Wednesday, 14 August 2013

At least I've still got my sense of humour

At least I've still got my sense of humour
14 August 2013

Having a sense of humour when you’ve got kids, is key.  To survival.

Because believe you me, without it, you’ll go stark raving mad.

I have three kids in two different schools.  Not too complicated I know.  Why just a few years ago, I had them in three different schools. 

However, they all finish their school days at different times.  Added to that, there’s school sports at varying times of the afternoon, as well as a host of various other extra-murals too.

As the youngest of the lot, Cole quite predictably finishes school first.  Logic therefore dictates that I fetch him first.  But here’s the thing – every single afternoon when I fetch him, he asks if he can please play a little bit longer.  Lots of other kids seem to linger too.  As they’re either waiting the 35 minute stretch for their older siblings to finish school, or the first round of afternoon sports to start.  And so most afternoons, I sit in the car and wait a little bit.  Sometimes I don’t even bother going up early, knowing that I’ll just sit waiting in the car in any rate.  There is not enough time to dash home between fetching kids, as we live too far away.  So waiting at school, is just a part of life for me.

This doesn’t bother me at all.  I’ve always got something to do with me – a book, my cell phone, something crafty, etc.  Alternatively, indulging in a bit of kid-watching-while-they’re-playing, is also always fun.  And highly educational too.

And so just the other day, I dashed up to Beaumont, to fetch Cole first.  As is the norm.  But here is where I made my first mistake – it had been a rainy day, and the fields were particularly muddy.  Had I been more switched on and focused, I would have insisted that he got into the car immediately.  And that we killed “dead” time, whilst waiting for the other kids to finish school, by getting a heads-up with his homework.  But no, I had not been switched on.  That would’ve been too easy.  My second mistake had been to quickly leave him at Beaumont for five minutes, while I dashed to fetch Luke at PV.  I had to come back in any rate, to fetch Amber you see.  And so, when Cole begged me to let him stay on, I happily conceded.  He was having such fun.

And somehow five minutes, was all that it took.

By the time I got back to school, this is the sight that greeted me…..

My car had barely stopped, when a friend phoned.  Cautioning me that I would need a spare set of clothes, just to get him home.  Right – that would be the spare set of clothes I didn’t have.  You would have thought that I would have learnt by now with Cole – always carry spare clothes.

He was delighted with his new look.  And showed it off to me proudly.  He was drenched to the bone, and covered from head to toe in mud.

To be honest, he was quite a sight.  For sore eyes.  As the thought of ever getting that uniform clean again, baffled me.  Every single other parent that either drove past or walked past, gave a combination of a grimace, a wink, a smile, and a happy little snigger that he wasn’t their kid. 

I don’t think I’ve ever loved him more.  He looked super cute.  And like a real little boy should.  As happy as can be.  Really chuffed with his efforts.

One mom afterwards exclaimed that she had heard all about Cole’s impressive new muddy look, from her amazed, yet clean little girl.  It gave me a good laugh.

I suppose I should have been angry with him.  But how could I be?  And so, rather than scolding, or reprimanding, whinging, or fighting, I made him pose for a whole set of pics.  And we laughed quite a lot.  Had he been cleaner, I would’ve hugged him for sure.  Though instead I settled for a gritty kiss.

I had no way of getting him even remotely clean, before plopping him (pretty much by the scruff of his neck) into the car.  And so I did the only logical thing – I plopped him into the boot instead.  But my car being an SUV type thingy, it worked perfectly.

The term, “as happy as a pig in …..” comes to mind.

It took a really, really, really long time to get him clean again.  A whole hot water geyser full of time.  He had mud under his toenails, and in his ears (not too worried about that though, cause his ears are merely ornamental in any rate).  He scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed.

I wish I could say that his once-former-white-shirt also came clean again.  But after hand washing it three times, soaking it and putting it through the machine a few times, I finally admitted defeat.

It was the second once-former-white-shirt in one week to bite the dust.  The other had succumbed to a painting excursion.  Or rather execution.

He’s just such a little boy.

This past weekend, we went away with a few friends.  It was freezing cold, with snow on all of the surrounding mountains.  Yet an innocent walk on the beach with all of the kids, once more turned to clothing calamity.  With Cole being the only kid who got soaking wet.  Naturally I once again didn’t have any spare clothes for him either.  When will I ever learn?

In hindsight, all I can say, is thank heavens I never left him at school for any longer.  Can you just imagine the damage he would have done if I’d left him for seven minutes, instead of five?  The thought of what he could do in ten minutes, is beyond comprehension.  Not worth thinking about.

I thank my lucky stars every day for my patience.  And my sense of humour.  Because without both of them, we would’ve been sunk.

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