do you remember summer and Christmas as a kid? When your legs start to stick to the school chair and your back feels damp in an un-airconditioned classroom with 30+ other bodies.
When the pace at school suddenly starts to slow, your teacher goes from being tired and cranky to cracking jokes and letting you watch videos.
When you spend more time in class making christmas decorations and eating so many candy canes you silently say a thanks that they only appear once a year.
When cherries are plentiful. And grapes. And mangoes. And stone fruit of every flavour.
When you have Christmas and what feels like an eternity ahead of you in what is otherwise is called h.o.l.i.d.a.y.s.
It was the last day of school today in New South Wales. Oscar seems pretty darn chuffed about it although when I pointed out he’d have a new teacher next year (but the same aide – who sent home a card for us today, thanking us for letting her work with our “magnificent, wonderful boy” – so I’ve said several quiet prayers of thanks for that one) he gave me a look of “oh you stupid woman, no I won’t”. He will, but we’ll cross that bridge oh, the day before he goes back, because the lack of ability to understand the concept of time is hard enough to live with without adding in a level of anxiety.
But Felix, the sensitive, competitive, always has to win, self-conscious little fella? Was a mess this morning before school because he was never going back after today (mwahahaha what a shuddering reality that’s going to be when he grasps the idea it’s for another, oh, t.e.n. years) and he was worried about how long the holidays were and what he was going to do all that time (geekgeekgeekgeekgeek). And tonight? Went to bed in tears because he’s going to miss his teacher, Mrs G, sooo much and never see her again. When I pointed out she would be in the playground he sobbed even louder, saying it wouldn’t be long enough at recess. I mean, can this kid break my heart any harder?
Anyway, Chef and I can’t ever remember being sad that summer holidays were here. Sure, when they were over, but at the beginning? Not so much.
(the next chapter after revealing where Transformers live)
Felix: Mum, I know how people become superheroes
Me: Really? How?
Felix: A B.I.G. astroid flies down and hits the people and they draw all their power from it and get super powers.
Me: Well, that makes sense.
Felix: Yeah, and there’s different colours too – so some get blue powers, some get red, and yellow, and green…
This followed a conversation where he informed me he wished he was Kody, a boy in his class who is gifted and talented (and no, not a diagnosed by pushy parents or gloating grandparents, just an extremely bright little button who was doing his 5 times tables at the beginning of the year – that is, the beginning of Kindergarten. At age 5.). When I asked why Felix said, “because he’s really smart and knows what 10 plus 10 equals”. I’m not sure I handled the rest of the conversation at all well, just reminding me of my own mother consoling me when I cried I wasn’t as smart, funny, fast or pretty as every.other.single.person.in.the.universe.
I said to him that when I was at school I used to get really anxious and worried because it seemed everyone else was better at stuff than me* – and that it took a long time for me to realise that whether I came first, finished first or got the top mark wasn’t what was important. What mattered was enjoying and being part of the the process of learning, about having fun learning all the new stuff and not worrying about how good at it all I will be, then I found all these things I could do and was good at that none of my friends could do nearly as well as me. It was his interruption at * when he said “that’s how I feel every day at school” that I think my heart broke. I heard it clinking into little bits. Finally I said that I knew what he was better at than anyone else, better even than Kody, he was the best at being Felix. God, talk about channelling my mother, and you know, I thought that was a suckful cop out when she said it to me. And yet, its so very very true.
today we had free tickets into the zoo. That sounds fairly tame but when you consider it would otherwise have cost almost $100 just to get into the joint, its a great thing.
So lets play the day…
Oscar falls asleep in the car
Felix insists he is pretending to be asleep, so wakes him up to prove it.
We arrive, and have to wait a little while for the people we’re getting the tickets from.
Felix decides this is a good time to play in the garden beds.
We get in.
First whinge about not buying them Madagascar merchandise – Felix swings a ceramic mug around as if its an object that won’t smash into a bazillion pieces on dropping.
Then “I want an iceblock”. Play this line over and over like a chorus in your head behind all that follows.
At the map place (so we’re like, 5 metres into the zoo) Oscar has a melt down and almost throws himself into the manky duck pond. From what we can gather, this is solely because he can’t see the giraffes from where he is standing.
Oscar wants to see the giraffes and ride in the skyway, Felix wants to see dingoes. I’m freezing.
Felix calls me over to the manky duck pond where, for the first time in my life, I see ducks mating.
We wander down the hill. There’s a Felix fuss about not being able to see the wombat well, even though it is less than a metre from them. This is because I won’t pick him up.
Are you still playing the “I want an iceblock” refrain?
Meltdown at the koalas as they are not giraffes nor an outlet for iceblocks.
We make our way to giraffes. On the way we see the dingoes. Well, one. The other one is sleeping in the furthest corner of the enclosure.
A scene follows when Felix accidentally swings the binoculars around and it hits Oscar in the temple.
Oscar has another meltdown at the mere fact we try to move on.
I take Felix to the chimpanzees – where I proceed to see one poo.in.its.hand.then.smell.it.then.eat.it.
Oscar and AB are about 10 metres away and Oscar is s.c.r.e.a.m.i.n.g.
The type where people stare then shake their head at the appalling parenting that must instigate such behaviour.
How’s that “I want an iceblock” working for you?
We find iceblocks.
It starts to rain.
We make our way to the skycar.
AB and Felix have a joke that we’re going to crash. This naturally freaks Oscar out.
We finish the ride and leave.
Oscar melts down that he has somehow been tricked and we’re now outside the zoo.
Whole trip – 1 hour 10 minutes.
All that aside…
Made spag bol for dinner and chocolate sludge pudding. Divine.
Pulled spare mattresses into the lounge room and the boys and I watched Tele in bed. They’re now sleeping down there having a big adventure.
Why men, when they know they’ve made you mad, don’t say sorry, just skulk around and MAKE YOU EVEN MADDER.
Why chocolate has to be so high in fat.
Things I HATE
People on the bus who
– listen to music so loudly through their headphones they might as well be carrying a portable stereo system and running a disco
– the same people as all they listen to is dance CRAP
– men who fail to see the merits of deodorant. WHY???
Bleeding has finally stopped. Dating scan booked for today week. If the cell-multiplier is still doing so, that is when we’ll know.
The growth of my girth has been so substantial over the last four days I will be shocked rather than upset if it hasn’t decided to hang on for the ride. Although, the significant comfort eating that has ensued since domestic dispute on Thursday night and inexplicable ‘spotting’ may have contributed to that somewhat.
Felix had school photos today – hair was washed AND brushed. Miracle.
Oscar had the best attempt at saying umbrella tonight – v.v. exciting. Also managed Mumbo – as I am being a bad parent reading them stories I loved as a child – eg, The Little Black Sambo.
When I was there to pick them up from school as a surprise, Felix said,
“Mum, I couldn’t believe my eyes. So I shut them, shook my head and when I opened them again, you were still there.”
“I’m star of the week, and I had so many pencils to sharpen for all the other kids that I couldn’t do any of my work!” (he’s 4yrs 9mths and in his second week of kindergarten)
Oscar fell over in the playground and destroyed his knee – its all bandaged and looks v. owie. Poor little guy.