Category: Kids


542 days or 1 year, 5 months, 24 days

Birthday week has come and gone in a blur of excitement and emotion.

Surprisingly, I was upbeat for both the kids’ birthdays because I had awesome presents and had planned The Best Party Ever (according to the kids and their friends).

K’s birthday was a school day (for her, not me – I had that week off ).  I had managed to buy a cheap laptop which is something that she’s wanted for over a year and something that she is beginning to need for school (and hey  – I’m NOT sharing mine).  She was completely bowled over.  She’s currently playing maths games on it so I count it as a resounding win.

H’s birthday was the same day as their shared party.  I had managed to pick up a second hand DSLite for him – also something he has begged for and would never had got aside from a friend selling her daughter’s unwanted one cheaply.  I have a photo of the instant he realised what it was that will make an appearance at his 21st.  His expression is priceless.

But the party was HUGE!! I had booked Professor Jellybean as the entertainment and it was hands-down THE best party I’ve ever seen.  She brought all the equipment with her including tables and chairs as well as the science equipment.
She had brought lab coats and safety glasses for all the kids and they looked adorably geeky.
She was patient and methodical with the kids’ experiments where they turned agar into goo worms and made artificial snow.  To end off the afternoon, they let of “rockets” (large air-filled bags).

….and I knew you were right there with us.
H's Halo on 365 Project
I miss you.

I love you.

XA

510 days….

After becoming increasingly frustrated with the other, young (stupid, insensitive) teacher last week, I decided that I. Was. Done. helping her out.

This came after she brought her class down to our (enormous) oval about 20 minutes after us and set up within 10 m of my class for her fitness session.

I was winding up our science experiment which involved an unfair relay (easiest way to show kids that we need to be fair when we test in science is to make a game unfair).

She starts shouting instructions to her class WHILE I am talking to mine.  THEN she told some boys in my class to move because they were in the way.

FUCK it love – you have an entire oval to do your shit on and you bring your class within a few metres of mine and THEN complain???

…when I went over to ask her to give us some space  to finish up (quietly so the kids couldn’t hear) she said “it doesn’t really matter what you get done because you are only the supply teacher”.

Rioght.  It’s on Biatch.

I was civil to her for the rest of the week, but also  supremely unhelpful.
“So sorry, we are still using that equipment (that I brought from home), you’ll have to find something else to use”.
“Oh darn it, we finished up the remaining (resource I brought from home), you’ll have to find your own”.
“So sorry, I didn’t realise you wanted that – I only photocopied enough copies for my class”.

All done in my patented passive-aggressive style.

While I hate having to work like that, I felt so much freer and better.  I wasn’t frustrated.  I wasn’t feeling angry.  I wasn’t feeling upset. I was feeling on top of everything and I was flying!

… meanwhile, my class shone like the diamonds that they are.

….meanwhile, my kids begged me to stay until the end of the year.

….meanwhile, we got on with the business of  teaching and learning.

…..and meanwhile, the special ed teacher who works with some students in my class casually mentioned that the spec. ed unit was really happy with the work I’ve been doing with their kids.

….and meanwhile the spec ed aide that works in my class mentioned my work with the head of spec ed.

…. and meanwhile, the head of spec ed has passed on his recommendation that I be given my own class next year to the principal.

 I know.!!!!!

Nothing is set in stone.

I still might not get the job I want.

I still might get stupid, nasty, bullshit crap pulled on me from young idiots who think they know it all.

But that doesn’t matter to me, because it feels like my work has been noticed.

It feels like I have come out shining despite what seemed to be two deliberate attempts to disrupt my teaching*.

…and it feels like you had a hand in this.

…. it feels like you did some whispering for me.

Thank you.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

 

 

*There was another incident earlier in the week involving a photocopier, me trying to be helpful, and a wild goose chase that could have put me in the wrong place at the wrong time were it not for a fabulous aide).

 

505 days…..

I’ve been on class last week and this week.

The class is made up of a mixture of “my boys” from last year and some kids from the other class I spent quite a bit of time with.  Plus some awesome year 5s.

I love it.

I want to keep them.

….and at least some of them want to keep me.  (So lovely to have a beautiful Yr 5 girl beg me to keep teaching her for the rest of the year).

But …

on the down side, I am working along side one of the 20-somethings.

She’s quite good, this girl.  I give her a lot of time which she happily absorbs.

but then proceeds to shit all over me at other times because she is 25 and still knows everything.

about everything.

My natural instinct is to help others.

she likes my help.

I have some default setting that demands that I help where needed.

But she has a happy knack of pissing me off just as we wind up for the day by uttering the dumbest and most condescending crap.

stupid things like:

“At the end of the day, you are the classroom teacher and you can do whatever you want”.

Ummmm … no.  I can’t actually.

Nor can you, love.

These people called kids have opinions on what we do in class and so do their parents, despite you thinking they are all morons (some are but most just want to see their kids educated).

Not to mention that I am technically a supply teacher who is duty-bound to stick as closely as possible to the prescribed activities set by the actual classroom teacher who is currently having a few weeks R&R.

I guess this really isn’t a big deal.

It’s nothing really.

But I miss downloading the shite to you each evening.

I miss talking to someone who understands how frustrating some people can be.

Someone who can remind me to laugh off the pompousness that some of our young teachers are so good at.

You would have made a joke about it.

You would have made me laugh.

and I miss that.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

494 days…

Today started out wrong.

Really wrong.

I Did Not Want To Go to another ceremony centred around death, yet there we were, travelling up the highway (ugh) to meet with the rest of the fam at the cemetery and go inter Nan’s ashes with Pop’s.

But…

It was OK.

Nice even….

We met with Pete and kids, Mum and Dad, Uncle and Aunty, cousins and their spouses and kids at the beach where we lazily picnicked amongst the elitist snobbery that inhabit beach-side resorts during holiday season…

except there were no elitist snobs there, just nice families and tradies having lunch at the beach.

The kids (all 7 of them) played at the playground before wading into the river to catch soldier crabs and find shells.

I convinced Pete’s middlest girl to hold a crab in her hand and she beamed.

Then

Mum and I picked up Nan’s ashes from the crematorium.

She was heavy for a waif.

…and a big surprise when we finally made the cemetery …. the new plaque with both Nan and Pop’s details had been placed when they were sure it couldn’t have been done in time while all the family was in the one country.

The groundsman had dug a hole and told us how to placed the ashes before discreetly leaving us and the minister to our task.

Nobody was really sad, I mean Nan was 94 years old and more than ready … but I teared up when I saw her little box being placed next to Pop’s slightly weathered one.

Finally together again … in body anyway.

….and I hoped that you were standing next to me, standing in the warm winter sunshine with my whole family as we said our final goodbyes to Nan.

I hoped that you took a handful of dirt to place on the grave (and what great topsoil it was – Pop would have been well pleased, no doubt wanting us to plant something in it).

I hoped that you stood with the kids as they wondered about the differences between cremation and burial and worried about what it was like inside your grave (the topsoil isn’t as great, that I can tell you).

I hope you are there, standing right next to me now as I type.

Because I’ve really been missing you quite badly this week.

I love you.

XA

 

 

Dear Darl, it’s June 28, 2011. Sick.

484 days….

I’ve succumbed to the dreaded lurgy … and to quote K, “I feel like mud”.

The only thing keeping me going are cold tabs.

Of course, this has coincided with the start of holidays … those holidays when I had such great plans to do stuff … but as for each set of school holidays since September last year, something has conspired to depress me.

At Christmas time, it was the endless flooding.

At Easter, it was more bad weather.

This time, it’s this energy-sapping cold that has meant I have struggled to do anything…. I simply have no energy.

It has also meant that we had to postpone our visit with Cousin A and kids who are visiting from their home in Zambia ….. My lovely little niece I has to have an operation later this week and Can Not Be Sick or they will call it off.   …and since the standard of medical health is better here than there, they absolutely Do Not Want to call it off.

..but cold or no cold, I HAVE to do something fun for us.

…and so I am bringing back the vege patch.

Yep – I know you know how excited this makes me.

H is desperate to grow some sunflowers, just like you used to do.

But instead of trying to dig over the vege patch, I’ve found an old wooden crate which I’ve half filled with sand and compost and will add some potting mix tomorrow and then ….

….. we plant.

I just hope I have a little more energy tomorrow.

I miss you ….. and for more than your gardening skills.

I love you.

XA

 

479 days….

I am so sick of putting up with idiots at work.

Specifically, one 20-somethings that knows EVERYTHING about kids.

She was in a flap because she had to look after her boyfriend’s 3 yo niece that evening and she was feeling ill.

So I suggested she use Mother’s Box-shaped Helper (TV) and some well placed DVDs while she reclined on the couch with a few advil and a box of tissues.

I’ve used this tactic many a time in the Before when Greg wasn’t home.

I remember being heavily pregnant with H, feverish with a cold and literally falling asleep on my feet whilst looking after a very adventurous 22 month old K.  Some well placed blocks and a Boo-Bah’s DVD bought me a little nap which got me through the day.

Well.

Obviously I know sweet FA about kids compared to a 26 yo childless teacher because, and I quote, she has been “teaching for longer” than me.

Yup.

Suffer in your Kleenex then love…..

…and I hope to God that she never has to learn the hard way that sole parenting requires a few tricks and compromises to get through the day.

It’s NOT the same as single parenting.

Nobody else can rescue you from your children’s exuberance when you are too  sick to care for them.

Twice the work on half the income…

Literally.

Sole parents are Superheroes.

~~~~~~~

I miss you

I love you.

XA

PS – big things are happening in blog land.  Tonight, my first guest post should appear on Widow’s Voice.  Exciting!

Dear Darl, it’s June 5, 2011.

461 days…

Cousin S joined the kids and I for soccer this morning.

Which was lucky because “Craig” was back and even though he looked at me every time I seemed to raise my head, he didn’t come near us.

…and for that I thank Cousin S.

Given that S used to coach kid’s soccer and plays quite well himself, it was good to have him there this morning – he put the kids through a few drills before they started which was fun for all.

~~~~~~~~~

K was sick all last week.  I took her to the Dr on Friday as her cough was quite bad, and came away with a script for antibiotics which I didn’t need to fill because she’d started to get better by herself.

But I also asked for a repeat script for H’s reflux … and this lovely new Dr stopped and told me that we really should check H’s problem out a bit more as it should have gone away by now….

she mentioned paediatric gastros and further testing.

Fuck.

Why didn’t the first Dr tell me this?

Please let it not be anything serious.

Please.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

457 days…

First day of winter.

It was cold …. 19 degrees (shaddup – you know how I consider anything below 20 degrees to be cold).

So cold I actually put the heater on!  I know!

K was sick again … she hasn’t been to school all week as she has been this  croaky, coughing mess all week.

Yesterday morning, she came to me and said: “Mummy, I feel like mud.  Can you do anything to make me feel better – like kill me or something”.

She wasn’t being funny.

So I had to have the day off yesterday with her.

Poor kiddo.

~~~~~~~~

I worked all day today – my normal groups this morning and year 1 this arvo.

Gorgeous kids.  ..

.including one little girl whose father died a week or so ago.

I met her mother as well and she almost hugged me when I told her that I knew a little about how she was feeling.  I knew.

This forced solo-parent family deal is getting ridiculous.  There’s an epidemic at our school.

It has to stop.

Or at least we need to do more than throw the guidance counsellor in their general direction and watch as she yet again tests every conceivable childhood ‘test” (from IQ to EQ to trauma to ASD … Whipsi Whispy Whapsi Whatever)  and talks a bit  and then recommends extra TLC because the kid is basically just sad.

Which is great, but there’s only so much TLC time you can devote to any one kid, given that each of the 26 classes has about 5 kids that need various levels of TLC for dead parents, dead aunties and uncles, sick parents, separated parents, mentally unwell parents….. and since none of things is an official “diagnosis” of anything other than pervasive sadness, there’s no extra TLC suppliers (ie teachers and aids) employed.

We so need a chaplain.

Now.

Please.

Talk to your people and I’ll talk to mine …

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

454 days….

The kids had a ball at soccer again today (yes, I do crack myself up).

“Craig” wasn’t there so I had a good day too.

K actually *played* today and in the shoot out, it was discovered that not only is she the fastest runner, but she can also kick the ball the furthest of anyone on the team.

She just doesn’t like taking the ball away from someone else …. she is my daughter after all 😉

I was just looking back over some old posts and looked up the entry from a year ago….

 

89 days…

and I’m exhausted.  I’m sick of this shit.  I hate it.

I’m sorry for whatever I did that pissed God off so much that he had to take you away.    God definitely sent me more grief than I can cope with.  That or he’s got Fuck All idea of what “coping” looks like and has confused it with “crazy”. Its only through sheer willpower that I haven’t driven us all off to the funny farm today.  Well, willpower and the fact that I don’t quite know where the funny farm is anyway.

I need a day of to myself with some peace and quiet, with no kids fighting or whining, no sister-in-laws phoning me for a “chat” at 7am or 10pm (WTF is with that???), with a clean house, laundry done and put away, no more forms or new people I have to send certified copies of the death certificate to ….  and with lots of rainbows and the odd unicorn shooting glitter out of its arse.

A hotline to Heaven wouldn’t go astray either as would a day where I don’t cry so much my eyes and face ache with the pain of tears.

I miss you so bad I have a permanent ache in my chest.
I can see how it is possible to die from a broken heart…

 

While I still have days like this, it’s no longer all the time or even every day.

Now it’s more of a permeating sadness.

A functional sadness.

Less acute.

But still there.

….and I can see the progress I’ve made.

Go me!

Can I have a prize now???

I miss you.  That’s really the big thing right now.

Nobody else can fill your shoes.

I love you.

XA

440 days…

The kids have been going to soccer for the past few Sundays and so we were out having fun in the lovely warm autumn sun again today.

They both had fun (H slightly more I think as he actually played the game whereas K was her usual polite self letting everyone else have “a turn” before her).

While I was there, the middle-aged, bearded, rotund man from last week started up a conversation with me.

…and you know  my inability to be rude… so I was polite and chatted back.

He is quite odd, this man … I get the feeling he has an enormous model train set in the garage and operates a ham radio from a shed out the back.  I would also guess that he has an intimate knowledge of how to play dungeons and dragons…. whilst having only a rudimentary knowledge of soap and its many uses.

Anyway, we chatted about this and that   … all of it terribly awkward …. with me desperately looking for a polite “out” … and failing…

when he says…

“My name is Craig by the way …. I gather that you are a single parent too”

Oh Crap.

Oh Crap.

Oh Crap.

“Maybe we could have a coffee sometime”.

Oh Crap.

Thank God the kids ran up to me and started talking at a million miles an hour at that second and I feigned inordinate interest in goal scores and such and so was able to pretend I didn’t hear the offer of coffee …  and I kept it up until “Craig” went away.

I am such a coward.

He isn’t the first bloke to try to chat me up now that I’m “single” but he definitely was the most awkward one so far.  I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and yet … erghhhh….

So I want to be Very Clear with you…

… I know I’ve been telling you to bring me someone new in the intermediate future … but I’m not and will never be that desperate that someone like  “Craig” will entice me to agree to a coffee leave alone anything else.

So to get this straight – when I said I wanted someone new, I was really only saying that I miss you so much I want someone *exactly* like you (ie cute, smart, resourceful, loving, funny and tres cool) …. I did not mean I wanted someone with a *beard* like you.

Comprende?

I miss you.

I love you.

XA