I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I mean it. Everything hurts. Things I didn’t even realise could hurt, hurt. My butt hurts.
After a fortnight of steadily worsening weather, manic schedules and kids parties, yesterday was breaking point. It all started with the morning school run. For the past two weeks the morning run has been a battle; you see, my small human doesn’t want to go to school. The step up from reception to year 1 has wiped her out, and despite all my efforts to help her she has not adjusted. So now, every morning, she will go to any length imaginable to try and get out of school.
Yesterday was no different. First she needed 45 minutes to put on her polo shirt and trousers. Then she pretended to have no clean socks (there were clean socks in her drawer, as usual). She sat down to eat her breakfast (as slowly as one can eat breakfast) all the while giving me a death glare. She took a further 20 minutes just to put her shoes on, explaining to me that one red dot on her stomach (that is invisible to all but her) definitely means she has the chicken pox, and absolutely cannot go to school. She does not have the chicken pox.
We left the house and she dragged her feet the whole 30 minute walk to school. Needless to say we were late, again, as we have been every day for the past two weeks. I almost considered writing my child hates your school as her reason for being late. I trudged home in the freezing cold feeling (as I have every morning lately) defeated, and like I am failing her somehow.
By mid morning I felt drained. The cold and the walk and the frustration had taken it out of me. I wanted to go back to bed, but coffee prevailed. I got on with all my chores, every hour or so pausing to google questions to ask at parents evening, which I was to attend later. I thought about calling and cancelling; I was exhausted enough without an extra hour-round walk to school just to ask the teacher the same question I have asked every day: why is my child so unhappy at school?
I set off at 3pm to collect Sprog. As always she was one of the last to leave, and as always she was carrying her coat, lunch box, bag, two letters, a book and her water bottle (why, why does she have a bag when she never puts anything in it??). This meant spending time in the chaotically busy playground rearranging her so that she could actually walk. I hate school pick up. It’s sensory overload on a silver platter.
I put tea in the oven as soon as we got back. We only had an hour and a half before we needed to head out again, her to her club and me to parents evening. We ate and got changed, me all the while reminding her that we could not be late tonight, which is probably why she did everything in her power to make us late. She put on a Tshirt and tights despite me telling her daily that she can’t go out like that, she ‘lost’ her shoes – all of them – turns out they were ‘lost’ in her wardrobe where they live. She demanded a drink when we should have been leaving, spent 10 minutes putting on play jewellery that she’s never bothered wearing before and completely forgot how to put on or zip up a coat. By the time we got out the door I was furious.
I dropped her at her club and set off as quick as I could to school. Every step hurt. Passing shops made me daydream about picking up a bottle of wine on the way home. Take it from me, Wednesday night wine is good wine.
School was too bright and too hot. I was seated on one of the impossibly small kiddie chairs for half an hour, while probing Sprog’s teacher about why she has been so upset about school. Well, it’s a big change for all of them and we all have off days and maybe she will feel better after half term were the answers I got, leaving me irked and unsatisfied. I looked through her books and was astounded to hear that she pays attention and follows instructions very well in class – clearly much better than at home! – and by the time I stood up my butt had gone numb. I made a sympathetic joke about backache from the kiddie chairs, and really felt for the teacher. Then I was off into the cold again.
There was no time to stop for wine along the way, just a mad rush to pick Sprog on time. Out of breath and sweating despite the temperature outside, I barreled through the doors dead on 7pm… To find my child scowling at me from the other side of the hall, arms folded, stating, “I don’t WANT to go home!”.
I swear I nearly cried. I nearly threw my arms up and said, “FINE!” and marched my now-achey butt out of there. Of course, as a parent, that’s not an option. I had to wait half an hour for her strop to be over. We sauntered home, and after a further 45 minutes of messing around, she went to bed.
I sat, very still, in my living room. I hadn’t even taken my boots or coat off. Just breathing, taking note of the quiet and the numerous aches all over my body. Telling myself that it would be wise to get up, turn everything off and go straight to bed. Thankful that this day from hell was finally over. However, just as I stood up to take my coat off… She was up again.
Do you have days like this? Is your child a pro at making you late? Let us know!