Saturday, 29 November 2008

Pantomime Problem

Feeling much better, nearly back to full strength. All exams marked, grades entered and only two sets of reports left to write. However, I now have another problem:


MIL wants to take daughter to a pantomime. Normally I would reluctantly agree and then worry all afternoon. (Remember she's in her seventies, blind in one eye, bad back, can't manage stairs and yet is still driving - go figure!)

However, she wants to take Izzy along with her other grandchildren. Three kids, two under five. On her own. No other adults.

How do I tell her that I don't want daughter to go without mentioning the facts that

a) I don't trust her driving
b) I worry that she will lose one of them
c) I suspect she will leave two alone if one wants toilet?

I base these assumptions on previous experience of

a) my neice being driven around by MIL without being strapped in to car seat

(MIL thought it good enough for her just to sit in it, good job she called at our house and I put her straight)

b) my nephew (aged 18 months) standing crying at top of her stairs having climbed out of his cot while MIL sat in kitchen doing crossword saying "he'll settle down"

(she doesn't do stairs, not even to sort out crying grandchild, good job I arrived and sorted him out before he fell down the stairs!)

c) my daughter left in car at petrol station while MIL paid

(I know this sounds paranoid, but a friend of mine left her car for ten minutes once and came back to find her car on fire, luckily she'd decided to take her daughter in with her - NEVER, repeat NEVER, leave your child alone in car)

I can't tell her the truth and hurt her feelings. Don't say "go with her" or claim "previous commitment". She would definitely suspect something if I offered to go with and I'm a terrible liar. And it's too far in advance to claim previous commitment (I have said I need to consult the diary though, can I see a reason I would be busy on 21st February?).

Husband thinks his mum is still a young and sprightly sixty year old and can't see the problem, so he's no help. And we all know how safe he keeps daughter (click here to find out)!


Or am I just being over protective?



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Help!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Speak up love!

I'm sitting at the kitchen table, trying to write reports, but nothing is inspiring me, so guess what? I'm doing a bit of blogging instead (will I never learn?)

I'm taking part in Potty Mummy's hosting of the Best of the British Mummy Bloggers Carnival today so if you've time, pop over and have a look.


And, here's what happened today:

After work today I went back to the doctor's as my cough is getting worse and my chest feels really tight . He diagnosed a chest infection now and prescribed steroids (or "man tablets" as husband calls them). I toddled off to the local Chemist's with daughter in tow to get tablets.

We were sitting waiting for my prescription when a woman entered the shop wearing a very striking shawl and amazing pattered tights.

Daughter sat and stared for a while, mesmerised. Then she turned to me and whispered,


" That lady ssssssssssssssssssssss"

(Well, that's what it sounded like)

"What was that, love?"

"That lady's ssssssssssssssssssss"

"Speak up, love!"







"THAT LADY'S REALLY FAT!"

I was mortified.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Can anyone assist?

Before you read this post, please note that it is not a whine, whinge or complaint. It is just fact. Keep reading to the end because you may be able to help me!

* * * * * * *

Husband is mad at me for going back to work today before being fully fit, but he doesn't understand the build up of work continues even when I'm not there.

Normally I get two hours of marking per night. Fine. Daughter goes to bed, I do my marking (interspersed with a bit of blogging) and then I go to bed. Job done.

Now, I've just had three days off ill, so you do the maths.

On my desk this morning were:
  • three sets of books (one and a half hours)
  • two assessments (two hours)
  • one set of exams (two hours)
  • one set of sixth form homework (half an hour)
Of course I was put on cover in my 'free' period and exam/assessment marks have to be in by Wednesday so I've had to bring six hours of marking home with me. And I haven't even started writing my reports yet!

Now, what I need is ...................




.......... to stop doing this:

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.......... to get one of these:

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(oh no, I can't, I'm on antibiotics)

............. and find one of these:


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Anyone got a time machine I can borrow?

Saturday, 22 November 2008

PTA or SAS?

Doctor has diagnosed 'nasty thing going round' with 'throat infection' and has given me antibiotics. I must be ill because husband has volunteered to miss the beginning of City's match today to take daughter to pony riding party!

I thought I would try and sort out a few things in the in-tray today as it has been building up. Usual stuff: bills, bank statements, stuff about Manchester Congestion charge (that requires a whole other post!). Actually what I discovered was that I'm being hounded by the PTA (Parent Teacher Association).

Next week is the Autumn Fair and I expected to be asked to contribute something. It started fairly innocuously with a letter saying that daughter's class were doing the 'Hoop a Jar' stall so have to send in two or three jars, decorated for Christmas and filled with kiddy things. So far so good. Found two jars in garage, daughter decorated them with christmas stickers and we filled with hair bobbles and slides. Lovely. Job done.

Then I got a letter with raffle tickets to sell and send money and stubs back.

OK, I can sell them to friends and family.

Then a letter asking for second hand toys and books.

Possibly manage that.

Two days later - every child must send in a bottle and something chocolate for the tombola.

Hang on a minute........

Finally - something for the cake stall, to be brought in the day before the fair.

Well, I can bake some cupcakes, but isn't that now asking for a lot?

I have now been asked for six things for the fair! Each thing has to be taken to a different place on a different day. I am so confused I just want to pick up all the letters and put them in the bin (recycling, of course). Why don't they just send one letter and collect it all in one place? Do they think that by asking on six separate occasions we won't notice and just keep sending stuff in?

And I only have one child. What if I had two or three or more?!

And then they expect me to attend said fair with daughter and spend lots of money trying to get back my contributions!

Ah, the joys!


Friday, 21 November 2008

Oh elusive rest

Cold got worse, now on third day off work, couldn't venture out of bed yesterday, today I'm off to the doctor's. Really just want to get fit again, but how come you can't get a rest when you need one? Tomorrow I have to take daughter to pony riding party which she is desperate to go to, I have to walk round with her and it's forecast snow. Then there was this:

Yesterday whilst bedridden with temperature and hacking cough I heard a knock at the door.

"It'll go away", I thought.

Then I heard men's voices outside so I gingerly got up and looked through the bedroom window. A plain blue van with a ladder on the top.

"Mmmm", I thought, "Not the window cleaner, maybe gardeners looking for work?"

I staggered back to bed.

Next thing I know, one of them has climbed on to the wheelie bin at the side of the house and jumped over our side gate into the back!

"Perhaps they are burglars just checking if anyone is in before the breaking in round the back?" I thought. Well, the police have said burglaries are on the increase in our area in these straightened times.

At this point I was more annoyed with husband for leaving wheelie bin down the side of the house as useful step (which I have nagged him several times not to do) than fearful of being burgled. Funny how the mind works when you're not well.

Then there was another knock on the door.

At this point I thought I'd better answer it, show the burglars there is someone in, take a good look at them and then inform the police.

I staggered downstairs and opened the door.

"Oh, I'm so sorry love. Have we woken you up? Do you work nights? We're from 'Roofline' (name changed to protect the innocent), we're here to fix your guttering. I'm so sorry to disturb you, but we don't know which is the leaking part. My mate's gone round the back to see if it's there. Can you tell us where it is and we'll fix it for you?"

'Roofline' are the company that fitted our soffits, fascias and guttering last year and husband had rung them to fix a leaking piece while still under warranty.

I showed them the leaking part and went back to bed.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

At home with WMS

Guess what? I'm ill again. Cold started on Sunday, but I did my usual and ignored it until I was unable to teach yesterday due to streaming nose, sneezing and raw throat. Thought I'd better take a day to recover as I don't want to end up like last year when I bravely battled on only to collapse at Christmas (I was so ill, I couldn't eat my Christmas dinner) and suffer one thing after another until April.

Found disadvantage of daughter attending my school this morning when it took me an hour and a half to take her to school and come home again, but it's now 9.00am and I can take it easy:



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Thought I could manage to sit at the kitchen table with the laptop and start writing my reports. (No matter that they haven't done their exams yet - deadlines are such that I need to write their reports before I mark their exams, otherwise I can't get it all done in time!) However, have got waylaid by Google shouting "Blogger!" and "Reader!" at me.


Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I have decided to adopt Sass e-mum's steely reserve and not give in to Scary Mum, I will use MOTL's and Fat, Frumpy and Fifty's excellent advice and say that daughter wanted to choose something herself and that we've already got it. Then Claire, Gigi and Scrappy Sue made me realise that the presents I've appreciated most from pupils are the things they make themselves, so I am going to go ahead with my original plan: gingerbread biscuits. (In case you missed it click here for my gingerbread recipe.)

Daughter wanted to make Christmas gingerbread biscuits for her teachers and I have already bought adornments such as mulitcoloured silver balls and pretty cellophane bags with gold stars on to wrap them in. Add homemade gift tags and voila!
* * * * * * * * *

Talking of Christmas, the nativity play is upon us. Daughter came home a couple of weeks ago saying that they were practising for the nativity play and............


"It's another Baby Jesus story!"

(Think I need to find her book on the story of the nativity and explain again what Christmas is about)

She really wanted to be an angel like last year. She's spent ages telling me she needs to be an angel, she's dug out her angel costume, she's begged and pleaded to be an angel and it all culminating in her wailing:

"If you don't let me be an angel, I'll have to be a snowflake"

("Snowflake" was spat out with much venom)

I tried to explain that it wasn't up to me, but she wouldn't have it!

Yesterday she came home with the letter saying that she was 'Angel 8'

Great!" I said, "You're an angel. Just what you wanted to be"

"Yes" she said, glumly, "but I'm not the lead angel"

You just can't please some people, can you?

Monday, 17 November 2008

Present Problem

I've marked a set of tests twice tonight (yes, the same tests) after discovering mistakes on mark scheme. Totally fed up with it so decided to catch up a bit on blogland. Read a few amusing blogs and thought I would blog something that happened this weekend:

So there I was standing talking to Pregnant Mum at yet another birthday party this weekend, when Scary Mum (scary as in Morticia Addams) came over to us.

"I'll be collecting £10 from each of you for the teachers' Christmas presents" she said.

Notice, no 'please' or ' what do you think?' or even 'a contribution'.

No, just 'I'll be mugging you for £10'.


"Oh" I said, in a bit of a state of shock, "What are you going to get?"

Buying time while I let it sink in and decide how I feel about this.

"Just some John Lewis vouchers, it's easiest" she replied.

"That's fine", said Pregnant Mum, "By Christmas I'll be too busy to decide what to get them anyway"

Scary Mum then leaves to accost other mums, not waiting for a reply from me.

Is this normal?

(I feel compelled to point out that I've never received £100 in John Lewis vouchers from my pupils' parents at Christmas)

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Conversations with a four year old - the one about school

Still drowning in a sea of attainment grades, progress grades, effort grades, interim reports, exams and full reports, but had to post this one as it seemed so appropriate:

This morning daughter was falling asleep on the stairs as I tried to put her school shoes on ready to leave.

"Why do I have to go to school every day?" she asked wearily.

"It's not every day, it's five days then the weekend" I explained.

"But I get tired before the weekend" she wailed.

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Don't we all, sweetheart?

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Falling into the abyss

I hate November.

November should be a month of snuggling up by the fire, eating toffee apples and of course, Bonfire Night. It's a time for battening down the hatches and spending evenings with your loved ones watching BBC dramas or reading a good book.

Not for Working Mum.

November is the busiest time in the academic year.

It's another Open Evening, Open Morning (on a Saturday), three Parents' Evenings (including one tonight), one Sixth Form Information Evening and attending the School Play. Combine this with internal school exams to be written and marked, then 120 reports to be written, all on top of a normal 60 hour a week teaching load! Oh, and I have to finish writing the school Entrance Exam and get it to the printers by 10 December as well.


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I look remarkably calm considering, don't I?

This is the nadir to the Summer Holiday's zenith, it keeps the balance, for every yin there is a yang..............

At this point in the year I consider moving into school; I might as well live there. Instead, I book all my shopping on-line for delivery (TGFT) and ignore the build up of mess, dirt and laundry.

Blogging may have to take a back seat.

I will emerge sometime in early December just in time for the Christmas mayhem!





Sunday, 2 November 2008

Job done!

Half term is now officially over and I'm looking back at the list of things I needed to do this week (plus a few others I added along the way):
  • Car passed its MOT; the noise was apparently wheel bearings and was sorted out as part of the service - yay!
  • Found the Farm Party and the Bowling Party, another party was cancelled and daughter spent a morning at a school friend's while I browsed around nearby John Lewis - again, yay!
  • Altered the lounge curtains, gathered and ironed them and put them up.
  • Lounge has new lights thanks to electricians; after two years with wires sticking out of the walls, I now have lights! Double yay!
  • Daughter spent two nights at my parents' giving me time to do a clear out and a few visits to the tip and the charity shop - another yay! Even managed to get rid of our old telly on 'Loot' so I can get my car in the garage now.
  • Entrance Exam - first draft completed - half a yay!
  • Managed to get my mouth around the Italian (language, not person) at the Opera Gala at Bridgewater Hall - never want to sing the Grand March from Aida again! How many vowel sounds can you fit on one note?
  • Did a bonus job of getting new flooring put in downstairs toilet. Daughter had had a few 'accidents' there when potty training and she runs in and out in her wellies when she's playing in the garden, so cushion floor ('lino' to you and me) was a much more sensible option.
  • Bought new plates and bowls from Debenhams in the '20% off' sale (Denby 'Mist' - lovely). We had had our others for 20 years and we were down to five plates, four bowls and three sideplates. If anyone came for tea we used Thomas the Tank Engine and Peter Rabbit plates and bowls! It had ceased to be querky.
  • Also found time to go for a meal with husband to a lovely local Italian restaurant where he asked me if I was overwhelmed by the menu. (He's still going on about the yoghurt)

So altogether a successful half term.

Going to have a rest this evening while I watch "Strictly"

and maybe one of these.......


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.......... Cheers!