Thursday, 22 December 2016

Christmas Interviews 2016

For me, I think Christmas begins when the boys get their holidays from school.  Which was today.  At midday.  There is a definite shift in my mood as I have everything done, right down to the last item in the fridge and several lists with very satisfying black lines crossing though the items.   

Ok, so maybe tonight I will pick up one final santy thing but then, let there be no mistake, I will hit the Christmas spirit with a glass in my hand! 

I thought I would get nosey with the boys and see if they are having Christmas feels yet.   

But let’s face it, there are four of them aged 11 (almost) down to five and a half.   Of course they are feeling it.    

So I decided to ask them a few Christmassy questions to get the measure of their thoughts.  

You got your Christmas holidays from school today.  What does it feel like to be so close to Christmas?

First Boy:  Well, at the start of advent I was really excited.  But I’m not that excited now.  I’ll probably be excited on Friday.  And on Christmas eve.  I feel like Friday is kind of in the way.  Saturday will be in the way no matter what but I don’t mind because we’re not used to having the whole day off really so the days go really slowly.  Unless we spend it in town it will probably be boring.  But I will be really excited on Christmas eve.  But the tension will be rising in Friday.  

Second Boy:   It still feels like it’s far away.  

Third Boy:  Really, really excited.  Because you’re getting a lot of presents off santy. 

Smallest Boy:  Coz there’s two more days left!  It’s just like Christmas is getting faster and faster and it never stops moving.   And also the days don’t end.  They might even go twenty meters past Christmas.  And if it does – no wait – also we don’t really know this, but I think Christmas might get 6 metres and 12 metres combined.  Closer and closer.  That’s all.  

What are you most looking forward to about Christmas?

First Boy:  I’m thinking and looking for a way to put it.  Yeah, ok.  I really like St.  Stephens day because like, we have dinner at nana’s and we usually have loads of fun there because Ben’s there and stuff.  And also I think there are two bits I am most looking forward to on Christmas day; in the morning because that’s like, when we open the door and the tension is like, super high.  And after that I like paying with the presents.  And then like, whenever our aunties come over, it’s really good because like, we get more presents. 

Second Boy:    My birthday after it.  Jesus Christ.

Third Boy:  Presents.  No!  Being with family. 

Smallest Boy:  I don’t know.  (He absolutely does and is dying to say presents but he knows this is for my blog!)  Don’t put down I don’t know, Mammy.    

Are there any Christmas traditions in your family?

First Boy:  Going to nanas on St. Stephens day for dinner.   Going to grandads for the party.  And on Christmas day our aunties come to us instead of us going to them.  

Second Boy:  We put up the Christmas tree.  

Third Boy:  Celebrate.  And nana’s.  And celebrate. 

Smallest Boy:  Celebrate Christmas.   There’s a party in grandads every year.   That’s a tradition!

What is Christmas all about?

First Boy:  Being happy and being as nice as you can.  Even though you’re meant to be nice the whole year but people tend to be nicer in December because santy is coming. 

Second Boy:  Joy.  Jesus Christ.   Santa!

Third Boy:  Friends and family. 

Smallest Boy:  Oohhh.  Like having rakes of days off school.  We be nice and we get presents.   Mammy, that’s all. 

Why does Rudolph have a red nose?

First Boy:  I think it might be because he like, (silence for a long time) This is a hard question.   I don’t really know actually. 

Second Boy:  Coz he has a really bad cold.  

Third Boy:  Because he needs to guide the sleigh so they don’t crash and Christmas is ruined. 

Smallest Boy:  Oh, coz it’s so bright.  No!  Because it’s so dark. 

Do you know any Christmas jokes?

First Boy:  Yeah!  What’s the difference between a snowman and a snowwoman?  Snow balls!!!  

Second Boy:  (Thinking for ages.)   No.

Third Boy:  What do snowmen put on their sandwiches or lunch?   Chilli sauce!

Smallest Boy:  No.

Wishing you all a merry christmas and whatever you get up to, it is with safety and joy in your hearts!  Here's to a mighty 2017.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

A Possible Christmas Unveiling!

Do you think there is a small chance that a bored child will wander about looking for something to do when his brothers are off playing rugby and he left his PS Vita in the car?

Most definitely.

Do you think it’s a good idea to leave keys to a locked press hanging up where small hands can reach?

The keys to a locked press where the santy loot is stashed?

I don’t.

Do you think when that child appears and says he was looking for his remote-control helicopter in the locked press, took down the keys and put them in the door but did not turn them and did not open the door that he is telling the truth?

I don’t!

And do you think that when you go upstairs trying not to run and trying not to let panic show on your face and find that the keys are exactly as he said – in the door - and the door is closed but not properly, do you think he was trying to cover his tracks?

I do!

I definitely do!

Do you think there is a tiny chance that he might have opened the door because, you know, he had no reason not to, he knew his toy was in there, but didn’t know the Santy stash was, do you think maybe he saw everything and closed over the door in a panic and came downstairs.

I do!

Do you think he went to lengths to tell me that he did not open the door but only put the keys in the lock to cover his tracks but in the telling of it, gave the game away on himself entirely?




And do you think his mother was an utter gobshite for not taking down the keys, the ones that hang on the same hook from one end of the year to the next, but she should have for the time of year that was in it and maybe put them somewhere else?



Thursday, 1 December 2016

Christmas Toys I Loved as a Child

It is getting ever closer to the most wonderful time of the year.   And I have a small problem.   Smallest Boy cannot write yet.  Hence no letter to Santa.   Also, he is quite laid back and easy going and has requested “stuff” for Christmas.

“Stuff” sounds easy, right?   But seasoned parents recognise “stuff” for what it is: your worst 

Santa nightmare in the run up to the most wonderful time of the year.

*What the jangles am I is Santa going to get him???

Christmas was a very big deal for me and my siblings many moons ago.    Not for one minute am I suggesting it is anything less than that for my own boys, but for us, Christmas was the perfect opportunity to request proper “stuff.   “Stuff” that we really wanted, lusted after and couldn’t sleep due to the expectations of receiving the “stuff.”

Our parents ensured my siblings and I always got what we asked for.   Without fail.  And there were a few lovely surprises thrown in for extra squeals of joy and delight.   As much as I loved my First Love doll, the poster paints, my many, many books and the bookcase I still have, the bulging stocking was what I loved going through and always kept till last.  If I could hold out.

This is how it looks in the boys' bedroom

This was filled with items including a toothbrush, a pair of socks, some pencils and school stationery supplies, toiletries as we got older, notebooks, and other odds and ends, little knick knacks that only the young can really enjoy.  It was like a giant, satisfying party bag after the party.

But one Christmas gift from Santa stands out far and way above everything else and when Sinead from Bumbles of Rice invited the Irish Parenting Bloggers to join in on her nostalgia post on a favourite toy from Santa, I knew immediately which one I was going to write about. 

My Petite 990 typewriter.

Even the ad on the telly filled me with fizzing joy. 

I am fizzing with joy thinking about it more than three decades later.  

I loved it!

I spent many, many happy hours banging away on those keys.   It must have driven my parents mad.  But I learned valuable typing-with-two-fingers-skills on that machine.  I had lots of words a minute.  

A couple of years ago, on our annual trip to Rosslare, we stopped off at a café absolutely buckling under the weight of its retro objects.

And there, in a little alcove close to where we sat, was a typewriter.   Not my beloved Petite 990 but a real, honest to god, typewriter all the same.

The boys were fascinated and hadn’t a clue what it was.    One of them hazarded a guess at it being an old computer.  He wasn’t completely wrong but when I explained to them how it worked, they were disbelieving and full of “but why?  What’s the point?  All the mistakes you would make. It would be too slow.”

But those were the times we lived in, boys.  And years after my Petite 990 was laid to rest somewhere, I went on to learn to type properly on one of those old-fashioned typewriters. 

*stuck and desperate for desperation we did the only thing we could do with such a short time before The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year:  we took them to Smyth’s Toy store and let them loose.  I photocopied everything they liked the look of and told them they could make one small alteration to their Christmas lists.    as luck would have it, Smallest Boy happened upon the one toy he spotted on the channel Pop over a month ago.   Much joy!  We’re sorted.  And I bet none of their “stuff” will last as long as my book shelf did.   But that’s not the point really, is it?

Friday, 25 November 2016

Nothing Black About This Black Friday

Last evening I read a lovely blog post by Office Mum called Name Your Poison and in it she speaks of reward systems, the little sweetener we promise ourselves to help the week go faster.

I could relate.

And it got me thinking.   Hard.  I realised I don’t treat myself nearly enough.   Yes, I buy frothy cappuccinos now and again.  I cannot pass Penney’s without a little something frivolous and every so often, I will buy a book I like the sound of. 

But in general, these are sporadic spoiling’s.   it occurred to me that I have three things I am quite looking forward to this evening alone and that makes it even better.  Three delights in one day.  I really must do that more often.

I mentioned reading so the first thing I am looking forward to is starting a book from my childhood called The Dolls House by Rumer Godden. 

As young readers, my sisters and I took it out of the library every now and again to reread.   I loved it.   The peculiar thing, however, is I couldn’t remember the name or even much about what happened in the book despite having read it several times.  In a most serendipitous event, it popped up on in conversation on Facebook recently and who am I to ignore serendipity.  It arrived yesterday.  I will throw one of my favourite magazines into the mix as well.  I buy this one every month for a little bit of light reading.   When I buy a magazine, I flick through it first to see what’s on offer.   Maybe even a second time and then I will select the articles that speak to me most.  After that I will dip in and out until I’ve read it cover to cover.  Reading.  Is there a more enjoyable pastime?  I don’t think so.

Except maybe chilling out in front of a favourite TV show or series on Netflix.   Do I have to mention Gilmore Girls: A Year in The Life?  

Are you sick hearing about this Netflix revival yet?  It seems the whole world has been waiting for the four feature length episodes, and as of 7am Irish time, they have arrived.    I binge watched the original series on Netflix over the past three months and occasionally when the boys saw I couldn’t be budged from the couch for love nor money, they would plop down beside me.    Soon they became familiar with Lorelai and Rory, Luke’s and I think they were slightly in awe of Richard and Emily.   Let’s face it, who wasn’t?    There is wine cooling in the fridge in ready anticipation of my own company tonight when the boys are in bed and asleep.

But not before we have our second family meeting.   I’m not looking forward to it exactly but I’m not hating the thoughts either.

Family Meeting in progress

During the summer, I found it necessary to sit down with the boys and iron out a few things.   I invited them to air their own grievances and speak out about anything they felt unhappy about in home life.  It went surprisingly well (I wrote about it here for the Irish Examiner) and we never had another one.   Until last Friday evening. I am discovering more and more that if you take your eye off the ball, it will fall on your head.   Hard.      Home life had unravelled into a large shouty, unhappy crazy mess and once again issues needed to be addressed.   The entire family attended the meeting, there was a chairperson appointed and minutes were taken.    We introduced the boys to a reward system like the one they are used to in school.  But instead of ticéad buí (yellow ticket) they get in school, at home they were given the opportunity to acquire up to 11 ticéad ór (golden ticket) a week for certain chores being completed and good behaviour.   The aim was to bag 80 tickets for a trip Tayto Park.  But 80 tickets is a long, hard slog so there were spot prizes for 20, 30, 40 etc. and it would be up to the boys how they spend their earnings in a democratic voting system.   They loved everything about it.   All week, Smallest Boy cleared way a space on the table requesting a family meeting for that night.  It will happen this evening; the agenda being a review of how things went during the week and another chance for everyone to give their input.    There will be a “special” hot chocolate for the boys and a long, cold glass of wine for me.  

Friday nights in general are a chance for me to recharge my batteries.  It is not something I can do easily and my preferred method of rejuvenation is solitude.   Alone time.   With no-one near me, at me, touching me or talking to me.  For as long as possible.   It is only a few hours on Friday nights but enough to skim the surface off the top of my weekly overload.  It’s a simple idea but it works well for me.   And with some of my favourite things to help me do that, it can’t fail.  

Friday, 11 November 2016

He Doesn't Fit Anymore

We have a very messy but it works measuring system.      

Actually, we have a couple of them and we use them for tracking the boys’ growth.    

Like most growth charts there is a pen involved and each incremental millimetre is recorded by an ink mark.  But instead of a standard sheet of paper, our technique is to duly record all evidence of growth on a piece of panelling nailed to the wall as you go into the kitchen. 

We moved into this house six years ago which means there are six years worth of etchings marked onto the panel.    Half inch by half inch, each child’s growth spurt is regularly accounted for.

This is only some of it

It makes absolutely no sense to me but Mister Husband knows what he’s at and I nodded along when he pointed out that someone has grown an inch and a half since September.

True story.

This week I was literally eaten out of house and home.  For the first time ever I had to buy extra bread.  They managed to empty the freezer stash as well.

I also had to purchase a new pair of runners and two tracksuit tops. 

The other measuring system is the one I use.  It’s slightly unorthodox in that it’s the press door.
Yes, that's FISH mixed up

The boys like to use the counter top in the kitchen for their drawing, pouring of cereal and I can open the overhead presses with ease.


Oldest Boy almost suffered a concussion last year when I clobbered him.  I opened the door, expecting it to clear the top of his head as it normally did except this time, it documented his growth spurt and he got a bang on the forehead instead.

Now I am using this measuring system to track the three younger boys’ growth.

Because this method does not work for Oldest Boy I have employed an alternative technique.

My chin.

He’s a hugger, is Oldest Boy and earlier on this year I noticed how my chin barely skimmed the top of his head as we hugged.  If he stood on tippy toes, the top of his head would meet the underside of my chin and push it upwards.

We decided to use this as our new tracking device.

Last night after rugby he took a shower and afterwards he came upstairs and asked me to dry his hair.

I plugged in the hair dryer and got to work.  As he stood in front of me and the mirror, I noticed I couldn’t see his reflection as he was blocking my view.   I couldn’t even see the top of my head.

I was completely blocked.            

I stepped closer and touched my chin against the back of his head.  

He doesn’t fit under my chin anymore.

He was in his bare feet.

He doesn’t fit under my chin anymore.

He is almost eleven and nearly as tall as I am.  I am short.  But he is overtaking me.  Fast.   

He doesn’t fit under my chin anymore.

Friday, 14 October 2016

A Little Wobble

A jelly.  Of Sorts
Jelly.  Jelly wobbles.  I can remember looking at it as a child, shaking the bowl to see it shiver.   Great stuff altogether.   Tasty too.  

Wibbly Wobbly Wonder ice-pops.  One of my favourite ice-cream treats.   They have a great taste as well.   The taste of childhood.    I don’t eat them so much anymore though.  Maybe tomorrow.   Oh, wait.  It’s October.   Maybe next summer.  Yes.  Definitely next summer.

Lower lips.  They wobble too.   Nothing can stop me in my tracks faster than one of my boys with a lower lip wobble.   The most recent one was when he almost knocked the bowl of cereal out of my hand.   I got crossed and yelled.   His lip wobbled.  Then I almost wobbled.   We made up after a moment.  It was all good.

There was a further wobble that evening with another boy.  Crossed wires, I got cross and yelled again.  After a fashion I got another hold of myself and asked him to remind me of what I am always saying to them; “It doesn’t matter.  It’s not important.  No-one got hurt.”  That wobble wasn’t so nice.   I must remember to keep my cool in the future.  Over silly stupid things.  Things that are not important.

There were lots of wobbles when the boys were babies.  Lots of them.   The boys may have been small but the wobbles weren’t.   Second guessing myself all the time.   Wondering, waiting and wailing in between.   Wobbles at 2am in the kitchen by myself.  I had many in the shower.  Once I almost mortified myself in a shop!   I shouldn’t have been let out half the time.  

Loads of drunken wobbles.  Oh, yessir, too many to mention in this blog post.  Ones where I couldn’t get the bathroom door open.  Others where I fell asleep.  Once even standing up.  Another time on a plane.   Once I cornered a lovely friend and demanded to know why she couldn’t feed the homeless with the leftover food from her fast food outlet job.  Yes!   Drunken wobbles. Who knew there could be so many?   I’ll say goodbye to that one now.

There were a few wobbles at some of my works.   I hated those ones.   I’m not a big fan of confrontation but looking back I am so glad, proud and happy with myself for throwing those wobbles.  I was standing up for myself and shaking in my boots (Doc Martins for one of them) at the same time.  Now I tell my boys to do the same. 

I have lots of body wobbles now.   I remind myself I have been through four back to back pregnancies and I am not exactly in the first flush of youth anymore.  I also tell myself I’d have less wobbles if I could lay off the Walnut Whips, the almonds I like to munch and the chocolate I love with my coffee.   I think my wobbles are here to stay.  I will continue to fight them when instead maybe I should “love the body I’m in.”

The wheel of the car wobbled not so long ago.  For a horrible moment I thought I was going to hit the car in front but the brakes worked just in time.   On further inspection – by someone else.   You don’t want me checking out your car - it turned out the front wheel on the passenger side was a moment away from falling off.   Now that was a wobble I didn’t dwell too much on.

Wobbles are a fact of life.  Big and small.   Apparently it’s not the wobble that’s important but how you handle it.  Or maybe that’s something else.  

It’s good advice all the same.

However, there’s a new wobble in town.  It was discovered almost two weeks ago and it’s gotten worse.  And this one by all accounts, is earlier than the others.  

It’s a wobbly tooth. 

I’ve seen those before.   Lots of them.  So many in fact, I part time as the tooth fairy.
This loose tooth though is another of the first of the lasts.  

Because it’s Smallest Boy.    His first loose tooth is right on the bottom.   The one next door to it is in no great state either.     A double wobble.   They will both probably fall out in time for Halloween.

They’re only teeth. He will grow perfectly fine and beautiful adult ones. 

But this is it.   It’s another marker.   Like the first proper haircut – the one that strips the baby look off them – the onset of adult teeth puts the look of an older child on them too. 

Once upon a time he didn’t want his teeth to fall out because it would be sore and he wouldn’t be able to eat apples.

Now he can’t wait till it happens because he will get “millions of euro from the tooth fairy.”

May all his wobbles in life be so small.  


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Reward Charts for Grown Ups

I’m all for setting goals.   The carrot at the end of the stick, or to call a spade a spade, a good old fashioned bribe.  A little bribe, an honest one, but mostly a bribe that will get the job done and if it removes the sting, better still.

When the boys went back to school (BTS) I thought it might be nice to soften the blow with a little treat at the end of the first week.

We were lucky.  The treat literally fell into our collective laps when we were invited along on a boat trip. 

It was so lovely I thought why not make it a regular event.  Not the boat trip.  The treat.  A pat on the back for a job well done. 

This idea went down very well with the troops and the next treat was decided by Oldest Boy who by very dint of his position in the family has more than a touch of alpha male about him.  His younger brothers, recognising when the king of the jungle is in the room, assumed submissive positions and went along with his suggestion.  Which was a trip to Dundrum shopping centre with the intention of having a sushi lunch.

A while back the supermarket we frequent was hosting an Asian experience and I picked up a tray of raw fish for the boys.  Much to my surprise they enjoyed it very much.  Oldest Boy hadn’t forgotten it.    I suspected, however, it was the novelty factor more than the culinary experience that won them over.

Our next treat is still a matter of weeks away but I had a little moment of clarity recently.

Since the boys WBTS, there has been rugby, an introduction to a most excellent climbing wall and plenty of birthday parties in the offing.  Not to mention hikes with scouts and various other events. 

All of these treats for the boys but none for the grown-ups.  Something was very wrong with this picture.

I decided to rectify.

I was reminded of the online writing course I spotted earlier on this year.  The one I promised myself I would sign up to.  May and June sped past and before I knew it I was neck deep in Back to School purchases, my online writing course savings haemorrhaging before my eyes.

Moving quickly forward, last week I completed my first module. Tomorrow I am booked in for a long overdue haircut and Mister Husband has arranged for a sitter so I get to go on a date with my hair him tomorrow night.

I am writing this with a class of red wine by my side because that was in short supply for the 
last few weeks also.

Treats, you see, shouldn’t be just for the kids.   Grown-ups should have regular rewards too.

Sushi.  Haircuts.   Wine.  Dates.  Mitching from work.  (ssshhh) and hey, star charts if that’s what floats your boat.

Go on.   Treat yourself.       

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Genie In My Kitchen

This evening one of the boys asked what would I wish for if a genie appeared.  I told him the genie would consider my ask to be very boring and unoriginal because it would be to keep everyone in my family happy and healthy.   That’s where he cut me right off.

“Would you not just ask for infinity wishes then?  That way you could get loads of stuff.”

A very valid point.  I didn’t bother to tell him that I don’t actually want “loads of stuff” because   wanting LOS (Loads of Stuff) is what kids are all about.  It is the very essence of their being.  The more stuff the better.  His eyes were lit up with the list of LOS he wanted should this genie appear. 

We had a small chat about it but then he became distracted by a game that his brothers were involved in so he skipped off.    Leaving me to consider the genie. 

I spoke the truth when I mentioned my lack of interest in LOS.  Realising that in itself made me happy.  I’m grand the way I am, thanks.  But sometimes it’s nice to daydream.  To let your imagination run wild.  And as I messed about with the tea towel and dishes, I let my mind wander a little. 

Inserting caveat here.    If a genie did appear in my kitchen (because where else would I be?) and absolutely insisted that he (why are they always of the male variety?) bestow upon me a wish, it would truly be for continued good health and happiness for my family.

And if the genie were to eyeball me cynically and insist that I request something small for myself, I might ask for lots of books.  Perhaps maybe half a dozen to arrive through my letter box each month to keep me going.

And if the genie were to consider this a little too dry and boring a desire, that I must make this visit worth his while and be a little unconventional with my demands, I might chance my arm and ask to be two inches taller.  It would lengthen everything else, you see.  Make that pesky half stone that refuses to bugger off, less noticeable. 

And as a reward for playing the game properly, if the genie were to reward me with a bonus wish, I might remember the lesson learned and ask for something even more lofty and slightly out of reach.   I think I’d go for a chef.   Someone to call to the house, just a couple of evenings a week, with a box of delicious food, similar to the menu in my favourite Thai restaurant, and cook up a storm.  I’d even clean up afterwards.   I might ask for that. 

But in the meantime, I’ll settle for exactly what I have, thank you very much,  

Health and happiness. 

Health & Happiness

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Big Day

Today was a big day in our house.   Smallest Boy donned a red jumper, grey trousers, shiny black shoes, snapped on an elastic tie, yanked a blue backpack decorated with moustaches onto his back and went to school.

I have been waiting for this day since the beginning of time.   At least that is what it felt like.   Out of my four boys, he stayed with me the longest.  He attended Montessori only when he “had to” which was last year as I felt to send him into Big School cold turkey would be an awful shock to his system.

And I enjoyed his company.  Immensely.    We get on very well together.   We gel.   He regularly tells me how much he loves me and if I am not in the same room, he will yell it out all the same.  

So when today rolled around I had a funny feeling in my tummy.  It was both a happy expectation and a dull sense of unease.

I could feel uncertainty rolling off Smallest Boy like waves on a beach.   I’m a great one for making mistakes.  I like to think it keeps me humble.   Keeps me grounded.   So having been around the First Day at School Block three times before, I thought I had this in the bag.

Janey, I thought Smallest Boy had this in the bag.

I allowed the fact that he has been “going” to school for the last five years and nearly five months to cloud how big a deal today really was for him.

Sure, he stood outside the school gate each morning and afternoon.  He knew inside “Múinteoir Stephanie’s” office as well as I did.  He knew all the múinteoirí.   All the múinteoirí knew him.  His brothers’ buddies have been greeting him by name forever.  He was known in there.

But that’s not the same as going as a student.

The wobbles last night were to be expected.  When he bumped himself on the trampoline and got upset, I put it down to sensitivity about the morning.   When he said he couldn’t sleep because he was “too hot,” “too not tired,” “too thirsty,” “too something” I knew trouble could be ahead.

And it was.  He became annoyed and frustrated at the obligatory school photos so we cut them short.   His daddy had words of advice and reassurance for him before we left the house and he was smiling when we got into the car.

On the drive into school, I kept the radio off so he could chat to me and ask me questions.   The first question was asked in a small voice.

“Will you bring me in today?”

My heart!  I can’t tell you.   This boy, who has been with me as I walked his brothers into their classroom for many many months until they were ready to do it alone, thought he was expected to do the same thing himself.

I reassured him that I would bring him in as long as he wanted me to.  Like I did for the others.

Another positive step when he ran from the car and to the gate by himself.   Nothing new.  He’s always done this.   He joined the “big boys” at the gate.  Nothing new there either.  He ran back and forth enjoying himself and chatting.

It was almost time to go in and then he said he wasn’t sure he would “get the hang of this day.”   I knew he meant he didn’t know what to expect.   

So I told him.  Again. 

How Múinteoir would take his books out of his bag and let everyone know when it’s snack time.  How it’s going to be like Montessori for days until everyone gets the hang of it.  How everyone is in the same boat today and no-one knows exactly what to do.

“I’ve got it now.  Thank you.” 

And in we went.   I thought I had covered everything.   But everything is different for everyone.   I thought I had learned that.  

It was a strange morning.  Stranger than I anticipated.   I went home and suddenly the house, the one that had been heaving with boy sounds for the summer, seemed louder than it ever did.   It was eerie.  I couldn’t figure it out. 

I realised the truth behind the expression, “the silence was deafening.”

Then it hit me.  

I missed them!  I missed my boys.   Hand on heart, it was something I never thought I’d feel or even admit.

I knew I would see them all in a matter of hours but it felt like days away.

Janey, I thought I had this one in the bag.  Like I said; I’m a great one for making mistakes.

It keeps me humble.