet Sunday, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was playing on the telly for the umpteenth time. I won't recall how funny it was this morning when Mais was prancing around, swishing a pencil at all of us, saying, "I Harry Botter!" I won't remember Jack dressing himself as a 'dinosaur' and begging to turn his bedroom into a dinosaur cave, complete with newspaper rocks and 'dark fings'. I won't remember Phoebalina sitting next to me with the Donna Hay Kids Annual open to the "Enchanted Garden" birthday party pages, reverentially turning the pages and telling me every five seconds the sweet treats she would like at her fifth birthday party. I won't remember that this was the day we took our first trip to Masters to begin gathering the compost and mulch to begin our tiny vegetable garden, instigated by an over-excited Jack. Hopefully, in time, I'll be able to tell you about my children harvesting the vegetables they grew themselves. I just won't remember the hours spent picking up dog poo and fixing the mess left by the bankrupt landscapers necessary to make a decent garden. Deliberate memory loss!

I realise that, if I were to remember every single tiny thing about my children's early years, my brain would be unable to function in a normal manner (which, now that I mention it, fails to happen what's my excuse??) It is a natural progression of time that daily details, no matter how cute or disgusting, are lost to the recesses of our brains. It would be fair to say that if we did manage to remember every little thing, perhaps parenthood might suffer a decline...especially if those memories of rainy, cold, bored days with exhausted parents and fractious toddlers were permitted more than their fair share of air space.

I suppose there's only one way to look at my memory loss. Thank goodness that the reality of the newborn-days-of-exhaustion has faded. Thank goodness that I cannot remember the dark, dark days of poo and vomit and not being able to leave the house (aka: three kids under three in the middle of winter) Thank goodness that I have three beautiful, amazing, messy, noisy, farty, clever, shouty, huggable children to give me memories in the first place.

And thank Buddha for those video tapes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I am...

I am a mother of three young children.

I am a full-time, boots-and-all, Grade 5 teacher.

I am juggling many, many balls in the air. And, most days, I am dropping a fair few.

I am trying desperately to stay organised. On top of things. Providing, at the very least, a pretense of being in control of my household.

I am completely, and utterly, contradictory.

I miss my daughters while they are at childcare so much, it is almost shameful. I crave their company. I desperately glean morsels of their days from them when they clamber, tired and happy, into my car at hometime. My womb contracts at the thought of all the time I have been separated from them, and how many smiles and cuddles they must have shared with their amazing teachers, instead of with me.

And yet, I am delighted at how much they love their creche. I am thrilled at how busy they are, how many little friends they have both made. It must be so much more exciting than folding washing at home with Mummy, with occasional trips to Woolworths. I love the fact that going to childcare is something they look forward to. For Phoebe, kinder is the gold-plated cherry on her cuppy cake. As for Maisie, after the Mouse's two days with her adoring Grandma, she spends three days at "work". Not creche. Not kinder. Ask my youngest child where she goes on childcare days, and she will state defiantly and proudly, "Maisie go to work".

I saunter through the school playground at recess and lunchtime, just to grab a glimpse of my tall, sweaty-headed, ninja-and-Star-Wars-playing son. I relish the fact he is still so happy to see me when I do this. I dread the day my presence is an embarrassment.

But then, not many mothers have the luxury of seeing their children during school hours. And to be brutally honest, Jack is happiest when he is at school. These days, when he is at home, it is a constant quest to keep him busy. On a rainy day, his passion for Reading Eggs is both a blessing and a curse...

I stay up late on the weekends and every weeknight, cooking meals, ironing work clothes, preparing lunches, organising lessons, cleaning and tidying, just so that I don't have to waste a moment when my children are awake, and actually with me. I have lists of specific foods to buy, for specific freezer-friendly meals, so that my supermarketting is as quick and efficient as it can possibly be.

And yet, as my working-mother-shopping-system gets honed further with every passing week, I think to myself...I should have done this a long time ago. Being organised in the supermarket saves me time and money. It forces me to cook better meals, to use all our leftovers, and to think about stretching our dollars more efficiently. It gives me more time at night. It's worth the effort.

I ignore the unneccessary cleaning during the week, and clean furiously on Friday and Saturday nights to try and stem the tide of dust and dirt.

But then, I have also begun to see what is important, and what can be shunted a little further down the list of priorities.

I have never before worked full-time whilst mothering three children. I have taught full-time (albeit very briefly) with two tiny children. I have taught part-time with two children and a big pregnant belly. But this full-time's taking some getting used to. Every minute of every day is accounted for. There is no time for slacking off. This ship...she's a tight one.

And the thing is...I'm actually really enjoying it. No, really. Brownie's honour. Yes, I am getting less-than-desirable amounts of sleep. Yes, I am planning and cooking five or six meals at a time to avoid the supermarket crush after work with three tired kids. Yes, I am constantly juggling time spent at work and at home, racing desperately from one to the other before and after school. Yes, I feel guilty about being away from my kids, and therefore sometimes (ok, a lot of the time...) get my discipline/mummy-cuddles ratio mixed up. Yes, I think about lesson plans and learning activities in my sleep.

But I am loving this job. I adore my grade, even after only such a short time. They are a brilliant bunch of kids and I must say, I really enjoy their company. The days go so fast, it's stupid. I am thriving on being part of a teaching team, exchanging ideas, the banter, the brain feels as though it has actually moved up a notch on the speed dial.

I am tired. I am happy. I am guilt-ridden. I am grateful. I am excited. I need a holiday.

I am a working mother.

I am going to bed.