as the one in which the kids go back to school in September?
Inevitably it begins with the 'shock' discovery that project work given in July to complete over the summer holiday has not in fact been started upon. Parental inquests are conducted, teenage excuses are made, threats are issued and sulks commence (on both sides) before the last minute school work is begun.
Then there is that horrible moment when you realise each one of your three children needs new school shoes. You mention this fact to the children and they say "And we also need..." and reel off a list as long as the legs on your 6 foot 5 inch son for whom you need somehow to find new trousers that will not end six inches above his ankles.
You weigh up the options. Is it worse to make more than one shopping trip by taking them seperately or to risk taking them all together? I now have the definitive answer to that one...taking them all together is worse. I know that because that was the option I went with.
I took them to the shopping mecca that is Milton Keynes. Within half an hour the two boys are sorted. They both go with the first pair of shoes they try on, and thanks to Gap recognising that some men do grow to the dizzy heights my two boys have reached, we also have trousers that fit well. My daughter needs shoes and a school bag. It still distresses me to recall that it was two and a half hours before she had even seen a pair of shoes she would contemplate trying on. By this time I would happily have paid good money for the least suitable pair of shoes for school Milton Keynes could throw at us just so she had something to put on her feet but it wasn't even that we were having inter-generational disagreements about 'suitability'. She simply did not like any of the shoes we saw. You may try to imagine how pissed off my sons, both trailing after us, were by this time, but you probably couldn't come close to the sheer degree of Pissed Offness from which they were suffering. And then at last... thank god...a pair were identified and purchased at speed. The fact that they were at least one size too big did not deter me...in-soles could be bought elsewhere and it was definitely worth it. Now if only by that time we had seen a bag she liked all would have been well but obviously she had seen no such thing. It is hard to believe, unless you have witnessed it, just how many bags in Milton Keynes are unworthy of my daughter's consideration.
So when essential school items are eventually bought you start worrying about how they will ever be able to get up on school mornings bearing in mind just how late they are all going to bed, never mind how late they are getting up in the 'morning' so you embark on a totally useless nagging programme. "You really must get an early night or you will NEVER get up for school in 5/4/3/2/1 (delete as appropriate) days time."
The Night Before First Day Back arrives and with it the parental demands that they get everything together in preparation for the next day so that we don't have to panic in the morning. You would think, what with this being my 13th first day of the school year as parent of a school child, that I would long since have grown out of imagining this might actually work in practice. Let's think. School ties? Check. P.E. kits? Check. Pens, pencils etc? Check. No, I admit the idea that my daughter, having taken off the bra she scarcely needs the night before would be unable to find it (or the other one she possesses either) a mere eight hours later, had not occurred to me but inevitably that was the crisis that hit this household with the force of a hurricane yesterday morning. In vain did I suggest that if she kept her school sweatshirt on, no one but no one would be any the wiser. Eventually I found the damn thing wrapped up in a tee shirt disgarded from the previous days wear, but not before I had given them all the "Why oh why oh why can't you lot get organised before leaving the house like I always do?" Where do they get it from?
There is absolutely no need for my children to learn that when I arrived at work yesterday I realised I had left my very essential work diary sitting on our kitchen table, or that in spite of remembering I was going to the gym straight from work I had not actually managed to pack my trainers with the rest of my gym kit.
Twelfth - *Regarding Saturday, August 12th....* Last Friday night, I reached The Cumbria Park Hotel in Carlisle exactly three hours after setting off from Sheffield...
1 day ago