Sunday, 30 September 2012

The circle of life

Today at the stables was like a little microcosm of life. A young pony in the lesson was feeling pesky and misbehaving; an old horse sadly had to be put to sleep. The boy was oblivious to such pathos as he went to the park with Daddy. He must have worn himself out as all Dexter managed for the rest of the day was eating (a lot - I swear he's got a tapeworm), and sleeping. We had to wake him at five o'clock.
I marked a pile of exercise books; all part of life's rich tapestry.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Jam-packed Saturday

Today featured: sleeping until just before nine; a traumatic haircut for Dexter; a trip to the toyshop to choose 'Toby Tip-it Truck' to make up for afore-mentioned trauma; a picnic lunch in the park; sleep; school work (for me); a spontaneous play-date invitation from a friend, including feeding the boy; Daddy bath time; Waitrose; X Factor and wine.
I remember weekends very clearly from when I was a little girl. I'm recording these early ones here for the boy, but I hope we are creating memories for him and us too - even though they're not very exciting ones. It's the little things I remember, and I want him to feel the same nostalgia.
I'm hoping he airbrushes the haircut from history though, or we'll never get him in there again!

Friday, 28 September 2012

A moment of calm

Today was a good day. It was miserable weather, but I taught lovely groups in the cosy confines of my classroom. I experienced a very very rare moment where I felt like everyone was in the right place: me, doing a job I (generally still) love, and Dexter being cared for in the confines of the familiar structures and routines he has at nursery. Plus, it's Friday, so I get my boy and my life back for a couple of days.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Corridor Kid

The lift-share ladies had a slightly later than usual finish at work today. This meant I had to collect the boy and then bring him from nursery, back to school. He loved zipping up and down the corridors and stairs.
I didn't have my phone on me to capture a photograph of his elation, so it's bath time joy instead - even if it was Mummy in charge.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Smile for the camera!

It has been pouring down relentlessly all day. It's real 'hide under a duvet' weather. Dexter had his photos taken at nursery today. Apparently, he was a real pro and posed throughout.
He seemed to have had enough by this evening and be agreeing with my initial comment...

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Give a little love...

These are trying times to be in the teaching profession. While we are being vilified in political and media circles, we have to 'keep calm and carry on'. The job is relentless - wonderful - but absolutely non-stop. I taught all day; I worked through lunch; supervised a detention; phoned some parents; and attended a meeting. But, at the heart of the pressure and the turmoil, are people: students and colleagues. I had to do a little nurturing of both today. It's not really measurable, and it's something I'll never object to.
Upon returning home, my own little charge needed his bath, nails trimmed, obligatory story (that mouse is still bothering me), and some down time. Okay, so I let him watch 'In the Night Garden' too. Bite me. I needed to collapse on the sofa and nurture my own well-being. I'm sure half an hour of the goggle box won't have interfered with the language acquisition programme too much (it's not working anyway). Also, the surreal and bizarre characters in it demonstrate great compassion to each other too. I'm sure Iggle Piggle would make a great teacher!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Look of Love

It has rained all day. I have just got up-to-date and written twelve blog posts. My eyes are slowly on the mend, I think, although the drops aren't working as well as they could be yet. It is four days until pay day, I'm bored of being overdrawn, and I'm experiencing angry feelings towards the mouse in 'The Gruffalo' (cocky little sod).
Thank goodness for that face.

Sunday, 23 September 2012


The weather was rubbish today. My riding lesson was fab: I've got my mojo back! The only trip out the boy had was to Waitrose, where he refused to let go of a packet of teacakes.
The husband couldn't park outside our house when we returned (of course), but this was actually quite convenient. Dexter is a little like a pet dog and needs a run out everyday. He was more than happy to toddle back a few streets from the car to home - until he fell on his face.
He enjoyed a reviving teacake upon his return home. It's been a toasted teacake kind of day.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The art of travel

Dexter awoke at 6.30am; I got up at 10am. Thank you, husband. We all ended up having a very lazy morning, only leaving the house in the afternoon to go to the park.
It's been a beautiful sunny day, and whilst Dexter enjoyed the swings and sand, he seems to be more about the journey rather than the destination.
We were without the trusty buggy. We stopped to explore a lot of wood chip and leaves. It took ages. Who cares? It's the weekend.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Pizza the action

Today was a mixed day emotions wise, compounded by tiredness, my sore eyes and a non-uniform day, post Open Evening.
Thank goodness for my lovely friends (thanks ladies), a very supportive husband, and snuggles with my boy - and his blanket. Thank goodness too for the Domino's Pizza app. Dexter couldn't get enough of the (totally age inappropriate) food. The start of a family Friday evening tradition?...

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Duvet dreaming

I had an enjoyable morning of lessons. By lunchtime, I was broken. The head was very kind to me - I suspect he's wondering why I'm so bloomin' grumpy/unwell all the time.
So glad I felt ropey on the longest day of the year! Open Evening. It was fine. Lots of anxious prospective students and parents. Won't be long before I see things from that side.
This evening though, today's #366 picture was all I saw of my darling boy. Wish I'd been under a duvet (transport themed) all day.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Status update: falling apart at the seams

I am Sad Sack from 'Raggy Dolls' because:
1. My eye is so infected I look like an actual bog monster/anti vivisection poster (think distressed gerbil).
2. I am incompetent mother whose child has now started having tantrums in the middle of the road!
3. Said child has now adopted Amelia at nursery in the absence of Sarah/actual mother (see comments above re. general motherin' incompetence). He grabbed onto her legs today in manner of starved boa constrictor.
4. The head teacher commented on how miserable I looked today. He normally regards me as generally jolly type with questionable hair and a quirky but effective approach in the classroom. Mrs Sad Sack I am usually not.
5. Some over-the-counter eye drops, flu capsules and an extra-hot bath have not repaired my sagging stitches.
Disclaimer: having just googled 'Raggy Dolls' and Sad Sack, I don't even think he was in need of stitching back up. Just so you know, I am.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Keep calm and carry...your child, bodily into the house

What a mental day! Teaching all day, another meeting and a gacky eye to boot. My to-do list is spiralling out of control; I had to sign yet another head-bump related accident form at nursery due to the boy's constant running (into things); and the tantrums keep on coming. I can't get him into the house without a battle and rugby-style scrum manoeuvre.
I'm trying to keep calm; it involves a smidgen of denial. Must not go mad. Must not go mad. Must not go mad.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Rage Central

So, Monday happened. As did many teeth-related/general toddler tantrums.
The boy's niggling teeth don't seem to stop him from eating Huffle out of house and home. I swear we're going to be  charged double for meals on the next bill. Hopefully, Dexter is just building up the stamina for another bonkers week of crazy days and meetings every day after school.
Send me to Norway, please...

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sunday not so fun-day

Feeling a bit 'meh' after yesterday's outdoor loveliness. I feel like I've lost my riding mojo; I'm losing a little bit of confidence and over-analysing things.
Dexter had an epic afternoon snooze which meant his only trip out was to Sainsbury's. He was very good considering he had to stay in the trolley - albeit placated with a packet of crisps. They seem to be the only thing he eats without cutlery nowadays. 'Project Spoon' is progressing well!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The hills are alive...

We spent the morning on the spectacular Sussex Downs: Ditchling Beacon to be precise. Now the boy loves to run (see yesterday's post), it seemed the perfect place to let him have his freedom.
Dexter had a ball: he ran; he played with gravel; he rode on Daddy's shoulders. I enjoyed watching the ponies up there going for a gallop.
Fresh air of a weekend feels totally restorative, and I'm not sure how much longer this glorious 'Indian Summer' will last.
Sometimes, you've just got to appreciate what's on your doorstep - even if you've had to park two miles away from your actual doorstep. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Forrest Bump

Today's #366 picture doesn't quite capture the boy's genuine excitement at our usual Friday morning breakfast stop: automatic doors are the new escalators in his world.
I'm tired. I really missed him today. This is really unlike me - not because I am 'Tin Mummy', but I'm usually too busy. Friday is my (relatively) quieter teaching day this year. A lesson spent lesson planning also featured thoughts of wanting to be at home with my boy.
I wasn't feeling quite so whimsical after school. A quick visit to the local M&S food store had a very over-excited Dexter running up and down the aisles, careering into various people's shopping baskets. I've taken to calling him Forrest Gump: an homage to his desire to run everywhere.
He just needs to work on the spatial awareness.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Life imitating art?

It took ages to get home today: horrific traffic and necessary detour. After a busy day and a lengthy after-school meeting, the tv was beckoning.
Two programmes struck a chord with me. Phil and Kirstie's 'Location x3' was helping a family on a limited budget find the right family home close to extended family for childcare purposes. If only.
That big shoulder-pad wearing, northern lady (Hilary?), from 'Dragon's Den' was presenting a really interesting programme on career women and why they still aren't as numerous/successful as men in the boardroom. She visited Norway which has a really progressive, gender-balanced approach to maternity/paternity leave, childcare and supporting working parents. Mentally, I have booked my one-way ticket... 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Only human


We stopped on the way to work today to get a small thank- you gift for a colleague; we also bought coffee. It's Wednesday. We're only human.

Dexter had a complete meltdown at nursery drop-off, apparently even refusing to eat his breakfast (hope he's not been taking lessons from the mental cat). He was much better after a big sleep, unpleasant nappy and hearty school lunch. He's only human.

I'm feeling a bit stretched in terms of my teaching load, some other school commitments and constant meetings after work. I didn't deal with a certain situation in a particularly effective way today. I'm only human.

My favourite moment of today was this evening. After arriving home at the usual six o'clock and heading into the kitchen to put the kettle on, I returned to the living room to the scene pictured above. The boy, fully ensconced on the sofa, 'reading' Meg and Mog. A tiny part of my tired heart melted: I'm only human.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Fall Guy


I have decided that I think I like all of my classes this year. I have also decided I probably will not like Tuesdays this year. My Year 11 class last year (loved them), got me into the idea that Tuesdays are rubbish on account of them not being the start of the week, but also not close enough to the end of the week and therefore the weekend. Today has been too busy and too long.

It was joyous to see the boy toddling in the playground at a later than usual nursery pick-up. I didn't really notice the big scrape on his chin, the line down his cheek and the slightly swollen eye: all a result of some slightly over- enthusiastic leaping from a climbing frame. He seemed fine, I signed an accident form, and consoled myself that if I did send him to a Scandinavian forest school, then he'd probably get into far worse scrapes.

This evening, Dexter couldn't settle and got his leg stuck in his cot. His beloved 'blankie' was in the washing machine on account of him insisting on dragging it around the playground after him. The husband and I went up to console the boy. Dexter thought it was hilarious to race into our room and get into our bed.

We eventually got him back into his cot with a clean and freshly tumble-dried/slightly damp blankie. He soon fell asleep, leaving another Tuesday behind. Until the next one...

Monday, 10 September 2012

Dexter the dexterous

This morning got off to a smooth start. It wasn't my turn to drive. Lovely lift-share ladies and I arrived in the town where we work ahead of schedule. It obviously would have been rude not to check out the brand new Costa on the high street...
Things started to go downhill at the nursery drop-off. Dexter was the first arrival at Little Huffle (he has now officially made the transition from 'Baby Huffle' to 'Little Huffle'), and it took some time to extricate him from clinging on to my legs.
The morning continued on its downward trajectory when I realised that the work I had spent all afternoon on yesterday, hadn't saved to the school system. I had to re-do it during my prep time this morning: grrr.
The day got better. It passed very quickly and I met more of my students for this year, all of whom were lovely. Dexter's day improved too. He soon forgot all about me, demolished his school lunch, and showed his new found dexterity with a spoon. This is big news in the Wayne household, as he has only just started to show some remote interest in feeding himself using cutlery. As today's #366 photo demonstrates, the boy is putting these skills to good use for cleaning his teeth too.
The husband is currently cooking dinner, I've almost finished my work for this evening, and I may get to bed before eleven. All in a day's work.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Role Reversal

In a wonderful case of role reversal today, after I returned from my riding lesson, the husband did the Waitrose run. He'd already taken the boy to the park while I had been pony botherin'. I got on with school work while the boy slept. I tried to continue getting on with my school work when he awoke. However, Dexter resorted to clambering all over me every time I picked up a piece of paper. I think he was reminding me that he comes first at the weekend: of course he does. The  husband cooked dinner too; I bathed the boy and put him to bed. Team work.
I've just caught up on a week of blog posts. I'm conscious that my tone is rather clipped and my style less rambling. I've found the first week back tough. Next week is looking completely bonkers. I'll be happy if it's only the blog that suffers.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Day trippers

What a glorious day! We visited a friend and his little boy in St Albans. Dexter played in a sand pit and ran riot in the grounds of the abbey.
I spent the day feeling like I was going to pass out with exhaustion and heat.
I tried  not to think about work all day. I really tried.
God, I've got so much to do.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Keeping it real

Hurrah for Friday! Hurrah for the obligatory breakfast stop! No hurrah for Dexter being totally hysterical at the nursery drop this morning. It was the first time in ages I've felt really bad for leaving him and going to work.
Despite the fact that I have a quieter Friday than last academic year, the job still doesn't give me time to dwell on such matters, so by the time I collected the boy, he and I had both forgotten about the morning's upset.
We got to the park an hour earlier than we have been doing this week. It was heaving - filled with teenagers I couldn't boss around.
I took the boy home and admitted defeat; Iggle Piggle and some bricks took over from my parenting. It really is back to the grind, and another seven weeks until I can relax and unwind. Poetry innit.

Thursday, 6 September 2012


All year groups back today; no more gentle start. It's been one of those days where I forget to breathe.
The boy and I clocked up another visit to the park on the way home. The weather is just too beautiful not to. I must have looked quite a sight going down the slide in my smart trousers and heels.
In a bid to win some sort of award/send myself off to an early grave, I'm still trying to sustain the home cooking I really got into in the holidays.
Make the most of these blog posts. I'm not sure how much longer the commute, teaching, endless meetings, park, not being able to park and cooking every night will all be squeezed into every single day in the weeks ahead.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Swing, leaf, plane...swing, leaf, plane...

Officially pooped! Sensibly (not), I stayed up late last night with the newly-arrived book recommended to me by the GP. Just half an hour a day of one-to-one with the boy, focusing on talking, should get him up to speed in no time. The start of term has been quite gentle so far - only two year groups in today, so I must be able to manage this.
We did manage the park again on the way home. We focused on the words swing, leaf and plane, as I am being led by the boy's interests. I said them a lot; he did not.
We parked three streets away (of course), and Dexter insisted on walking from the car to home - another twenty minutes or so. No tv, no radio, but lots of talking - from me.
Wondering when I'll be able to switch out of teacher mode...

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Indian Summer

Back to school! Without wanting to sound like a walking cliche, it's like we've never been away.
It was fine. The boy had a good day at nursery. The sun is still shining. We managed to get to the park on the way home. Feeling on top of this juggling malarkey.
It won't last.

Monday, 3 September 2012

One final hurrah!

So, today marked my last day of freedom from the shackles of working-mummy existence. Lovely friend Hannah and delicious Lady L came round for some lunch. Dexter was in full-on meltdown mode, so Hannah actually made said lunch. She didn't seem to mind, and little Lottie seemed perfectly at home, having to be wrestled out from under Dexter's new duvet in order to go home for nap time.
With the boy securely in place for his nap, I made blackberry muffins.
Later in the afternoon, we all went to Hove Lagoon to enjoy some unseasonable sunshine. Dexter spent a lot of time trying to adopt new parents and a worrying amount of time clinging on to a lady whom he believed to be Sarah; her little boy wasn't so keen on the mistaken identity.
The husband and I marked Monday evening with a gig: Euros Childs. He was astonishingly good. Lovely lift share friend baby-sat. Tomorrow, we are going to be astonishingly tired.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Pooper scooper


Despite the most rotten cough, cold and teething the boy has been suffering with, he and the husband accompanied me to the stables today. I've gone a bit nuts for child-led outdoor learning and Scandinavian forest schools, so I thought a morning at the yard would be educational. Plus, it's all part of my master plan to ensure he shares a love for my favourite animals. As it transpires, he really loves their poo. This shot was snapped by the husband, shortly before Dexter chose to pick up said poop. Not sure what he's going to learn from that...

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Cheap as chips (well, fish)


Pinch, punch and all that. I like September, because I love autumn - always have.

The boy was treated to a budget aquarium visit today, in the form of a trip to the garden centre! We actually had to go and get cat food for poorly puss, but the aquatics section is really well-stocked and made for a very easy way to entertain Dexter.

Kitty has been discharged from the feline infirmary. The extensive blood tests were inconclusive. His refusal to eat is potentially psychological. His bill was large: good job we scrimped on an outing.