And that’s the FOURTH letter of notification

Of two further positive COVID-19 cases in my kids’ school.

And round and round we go again πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

Fortunately (and I cannot believe I’m typing this) these individuals had been previously identified as close contacts of one of the preceding cases.

So no new infection right? Especially as they hadn’t been in school since they were notified.

Except that Massachussetts is running a fucking ludicrous “Test and Stay” programme which means if you remain symptom free after an exposure and agree to daily tests you get to stay in school.

Yup yet again I’m breaking out one of my favourite memes

So yet again my anxiety is spiking and I await the news on the test reports for my children – as they are tested every Monday..


No, they aren’t impressed by this. Especially #1 Son – he hates it. But they both understand why they have to do it.


But I have overcome one level of anxiety and have agreed to sign #1 Son up for Choir after school every Thursday from next week. This technically counts as an “out of school” extracurricular so we shall see how we go on this. I’m telling myself it’s only an extra 30 minutes – but it’s with the entire 4th and 5th grades. Or at least all those that want to sing – there’s no auditions. I can’t decide if this is a good thing or not.

Still they are only 9-10 years old so πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

But it’s still an additional level of exposure. I hope to God that they let the kids keep their masks on, else I will be yanking him out faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

After all, I do own Harley’s bat now…

Another Positive Case

That’s two in the school since the start of the year. Which may not sound like a whole lot, but the first one was Day 2 and was a staff member!!!

This next one is in #1 Son’s grade!


Though fortunately not in his class!


And so round and round we go again. I’ve told both kiddos and reinforced my masking rules again. Fortunately they are part of the pooled testing programme so get tested every Monday morning anyway but it does not help my anxiety.

Literally me right now

I simply feel like we are just waiting for it to hit again. And please allow me to explain just what it is I fear – exactly.

It’s not that I’ll lose my kids. Statistically I’m aware that’s improbable. They’ve had a version of the virus before. Though over 8 months ago and not Delta.

It’s the long term effects on their health and overall well being I’m terrified for.

For example, #1 Son still has his cough. And there’s little data on long hauler syndrome in children. But we’ve seen the effects on previously star athletes and similar.

Forgive me for not wanting that for my children.

So just at the point I was beginning to contemplate relaxing my grip on my anxiety, the midden has hit the windmill again.

However tomorrow I will probably begin discussions on one of the highlights of my year:

Fat Bear Week ❀️❀️❀️❀️

Oh where oh where to begin

I disappeared. I know I did. I’m aware. The Instagram kept me on the social media radar, as has The TikTok to a lesser extent.


Though my work there is veering more into feminist/political content far more than I ever intended this blog to do.


I also completely hate, and I mean truly loathe and despise the new WordPress interface. I used to simply compose posts on my phone, add gifs and photos practically instantly, then post up. Now? I can’t do it. And with everything that has gone down in the last 20+ months? I just didn’t have the head space for it at all.

Now? I need something more to focus on. There’s been so much anxiety and fear, and despair and depression. I’m coping – I have kids, I have to cope – but the Black Dog is definitely nipping at my heels, and in a way that isn’t usual for me.

I usually simply shut down. Climb into my box without even being aware that it’s what I’m doing, but right now, it’s sheer exhaustion. On a weekday I am crashing out regularly for a minimum of an hour, sometimes two, long nap. Usually after the afternoon school run, but not exclusively. Today it was after – from 2:50ish til about 4:20ish. I can’t help it – I try so hard to keep my eyes open, but it just… stops. And although I am walking to and from the Elementary school twice a day most days (on rainy/stormy days the hus-creature tends to take pity on us and agrees to take the car) it’s only a 40 minute walk in total, and we are already speeding up.

It is uphill in both directions though – and yes that is possible πŸ₯ΊπŸ™„πŸ₯ΊπŸ™„

So, let’s divide this post up into some things of note that have occurred since I was last here. The first obvious one would be:

School:

Yessiree Bob, both kiddos are now proud Winthrop Wild Cats. And while I can’t believe that #1 Son is now in Fourth Grade, I find it even harder to credit that TT is now a KINDERGARTENER.

First Day of 4th Grade ❀️❀️❀️
First Day of Kindergarten πŸ™€πŸ˜­πŸ™€πŸ˜­
I couldn’t resist the tshirts for their respective first days πŸ€£πŸ˜‚
So grown up 😭😭😭

Those of you who followed me purely on the Book of Faces know that #1 Son basically rocked out Third Grade entirely remotely. We did an entire full school year via Zoom and associated technological processes. And for a kiddo with ADHD and related issues? I truly, truly, could not be more proud of him. He met his academic expectations in 99% of all subjects and areas within them. And the areas he didn’t? I truly don’t remember where those are.

And he learned to play the violin entirely remotely. And the kid has TALENT he really does! He’s agreed to keep it as his ‘in-school extra curricular activity’ for this year, so watch this space to see how that goes. I can’t wait to see how his skill expands with proper 1:1 in-person learning. There’s serious musical talent on his dad’s side of the family, so I know it’s not just the usual parental bias of ‘oh, my kid is just amazing’ – begone Roald Dahl, thou hast no power here!

He even had his first recital ❀️

TT? Well her last year home with me was not what I had planned. I mean, she shared me with her brother – he was around 100% of the time. And he was her only source of social interaction for 95% of the time. We kept her in her Dance Class, but that was remote for most of 2020 and early 2021. The girl has suffered. She has always been my social butterfly and this has become more and more painfully obvious since the start of school.

She runs in every day – she doesn’t even glance back. In fact, 3 days out of 5 she tells us both very specifically:

Mommy/Daddy don’t follow me in!

TT – aged 5

I mean, we get a hug and a “see you after school” but she’s completely independent!

For any of the audience who remembers the year that was #1 Son’s adventures in Kindergarten it already couldn’t be more different. I mean, she’s sassed the Superintendent (Day 1) and the Principal (Day -1 – the week before school started!) but honestly? She’s happy. She’s learning and she’s thriving.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve already had to sign and return a “home – school behaviour form”, but it’s still so much better overall.

It’s not what I wanted for her, it’s not. I fully expected the complete William Wallace effect.

Literal footage of me…

Instead, I’m stuck on the side lines, praying (to a God I don’t believe in – don’t @ me) that masks, hand washing/sanitizer, social distancing (of only 3ft), assigned seating and eating outside (weather permitting) is enough to keep them both safe. But what else can I do? Massachusetts beloved Governor has decreed that schools are safe. That the virus will, of course, respect all of the rules laid out above, and of course will take weekends off.


Believe me, I’ve seen the back of my own skull so many times since the option of remote learning was taken off the table for the 2021/22 School Year.


But what else is open to me beyond de-registering them then attempting to homeschool them both? By myself. With no classroom support. I mean, I did manage to teach TT to both read and write her letters, the short version of her name, and read 1,000 books before Kindergarten.

All 1,000 recorded ❀️
Her sticker ❀️❀️❀️

But that’s basic skills only. Social Studies? Science? Art? Music? Digital Literacy? I can’t do those. So, I take all the precautions I can, and pray. And count down the days until the end of the school year πŸ€¬πŸ˜¬πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

And believe me, my own rules? Draconian compared to those of the District.

  • Masks are worn at all times – NO mask breaks.
  • This includes eating – they raise the mask, take a bite/sip, then lower it, chew and swallow.
  • We wear our masks on the walks to and from school – I am allowing us all to not have to wear them whilst schlepping up the big hill on the way home.
  • If anyone tries to tell them they don’t need to wear them? I’ve told them to tell them that “these are our family rules and my mom says I have to.” And then to tell me, whereupon I will rain true hellfire and damnation down. I have already sent multiple emails to the school over lack of rule enforcement and policy weakness. I do not give a flying fuck what they think of me – I am keeping my children safe. Every other person can fuck right off.

In case it wasn’t obvious? I AM TIRED. So tired. Once my kiddos are fully vaccinated, I will have nothing left.


And that is looking like being possible from October (plus 5 weeks to full vaccination status)


For every other utter moron who wants to claim their Darwin/Herman Caine Award? Please do so. I’m done arguing with you. Get the vaccine or don’t. I no longer care. But you are not taking my family with you. And if you are unvaccinated? You are not coming into my house. End of. I’m not even thinking about boosters yet – though as I am J&J I am desperate for one – but no needle? No visit. I’m not even joking.

This segues me in a little to the topic of:

Homework:

Yep, as of next week they both have the dreaded homework.

TT’s is, fortunately, currently nothing more than reading for 20 minutes a day. Which can be in numerous formats:

  • Reading with someone
  • Having someone read to them.
  • Audiobooks
  • Closed captions on streamed programmes – which I have as standard on all my own accounts anyway.

So she has a 5-10 minute bedtime story every night, so adding in additional minutes shouldn’t be too difficult right?

Well, what about #1 Son?

Well, the expectation for homework is: Grade level times 10 for number of minutes. A night. So, for him that’s 40 minutes a night. For a child with ADHD. Oh deep joy. At least it’s being divided into 20 minutes Math – which is a major area of strength for him, and 20 minutes reading. Which again, everything listed above counts, plus:

  • Reading aloud
  • Reading silently (in his own head)

Now, as I have zero desire to play the ‘let me test you on what you’ve read’ game, option two is out. However has anyone else spotted what I have?

He can read aloud to his sister for 20 minutes, and that covers BOTH of their reading homework.

And yes, I checked with his teacher, reading books at her level rather than his own will count. Especially if he does the voices. Which he does. She’s already noticed that, and she finds it just as adorable as I do!

So he started that tonight and it seems to be acceptable for both of them… For now 😬😬😬

I was going to write more, but I’m hitting a wall, so dear audience?

Γ€ bientΓ΄t mes amies. Γ€ toute Γ  l’heure!

Screaming into the void

That’s what I’m doing right now. Only figuratively at least – to do so literally would risk:

  • Scaring and distracting the kids.
  • Annoying/scaring the neighbors.
  • Terrifying the cat.
  • Perturbing the hus-creature

None of which options seem like a particularly smart plan.

Especially annoying the neighbors – since we moved (in May this year) we have some truly wonderful people next door who were:

  • Pleased to see us move in.
  • Made us welcome to the street – on the very day we got the keys in fact.
  • Seem to love the kids – they have a fair number of grandkids so as and when there’s no more goddamn plague maybe there can be some block party type socialization.
  • Have recommended local workmen – one of their grandsons actually cuts our grass every two weeks.
  • Offer advice to us, in a non pushy manner, about things we need to consider/bear in mind when dealing with a 120+ year old home in America.

No, honestly, as weird as it sounds, we’ve never had to deal with an old house and it’s ‘quirks’ before. Our flat in the U.K. was built in 2006. I”ve lived through some of it growing up, but I’ve never owned it.


I’m usually pretty gosh-darned good at putting a brave face on things, it’s something of a specialty of mine. But not today. Not right now. Right now I am this close to doing my Lady Macbeth act again.

We are so close to an election that could break the world into tiny pieces. An election that will materially affect my family and I cannot vote in it.

Normally I can put a brave face on it, and remind myself that part is (hopefully) only temporary, but as it gets closer I can feel my anxiety spiking. There’s so much unknown and no one really thought The Orange One would win 2016 did they?

And 2020 is a whole damn mood on its own.

Today however is a stupidly busy day which probably isn’t helping. Today entails:

  1. Plumbing work – to try and repair major drain issues that mean that we cannot, at the moment flush toilet paper – and haven’t been able to for months – don’t ask. They have to cut a hole in a wall that we didn’t want to use, so that’s another thing to add to the money pit list because it’s in a room that will get a lot of traffic eventually. And the water is switched off so we can’t flush toilets or wash hands (thank the GODS for my hand sanitizers stash)
  2. New freezer being delivered – on the same day as plumbing work. No this was not part of the original plan. But from next week I can finally batch cook and freeze meals for some form of future planning.
  3. It’s snowing. First bloody snow of the season.
  4. It’s bin day and also garden waste collection and the bottom came out of one of the garden waste bags, and the bins aren’t yet collected and did I mention the imminent freezer delivery?

#1 Son also has his second 2:1 violin lesson in less than an hour, which means his concentration for the rest of the day will be shot and after lunch they are allowed to wear their Halloween costumes which means he will be making Pikachu noises all afternoon.


Which will almost certainly mean another email from his teacher about lack of paying attention etcetera


I’m tired. So tired. It’s bone deep at this point.

On being “Mom”

Or:

    Mum
    Mama
    Mummy
    Mater
    Mam
    Mommy
    Madre

Whatever title has been bestowed upon you by your marvellous and beloved offspring? The job is hard. It’s fucking gruelling – and there’s often no respite.

I don’t know if you might have noticed dear audience, but there’s a freaking pandemic going on out there. And it’s taking so much from us. And the burden of children and child-rearing is, as ever falling on us maternal-type units.


Disclaimer: I am bloody lucky in my hus-creature and I love him muchly. He has been awesome in this shitty ass time.


And there’s no answer to it. I’m not going to write about generals. There are a LOT of articles out there at the moment which are saying it so much more eloquently than I feel I can:

Parenting is a job – in a pandemic it’s impossible

Death of the Working Mother

Both of these articles resonate with me so hard. In the first case?

I’m exhausted. I’m touched out.


Seriously – it’s worse than when they were newborns and I didn’t think that was possible quite frankly!


TT is a wreck. She’s always been the most social one of the four of us and lock down and social distancing have destroyed her.

She gets one dance class a week (today as it happens) and the joy when she realises it’s Wednesday is, quite frankly, heartbreaking. Because it’s her only chance to spend time with any humans outside of our bubble. In a mask. Six feet apart. With no contact. But it’s all that we could do.

And it will be taken from her soon enough. Make no mistake about that. Cases are spiking everywhere and I hate every single selfish fucker who won’t wear a mask. If I could send them my daughter’s future therapy bills I would.

We spend a minimum period of two hours every day cuddling on my bed because she just needs that reassurance. It sounds lovely but it’s every day. It’s relentless.

But that’s not the main point of this post. It’s mainly the second linked article I’m pondering.

See, a few nights ago #1 Son wombled into my bedroom and asked me:

Mom, if you could have any career what would it be?

First off, ouch.

It’s not the first time either. Over a year ago I was standing in my kitchen doing one of my snow/ice dyeing experiments and #1 Son asked his father what I was doing. When told I was doing a science experiment this was the response:

Why is mom doing that? She’s just mom.

I walked away and left daddy to deal with that.

Way to hit me right between the eyes there son. Because this is a very sore spot for me.

I am a stay at home parent. It’s not a job I ever envisaged for myself; and, if I’m honest? It’s not the job I wanted.

Now, do not get me wrong. I adore my kids with every fibre of my being. I went through hell on earth to have them. But I wanted to keep my job. To keep my paycheck. My independence – in so far as that was possible.

Then we emigrated. And I couldn’t work until I got my work permit. Then #1 Son started school and we realised that, work permit or not, there was no way on Gods Green Earth that I was going to be able to find work whilst dealing with him there.

Then there was TT. Daycare is ludicrously expensive so I was forced to accept I was stuck until she started Kindergarten at least.

However that was OK, after all, my skill set is in higher education administration and from The University of Oxford no less. Surely I would be able to find something when the time came? If not Harvard or MIT then at least Tufts or Boston College etc right? After all, University education is a permanent fixture right?!?!?

Ahem, so sorry.

Because then the pandemic happened. And it’s clear that Higher Education is going to take a massive hit in the short to medium term. So that’s that for now. And it’s been over three years already. God knows what my skill set is going to look like by the time this situation is under control.

So for the foreseeable I’m stuck. Completely.

However hus-creature did put the recent sad into slight perspective.

The fact that my son asked me if I wanted a career? That means he doesn’t remember when I DID.

Which means that he only remembers me being around. So no damage of any kind from me missing those formative moments of ages 1-5.

Some solace perhaps.

But I do still have a sad.

Life is complicated isn’t it?

But I am around. I can help with remote learning. I can comfort my kids and we don’t need me to bring in a paycheck. I’m grateful for that.

But COVID needs to fuck off. Because it’s still a lot. And some days it’s too fucking much. And I’m tired. So tired.

Last Day of Summer 2019

Tomorrow (well today really) my boy starts Second Grade.

I am nervous.

You see there was a chance that he would have been reassigned his Homeroom teacher from last year. Except we found out on August 15th that he hadn’t.

Not only that, but the friend he had specifically been partnered with last year has been given that teacher again, so they have been split up.

So allow me to summarise. The kid who doesn’t deal well with change (understatement of the freaking millennium there) has had everything that he was used to ripped away from him.

I. Am. Not. Happy.

Not one iota. I actually sent an email to the Principal a few days ago outlining my concerns. I received back a reasonably long reply but it mostly just amounted to a hand flap and an “it’s fine”.

Well. Ok that’s the way they want it, fine. I hadn’t ever told #1 Son that it was a possibility (I’m not so green as I am cabbage looking) so he’s not disappointed. He also seems to already know his new teacher and seemed pleased to have her, so that’s a relief.

She has brown hair.

She is a girl.

It’s something I guess? πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

So I’m trepidatious but hopeful. Hopeful that he will prove my fears groundless. But if he doesn’t? If there is backsliding? Oh you best believe that Mama Dinosaur will be coming out all teeth and claws.


Seriously the T-Rex from Jurassic Park: Lost World will have nothing on me


And the reason I’m still up at almost 2am? I was sewing a name label in his denim jacket. Yes, I was.

See I ran out of spoons again today and did another “Stop, Drop and Nap” at about 5pm so I’m wired.

Which segues me in neatly to my one week post-surgery check update

Overall I was doing pretty well but then I accidentally overdid it somehow on Saturday and paid the price on Sunday – and I crashed out completely whilst feeling exhausted and nauseous, much to the chagrin of TT.

#1 Son had a pool party that day too, and I was determined he was going to go goddammit. However I couldn’t take him for many obvious reasons:

  • Not allowed to get incisions submerged.
  • Not allowed to drive (not that I can out here yet)
  • Still fucking exhausted.
  • Would probably drown.

But the hus-creature did not want to leave me on my own with TT. So we arranged for the eldest daughter of the lovely lady who picks #1 Son up from school to come sit with her and me for those couple of hours. TT was in heaven πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

The boys had fun, though it was an outdoor pool so the water was cold.

There was also a playground where he chilled out when swimming got a bit much:

So that was my weekend.

So I had my one-week follow up today and as the doctor was running over an hour late I spent that time sitting in typical doctor’s office chairs which completely did me in – I’m not supposed to sit completely upright for extended periods of time right now πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

It did go reasonably well though. I’ve had both sets of stitches removed; we’ve gone through the packet of photos I was given immediately post-surgery.

I found them deeply fascinating surprisingly; and actually understood a fair amount of what I was looking at. It wasn’t just personal viscera.


It did remind me of what happens when you trim the fat off of raw chicken before you cook it though πŸ€£πŸ˜‚


They also included some incidental shots of my β€œvery healthy” appendix and liver which is always good to know πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

I have to see him again in two weeks and am to gradually increase everything activity-wise up to approximately 50% of normal in that fortnight. I’m still not allowed to lift heavy things.

So I can go up to school with #1 Son tomorrow so that’s a relief. To him as well as me – though the sweetheart would never have asked me.

So the doctor says it’s okay for you to come mom? That’s good. You have to do what the doctor says you know – the doctor knows best

I don’t mind admitting that my heart swelled and broke simultaneously there. He’s so so special my lad.

I’ve already decided that I will not be going up to knitting tomorrow, as I can’t face walking that far, or sitting in a hard backed chair for two hours; or to have my nails done on Sunday – that’s an even longer walk, plus two trains and I just cannot justify that. I’ll provisionally rebook for the following Sunday – lord knows that my amazing Matthew will understand.

Goodnight dear audience, I ought to try and get some sleep tonight. Of course I know already that going up to school tomorrow is going to wipe me out.

I don’t care. My boy deserves this. I am going.

He asks for so little, I’m bloody doing it. For him.

Two years

As of today we’ve been living out here, in Massachusetts, for two years!

I’d say I can’t believe it, but I can.

It still doesn’t feel quite like “home” but I’ll say it now feels more like home than not.

Apart from the people we left behind, I don’t honestly think I have any major regrets left.

There have been some very hard moments in the last 12 months. We had to deal with the first death in the family (on the hus-creature’s side) and some similarly hard news on my own and that was tough.

I suspect that if and when the next immediate family baby is born I will find that equally hard but at least that will be a good thing that has happened.

It’s the hard moments that really make you realise what you did once you emigrate.

We’ve been discussing longer term options once (please oh great Flying Spaghetti Monster) our green cards are confirmed, and it’s making me a bit antsy. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to my audience that I very much would like to move out of here as soon as is comfortably feasible.

We’ve definitely decided to stay in Melrose until TT finishes school, but then might move further into Massachusetts but we shall see.

I think it’s part of trying to handle the giant cloud of uncertainty that this process leaves over your life – planning for when it no longer will.

The children are flourishing here though. #1 Son had a birthday party yesterday that was “organised fun” and despite constant orders to

Pay attention

From the party organiser…


No the hus-creature wasn’t able to take them to one side and explain, which I find myself (probably unreasonably) annoyed by…


He was able to come home with a smile on his face and tell me that he had had fun.

We also celebrated 19 years together and 12 of them married last week.


It helps that there’s only 2 days difference I will admit πŸ€£πŸ˜‚


Due to difficulties with sitter availability we split the difference and the hus-creature took me out on a wonderful romantic dinner cruise on Thursday night ❀️πŸ₯°

We spent some quality 1 on 1 time together with food, and booze and fantabulous views and it was amazing.

I was very spoiled and felt very loved.

We are over halfway through #1 Son’s summer camp and he is still coming out with a smile on his face which is such a relief.

We’ve had some minor breakthroughs with eating but are back on the ups and downs there sadly.

(He has now decided he no longer likes peas).

Got about a month and a half to go til Second Grade, and I’m still praying he gets to keep last year’s teacher as a. She is completely amazing and b. A little bit of stability will do him good.

I’m attempting a doctor-recommended diet which we are describing as “Keto aligned” as when you tell the counter staff at Burger King that, they give you this for your lunch:

Which is surprisingly non-horrible. Basically in an attempt to get a handle on my pain I’m to give up:

  • All dairy 😰😰😰😰
  • Enriched processed food
  • All added sugar in everything (including natural sugars like honey, agave etc)

As those of you who know me in real life can probably guess, this has gone down like a lead balloon. He would also very strongly prefer that I go vegetarian, but I put my damn foot down there.

That may well be where this journey ends, but right now? No fucking way.

Tea with cashew milk is 80% tolerable I have discovered:

And one of the local sushi places does a DIY Poke Bowl for $17 which was surprisingly filling:

So all in all? I’m not at “wanting to stab things” level of anger and rage yet. Though mostly that’s down to the hus-creature who is embarking on this with me to support me. Have I mentioned how much I adore this man?

In closing? Two years has flown past.

From this:

To this:

The First Day of Summer Camp

Which is what we are calling the “Summer Learning Academy” which is a 6 week long, 4 day a week (except the week of Independence Day πŸ˜‚πŸ€£) for Elementary aged kiddos with IEPs.

#1 Son is enrolled and it started today.

Last year he was put on the fast track side for education. This year they will be focusing on the social side of it.


He’s actually got a specific slot every Tuesday for it, which is great!


That wasn’t too successful, as he resented having to redo Kindergarten work. Now today when I picked him up?

Came running out with a big smile 😍

Now, admittedly it’s only Day 1, and we’ve just had a pretty decent family vacation, but I’m taking that as a positive sign.

Also, given he read an entire story to his sister first thing this morning, and did a reasonable amount of additional reading in class today, he’s thrilled to be told he doesn’t have to do more today πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

So, since it’s being held 8-12 at the most local school, which is next to our usual playground, I’ve decided to let them both spend an hour or so (depending on weather) in said playground to burn off some energy.


You never know, it might help with the whole “herd of elephants” issue πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

Apartment Life

Can suck. Suck utter balls.

We live on the first floor. The landlady lives above on the second floor.

Around December last year, after significant unpleasantness, new neighbours moved in downstairs on the ground floor.

I took down soup and apologised in advance as I have two children, one of whom is around full time.

Everything seemed fine.

While we were away, one of said neighbours complained to the landlady that:

The children run around so much it shakes the light fittings.

Now I admit, my children can be… boisterous… but no more so than any other 3 and 7 year old pair of siblings.

In fact, #1 Son, when left to his own devices, is perfectly happy snuggled in his room with his tablet.

So I was mortified. Since I thought we had dealt with this issue last year.


Apparently there were issues with doors slamming. We put large rubber bands over the relevant door handles and the problems went away


However, more information has just come to light. The landlady and her partner came to do some light maintenance (with about four hours notice this time πŸ™„) and the topic came up.


Side note: if you’ve never had kids do not try and discipline someone else’s thank you very much. Yes the landlady attempted to talk to TT and #1 Son about the excessive noise and, rather unsurprisingly, was ignored.


However, as it turns out, downstairs have set up a Meditation Room and have placed it under my kid’s bedrooms.

I’m more than willing to work with my neighbours, but that? That is taking the piss.

Fortunately, the landlady’s partner has grandchildren. He understands kids. She is child free, and kind of seems to view children as little aliens/a different species. Which is fair, but I am not hobbling my kids. They are entitled to live in their homes.

And though I would never put it like this – we were here first. They saw us all leaving the house en masse on the day they viewed the property. So they knowingly rented an apartment where they knew there were kids living upstairs.

So, there have been discussions of what can be done. The landlady and partner have suggested they will buy large Ikea rugs for the relevant rooms.


I’m not footing the bill for it. Rugs are a bastard to keep clean.


And I have suggested (and will follow through with) buying slippers for the kids. I have no problem with that.

But I have stated, on record, that while I will happily have “no running in the house” as a rule (indeed have been trying to institute that since we moved in) I am not stopping my kids from playing in the place where they live.

TT is in bed before 7pm, #1 Son before 8pm. That is not unreasonable. I am not putting their lives on hold for a Meditation Room.

I will not be shitty about it, we all need to live together, but I have my limits. I know my kids well, including their flaws, and they are not as bad as is being made out.

Mama Dinosaur mode has been engaged.

Summer is here!

Annnnnd it’s raining. Because of course it is.

Fortunately yesterday was the last day of school and it was a half day.

We have graduated from First Grade. From this:

To this:

And honestly I could just burst with pride. He’s come along so well. I’ve read his end of year school reports and nearly sobbed. This has been the best thing we could have done for the kiddos.

So, anyway once #1 Son was safely deposited and lunch consumed, I decided to take them to the park – as a quick check of the weather app on my phone pre-informed me of the utterly shocking weather we were due to have today.

They had such fun. #1 Son was playing appropriately with other kiddos, and TT was mostly following around after;

“playing with the other one childrens”

While I knitted.

Yes, while they played, I worked on finishing a project I’ve had on the needles for almost two years. ADHD is such fun when you’re a crafter πŸ₯Ί

Sadly it wasn’t all fun and games – when it came to going home for dinner, TT reminded me forcefully why going out is such a faff.


And that I should never, ever, forget (or choose not to use) the goddamn stroller πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„


I had to literally drag her home kicking and screaming – much to #1 Son’s chagrin. But it’s okay, we will work on that. After all, we go away for five days on Monday. I’m sure it will be absolutely fine….

Right? Right?

And, not to toot my own horn, but it’s Day 1 of the summer vacation and we’ve done all the “required reading”, ticked off four of the options for Summer Reading Bingo


Yes this is a thing, no I am not joking…


And made a start on the Math lessons – which are separate to the Summer Reading and Math logs…

I’ve got to wonder how long we will be able to keep that up…