Monday, September 15, 2008

One more year...

Frog-in-the-field prompted a wee thought the other day, with her post about her youngest going off to school. While my littlest has been at school for a year, it doesn't really count. Not that he hasn't been gainfully distracted, but in the US they legally don't have to attend school until Kindergarten, which is Year 1 in the UK. (5 going on 6.) Most schools though, only do half days even at this level. My little one's whole last year was technically still pre-school (nursery), even though it was attached to his sibling's school. Not a thought about writing, numbers or anything else remotely academic; and I must say, after almost two decades in the USA, I am not unopposed to this apporach. Anyway, this year, he does three mornings and two late days - all the way to 2.30pm. (There is an after school thing I can shove him into when the need arises though.)

When he finally goes off to school all day, (next year) I will have spent 17 years in the house with a small child. Yes, I said SEVENTEEN years! And believe me, if you knew me, my name wouldn't exactly pop to the top of the "most maternal" list, nor would I be in the running for any "Mother of the Year" awards. Unless of course, it was judged according to my rules, which are lax to say the least. If they were being truly honest, most of my BM (before marriage) friends couldn't look you in the eye and say they'd even pictured me married, would they Drunk Mummy?

The last time I started looking forward to a full day to get things done (when middle child went into 1st grade) I found myself miraculously pregnant with the bonus baby. Now the pregnancy thing won't happen again (not that it should have happened the first time, but I've moved on), still, I daren't look too far into the future 'cause knowing my luck, there will be something that crops up. Since having the little guy, I have learned not to plan too far ahead and, dare I say it, I live in the moment.

So I am going to cherish this last year of:-

- dragging him off to the shops in the afternoon, when all he wants is to stay home and watch Sponge Bob, (totally inappropriate I know, but he has ancient older siblings)
- reading him so many books that my eyes glaze over,
- pretending to be James the Red Engine, when really I'm thinking about what to make for dinner,
- having his little freiends over, whose manners are even worse than his,
- and trying to garden with him, which always results in me sending him into the house for flinging soil or dousing me with the hose.

What? You didn't think I was going to go all sentimental there did you?

11 comments:

  1. Wow! And I thought I'd been patient coping with 13yrs. I have to say, if I hadn't moved to 3 different countries and cultures during that time I would have gone mad. I never dreamed that watching Sesame Street and Bananas in Pyjamas in Norwegian would become an intellectual activity. Kudos to you for staying sane!
    Wise not to get over excited though. In my experience someone always moves the goal posts just when you think you've won the game!

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  3. Three international moves would definitely have put me over the edge. Well done you!

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  4. Well done for not getting all sentimental. What kind of pipsqueak would do that...?

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  5. Wow. 17 years. I think that qualifies as a mothering marathon.

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  6. Like the new format, expatmum. Hope you are feeling better. Your "cherishing year" sounds wonderful, dare I say it, champion!

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  7. 17 years??? Oh my gosh I can't bear to calculate how very old I will be if that happens to me. I'd go straight from Kindergarten drop-off and into assisted living!

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  8. Wow, hat's off for the 17 years endurance mommy test. Crickey. When my "baby" went off to full time school aged just 4 (she has an August birthday and reception starts the year they turn 5) I thought I would be gutted. I thought I would drive away wailing uncontrolably. I thought I would grab her ankles and beg her to never leave me. But...instead, I found myself doing a mental snoopy dance of joy. And that was only after 8 years with one of my three kids at home.

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  9. 17 years deserves a prize, but you sound like you've been a brilliant mum. Pretending to be James the Red Engine - you'd get full marks from my little boys!

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  10. relentlessly sentimental here but only 12 years in and youngest in Y5. BUT I MISS IT!! Even T'oss (as we knew him) the tank engine.

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  11. You're obviously the Best Mummy Ever!! 17 years is just amazing - mine were two years apart, so it went past in a flash really. Aahh..
    M xx

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