Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Monday, 24 November 2014

Or at least that's what I'm hoping. So much has NOT happened since my last post.

September arrived, then disappeared just as quickly. I can only assume I became lost in the euphoria of not having a small child at home for the first time in SIXTEEN, yes, 16 years!

The first day of school is a distressing scene to behold, not just for the teachers. Yummy mummies stood at the school gates, hankies at the ready with crying small children super glued to their legs, clinging on for grim death. Children extracted expertly by teachers from their parents, some more successfully than others and patiently coaxed through the door, some still hysterical, there came the second wave. A trail of broken women, supported by friends, physically in some cases. Reluctant to leave, peering through windows to catch a glimpse of their little one in the hope they had 'settled down' unconvinced by reassurances of 'they'll be fine'.

I, on the other hand approached the first day of school in my usual tardy, disorganised manner. I did have a slight celebratory spring in my step and found it difficult to hide my excitement at the prospect of relative freedom. I was relieved to have survived the six weeks summer holiday and to be honest I think that the kids were as glad to see the back of me as much as I was them. HOORAH for full time education.

In terms of 'family time' the summer holidays are overkill. At the beginning of week two I told my children I was going to change my name as I was sick of hearing 'mummy'. The youngest asked me 'What to? Mona?' 'No' says I 'to Supercalifragilisticexbealidocious' in the hope that they wouldn't master that in a drawn out whiny tone.

My master plan for the first school term was to sort out Haversham House, regain some order and control over my life. What has actually happened is, 'Pro-cras-tin-ation...Doo dee doo dee dee dee doo, to the tune of the 80's Belouis Some song, 'Imagination'! I've looked at it, pondered it, felt overwhelmed by the enormity of it and have become ninja at avoiding and ignoring it. The only time I feel alarmed or embarrassed is when somebody comes to call that hasn't been previously inducted to the maze of clothes, shoes, boxes, toys and piles of post littered everywhere and then, only if they look aghast as they cross the threshold.

So December arrived, I shut my eyes and put my fingers in my ears in attempt to blank out the Christmas adverts, music and decorations forced upon me wherever I glanced. As the month has progressed I have become greener and more Grinch like by the day. It is now only two sleeps away and I'm still ignoring it. I do briefly acknowledge it with palpitations and nausea when the children remind me Fr. Christmas is coming SOON but am still contemplating feigning catatonia in the hope of incarceration in a mental asylum till February.

This year I am even more spectacularly disorganised than previously. I have failed to write and send any cards even to those who really should have received one, I still haven't wrapped all the presents and the Christmas tree remains on the patio in its netting. The biggest problem with the tree is the lack of a space to put it; let's face it they're supposed to live in forests not houses. We do have food ordered but I can't claim the glory for that, it has been my husband's one contribution to the festive season unless you count the dent to his bank balance. I should actually be doing something instead of writing about it but I'm sure you're seeing a theme, I have evolved into the 'avoiding Christmas ninja'!

The older I get, the more I hate Christmas. I'm not sure I'd ever be organised even if I began preparations in January. I don't hate 'Christ'mas but I do feel saddened by what society has done to it.

Don't worry I'm not poised to have a religious rant. I think all moral people probably feel the same pangs of guilt as they purchase toys for children who neither need or want for anything, struggle to find that present for the person who has everything and overfill their fridges with food that won't get eaten while others have nothing. I have and do regularly remind my children of those less fortunate in the world, donate to charity and support fundraising but I do wonder if that is enough? Black Friday was a shocking example of what has gone wrong with Christmas and society in general, greed, selfishness and a lack of respect for others.

I have just been reminded by a wave of breathtaking nausea that I really do need to get off my back, out of my bed and on it and off the internet. I am simply aiming to survive the festive season but I hope your Christmas is happy, filled with love, peace and goodwill to all men. Unless you are having your 'in-laws' for dinner, 'In-laws' are exempt from all of the above especially at Christmas!