Sunday, 12 July 2015

My website has moved to www.teachingmum81.com

Hi,

I have decided to self host my site and have moved to www.teachingmum81.com

Blogger has been a fantastic platform for me to get my blog up and running.

My new site is still quite plain looking and you know I am a bit rubbish at technology - so bare with me!

Thanks and please do visit the new site.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

My First Day at Work Smirk.

Monday 6th July

At 5.30am this morning, I woke up and glanced at my phone and my snoozing boy. Yes, I know he should have been snoozing in his cot, but I needed sleep and we all know how much of an imperfect Mum I am. 'Yes!' I silently fist bumped the air as I returned to snoozing for another 45 minutes. Then, at 6.15, my alarm sounded and woke both me and the dozing boy up.  The Other Half came in and laid with him while I had a shower; it was the first mid-week shower I have had with no crying baby, no screaming three year old, no yelling that there is a (tiny) spider on the wall and no yanking (and breaking) the shower door open to ask if I had been in there for two minutes yet. I could have stayed in there all day.

By 7am I was dressed, the boy was dressed and the girl was dressed and eating breakfast downstairs. Sounds pretty awesome doesn't it?  Although, there is a big difference between being dressed and being ready. Grabbing the boy, I made my way downstairs to sterilise the bottles, choose the food to take to Grandma's, make up the formula for the bottles and pack his favourite (only) toys.  I also had to pack up my girl's clothes for the day and, of course,  I had to get her a *rolls eyes* Fruit Shoot before I could gather everything up by the door in the hope that the Other Half may take pity on my plight and pack the car up for me. (He didn't.)  I had four bags and that didn't include my work handbag.  As we were about to leave, the boy began to cry in his car seat.  Suddenly, I remembered I had to grab him a spare sleep suit so I dashed upstairs.
'Stay with your brother,' I said to the girl.
'No,' was her reply and she came upstairs with me following me so close that I tripped over her feet.
I came back down stairs and then realised that I had forgotten a cardigan for the girl so I ran back up again with the her hot on my heels.  After reaching the outside door, I panicked that I hadn't switched my hair straighteners off so I ran upstairs once more, by this time I had a bit of a sweat on. (Cardio.)
'Stay with your brother,' I begged.
'No!' She set off behind me, pushed past me on the stairs, jumped onto the landing.  'I win!' She cried. The straighteners were, as always, off and unplugged and I ran back downstairs.  By this time, the boy's face was almost blue with crying.  Might as well run upstairs again for the laugh, so I did.  Just kidding.  I loaded them and everything else into the car and set off to my Mum's house as she was having both of the children for the day.  Lucky her...

At 8.20 I arrived at work and it was like I had never left.  It was nice to be able to walk and not waddle along the car park and it was lovely to be able to fit through the door that leads to our department.  I said my hellos, found an empty classroom and just enjoyed the silence for two whole hours.  Two hours of no crying, of no feeding, of no mopping up sick, of no running from room to room just to see if my three year old followed me in a blind panic, no being climbed on, no GCSE moderation marking; it was bliss.  But, then I became acutely aware that there was no smelling of my boy's head, no 'Cookie Monster' kisses from my girl, no giggles from the Jumparoo, no random questions about Paw Patrol or Andy's Dinosaur Adventures; I was missing them.  A few guilt ridden minutes passed before I opened my emails and was greeted with literally hundreds of the buggers. My boss had given me a few jobs to do so I cracked on.

I get to appreciate good grammar humour once again.  Us English Teachers, we're a right laugh.

Break time was the first time was able to see some of my old students.  One girl stared at me, looked at my stomach and then my newly acquired fringe; she looked confused.  I smiled.
'All right?' I asked.
She looked embarrassed and then spoke to her friend telling her that I was back.  Her friend stared at me blankly and admitted that she had no idea who I was.  It was nice to see that I had made an impact with my teaching.

I was invited to help some students from my old Year 10 class with their coursework.  Upon entering the classroom, there were more glances at my fringe and a few mutterings of my name being spoken under breaths. One boy broke the ice by asking if I had had my baby.  I glanced at my stomach, breathed in, stood a little taller and replied that indeed I had (whilst secretly cursing the fact that I still had not lost my baby weight). I sat with a student and helped him improve a letter he had been writing.  I found myself getting into the swing of things again when I started reciting some old friendly phrases of mine.
'Connective comma!'
'Oh,'
'Change that to an 'ing' word and add a comma and what have you now used?'
'A complex sentence, Miss,'
'Stop using random commas!'
'What should I use then?'
'A FULL STOP!'
Commas (comma) when used correctly (comma) are ace (comma) but when used incorrectly (comma) that can be the difference between a C and a D.  Is that right?  Oh I don't know!  I much prefer the question mark and the exclamation mark; you know where you stand with them.  Bugger, did I just use that semi colon correctly?
*Pulls hair out.*  Now I know that I am not using the asterisk properly.

By the afternoon I had returned to the empty classroom to continue writing a series of lessons about Frankenstein which is one of my favourite books.  However, I was concerned about how I was going to engage a group of Year 10 students in a novel written well over one hundred years ago?  The language is challenging and the narrative structure is a little confusing also.  I figured it out though and through my use of the asterisk once again, I will describe my actions:
*Googles You Tube*
*Types in Penny Dreadful*
Sky Atlantic comes up trumps once again.

I left work a little after 4pm and raced over to my Mum's house.  Noticing my girl in the window, I waved giddily only for her to stare blankly back at me.  It was nice to see that she had missed me.  I knocked on the door to be greeted by my Petit Filous splattered, dishevelled Mum.  If you read my post about my Mum's special birthday, then you know how lovely she is and how smart and bang on trend she always is.  Bless her, she let out a huge sigh and told me that the boy had spent the majority of the day crying and looking around for me (he was crying in her arms at that very moment.)  I grabbed him and he stopped and suddenly my guilt kicked in once again. 

Grandma P before having both of the Munckins all day and after...

We packed up the car once again and I left a slightly broken Momma Bear alone for her to catch her breath and get some rest before she had them again on Wednesday.  We arrived home just after 5pm, ate dinner as a family (with a food splattered boy moaning in his high chair), bathed the girl and put them both to bed.  At 9pm I finally sat down with my first cup of tea of the day (I drank tea and dunked biscuits every hour on the hour during maternity leave) and by 9.15pm the boy was crying and ninja flippin' in his cot.  Don't judge me for this, but I needed a decent night's sleep.  I removed him from his cot and placed him next to me in my bed.  He had a little feed, a long cuddle and together we drifted off to sleep.

The following morning, we woke, I showered, he pooed, he put his hands in his poo, I freaked out, I grabbed his hands, I got poo in my nail, I freaked out, I put a new nappy on quickly, I showed the Other Half my nail, he told me I was gross, I washed my hands and cut my nail and started the process of getting ready for work all over again.

Happy Tuesday to me!
A Cornish Mum
The Dad Network

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Sun + Water = Paddling Fool

Wednesday 1st July - The Hottest Day of the Year...so far.

After another rubbish night's sleep, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed hot, sluggish and with the Ninja Flippin' Dude next to me.  To say that I woke up would be very wrong.  As always, I was woken by the girl banging on the door demanding to be let in.  Daddy, fresh from the shower, opened the door for her and she came bounding in Fruit Shoot in hand.

'I want something to watch!' she demanded.
'Shhh, your brother is asleep.'
She whispered: 'I want something to...' and then shouted: 'watch!'
She looked at her brother.
'Look, he's awake now.'
I screamed into my pillow as the Other Half waltzed back in and unknowingly annoyed me further by saying:
'You won't be able to get the paddling pool out today.  It's too difficult to manoeuvre because the lawn is on a slope.  You have to position it and prop it up with stuff so that it doesn't over flow.  I wouldn't bother if I was you.'  He was only trying to help.  In hindsight, I should have listened.  I didn't  Today was scheduled to be a scorcher.  I'll show you. I thought.

I didn't.

It was nursery day for the girl so after dropping her off, my plan was to sit in the garden with my boy and enjoy my last week of maternity leave.  I thought I would be also attempt to be Super Mum by getting the paddling pool out for her to enjoy after nursery.

Last year, Asda were selling big paddling pools for a tenner and so not to miss out on a bargain, we decided to buy one.  Only we couldn't.  Every single bloody Asda near us had sold out. We ended up forking out about £35 on one from Smyths.  It was huge.  We didn't think the purchase through as five hours after pulling it from its box, it was still filling up.  We only used it once last summer so I thought it was time to dust off the literal cobwebs and get it out again for the hottest day of the year.  Granddad came and took the boy out for a walk at 11am so I seized the opportunity to sort out the pool whilst I had the house to myself even though the vacuum was out, the washing needed hanging out and the breakfast bowls were still in the sink.  (You can clearly see where my priorities lay.) I just had to brave the garage.  

The garage, for me, is unknown territory.  I don't go in at all as legend tells that there are spiders the size of horses in there; it has even been noted that some carry shields and swords.  Wearing my shorts, vest and flip flops, my only form of protection came from some gardening gloves so I was not unarmed.  Upon entering the garage, it was like the home to a long lost tribe.  There were chairs scattered around, a TV (plugged in) perched upon a large container and the remnants of old toys long since forgotten.  There was a sledge, buckets and spades, curtain rails, sun loungers, a boxed up bouncy castle, two bikes and the dead rotting corpse of a spider splattered on the wall.  The Other Half must have, at one time, won a battle with it.  However, they were clearly winning the war, as I could see webs hanging precariously from above and some were woven neatly among the abandoned furniture and toys.  Then I spotted the box.  The paddling pool was boxed up gathering dust under the curtain poles and some discarded bits of carpet.  Using my gloved hands, I tried to pull it over towards the door, but alas it was too heavy.  I had to lift things and move things before I could pick up the box.  Closing my eyes, I squealed picked it up, ran for the door and threw it in a heap on the grass and then hastily stepped on anything that crawled or fell from the box.  It was mostly crumpled up old leaves, but sword wielding spiders sounds better.

We wrestled these from a spider earlier.

The Other Half's wise words whispered in my ears: 'The garden is on a slope.'  I dragged the pool to the flattest point of the garden and opened it up.  I then started to blow it up.  Forty five minutes later, I was still blowing it up.  I won't bore you with the detail but if you could see me, I was sitting crossed legged on the grass, blowing the pool up inbetween batting away flies and jumping up and screaming every time a wasp or hornet came within five feet of me.  I don't know if you can tell this, but I am not an outdoorsy person.

Next bit was the hose.  Dragging it out of the garage, I switched it on and threw it in the pool and waited.  And waited.  I went in to make a coffee.  I returned outside and waited.  Screw this, I thought and went inside to watch an episode of True Detective (it's rather good, isn't it?)  I returned outside every so often and once again the Other Half's wise words haunted me.  Only one half was starting to fill.  Darn.  They were my exact words...  Dashing about the house, I found old pillows and cushions that I thought would provide leverage and tried to ram them underneath the pool.  I didn't realise that a large amount of water all pooled together would be very heavy.  I couldn't lift the bloody thing and just shoved the pillows around the side the best I could.  I stood back and admired my lopsided handy work just in time for Grandad to return.

I don't think it's supposed to look like this.

I have to admit that I was a little excited about getting the boy in the pool.  I may have (once or twice) mentioned that I am a bit rubbish at doing all the new mum and baby things.  When my girl was a baby, I paid for her to go to those baby swimming classes which were, in my opinion, a complete rip off.  I had to drive for the best part of an hour in order to get twenty minutes pool time.  After being kicked out of the pool, I then spent a fraught half an hour drying a cold crying baby surrounded by other mums in a communal changing area.  Not one for loving public nakedness and panic drying, I vowed never again.  Watching American box sets is much more exciting than swimming and bonding...

Armed in his little swimming trunks and cap, I dunked his feet in. He cried. Never one to give in, I dunked him again and for a little longer this time.  He cried. This continued for ten minutes before I gave up and returned inside and watched the end of True Detective. (Did you see that coming at the end of episode two?) 


Loving every second of being in the garden.

Before I could attempt round two of 'dunk and cry', a rumbling in the distance could be heard and I saw a few splashes of water on the windows. The poor boy was shoved in his ever faithful Jumparoo (why did I even attempt a new activity with him?) and I made a mad dash outside to collect the cushions, put the hose away and put the garage back in lock down.  The heavens opened on my poor lopsided paddling pool and my dream of being Super Mum was washed away by the torrential rain.

At 3.15pm the other half called me as I was typing this blog.  He was on his way home from work and told me that he would collect the girl.

'Have you got the paddling pool out?' He asked.
'In a sense, yes,' I answered.
Did you prop it up?
'Yes...but...' he didn't let me finish.
'Is it full?'
'Erm.'
'Has it been acclimatised?'
'What?'
'I might take her to the park,'
'What!? You will not take her to the park!' I shouted.  'I have spent the best part of the day filling it.'

By the time the girl returned home, the sun was shining again. She came running in and asked for her ladybird costume. The Other Half followed, glanced at the paddling pool and shook his head.
'What is that?' he asked.
I explained about the cushions, about boy's aversion to water, the torrential down pour and that really he should give True Detective a chance.  By this time, he was being dragged upstairs to get changed. Once she was in her swimming gear, the girl launched herself into the pool and started splashing around.  The Other Half soon followed.  Upon observing the sunken walls of the pool and the floating leaves, he glanced at his daughter and smiled.
'It's served its purpose, I suppose.' He said.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is about as much praise as I am going to get for my attempts at being a Super Mum.

At least someone appreciated my efforts.

And so here we are.  It's 5.30pm and after continuing to play in the pool whilst I held (but didn't dunk) a very sweaty little boy, the Other Half suggested a barbeque.  He and the girl are out getting lighter fuel and I have just fed my fussy boy and reached for my first Peroni of the evening.

The abandoned pool and bbq. They've gone out to buy some lighter fluid...

I'm sure a day in the garden never used to be this hard work.



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