You know you’re in for a tough day when you pack 11 (yes, 11 – I counted) bags the night before.
- 2 swimming bags (one for Maxi Minx, the other for me, Midi and Mini)
- 1 bookbag for Maxi’s homework
- 1 school bag for Maxi
- 1 gym bag for Maxi
- 1 change of clothes bag for Midi at nursery
- 1 nappy change bag for Mini
- 1 bag of snacks (all the kids need extra calories right after swimming or they shake, and the littlies need snacks to keep going while their big sister is swimming)
- 1 bag of books and toys (sitting in a buggy at the pool for an hour is pretty boring when you’re 3 or 17 months old)
- 1 bag of things-to-be-posted, including a very beautiful (if I may say so myself) Rainbow Knits hat, being sent to a gorgeous 3 year old who I bet looks stunning in the green.
- 1 packed lunch bags
- This list doesn’t include the big double buggy or the sling, and the 4 heavy raincoats. It all weighed a ton. I took the car…
This time I remembered that little girls have finite energy reserves (!) and only took them into the pool 4 minutes before their lesson started. Midi was on some mental sugar-rush-like thing and was hard to control. She kept launching herself at me and Mini and hanging off one of our necks. She did it once too often (and then again, after that) so I now have a very sore back. Mini was fine about some of the swimming, but cried and cried at other parts. Her favourite bit was jumping into my arms (awwwwww).
Actually in hindsight, trying to analyse what she hated, she cried every second length of the baby pool, from halfway through the lesson. FUnny old thing, when the Old Ladies Bob About The Pool Pretending To Exercise To Incredibly Loud and Crap Music was on. Mine and Midi’s hearing is rubbish, so we’re used to it. But poor Mini was rubbing her ears and covering them up. I think I’ll drop by the pool tomorrow and formally request that they turn the volume down. It was pretty ridiculously loud. And made our lesson downright miserable.
Maxi’s swimming has gotten from bad to worse. Today she wouldn’t even swim half a length of the pool without a big stick in front of her. In fact, the instructor had to jump in with her to get her to swim at all. Then Maxi was yapping too much to notice when it was her turn. So in the whole half hour, she ‘swam’ 2 half-lengths whilst the rest of her class (that she wasn’t distracting) managed 5 or 6.
I scolded her in the changing room about when to talk and when to listen and the poor little mite / penitent chatterbox cried. I think I need to talk to her swimming teacher tomorrow, too. Should she go back a class? Should I just leave her to it? (But I don’t want to pay for her to sit in the pool each week and chat to her friends).
Speaking of speaking, Mini’s speech has suddenly leaped forward. Just as I posted on a forum that Mini could only say Mama, Daddy, shoes, hat and that (and ‘thank you’ once), she suddenly decided that she could say, “Whassamatter?” (to a wailing Midi), “Luca-DAT!” (look at that – presenting me with a bead from her sock, like a magician’s rabbit from a hat, the 4th one to emerge from that sock that morning…). She can also say Pop-pop and Llllllllll for her sisters’ names. I believe she sounds distinctly Glaswegian. That’s my girl!
Still on speaking, I got very cross with Maxi and her phonics homework. She was given a little tub of letters and we were to revise the sounds and actions associated with each letter (blimey, bit of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning going on there – makes my old trainer heart glad). I put some letters together and got her to sound them out, then faster, try blending them, and see if she could see the word (‘pin’). It took a while, but the penny dropped, the sunshine came out, and I cheered, “Wow! You just did some proper reading!” She was delighted, so I tried to get her to see the fun you have adding ‘s’ to the end or the beginning of the word, but she was having none of it, getting too distracted watching her friend studiously do his homework, or try and distract him by yapping. I got very grumpy when I rebuked her for the 14th or 15th time, and asked her to listen to me. I gave it up as a lost cause and put the sound cards away, angry. I’d hoped she would get that ‘wow!’ moment I got when I was her age, suddenly seeing the patterns of letters and how shifting them around changed words and meanings (I was one of those kids who’d think up a long word, then spend hours trying to find as many smaller words made from its letters as I could. Hey, the nights fair drew in fast where I lived as a kid…) But she was too busy yapping to her friend. Well, ‘at’, because he wasn’t listening: he was having too much fun reading his sound cards!
I’d never make a primary school teacher – not enough patience, tolerance or understanding, for sure.