Well what’s the point of having a blog partner if you can’t sometimes hurl your sorry carcass upon their coattails and drag your way into a post based exactly on the one they just wrote?
Because, like Kim, I’ve had an element of stage fright now we’re all prettied up.
I squeezed out the birth story with a success denied to me while actually giving birth, but I find those big moments really write themselves, don’t they? So mostly all I had to do there was work out what to leave out.
Here’s something I left out: I truly believed my mother would not come to the Pea Princess’ actual birth because she (as Mayor) had a Council meeting that Tuesday and I really thought she would do that instead. I was wrong. And the birth of my first girl, her first grandchild, started a love affair between the two of them that I’ve mourned every day since Mum died.
Too drunk to fuck, too tired to fall down – who said that? I think the working mother version is just too tired for all of it. Have been starting at 5am every day this past week, finishing around 7pm and organising some huge media projects in the middle, while still trying to keep up my end of the domestics by walking the dog, folding laundry, making school and work lunches and, um, oh yeah, actively adoring the children in every available moment – including at the expense of laundry, lunches and dog.
The Prof and My Float (in her physical-but saintly, nothing’s too much trouble, form) have been integral to my survival. More than once I have tried to remember why I said I would do this extra job – because there’s no extra money in it, just masses of kudos if I don’t stuff it up. Which, so far, I haven’t.
Now I have a full weekend of being on-duty. But this too shall pass and by next school term, May, I hope to finally be getting started on my balance plan…
And what is the balance plan? Well you may ask, gentle reader.
The balance plan states that every Monday and Tuesday I will finish work at 2pm. I will then go to pick up All Three Children and The One Place – the Pea Princess’ school, and the twins’ pre-school.
The plan further states that I will be on-call for media issues after 2pm, but what’s new? In my normal job I am always on call and I have full access to everything I need through our work server from my laptop at home.
After years of wanting a proper part-time arrangement, while avoiding the loss of control that usually comes with going part-time, I’ve finally cracked it. I hope.
Watch this space.
For more than two years I’ve had the twins on a waiting list for the not-for-profit pre-school co-located with the Pea Princess’ primary school. It is a brilliant pre-school and the location means just one drop-off and pick-up!
Also, unlike most pre-schools (as opposed to daycare) it doesn’t shut down in school holidays.
But most of all, the pre-school director was known to be sympathetic to families of twins.
I won’t apologise for making that tiny: she really wasn’t meant to make any special effort for multiples, but the proof was there in the playground with six sets of twins and one of triplets.
Because, for the benefit of anyone who has never had to think this process through: if you have two children of the same age needing care on the same days and you get to the top of the waiting list and they offer you the SINGLE place that is available at the centre at that time, and you say I need two places, they skip down to the next SINGLE child on the list and leave you sitting there, uselessly at the top of the list.
The only way to get twins in, other than the extraordinary miracle of having other twins leave, is to have a sympathetic director who will legitimately fit in your first twin, and illegitimately juggle the books so the second one can be recorded as a casual until another proper place becomes available.
And the number of Sympathetic Directors? is very tiny!
I found out last year, in the Great Nanny Panic of September 2005, that the council had centralised all waiting lists earlier that year meaning:
- we had lost any benefit that could have been gained by a Sympathetic Director
- in the inevitable way of local government, the person centralising the centre lists into one efficient database had quit partway through and THEY LOST OUR APPLICATION.
And Oh! The months of pleading, cajoling and conniving that have followed. The number of times Council changed the responsible officer, the number of promises to backdate our application (made and broken), the number of times I’ve actually been grateful for my mother’s decades of devotion in local government that taught me how to really put the frighteners on staff without actually openly threating them (like, “Wow, council doesn’t have a policy to cover this sort of problem? That must make it hard for you to know what to do. I should really talk to the councillors about getting that fixed”)…
Enough; they’re in. And, most importantly, they’re happy.