Posted by: learningwoman | June 9, 2008

Monday evening 9.20pm

If you’ve read the previous post you’ll know that what I really needed this morning was a good long sleep.

What actually happened was more like this:

I made breakfast for the boys, drank a couple of strong coffees, packed S’s lunch, hustled them into the bathroom for a wash and then to get dressed. Rushed them out the door with repeated cries of “Come on guys! We’ll be late.”  Which they apparently took as a signal to play football, before yielding to my increasingly frazzled exhortations and finally getting into the car. (We were, by this time, far too late to walk, even if I’d felt in the least bit inclined to.) 

Having dropped S. at school, I longed for a cool shower and a lie down with the fan on but Z’s naptime was hours away and before that there was a Tumbletots class to get through. Not only that but Z. was wearing a pair of adjustable Dora the Explorer roller skates, so after I’d parked the car blocks away, I had to hold both of his little hands to stop him coming a cropper on the footpath. A couple of times, he nearly had us both over. I was glad to arrive.

Until he refused to take his socks off. When I insisted, he sat down in a heap and screamed. I explained patiently that it was safer to go barefoot on the smooth equipment but he just wasn’t convinced. By this time, my brain was buzzing, my nose was running and I felt self-conscious about the severe puffiness of my eyes.

Z. got over it eventually and started enjoying himself. Unlike playgroup, where it’s acceptable to grab a coffee and talk with the other parents, or indeed sit in a corner and stare blankly into the middle distance, at babygym we are required to be involved, hands on.

So I crawled into the tent and had a mini, imaginary tea-party. I provided the counter-weight for a tiny seesaw, I clapped enthusiastically when he made it through the tunnel and down the slide. I was, in all ways, an exemplary parent. Or so it seemed. For behind this facade there was nothing but a huge desire to lie down, and it was getting stronger.

Class finally came to a blessed end and we made our way out the door, whereupon Z. had a rip-roaring tantrum because I wouldn’t buy him a lollipop, “right now!”  He was tired and hungry so I picked him up, swung him gently over my shoulder and marched to the car. He calmed immediately and began to tell me a story about superheros and Tomblyboos.

By the time he’d had lunch and I’d put him down for a nap, I was on autopilot. I rang Grandad, asked him to collect S. at the appropriate time, turned on the TV and fell asleep on the couch seconds later.

Of course, in the way of parenting, it all started again later but for two wonderful hours, I dozed and dreamed.


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