Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Off With Their Heads!

Friday 7th March

I’m ashamed to say I lost it last night. No, no, not my virginity. Long gone that. Obviously – I have three children. No, I lost my self-control. I sat on the loo (seat down) and shouted, screamed and sobbed while three girls looked on in wide-eyed bewilderment from the bath, blue bath caps askew. They thought it best to get on and wash themselves, like Mummy had asked a hundred times, and stay schtumm. Good decision on their part.

I was a little tired, this is true. Exhausted, in fact. My youngest had just had an equal over-tired tantrum and now it was my turn. All I wanted was my children to have a bath and go to bed. I would have given my right arm to do the same. N was away for the night. It should have been so simple. But no, I had a list as long as my (right) arm to get through before I could even THINK about resting my weary head. Let’s have a quick look:-

1. Tidy up supper

2. Get costumes together and bagged up for E and G’s Book Week finale – E to be an old-fashioned Alice in Wonderland (not the Disney one), G to be Wendy from Peter Pan

3. Decide whether or not to volunteer to drive half an hour over to big girls’ school tomorrow to read to class for 10 minutes for final day of Book Week (nice idea, but my God, the effort, the inefficient use of time, petrol etc etc; but my God, the guilt if I don’t and G really wants me to read Alice…)

4. Decide whether or not to volunteer to man one of the blessed Book Week book stands for an hour at lunchtime (pleading letter received for this to)

5. Dig out old duvet cover from rag cupboard and examine for potential as toga for E’s imminent Roman Banquet day at school (more alarming guilt – were given elaborate and detailed notes some weeks ago as to the creation of togas/pallas/stollas; what shoes the Romans wore; make-up and jewellery; together with a notice that we also have to provide suitably Roman food, for God’s sake!!)(this follows hot on the heels of the recent Hindu feast where poppadums were duly donated)(do they ever do any good old-fashioned WORK at this school??)

6. Finish sewing on Brownie ‘Home Skills’ badge (left half-finished and abandoned on kitchen window-sill last night) for E (come to think of it, shouldn’t SHE have been doing that? Surely sewing is part of ‘Home Skills’?)

7. Sew on A.N Other Brownie badge for G

8. Find Brownie Easter Sale mini-poster for car buried in some pile somewhere and stick in car window (huge guilt factor on this one as see Tawny Owl every day at bus stop with my blank-windowed vehicle)

9. Weekend Birthday Parties – make list of presents still need to buy for children not even met; logistics and phone-calls around drop-off and collection of G to riding party on Saturday so that the lunch we’ve been invited to is not completely ruined by playing taxis to the godforsaken nether regions of deepest Staffordshire

10. Logistics and phone-calls around drop off and collection for birthday lunch all 3 girls been invited to on Sunday so that I can cook lunch and enjoy company of my own brother instead of playing taxis again

11. Text brother re arrangements for his visit (complicated by lunch on Saturday)

12. Pack bag for L who’s invited to a birthday sleepover on Friday

13. Wrap presents for sleepover birthday child and get girls to write card

14. Make up spare room bed for brother

15. Decide what to cook for Sunday lunch and make shopping list for tomorrow

16. Unpack shopping from today

17. Finish letter to friends who’ve recently lost their 9 year old son to a brain tumour

18. Email friend in France with dates for potential visit (been trying to organise this since last October)

19. Email friend in London with dates for potential visit up here (dependent on previous item)

20. Phone/email L’s godmother in London re potential (and first ever) visit up here (been trying to organise for 5 years now)

21. Respond to Dad’s email re arrangements for 80th birthday / 50th wedding anniversary (theirs, not mine – tho feels like mine sometimes)

22. Check all other emails

23. Phone friend re a rearranged lunch date which has gone wrong again (been trying to organise this for two weeks)

24. Phone friend to confirm she can pick L up from school next week while I attend E and G’s parents consultation

25. Text babysitter for tomorrow to confirm time

26. Write blog (would be nice if I could find the time)

27. Empty dishwasher

28. Iron shirt for N

29. Fill in the girls homework diaries and reading records

30. Read other people’s blogs (would be nice if I could find the time)

31. Watch Ashes to Ashes (need a laugh)

32. Put another wash in (run out of school shirts/tights/knickers)

33. Wait for wash to finish so can put in dryer ready for tomorrow (so kids don’t go knicker-less to school and without a shirt on their back)

34. Get girls to bed cos they’re all knackered and big weekend ahead (cue images of nightmare 2 days with testy, scratchy, tearful, argumentative, pasty-faced children – let alone me)

35. Get to bed in good time cos N away and good, rare, chance to bank early Zzzz’s

Some hope! I was still up at 1 o’clock in the morning gibbering around the place, dragging my weary corpse from laundry room to kitchen and back again while reciting passages from Lewis Carroll’s mad world of bewildered small girls and bonkers bellowing Queens where the battle between nonsense and logic rages on every page. Really, now, how very appropriate! I think I shall go and read to the class after all…

‘ “Now I give you fair warning,” shouted the Queen, stamping on the ground as she spoke, “either you or your head must be off, and that in about half not time! Take your choice!” ’
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, Chpt 8


Cowgirl said...

Oh my, your schedule and mine look pretty similar in their length and hectic-ness BUT I don't have the Little Angels to contend with!!!! Poor you, sending you lots of calming vibes and a gallon or two of gin..... Every Grown Woman should throw the odd tantrum, I reckon!

Sally's Chateau said...

Your one label 'Motherhood' sums it up beautifully !! xx

Sally's Chateau said...

PS, isn't ashes to ashes brilliant

Elizabethd said...

I dimly remember those days...3 children all with different needs, all wanting attention NOW, all the other chores to be done,,,
I hope today is better.

Pipany said...

Grief woman I'm shattered now!!!! Motherhood indeed; hope the offload helped and know what those yelling sessions on the loo are like xx

Inthemud said...

Sometimes it just all becomes too much and you have to let it out!
I've been there many times too in the past when children were little.

Prioritise, Prioritise, and delegate if possible! only do what absolutley has to be done and then choose which of the other things you'd like to do..........Forget the rest and

Faith said...

Doesnt do the kids harm if you lose it occasionally - makes them seem Mummy as a real person, not a magic fairy that does everything. Mind you, it has to only be occasionally - don't want to scare them. It's tough being a mum. You don't have to do it all - believe me in a few years they won't remember that their Roman costume and food wasnt that great. Don't drive youself into the ground. Hope things improve - that was a long to do list!

Zoë said...

Two words used to help me when the ever increasing demands of kids, work and the like sent me into shouting mode, and were so empowering.
No, and tomorrow.

Don't beat yourself up, you sounds like a wonderful Mum xx

Milla said...

Short on Alice here, but rugby boots? Football boots? Tempted? Your list DREADFUL, partic the saddest of sad stories contained within that one point about the parents with the little boy dead of a brain tumour. Shocking. Hope today is a better day all round.

Preseli Mags said...

Oh my goodness! What a list. Very scary (especially all the Brownies stuff, I have a newly fledged Rainbow, where it all starts.)

Gulp at No. 17. So sad. How on earth do you write such a letter? My heart goes out to them (and to you).

I sincerely hope today is better and the list gets shorter. xxPM

PS: I love Ashes to Ashes too.

Wooly Works said...

Oh my, I know those days. I hope your husband doesn't come home and ask you what you did all day. Hope tomorrow will be better and that your long long list will melt together in a fluid type of dance rather than the hectic tooth grinding frustration it is today. Mothers of young children should get a medal of honor--every week!!

LittleBrownDog said...

Gosh, HotH - did our parents really have lists this long, I wonder? I remember meeting a woman when I was travelling in Indonesia who asked me, "If women in your country have machines to do the washing and the dishes, stoves that light themselves and can do all their shopping in one big shop and drive it home, what do they do all day?" Perhaps I could just send her your list. I wonder whether the answer might be not to expect so much of ourselves. Easy to say, not so easy to do.

So sorry to hear about your friend's little boy - can't imagine how devastating that must be.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Well I think it is at the very least good to make a list because you get it out of your head and don't have to spend time worry yourself about what you have forgotten. The danger of making lists is that you can use them to beat yourself up with and that looks a pretty formidable list. However you are not superwoman you cannot do it all and somethings got to give and you don't want it to be you.

mountainear said...

Eeek! What a list. Brings back many memories of 3 small children each with their own agenda. This mum had plenty of hissy fits too. And gin.

I agree with Zoë 'No' and 'Tomorrow' are 2 words to keep on the tip of your tongue. Curiously they are sometimes very hard to spit out.

They do say if you want something doing 'ask a busy woman'....

elizabethm said...

Hope today is better. I have been there and sat on the loo and howled. You are not alone.

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