Aimee Horton

When it’s the end of the school year.

Jul
23

I know I was stepping back from my blog, but I couldn’t let today go by unmarked.  Why? Because today is The Beasts last day at school before the six week summer holidays.

I have mixed feelings, I’m sad, after all, Reception is such a special year, and I feel very lucky about how happily he’s settled, I’m dreading it – I have to spend six weeks arguing with him, and I’m proud, after all, we’ve all survived the transition from nursery “fling them through the door, dressed and they do all the rest” to Primary School “deliver them with a full stomach and a bag containing completed homework”.

From the first day I dropped him off, small and tiny in shorts which could have passed as cropped trousers a new way of life kicked in.  I didn’t feel sad until day 3 when he walked into the classroom without looking back, suddenly I felt a bit redundant, a bit needy. Don’t worry it didn’t last long.

Looking Small

It’s been a learning curve that’s for sure, one that I must admit I hadn’t expected.  I’m totally honest when I say I went into school naively, I looked at it as five days of free childcare even if it did end earlier then I needed, however I’ve learnt an awful lot.

I’ve learnt that actually I can be quite creative.  This year I have made dressing up costumes, collages (I USED GLUE WITH MY CHILD), I’ve made spiders webs, I’ve hunted for bugs, I have tadpoles still bloody growing in my cake tin (I thought it took like a few weeks, we’re on MONTHs right now).  Also, don’t you DARE tell anybody but I’ve actually quite enjoyed it.

I’ve learnt that I have two different four year olds. That’s right. There’s Spider-Man.  Leaping, jumping, climbing the walls, refusing to pick up a pen or pencil, can’t sit still for two seconds or play on his own for a minute.  That one answers back, tells me I’m no longer his best friend.  Then there’s the one that sits quietly, doesn’t really do role play, doesn’t shout or climb the walls and when you say “has he been good?” the response is always “as always”.  I seem to have the dud at home, because he’s not very nice right now.

I’ve learnt that I’m not cut out to be a teacher. SERIOUSLY how do they do it? On the times we sit down and do homework it was a high probability that I would end up in tears, usually mine.  The lack of focus, the lack of buy in, the amount of bribes “if you write this sentence tonight you can have lemonade with your dinner”, there are so many times I’ve just wanted to shout “S JUST WRITE S, SERIOUSLY JUST WRITE THE LETTER S” (I may have also shouted at times), before stalking out of the room to go and sniff the bottle of gin.  As with the creative side of things, Homework has brought out my competitive edge, especially as The Beast’s commitment to writing isn’t his best.  Therefore I have learnt to mount everything to make up for his short comings, and through the year have worked my way through about three pritt-sticks.

I have learnt that it is probably the shortest day in the world. Seriously by the time you’ve had a two hour natter at the school gates, got in the car, come home and cleared up the carnage I might as well just turn around and go and pick him up.

And that leads me to the school run.  I can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s not actually that bad.  YES the dragging myself out of bed, and firing orders (which I have to repeat 50 million times “WHY ARE YOUR SHOES STILL NOT ON DO IT DO IT DO IT”) side of things is a bit of a pain, and so is the general hyper-ness and bickering. Usually in the car I can drown it out, being the only one who sings along to the jolly phonics CD (my personal fave is Inky, what’s yours?).  But, once I’ve found somewhere to abandon my car (I suddenly understand why you have to reverse your car around a corner in your driving test – I am now quite good at reversing), I get to natter to a few people, you know, ADULT conversation.  But then, I’m still remembering the last few weeks, where the sun is shining, and everyone is happy, I’ve blocked out the cold COLD COLD winter, where it’s minus gazzillion degrees, the beating rain, and the meltdowns.  The meltdowns from The Chunky Monkey.  Wants to be in his pushchair, doesn’t want to be in his pushchair, he wants to be in the carseat no, no he doesn’t actually, before he hammers on the classroom door demanding to be let in to see the “wabbit”.  I’m forgetting that most days I have to discreetly replace certain items from the playground which The Chunky Monkey has smuggled into my car, secretly disappointed that it wasn’t jewellery or money.

I’ve also learnt that all of a sudden I know a lot more people.  Which in turn means I bump into a lot more people who can witness my lack of control on my children.  Teachers catch me wagging my fingers and making threats,  catching me at the end of my tether in the queue in a shop where I’m responding with my usual mature version of “I can too come to your party, after all I’m paying for it”, or see me tucking The Chunky Monkey under my arms as he kicks and screams because he was trying to steal a saw from a DIY store.

I’ve learnt that nothing is sacred, that he stretches the truth, and then tells his teachers.  His current teacher thinks that I “forget” to go shopping so he has to have spaghetti hoops, let him play in the road on his own, and walk about with him upside down.

I’ve learnt that logo polo shirts do not wash well.  That my son feels inclined to get the marker pens and paints out when he’s wearing them, and even the ones without the big green and black marks on them, have washed a sludgy grey, whereas the three for £2 ones from Sainsbogs are still pristine and white.  That school shoes get scuffed (and only start at about a size 7, he’s still as size 6), that knees get bloody, sleeves get snotty, pants get skiddies, and waterbottles always leak when there’s something important in the bag.

Last Day

But most importantly, I’ve learnt how much my boy has grown and developed because of the influence from both his peers and teachers, I feel lucky that he has a great group of friends, and that his first  teachers have been amazing. The teachers especially have been a huge part of his development helping him grow, giving him confidence, a sense of pride whilst helping him to assert himself (great, thanks for that), to speak out, and be his own person, and for this am grateful,  proud, and a little bit emotional.

thankyou_theo

Here’s to Year One.  Maybe they’ll have built boarding facilities by then.

When your brain hurts.

Jun
07

My brain hurts a lot this week, and considering it usually hurts between 7am and 7.30pm every day, you know this must be bad.

The noise of two children, especially after a week of half-term, along with my desperate (and poor) attempt at cutting back on gin are weighing heavy and loud.  Remember when I was looking for the mute button? *sobs* I actually miss those days.

On Saturday I tried an experiment.  Between the 07:00 and 07:30 time slot I  said the word “OK” 57 times.

“Mummy, let’s play Captain America and Spider Mummy” 

“Ok”

“Actually, No.  Let’s play Captain America and Captain America’s Mummy”

Ok”

So, Captain America’s Mummy, you need this…this sword”

“Ok”

“So, I’m Captain America, He’s Fat Man, and Daddy…let’s pretend we don’t have a daddy, and daddy is…er Captain America’s Brother”

“Ok”

“And Captain America needs to ride a bike…a bike without stabilisers, and Captain America’s Mummy says ‘oooh, be carefulllll Captain America”

“Ok”

Then Daddy…Daddy comes on and says “Don’t go on that bike Captain America, Captain America isn’t Captain America he’s ACTUALLY Iron Man, and you’re The Hulk”

“Ok”

And then. Right. So let’s pretend I’m Iron Man, and you’re the Hulk, and Daddy is Spider-Man’s daddy, and…and…and we need Cheerios”

“Ok”

“So I’m Iron Man, and this is my gun.  I shoot gun things out OK?”

“OK”

“So. We need to build a den, and to build this den we need a torch, let’s use your phone ok THE HULK”

“OK”

“Right, so we’ve got our torch, and we’re hunting, we’re looking for people to kill and you say “Don’t Kill people OK?”

“Ok”

“And I say, I WILL KILL People if I want to because they’re baddies, and you’ll say “NO PUT THEM IN JAIL” and I’ll say “OHHKAYY THEN” so I’ll catch them, and I’ll put them in jail, then we can all go for Ice cream”

“Ok”

That was about the jist of half an hour before I’d had my cup of tea.

Then over the weekend, questions started, questions which I am totally not smart enough, or prepared enough, to deal with,  have eased themselves into my already frantic days.

Just when I’m trying to stack the dishwasher.

“Mummy.  The earths core is hot isn’t it?”

“Yes, that’s right, very hot”

“What’s next to the Earths core?”

“Something else?” I say hopefully whilst trying to arrange the casserole dish so that it doesn’t catch on the spinny thing.

“No. I don’t think so.  Because if that was the case, we could dig down to the core.  Why don’t we get hot? Why is our planet not hot if the middle of it is hot? Why is it cold and wet a lot of the time”

The one while I’m negotiating the drive home..

“Mummy.  What’s this wobbly stuff on my leg? Why does my leg not have any bones in?”

“It does have bones in, it just under your muscle, and fatty tissue”

No, it’s not there, I can’t feel any bones”

“You have bones, it’s your skeleton…remember the skeleton? Remember how we said if you didn’t have a skeleton and bones you’d just be all floppy” (I am in no way endorsing that this is actually what happens…but let’s face it, he’s my child, he’s never going to be a doctor so we’re ok if the facts are slightly wooly)

“No, I can’t feel it, why can’t I feel it? And why would I go floppy? Your tummy is all floppy and you can still stand up and run about”.

Then there’s the question whilst I’m changing The Chunky Monkey’s Nappy

“Mummy, why can’t we crack this open?”

Not looking up “Excuse me? Crack what open?”

“Our heads?  Why can’t we crack our heads open and peel our skin off all the way down to our knees?”

“Because, well. We can’t, we’re human”

“So, why do we have skin? How do we get skin?”

“Because we grow skin”

“How? When do we grow skin?”

“When you’re a baby, before you’re born, and you’re growing in Mummy’s tummy, that’s when you grow skin”

“How did I get into your tummy?”

“Er…Ask your teachers”.

In some random queue.

“Mummy, how do you make lifts”

“Well…builders make lifts”

“yes…but how do they construct them?” (I’m really regretting teaching him that word, that, along with atrocious and compromise have really come back and bitten me in the bottom a few times)

“Well…I think they do it in a factory…”

You THINK mummy? Don’t you know?”

hmm. “Yes, they DO do it in a factory”

“So, how is it delivered then? How do they get it to where it needs to be?”

“In a lorry”

“That must have been a big lorry…actually ACTUALLY it must have been a MASSIVE lorry”

“Yup. It was huge”

“Did you see it?”

“No…”

“then how did you know?”

And just as I’m tucking him in this evening…

“Mummy.  Why do some people have orange hair?”

“well… lot’s of people have different colour hair and some where glasses and…”

Is it because they eat a lot of carrots when they were in their mummy’s tummies?”

“Yes. Yes it is.”

While all this is going on, their is the on going counting tourettes being fired at full blast in the background, alternating with what appears to be some sort of new age rap version of Baa Baa Black Sheep and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Then, after all that, even as I read through the post (to make sure I don’t sound too ridiculously thick), and the thought of his questioning voice sends the sort of shivver down your spine which just makes you want to put your fingers in your ears and go “LA LA LA LA LAA LA LA LAAAA LEAVE ME ALONNEEE” I can’t help being thrilled that his mind is ticking away, that he’s motivated when it comes to learning,  I just sometimes wish the questions would come a little less intensely. OH…and I really really wish that they were more along the lines of “how do I make pizza?” or, “Can I get you a gin and tonic mummy”.

Instead, however, they are questions which not only hurt my brain, but make me question my already questionable intellegence, which is rather gutting as I thought I would have at least two more years before I would.