Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The New " Must Have" Symbol

The New "Must Have" symbol is four children apparently.

Well so I read just now in the Bookseller by way of The Times. The Blairs, the Jaggers, the Gores... and me.

Apparently having four is soooo 21st century, da-ah-ahling.

Somehow methinks the Blairs et al don't share my stress levels.

Let me tell you about my week so far and see if you agree.

As previously mentioned here, was the day of the Race for Life.

Because we have four children, and two of them wanted to run with me, that meant Spouse had to deal with the two others (luckily my wonderful mother was on hand to help this weekend, but this is rare as she lives 200 miles away).

Wonderful mother cooked us lunch, which was just as well as No 1 had volunteered to take part in a Guide's cooking competition, the details of which were only delivered through my letterbox at 5pm (cue frantic recipe decision making/followed by quick lessons in stir frying while trying not to miss any of the last episode of Dr Who).

We got back from RfL at 12.15, no 1 and I were off out again at 1.30, together with lots of bits of paper, some cooking equipment and two guides I didn't know.

Cooking comp starts at 2pm, we arrived to discover that very vital bit of paper containing their menu has been left behind. Can't you go back and get it? asks the guide leader. Between gritted teeth I say, well I'd rather not, as it is an hour round trip. Luckily no 1 produces some paper and pen and rewrites.

At 5pm No 2 has a party five miles in the opposite direction of the cooking comp, so I tootle over the downs with her, and luckily meet a friend who offers to bring her home before going back to get no 1 from her comp. Spouse meanwhile is playing in the garage with his new toy (of which more later. I think it deserves a whole blog to itself), so I am on driving duty.

Cue lots of hanging around to discover no 1 and her chums haven't won the cookery comp, before getting home for 6.30, feeding the Horde and chucking them into bed.

I spend most of the day clearing up from the chaos of the weekend, saying goodbye to my mother, taking mil to an appointment ( I bet the Blairs et al don't have that extra bit of fun either), before scooting to school for pick up. By a hair breadth I managed to remember it was no 4's parents' evening and because I have four children they all ran riot in the playground till I'd done. Then it was off to swimming lessons as per usual. Except it wasn't as barring no 3 they all jacked up and I didn't have the energy to argue. So I got mil to sit with them while I took no 3 to her lesson. Got back, fed everyone (had left no 1 in charge of the dinner, so it burnt), scooted round the house putting washing away before going out to my triathlon swimming session which was a killer one this week. The first Monday of the week involves tee shirts. Sadly for any voyeuristic male fans out there, it isn't a wet tee shirt competition, we have to swim in the bloody things. This week he made us swim 500m. Which was easy.

No 1 had to go to her new secondary school for the day. Because I have four children this would have been a logistical nightmare without a friend helping me out. I dashed back from a quick coffee with the Race for Lifers and spent the day frantically working on the wip, which (mainly because I have four children) I have been sorely neglecting of late.

Go to pick sprogs up in a hail storm. They are all excited as they now know who their new teachers are and no 3 has visited the junior school for the first time.

No 1, alas, is somewhat less then enthusiastic when I get her home. In fact she collapsed into floods of tears which lasted so long she was nearly outdoing the rain. The reason? She's not with any of her close friends. Now, if you were reading my blog some months back when we had the debacle of her not getting into grammar school, you'll know the reason she didn't want to go there was so she could be with her friends (DESPITE me telling her that she might not be.)

So between gritted teeth, I was ever so supportive and neglected dinner, children, getting myself ready for new parents's meeting at said school that evening, just so she could let it all out. Now does Cherie have time to do that I wonder???

I have been for a swim, dashed into town to get some shoes for no 1 who is attending her leaver's disco on Friday. (Some idiot has decided the theme should be Oscars and everyone has gone mad. We have people ordering limousines, kids having their hair done, parents getting the boys and girls together on dates. Sheessh! They're eleven. Why do they need to grow up so fast?They won't thank us when they have.) I also had to buy black tee shirt and leggings for her school play next week.

I have to pick up some extras as its brownie night and I do a swap with a friend. I still have all the camping equipment in the car,and because I have four children, plus an extra two there is now no room in the car, so we shall have to walk. I have to get them to brownies, take the equipment down, and then zip over to school for no 3's new parents meeting. I've been for the other two, so I may skip that one...

no 4 has a school trip (don't get me started about school and money. Because I have four children I am constantly shelling out for this that and the other. I may as well just give them my sodding cheque book), and I have to go and see the sex film that no 1 is watching next week.

It's no 3's school trip (luckily I have got out of helping), no 2 has cookery club, no 1 has dancing and the disco. I am also going on a rare trip away (HOORAY! I am going to the Romantic Novelist's Association Conference where I get to be a grown up for a couple of days as well as meeting some of my wonderful RNA pals). I am feeling terribly guilty about going as no 1 is so fraught and having big friendship problems at the moment, and if the disco is a disaster I won't be around afterwards. The next day she and no 2 also have a piano exam which no 2 is creating about. I am sure they'll be fine, but ooooh, the guilt. Because I have four children, I get four times the guilt.

Somehow, I doubt very much that the Blairs, the Gores and the Jaggers have quite so much to do with their offspring on a daily basis...

But anyone thinking of having four children to boost their status. I'll just say five little words.

Don't even think about it.

(or if you do. Get a live in nanny).


Lisa Rullsenberg said...

I don't know how you do it. I can't take care of one bloke and a cat without mucking something up in my schedule...

Dumdad said...

I've got two and that's enough thanks, lovely though they be. (I was one of 5 while my mum-in-law was one of 12!)

granny p said...

Think I now see why - to my slight disappointment - my daughter settled for having one child only....

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I couldn't do it. No way. It's exhausting just to read about. I'm with Lisa on this one.

Jane Henry said...

Lisa nice to see you here!

DD - I'm one of eight, so I always think well four can't be as bad as that.

Granny P - The advantage of four though is they do entertain themselves, so I can come running up here!

Zinnia - it is exhausting, but it kind of creeps up on you. Before I had children I think I'd have run a mile, but it sort of works (well.. most of the time).

rivergirlie said...

i always suspected you were a trendsetter.

Saoirse Redgrave said...

4 kids! My hubby's from a family of 4 boys (oh, the stories they do tell!). I have one son. I think about having another (especially since my boy's going through a phase where flies and frogs are his "best friends").

But 4? Not a chance! I'm NOT that brave... ;-)