Grouchus Maximus

I suspected it was going to be a rough day when Mini Minx woke me at 5.30am and I couldn’t get her to sleep.  I *knew* it was going to be a rough day when the entire family had yelled at Midi Minx for tormenting / hitting / choking them, before 6am.

Mini’s top 3 teeth are finally cutting through, but all at once.  I think one’s coming in perpendicular to the right direction, though.  They’re causing her so much pain, poor baby, but thankfully Nurofen is working pretty well.  As is plenty of Cheerios.  She saw Midi eating it this morning and indicated delicately that she also wished to partake of this delicacy (ie she screeched, bared her gums, wrinkled her nose, swiped her own porridge off the table, flung her spoon at the window, threw herself back in her high-chair damn near giving herself whiplash, and roared).  Hungry baby – she ate 5 handfuls of the stuff, one after the other.  Every time her bowl emptied, she bashed it on the table, yelling in time with each clatter.  I can see I’m going to have problems teaching this one ‘please’ and ‘thank you’…

Nursery phoned me at 9.40am to tell me that there was a Liaison Committee (kind of like a mini Board of Governors) meeting at 10am.  Gosh, if I drop the baby on the floor, abandon the girls and jump in the car right this second, I’ll still be late.  Great amount of notice – well done.  Once upon a time I chaired the Committee, but now that I’m a stay-at-home mum, I’m just the Parent Rep.  Who doesn’t get told about the meetings.  Hmmmm… I wonder if the new Chair is a little intimidated by me?  Through an intermediary she claimed to have emailed me through work about the meeting – right, that’ll be the work email that was turned off over a year ago?  Maybe she’ll wet her pants if I give her a call tomorrow to find out why her meeting prep is so appalling?  Depends how evil I’m feeling.

I took the girls with me when I went to vote.  A nice policeman in a stab vest (?? maybe they’d had reports that the local WI members were going to attack anyone not voting for A Very Nice Man) held the door open for us to get out.  Or maybe he was ushering us out – Maxi does ask a lot of questions…

I’m sure I’ve already explained about the local primary school: Maxi starts there in August and I requested Midi a place there in the pre-school nursery, so that both girls start at the same time.  I requested morning sessions for Midi (both would start at 9am, I’d pick up Midi at 11.30am, then Maxi at 2.35pm.  Easy!)  They gave me afternoon sessions.  So here’s how it’ll work:

  • Get all girls up and out the door to walk Maxi to school for 9am
  • Walk back
  • Do something useful for 2 hours
  • Walk Midi and Mini so Midi can start at 12.35pm
  • Walk back
  • Do something useful for an hour
  • Walk back to pick up Maxi at 2.35pm (finishing time for the next 3 years)
  • Hang around with Mini and Maxi outside in the hail, rain, ice and snow for half an hour (no shelters and not allowed inside)
  • Pick up an exhausted Midi at 3.05pm
  • Walk back

Bonkers.  Bloody bonkers!  Apparently their policy is to put the 4 year old pre-schoolers in the morning sessions and the 3 year old pre-schoolers in the afternoon sessions.  Um, call me old-fashioned, but don’t 3 year olds get tired faster than 4 year olds?  Or do they think that my 3 year old will have a lie-in and spend all morning in bed, conserving her energy for nursery?  Do they think I have the time to spend 2 hours total every day walking up and down a bloody hill, plus waiting around?  Or am I the very first parent to have a kid in primary 1, 2 or 3 with a child in nursery, too?  Must be, eh?  I’m so cross because the afternoon sessions only started a year or 2 ago.  I think I really need to go have a chat with the headmaster to find out what the reasoning behind those hours was and how they allocate the kids.  Perhaps once I’m educated in their rationale I will be more understanding.  (Aye, right!)

Ballet this afternoon was a trial.  Me and Mini got soaked in the downpour, so both of us wailed a bit.  Midi decided to face plant on the floor and waggle her bum at her teacher rather than go in and dance.  After studiously ignoring her wails for “A Mummy Higgle!!” I insisted she change out her ballet dress and slippers and put normal clothes on.  I got some sniffy looks from some other mums at my hard-heartedness, but as I tell Midi and Mini every single day, I don’t do tantrums.

The woman at the post office marvelled at my ability to cope with all 3 girls.  As the double buggy can only just get in the door and no further, I had them all in one spot by the shop-counter doing various ‘jobs’ while I was at the other end of the shop, posting parcels (“Mini, you sleep.  Midi, you’re in charge of sitting down so that baby R stays in her seat and can’t topple out. Maxi, you’re in charge of watching Midi and Mini sitting down.  If they or you are naughty, shout me over!”).  They were good till I came over, mainly because I kept leaning over and pointing a threatening finger at Midi.  “You’re so calm and laid back with them!” she praised me.  My jaw dropped and I shook my head dumbly.  “It’s all a big act!” I admitted.

Despite me and Midi seriously falling out numerous times through the afternoon, she still only wanted cuddles from me, every 15 minutes all bloody night till I went to bed.  Even when I had a bath to wind down enough to sleep.  The problem was, so did Mini.  She wouldn’t go to The Boss at all, wanting to snuggle on my chest and weep on my shoulder.  I can’t wait for those horrible teeth to cut through – I tried rubbing her gums and she screeched in agony, so back to the Nurofen and Bonjela it is.

Voting For 5 Year Olds

Trout: “P, do you remember why grown-ups vote?”

Maxi Minx: “Yep, they get bits of paper and put x’s on them, and that’s how they decide who the boss is going to be”

Trout (fairly impressed): “Yeah.  Grown-ups put an x next to the name of the person they want to be their boss, to help us all decide important things.”

Maxi, sniffing: “It smells like wood here”

Trout: “That’s because we’re in a wooden booth.  Grown-ups vote in here to keep what they vote secret.  It’s really important that it’s in secret because then they’ll vote for what they really, really think”

Maxi: “Who did you vote for, Mummy?  What does that word say?”

Trout: “Never you mind!  That’s a secret!” 

… (point out ballot boxes, as I get out the door I explain what happens next, then more blah and explanations about why we’re also voting for AV or FPTP)

Trout: “So you’ve been a really good, patient girl while I voted.  Would you like to choose either a chocolate Freddo or a caramel Freddo as a treat?”

Maxi: “That has to be a secret, Mummy”

Out-minxed, again.