OK. So I am determined to write more often, even if it's about nothing. Apologies in advance.
I have been thinking lately that all I seem to say about my new career makes it sound like a walk in the park (no pun intended!). But it's actually exhausting and sometimes draining work.
The average day might consist of a 7.30am start to help get the kids ready for school, making sure that smocks are on, sports bags contain sports gear and not a princess dress, teeth are cleaned, shoes are on (and on the right feet), kitchen is cleaned up after the breakfast chaos and coats put on and zipped up. Then it's out the door, remembering to lock up behind us and into the car, making sure that all items actually get from the front door to the car, both kids are strapped in and have sufficient reading material for the journey to school. Trust me, searching for just the right tractor book is not something I want to do at the last minute!
Next comes the actual journey to school which can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on London traffic, the whole time being filled with the eternal "why ?" questions and "What does that sign say? The one with the thing? We just drove past it! What did it SAY??", while trying to concentrate on the road.
Arriving at the first school, it's out of the car for both, trying to keep an eye on 4-year-old, while his sister runs screaming around the yard with all her fellow 6 year old classmates and me chatting politely to the other mums and nannies at the gate. Then it's 8.45am, the eldest is safely in her classroom, then it's back in the car for me and 4-year-old, in the mad dash to his school...in the total opposite direction!
Ding-ding: round two, with more screaming and chatting (by the kids and nannies, respectively...although sometimes this can be the other way around!) and then both kids are in class and I have some peace until lunch time.
The first school pick up I usually do on foot, which is a good 30 minutes from home, but it's a nice walk...if it's not raining! The walk home is usually through the woods, where we can collect anything from sticks to bunches of wild chives. Back home for a hot lunch, possibly a playdate, a walk/scooter ride to the park or to feed the ducks or just trains, trains and more trains! Not forgetting to clean up the kitchen, load the dishwasher or empty the rubbish, as required.
Before I know it, it's time for School Pick Up #2, in the car this time. 4-year-old usually falls asleep straight away and I use the time waiting for the school gate to open as my lunch break and the chance to read a few pages of a book. 6-year-old collected, it's time to head home, to the library or to ballet, depending on the day (and the mood!), afternoon snack is served and then it's play until dinner time (after I've cleaned up the kitchen, loaded yet more stuff into the dishwasher, tidied away the contents of the school bags and helped with any homework).
While I'm cooking dinner, the kids usually play or might watch a bit of TV. The eating of dinner can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on what it is and the mood...again! Then it's time for bath, pyjamas to be put on, teeth cleaned, clothes for tomorrow sorted out, water for the bedside table refreshed, stories chosen and read and finally cuddles and tucking the kids into bed.
While they slip off into dreamland, I'm back down in the kitchen, loading the rest of the dishes into the dishwasher, cleaning the kitchen and emptying the rubbish, as required.
It makes me tired just reading all of that. My full appreciation goes out to all the mums and nannies who have been doing this for a lot longer than I have.
But with all the running around and constant questions, you have the moments that make it all worth while. Yesterday, 4-year-old said to me, after finishing his dinner: "I really like you. I think I'm going to keep you forever".
No one ever said that to me at the office!