Friday, February 17, 2012
Sing and Swim
Either I have too many children, or we have too many activities. That was my thought for Wednesday. On picking the kids up from school, going straight to the next activity, and prepared to go back to school after that for Meet the Teacher Night, dinner in the slow cooker, I asked the children if we could withdraw from the band program. That one program means five appointments a week for one child, and four for another. (Two of those are the same appointment for them, but the whole thing adds up to seven a week for me.) And practice. And money. My life would be so much simpler if they just weren’t in band. But no.They love band. And they love dancing. We’ll get used to the new routine, they said, as I had said to them that morning. It’s just hard to get the new routines started up, but we’ll be OK. I said that to them before I was at home alone feeling like my mind had snapped.
Of course, I don’t want to give up any of my activities - my new job one day a fortnight, teaching ethics at school, uni study, and helping with Mamapalooza - and neither do the children. But I’m not convinced.
So far, with all activities not yet factored in to the term, I have two days where I’m supposed to be in two places at the same time. Morning lessons, before school, aren’t as early as last year, but leave less time for packing lunches and getting back to school. On different days this week I’ve been to school four, five and six times. Going to school twice a day is a slow day.
After talking to the children I decided to not stress. That didn’t mean I stopped stressing.
Thursday I went to withdraw money to pay rent. I went to the shops, got to the ATM and didn’t have the card. Went home. Got another card. Went to other shops, returned kids’ dance pants, bought drumsticks (not the chicken variety), went to ATM and ATM swallowed old card. Got home. Found my card in my wallet. Put the garbage out, even though it wasn’t garbage night, and had an early night. I’m thinking every night needs to be an early night.
I’m holding tension in my jaw, so I starting singing while making dinner - I’ve been making good dinners every night. Singing just split my lip and gave me a headache.
Friday I went for a swim.
I don’t have room in my head for what’s happening in Greece, what’s happening to Dexter, or planning more playdates for Banjo, or organising a sleepover for her - Clancy thinks it is unfair if Banjo has more sleepovers than she had at her age. We have three girls in one bedroom and our sleepovers usually are just swaps with another family with a similar set-up. Banjo wants to join the recorder group and choir at school. That might fit OK. But no to Japanese and tennis lessons. Clancy’s friend has Tourette’s and has added physical tics to her verbal ones. Matilda needs pointe shoes. Whole new worlds for me.
So, if we’re not cutting back on activities, here’s the plan. Other people can bake on the weekend and prepare for the week. Other people can occupy themselves while I get some work done. So long as the washing is on the line (particularly the absorber we need to wash most mornings and have back on the bed each night) I’ll be regularly singing and swimming to repair my mind and keep body and soul together. I don't know if I'll join the singing group - that might be one appointment too many. I can sing, walk, stretch, swim, on my own if I need to. It’s either sing and swim or sink and swim.