I am So not ready for Back-to-School Mum

Mammy is super-organised…

Mammy has started her Christmas Shopping.

Mammy has started thinking about next year’s summer holidays.

Mammy has started making plans for 2 or 3 significant birthdays in the family next year.

Mammy has thought so far ahead, that she has hotels AND Babysitters booked for the 2018 weddings she KNOWS she will be attending.

This is how THIS Super-organised-Mum rolls.

What Mammy HAS NOT started however, is thinking about the dreaded HELL that is “Back-to-school shite”.

Mammy HATES this time of year more than you can ever imagine. The Back-to-school Shite now starts in the middle of MAY… Before ANY school finishes up for summer break. May… As in MAY, the 5th month of the year and 4 whole months BEFORE Septemeber? Wtf?

When we were kids, the grey and navy skirts and shirts and lunchboxes and tin mathematic sets with the map of Ireland didn’t appear in the shops until the end of July. And by then, we’d had our weeks of sunshine, siblings, Zig & Zag and nothingness, and we probably didn’t MIND starting to think about the S word.

But now? NOW, Mammy wants to find the store managers who have signed off on putting Back-to-school shite on the shelves in mid-MAY. I want to find them and I want to HURT them. 😠 I want to poke them in the eyeballs with the metal tools in the tin mathematics case… (they’ll be more useful to me now and they were in 1989.) I want to beat them over the head with a cheap plastic-lasts-until-halloween-lunchbox, Snap their noses with elastic neckties and then lock them in a container with nothing but copies of Ann & Barry and Sugradh…but NO PENCIL. 😈😈

But Mammy is a sane and calm lady who would never entertain such thoughts. Since June 1st, I have been increasingly flummoxed by the status updates appearing on my timeline from other ACTUAL Mums who have the Back-to-school shite done and dusted already. I have hovered my finger over the “unfriend” button in some cases, wondering if Bookface would entertain my proposal for an “unfollow until September 1st” button. 😛

Now, if YOU have all the stuffs for all the minions sorted already, good for you. I’m not feeling jealous, or inferior or intimidated by your organisation skills AT ALL. 😂 (There is a slight chance that a psychologisty person MIGHT argue that my anger towards the aforementioned shop owners, and my annoyance at the Super-organised-Mums, stems from my own insecurities and weaknesses being highlighted to me by the clever forward thinking Back-to-school Experts.)

I would argue that NOPE, my anger and flumoxing are perfectly justified. Maybe it’s because I have had to do the Back-to-school shite for 32 CONSECUTIVE years. Since starting teaching, I have managed to avoid thinking about it until the ACTUAL night before school starts, when I sob into my grapes, knowing that summer is over and I have to now dress in something other than my gymgear and that makeup will have to be used every day.

But now, as a Mammy, I DO need to get everyone else organised a few days earlier than when it was just ME going back to school… But, I MEAN a FEW days earlier. I refuse point blank to go near the dark, bleak section of the store until AT LEAST the final week of her holidays. I convince myself that I am more clever than the Early-Back-to-school-organisers, and I browse through what is left over on the shelves of synthetic smelling geansaí and pleated skirts, because at least there is no chance of Mini-Me taking a growth spurt between the Back-to-school shite being bought and her putting them on. 😅 #lazymammywin

See. Clever Mammy. (And pleated skirts? The Gobshite who invented those little bitches needs to be locked into the container WITH the shop owners along with 2000 of those skirts, an iron and an ironing board…)

So go on. Sicken me… Hands up who’s all organised already? 😙

It is Feck-it-up FriYay and Mammy has done a wonderful job of fecking ALL of it up today. 😂

Mammy has been asked some very difficult questions today.

In the car, enroute to the paint shop… (because Mammy has realised she is going back to her OTHER full time job in 3 weeks and so doing all of the jobs I have put off for the past 2 years must obviously begin! 😂)

“Mammy, When are you going to die?”
Mammy chokes… “Not for a very long time I hope!”

“Are you going to die before me?”
(Christ alive I do hope so!) Erm, yes Baby, because I’m older, but not for a verrrrrrry long time.

“But who will look after me when you die?”
You’ll be all grown up by then pet. Now let’s talk about something else. What will we have for tea?

“Are Rhinocerouses dinosaurs in real life?”
Erm… No, sure the dinosaurs are all extinct and rhinocerouses are still alive…
“Nocerouses do NOT STINK Mammy. Dat is NOT very nice.”

“Where is Heaven?”
(Feck it.) “Do you not think rhinocerouses stink then?”
“Mammy! Answer me. WHERE is Heaven?”
(Fuckitty fuck fuck fuck…)
“Erm… Some people say it’s above the clouds. Some people say it’s all around us. I’m not really sure…”

“Can I bring my stuff wif me when I go?”
“To Granny’s? Of course!” (Phew!)
“No Silly, to HEAVEN!” (I can feel her rolling her eyes in the backseat.😅)

“So do you just go to sleep and wake up in heaven then?”
Sometimes… Baby these are very hard questions to answer and you really don’t need to be thinking about thisstuff today. Now, what will we have for tea tonight?”
DISTRACT, DISTRACT, DISTRACT… 😂😂

“Mammy?”
(Oh God get me to the paint shop…)

“How do giraffes lie down?”

Alleluia!
I can’t answer THIS obviously. (Is it even a valid question?) But I CAN revert to my favourite answer “I don’t know, but we can look it up when we get home OK?”

And at least if we DID look it up, there’d probably BE an ACTUAL answer! Unlike the other questions.

Who said we should tell our kids the truth?
WTF do you do when you don’t KNOW the answers?

And even if I DID google them, there’s a pretty good chance I still couldn’t give her answers. 😂😂

So yup. Add a “Friday-Fablis-Freezer-dinner” to my USELESS attempts at answering her questions and you’ll see that it wass INDEED a successful Feck-it-up Friday.

Therefore, Mammy feels that it is utterly acceptable and justifiable to pour some grapes… 🍷🍷🍷

How did you Feck-it-up today? 😚😚

Oh and YES I googled it…

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/784457/April-the-giraffe-how-do-giraffes-sleep-standing-up-lying-down

I am Snaughling Mum.

Snaughling…

Laughing so hard that you snort…then laughing that you snorted.
Snorting is for pigs, but sometimes, it happens to the best of us!

image

It isn’t the most gracious or ladylike thing to do, yet yesterday, I did it…in public.

So proud of myself was I after Wednesday’s achievement of getting Mini-Me to school, that I began to feel in control of things.  You know?  This Yummy Mummy was in charge again.  I was no longer recovering from “the Section”. I was fully recovered.  Fully.  Physically and mentally.  Completely and utterly in charge of my world again.  Well,  I thought I was.

Yesterday morning, leaving Princess snoring on top of Daddy, I dropped Mini-me to school again (Yay me!!) and went into town to run a few errands. 
By 11.45am, I’d ticked off the to-do list, brought coffee home to Hubby, squeezed in a 2km power walk, grabbed a quick shower and had my eyebrows waxed!  The sun was shining.  It truly was a beautiful day, and I was indeed Supermum.

image

I drove back to the school to lift Mini-me at mid-day, full of the joys of January.  On days like these,  “I have Confidence in me” from The Sound of Music often pops into my head, and so I was singing to Princess (as loudly as only the privacy of your car allows) as I drove.

Pulling into the car park, I saw that the class were in the Playground.  Double Yay!  I was now able to drive up to the gate and collect Mini-me without having to disturb Princess, who was somehow sleeping despite the noise of my singing.

I stepped…no bounced…out of the car and waved at Mini-Me.  Her little face lit up and she ran towards me, with a face full of happiness, shouting gleefullly “Maaaaaaaaammeeeeeee!!” 

Screw The Sound of Music… this was a Little House on the bloody Prairie moment.  All was right with the world. 

And then.

I was greeted by Mini-me’s teacher.  She’s chirpy and lovely in that infectious way that only a pre-school teacher can be.  She was smiling at me.  Yes.  A little more than usual. 

“Hi there!” she said.  Were her lips twitching at the corners?
“Hi!  How was she today?”  I was obviously paranoid.
“Great!  No bother!”  I swear she’s trying not to laugh.

She puts her hand into her coat pocket, pulling out a little plastic bag.
I recognise the bag as the reserved for soiled pants type and think “Oh crap.  She’s had a wee accident.”  And I simultaneously remember that I forgot to put a spare pair in her bag.  I’m expecting the “We had a wee accident.  It’s OK, we found a spare pair in her drawer” line.

Instead I get  “Did you dress her in the dark this morning?”  Yup.  She’s laughing.  I’m not paranoid.

“No?  Why?”  My brain is now whizzing back through my perfect and productive Supermumesque morning.  I’m replaying the dressing of the child and nothing is standing out to me as unusual.  It was all pretty calm actually.

She was wearing two pairs of pants!” laughs teacher, handing me the little plastic bag.

What?  How was she wearing two pairs of pants?  That’s just ridiculous.
But then Mini-me looks up at me and squeels “I had TWO pants on my butt.  Silly Mammy!”   She’s delighted with herself.

image

I’m horrified.  This is not the kind of thing that I do.  I’m in charge.  I’m sensible.  I’m completely organised thank you! 

I feel my face turning pink.  My full face now matches the two strips of pink on my freshly plucked eye-brows.
I look at Teacher, who is now giggling unapologetically…As is her colleague who has been cleaning a little boy’s nose beside us.

This is one of those moments that you read about in novels.  It’s the type of moment that you cringe at; that makes you laugh at the silliness of the poor Mum, safe in the knowledge that it’ll never happen to you!

I was wondering how the hell to react, but before my brain could send a sensible reaction signal to the rest of my mortified body, I snaughled.

I threw my head back and laughed; then I snorted; then I laughed some more.
Teachers were laughing.
Mini Me was laughing.
I had spontaneously combusted and the embarrassment subsided as the hillarity of the situation became clear.
“At least her bottom was warm!”  I managed.

I put the offending plastic bag in my pocket, said Goodbye to the teachers and set Mini-me into her carseat.
I vowed that I’ll have my coffee before I dress her in future.
It’s not a big deal.  It’s hilarious.  And at least the teachers were able to say it to me, rather than laugh about me behind my back.  At least I didn’t send her out without pants!

There’s no greater feeling than a good laugh.  And it’s even more refreshing when it’s completely at yourself!  Even if I did snort! 

And this little Piggy snaughled…all the way home.

I am Snaughling-Mum.  xx

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I am Starting Pre-School Mum

back to school

Tonight, I’m a little bit more emotional than usual.

Tomorrow, my little Mini Me will be taking her first steps into the big bad world without Mammy or Daddy.

Now I am fully aware that starting Pre-school is not quite the same as starting School School, but for the first time ever, I can empathise with all of the “Starting school” parents.  I can’t even begin to fathom how I’m going to feel this time next year when I’m packing her school bag for Baby infants.

It’s a typical last Sunday night in August.  For 30 years, it’s been a dreaded Sunday night because it marks the first day back at school for this Teacher Mum.  I never actually left the education system, so it’s routine by now.   Every year, I insist on going out somewhere for the day. I refuse to cook dinner.  I try to get an early night.  But this year, it’s not about me.  It’s about Mini-Me.

Her new outfit is perfectly pressed and hanging in the bedroom.  I have everything that she needs laid out for the morning. The table is already set for breakfast. She’s been read a special storybook that Daddy found online about her first day at pre-school and has been tucked in to dream of fairies and muddy puddles.

And I’m trying not to think about the fact that tomorrow is yet another first in my baby’s life.

I’m leaving her to the same childcare place that she usually goes to, but she’s going into her Big Girl classroom.  And she’s going to be going 5 days a week, instead of 2. It’s really no big change.  She’s more than ready for it and she’s so excited about starting Naoínra that it’s quite contagious.  It’s all good.  She could be terrified and refusing to go, but she isn’t.

And I wonder if that is helping Mammy or making me feel worse.

As parents, we have to let our babies grow up.  We mark every milestone.  We remember every achievement. We let them go into the world, little by little, and just hope that what they receive from us at home is enough to arm them for what the world holds for them.  Every little step is essential, and indeed we are very aware of how blessed we are that our mini-Me’s are healthy and able to step into the world.  But it doesn’t mean we have to be absolutely happy about it, all the time!

As parents, we also have to trust…To trust the people who will be responsible for looking after our little darlings.  We have to trust that their teachers will care for them; that they will be kind to them; that they will give their all to make them who they can be.

teaching

So while I feel that I need at least an hour with her new teacher tomorrow morning to go through a crash course, with power point presentation if I could, on what my Little Darling likes, what she’s afraid of, her habits, what upsets her, how she needs help with some things, how brilliant she is at other things and basically, everything about her, I know that I’ll drop her at the door with a smile, tell her to be a good girl and to have fun, and get into the car.

Then I’ll probably bawl my way to work.

But it’ll be fine, because I’ve realised that while I’m entrusting a teacher with the single most important thing in my world, I get to return the favour to other Starting-School Mums.  Because for the first time, I truly understand the angst and terror of the Mammies and Daddies who drop their kiddies off at our school’s big blue door every September.  I finally understand that I’m not just there to teach them English.  I’m there to care for them; to be kind to them; and to give my all to help mould them into who they can be.  And it’s the second best job in the world.

And while tomorrow she is only starting Pre-school, it is indeed a big deal for our little family and for my little Princess.  Yes, it might be just another day, but it’s one that we’ll remember forever.  Yes, it’s going to be emotional, but it’s good emotion.

And to all of the Mammies and Daddies whose little Darlings are taking their first steps into Pre-school, School School, Secondary School or indeed third level,  I send all of my S-mum love and good wishes, because tomorrow is most likely going to be harder on you than it is on our kids.

So we’ll put on our big girl (or boy) pants and we’ll suck it up.

Because we are Starting School Mums (and Dads).  🙂

PS.  This has been going around in my head all day.

Wee Hughie  
Author: Elizabeth Shane

He’s gone to school, wee Hughie,
An’ him not four,
Sure I saw the fright was in him
When he left the door.

But he took a hand o’ Denny,
An’ a hand o’ Dan,
Wi’ Joe’s owld coat upon him –
Och the poor wee man!

He cut the quarest figure,
More stout not thin:
An’ trotting right and steady
Wi’ his toes turned in.

I watched him to the corner
O’ the big turf stack,
An’ the more his feet went forrit,
Still his head turned back.

I followed to the turnin’
When they passed it by,
God help him he was cryin’,
An’, maybe, so was I.

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