Thursday, 14 July 2011

Sick and song

Hello hello and Welcome. Not the greatest of days. This morning was stressful. I had to prepare for the dreaded event - a school concert. Now if there was no Ted, I'm sure these things would be lovely. I would be able to sit in peace, in a hot and stuffy hall on a child's chair that is far too small for my rear end, smiling madly and waving furiously at my children as they sing their heart out. However there is most definitely a Ted and he is a Ted who really does not appreciate being kept in a confined place for any length of time, let alone a hot, over populated one. So, I think it is no exaggeration to say that I was absolutely dreading it. By 8.30am I had packed a 'survival kit' and Bea's packed lunch and was just about to go up to change out of my pyjamas when I realised K was being violently ill upstairs. Bea then came running downstairs to inform me that he hadn't quite made it to the loo for one episode and there was sick all over the floor. With fifteen minutes to go before it was time to exit the house with three children and then endure, sorry enjoy, an hour and a half of confined stuffiness, I realised that K had had a Korma last night. So, I set about some furious scrubbing. K set about ironing his shirt as he was now very late for work. At this point I became a little irate. Me being late getting out of the house with the children was obviously not as important as a sick person getting to work a little late, who, in my opinion should have stayed in bed to get better.

I have never understood why a person would want to be a nurse. A nurse seems like the very worst job ever; crap hours, crap pay, actual crap and all that for not as much respect as the Doctors. I am exceptionally grateful that people ignore all of these facts and go ahead and train anyway but I have never been able to stomach other people's effluence and can't understand anyone wanting to work with it. However, I now realise that I have, unwittingly signed up for nursing duties. I spend most of my days dealing with other people's effluence for no pay, no respect, no set hours and not even a staffroom to go and seek refuge and eat donated chocolates in. For most of the day I have been trying to scrub regurgitated korma out of our pale carpets and then just as I finished, Ted went on a wild wee and poo rampage upstairs pre and post bath so that I then spent the early evening scrubbing the carpets again. I have not really enjoyed today.

I am also shattered. I can no longer handle late nights. Not only did I have a night out on Saturday but I also went out on Monday with my old school gal pals. Admittedly I was home by 10 and I didn't drink, but two nights out within 48 hours has totally floored me. I am now metaphorically crawling along on my knees to get through the last week of term. OH WHY oh why for the love of all that is holy do we have to have yet another week before we break up?! All the pampered kids at their lovely private schools have already broken up. When I was young and we broke up two weeks before all the poor kids I just felt smug and looked shocked whenever they said they hadn't broken up yet, but now the shoe is most definitely on the other foot and I do not like it. Why is it that if you pay for the education you get so much less of it? I am serious. I never gave it a second thought when I was young - who would question an eight week holiday - but now I really am trying to understand why on earth it is so. Do they learn faster? Learn less? Who knows. Maybe it is to attract only the very best teachers in the land who couldn't possibly imagine working anywhere where there are less than fourteen weeks holiday a year.

So, back to the concert. I found a spot right at the back and perched Ted on a piece of gym equipment so that he could sit in relative comfort surrounded by his snacks and toys. After he slapped me round the face a few times he eventually acquiesced to my demands and sat down. He was happy for about fifteen minutes - right up until the start of the singing. And then more singing. And then recorders playing, lots and lots of recorders playing. Then more singing and then ye god of gods; guitars. A small group of small people playing guitars. Now, I can't judge as I can't play the guitar and I'm sure it's incredibly tricky but, it was awful and too long. Around the time of the guitar solo which was played slowly, pluck by pluck with large pauses in between, all of my heroic efforts to keep Ted quiet and entertained went flying out of the window and Ted's insistence on going 'ome' became louder and more insistent so that for the first time ever, I left before the end. I had resorted to putting my hand over his mouth at one point and although I'm sure they all wanted me to do it, I couldn't help but think the other parents might judge. So, we escaped before the end and I came home feeling bloody angry at Ted and sad that Bea might have been pissed off as she saw us leave. G was, as always, oblivious to everything.

I arrived home to a shit pit. The house was revolting and there was a foul smelling aroma emanating from somewhere unspecific downstairs (the sick had happened upstairs and did not smell - puzzling). So, I started in the kitchen, spent an hour in there then went back to school, picked up G, got home, put Ted to bed and spent two and half hours tidying the rest of the house before Ted awoke and we went off for the dreaded school run again. On this last run, I had a moment of clarity and realised why the private schools are able to break up two weeks early - they DON'T have a summer concert. With the fourteen or so songs the poor children have to learn and endlessly rehearse leading up to the bloody thing, that could easily take up ten days of schooling - so, it all becomes clear. I don't pay for my children's education so that at the end of the year I get the pleasure of sitting in a crowded room placating a small, irate child while my other children spend a miserable hour of their lives singing happy songs to smiling parents. NOW I understand why people in private schools are all so bloody smug. They knew this already.

Six school days, eighteen school runs and NO more summer concerts until we break up.  The finish line is finally in sight people. x

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