We have finally reached the home stretch…
After school I grab the girls and head straight to the pool for my eldest daughter, Flash’s swim squad at 4pm. The pool is a 30 minute drive from the school. While Flash is swimming, I sit in the café with my middle daughter Muscles and my son, Buster.
I usually get them an ice block and go through Muscles spelling words (which are conveniently e-mailed to the parents by the teacher). I grab her school readers and Muscles reads to Buster and I. Buster’s attention span for that classic mono-tone, word-by word reading only lasts for about the first page, so I keep him occupied with my trusty iphone apps. Muscles seems to really thrive on the one-on one attention, as we chat about her friends and her ‘boy-friend’ (She has just turned 7 by the way).
I know most people do homework at home and I’m sure the staff at the pool café think we are just a little bit strange! I then drive muscles to her to gymnastics training which starts at 5pm. It’s lucky the pool and the gym are situated close together!!
Buster is getting pretty tired by this time and usually I end-up carrying him back to the pool to pick up Flash. I feel like I’m getting some exercise in, lugging that lump around! Finally we head for home….This time it’s up to Flash to keep Buster awake! We do this pool-gymnastics routine 3 to 4 times per week!
I rush around unpacking bags, washing lunch boxes and organising Flash and Busters dinner. Flash never seems to run out of energy and Buster is excited to have his sister home. I get them to go outside and jump on the trampoline or ride their bikes or scooters and talk to the neighbor over the fence. Thank goodness for daylight savings! Their yelling isn’t so loud when they are outside!! I’m not so sure what the neighbors think though!
At 7.15pm, Grumpy Daddy arrives home with Muscles and the kids are running around again, pretending to do a long-jump competition in the kitchen, where I’m trying to get dinner ready! There I am again. In the middle of the familiar and almost comforting chaos!
After dinner, after its all cleaned up and the dishwasher is in action again, I get Flash into the bath. Most of her friends have showers. Maybe it’s the warmth of the water or the enforced opportunity for relaxation for Flash, but I find bath time quite special. I wash her hair and we talk about her day. Sometimes We’ll practice her times tables or her speeches. Then it’s time to get the little ones in the bath. Buster and Muscles love to play together in the water.
My mum usually calls on Skype at this time. We’ll have a quick chat and the kids will sing her a song they have learnt. Often my mum will practice the girls spelling words with them as well….one less thing I have to do!!
Finally its time to get the kids to bed! Grumpy daddy and I take it in turns to either be with the girls (who share a bedroom) or Buster. We will read them a book and then I like to sing to them and rub their backs as they get sleepy. By singing to them at night, I have been able to teach them the songs of my childhood. A favorite of theirs is actually Madonna’s ‘like a prayer! At the moment they are right into Christmas carols. I feel like I am sharing a part of myself with them. Not ordering them around, driving them around or doing housework, but giving them a part of me that they will remember when they are grown.
If I haven’t fallen asleep as well, I get to jump in and have a quick shower. When they are asleep I do my blogging. I usually stay up far too late, but the opportunity just to ‘be’ without the children for a little while is quite addictive and I have trouble giving it up to go to sleep!
As I eventually fall into bed, it is in the back of my mind that tomorrow I have to do it all again. Sometimes this is a happy thought. Sometimes it is not….
*this seires of ‘a day in the life posts’ are dedicated to by last boss. When I told him of my decision not to return to work after my maternity leave, he simply replied “….so, what will you do all day??….”