December is just about the busiest time of year for mums. Worse than the start of the school year for rush shopping. Worse than birthdays for party planning. Roll all that into one, and then times by 5. That’s the mother’s festive season.
So far, this is what we have had.
The school disco.
There is nothing quite like a primary school disco for stress levels. Organised by the PTA
mugs volunteers (that’s me), it’s chaos on steroids, as parents happily throw their little cherubs into 2 hours of cheap childcare and nip off to the pub. Over 90 children, dashing about, screeching along to overly loud music and getting desperately hyperactive on handfuls of sweets and popcorn.
The seventies party
After immense and oft-times intense discussion, we agreed that we are not disco divas. Too short (and stumpy) to be Jedi. Not slim enough to favour Daphne or Scooby Doo and the Hong Kong Phooey outfit – well, we passed. In the end, we went as Jawas.
The school Christmas Fair
Setting up 15 or so stalls in one hour because the hall was in use as a dining room earlier. Squeezing 100 school children plus their parents, stall holders and staff into a room built for 150, while making room for games and tombolas, craft stalls and jewellery sellers. Not forgetting the grotto for Santa and the mini stage for the school choir. Did I mention the singing teacher, standing on his chair and berating the excited crowd for not falling totally silent to listen to the singing?
The puppy Birthday Party
This time last year my beautiful Bagel had puppies. I loved having a kitchen full of teeny fuzzballs, scrabbling about and chewing everything they could reach. Having 4 visiting full sized beagles bouncing back into the kitchen for their 1st birthday party was a little more overwhelming.
Our beagle babies came round to play and all 5 puppies had a marvellous time chasing each other about the fields. Their mummy, poor Bagel, was a little less enthusiastic. As the entire clan descended, she backed away to hide behind my legs, and retreated to her bed as soon as she could.
The Ikea Trip
A total revamp of your furniture is always best done at the busiest time of the year. The added pressure and time constraints just adds an extra incentive to get things done. Right?
So we popped off to Ikea and spent some time discussing the best way of increasing the storage in our bedroom before purchasing our new plastic fantastic and spending the next 3 days becoming flat pack experts. The kids were enthused.
The netball tournament
As the end of term approaches, all of the clubs and activities start to wind down as well. Bring on the end of year competitions, starting with a late night netball tournament for my daughter, involving a 45 minute drive to the venue and 2 hours of standing on the sidelines, to applaud her 15 minutes of playtime as the teams switched over, and over, and over.
The dance show
And moving right on to the end of year dance show. Five hours of shepherding 16 under-eight’s through rehearsals and 5 costume changes. Did I mention, I just am not that keen on other people’s kids?
The German Christmas market
Because it’s time we got festive, so I snuck the children out of school and took them to the Christmas market. We decided that we don’t like bratwurst, we now know what a schnitzel is, and you should just avoid the whole concept of German potato cakes – they do not get them right at all. Still, we had fun.
The theatre trip
Well, you can’t just sneak the kids out of school for no reason – so I took mine on an educational trip to the theatre to see the premiere of David Walliam’s Gangsta Granny.
It was awesome.
The kids loved it, I loved it – epic performance, comic humour, brilliant choreography – highly recommended for kids and adults. What more can I say? Except – the aim was to inspire the kids to love reading, so I asked Botboy afterwards if he wanted me to get the books.
He said “No thanks, I’ll just watch the shows.”
Well – you can’t win them all.
Did I mention – being opening night, David Walliams came on stage, much to my daughter’s delight.
The dog walker’s Christmas lunch
Our Morning Dog Walk crew had our annual Christmas meal out. That’s not to say that we only meet up once a year (aside from the daily dog walk). We also have birthday lunches, and there was that time we had to meet up for coffee and cake – in August, September, October, November – well, you see the pattern forming. But the Christmas lunch is special, because it’s festive. So we fit that in this week.
It’s only half way through the month, the school trips are mostly done (just the end of term carol service to suffer) and the after school activities have all wound down. Just the shopping, and week of family gathering to get though now.
And today – it’s decorating the tree time.
So, on to my thankfuls:
1. I’ve quit the PTA – so after the carol service there is just some paperwork to do and I am no longer bound by an over-active conscience to spend my precious free time trying to force enthusiasm and enterprise from unwilling parents.
2. I got to spend a lot of time with the kids in the last 2 weeks, even though it was mostly as a personal chauffeur service. We all now have a new love for heavy metal Christmas tunes as our in car music.
3. Not only am I a flat pack master (and available to hire) I do have actual bedroom storage and you can see my floor for the first time in 10 years. Now about those January carpet sales!
4. Having seen all my beautiful puppies together again I’m so thankful I spent time finding them loving homes. They are all so healthy and happy – and I know I kept the best 😉
5. Having a wonderful group of friends to go out for lunch with – and having the time and freedom to do it.
6. Seeing my kids at their dance show, I’m so proud of them for their confidence and their enthusiasm.
7. The huge improvement in my daughter’s netball game, and the fact she still loves playing, makes the endless weekly trip through rain, darkness and rush hour traffic to get her to training all worth while.
8. Internet shopping. Need I say more.
9. The fact there is only 1 week left of school, and then we can all just relax. For a day or two. Before the festive pandemonium begins.
10. The one thing I am truly thankful for – having Christmas fairs and netball tournaments and carol services and all of those things that fill my time. Christmas may mean extra work and running about for mums, but I’m so glad I have the children that make it necessary.