Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Woman's Work...

"HOW WAS YOUR DAY, DEAR?" Oh you know...same ol', same ol'..

And I thought I was stressed-out and chasing my tail before.. well nothing compares to the build-up of an impending School Carnivore ...
My neighbour warned me, when her boy started Kindy, that it was hard work.
She said to me; "It's like I just got another full-time job, you know?"
And of course I didn't. 

Now though I often feel like a personal assistant to a CEO rather than a mum.
Would someone tell me please, how the hell do you women with more than one child do it????
Even simple stuff like obtaining spots in extra-curricular activities that can work- in real time- seems impossible without the need for wearing your undies over your tights, or calling on the fat lady with a pumpkin and six white mice.

I tell you, I practically had to sell my soul to Satan and promise my next child (like I could have one), just to change her swimming lesson time to anything more manageable than fifteen minutes out of the school gate or cocktail hour. I asked every week, twice a week, for a full term.

Because this was a typical 'lazy day' for me and my only child before the start of big school:

9:30 - sort and load washing
10:30 - Shop for jelly crystals as promised
11am - Pinkster's -haircut buy take-out coffee and Pick-up dry-cleaning
12 - Cook & serve lunch for Pinkster, hang out washing and make jelly together
1pm - Pinkster's chiropractic appointment
2pm - Pinkster's School Start Interview
2:45 - pick up some groceries and lunch for me (because I snap at the crotch of a low-flying duck by now)
3.30-4-30 - jolly good lie down (A.K.A. fall-in-a-heap due to malnourishment)
4-45 - tidy up from unsupervised rampant play-time and  vacuum house
5-30 - run bath- put child in to soak and finish housework
6pm - cook and serve Pinkster's dinner, wash up
6:30 - wrestle jelly out of the mold
6:40 - The Pinkster and I discover that she doesn't actually like 'eating' Jelly
6:50 until wine-o-clock - The whole bath, teeth & bed hostage situation.
7:30 - ooh goodie time to think about tonight's dinner for grown-ups - get drunk instead and order Chinese

At this point in time I was still naively  looking forward to all the promised 'freedom' I would have once she started school. (hysterical laughter spills over the keyboard - oh that must be the wine).

So now we're in high gear, almost 3 terms under the belt, I volunteered when I could, I've baked, I've sewed costumes, I've coached all the lagging subjects, I've helped pour literally hundreds of cups of tea and walked the boards of the school hall proffering trays of scones.

But in just these last two weeks - man oh man, we've had; Father's day (and we were making him a photo memory book), a family visitor, a federal election, the Jump for Heart Fund Raiser, Miss Lovely Smile's Birthday 'thing' and all the while gearing up for, what Pinkster calls; The School Carnivore.

Already I've totally dropped the ball on the best dressed teddy entry, but I did well on donations for the quality second hand children's' clothes stall (which involved a world of extra washing - let me tell you).

I completely botched the "purchase-your-ride-tickets-online-lest-you-spend-the-rest-of-your-natural-life-in-a-queue" deadline. So I may have to employ someone for a sleep-out the evening before. That's because I can't go early to queue on the day because it's my week to carpool the girls to French lessons on Saturday.

I actually managed to negotiate with Pinkster a parting with some mint-condition baby toys to donate to another stall. This was a long and emotionally exhausting process, during which she negotiated that I will be buying her a Barbie Dream house for her fill  up the space made by the donated toys of course.
But all in all it was a successful task... until the note in the school bag appeared the following day saying there was no more space and "please no more donations of toys". So that stuff will go back in the attic I guess freshly washed, maybe we'll try again next year..maybe the children's hospital..?

Anyway during this long, long fortnight, I got to thinking what do I do with my time? Why are my days so short? Why can't I manage to blog twice a week? Why am I always running around like a headless chook? Forever out of breath at afternoon pick-up? And why is my novel still  unfinished?

So I worked it out. Meticulously. This is the only kind of pie I can bake competently that doesn't involve replacing ovens or food poisoning.

Ironically, next note to appear in her school bag tells me I'm about to receive a cake-box? How lovely!
Uh oh - this is something I'm supposed to fill with home baked cookies to sell at - you guessed it The School Carnivore!

I really must stop calling it that - it's only cute when 'she' says it.

So amongst all this moaning about my lot - I think often of the mum's at our school who do all this, PLUS canteen, PLUS being class or year co-ordinators, PLUS work in the uniform shop, volunteer for every-bloody-thing there is and those same women have a bunch of kids- not just one. AND some of them have jobs! (as in paid ones with superannuation and health benefits) AND some of them are even working on degrees as well as working!!
Hey now, that's just showing off. Or are they secretly wearing their undies over her tights and doing laps of the neighbourhood rooftops at night?

HOW DO THEY BLOODY DO IT ??????????????
OK so tonight the cake box came home: a box big enough to park a Mac Truck (OK slight exaggeration there; more like three dozen cup cakes) which is still huge. 

Can I have a show of hands; Who thinks I'm an idiot for considering actually baking, instead of buying, enough *gingerbread-feet biscuits (I don't do people because it seems cruel biting them) to fill this thing ??

Please cast your vote, people: I'm losing what's left of my good judgement along with my marbles.
Buy or Bake?   Bake or Buy?

Speaking of baking, what's that awful burning smell?  OH SHIT, THE ROAST! I've just incinerated dinner again! CRAP!

* I make gingerbread biscuits in the shape of feet and paint the toenails with red icing - v cute and v. labour-intensive.

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