Monday, August 27, 2007

This is not the Monday I prepared

But it has turned - and is turning - out quite well despite the derailments.

Upon verticalising myself this morning to wave a vague farewell to V, I quickly jotted down the plan to my day.

It was a beautiful plan. The first section devoted to shipshaping the start of my day and get it aligned; the second section one with business-like intention and the final bit fun and not too draining of my intellect or soul.

I must say, first section was executed splendidly - not only did 'Salina leave the abode fed, clean and with a balanced healthy lunchbox in her backpack.

Even more astonishing was the fact that beds were made and (drumroll please) I was dressed!!!

I know, quick, get lotto.

On a roll, I myself ate nutritious fare (including the wonder fruit, grapefruit), pegged out washing, cleaned the kitchen ALL BEFORE THE HOUR HAD CHIMED NINE.

You know there is a but coming up, don't you? Things cannot go that well on a Monday.

Well, for reasons that I will not elaborate on as it is not my story, I received a missed call as I was hanging out the washing.

This is the reason that I got to tackle the rest of the back yard today during the middle session of the day, planting, digging, weeding, mowing and generally "putting in a big effort" with my darling, who then fed me fine foods and gave me coffee and kept me amused.

Well, as a derailed day it went very well. 'Salina arrived home from school with not only the normal weekly homework load, but also several pages of a classroom book that she needed to finish and a mysterious homework sheet from last week. Hmmm...

Last week she assured us that, due to the Year 3, 5 and 7 testing that was done throughout the nation no homework was given or expected. The teacher does occasionally pull that on us, so it is possible. Or is my little girl learning how to pull a fast one?

She also came home with the "Student of the Week" award - from last week again, although this we can lay blame with the teacher as she had to prepare for the said exams and did not hand out last week's awards.

'Salina was commended for "Very Fluent and Expressive Reading" - the first part being a feather in her cap, as until late last year her natural desire to get everyone to do everything for her had lead to a strong dislike of reading off her own bat - but since we have discovered pony books, fairy books, magic books and (new this week) magical pony books her enthusiasm knows no bounds. I can assure you that the "expressive" part would have come through even if she had no fluency whatsoever.

Strauss, she is nearly 8 now - her messy handwriting, distracted manner in class, inability to concentrate on the work at hand and strong desire to help all her classmates rather than herself have thus far meant that she is an "enigmatic" student rather than a constant puller of teacher's praises. I sort of know where she might have inherited such tendencies.

So the "fun" stuff for the latter part of the day sort of ended in a lengthy homework session. Which can be fun all depending on the manner in which you approach it.

For many moons, I was the taskmaster whip in hand, she the recalcitrant clown, eager to distract and dissuade - it generally ended in tears of frustration (for me) and overbearing limits on freedom (for her).

This improved greatly when V arrived on the scene - he didn't clash head to head with her (on homework issues) and on the occasion when I needed to go to the shops, I would return with homework completed, valuable lessons learned and a game of baseball in progress.

I must admit that my need to go to the shops thus increased greatly when V being home coincided with her homework load.

But motherhood being what it is (and previously wearing the mantle sole parent, doubly so) guilt got the better of me and I worked out a way that I could be part of a positive homework experience with my child.

How, you ask, have we achieved this? Well, now everything gets timed and I count down to the beginning of tasks and give her times to beat. I know, fairly infantile but we both enjoy!!!

After completion of the homework slug (as she has activity for one afternoon and after school care one afternoon, she likes to do most of it on a Monday) we then went down to contemplate the fine work undertaken during the morning and clean up the last few tasks.

I had already planted out spinach and eggplant seedlings (joining our crops of pumpkin - okay one pumpkin - sweet potato, carrots, silverbeet, lettuce, peas, zucchini, capsicum, chillies, basil, parsley, coriander and lemongrass) and V made a new bed and seeded some corn in the morning. Only the chillies, herbs and lettuce are bearing at the moment but we are looking forward to abundance once it all gets under way. 'Salina and Boy Next Door planted petunias around an old tree stump (where toads are rumoured to live - at least in the minds of small children - so the bed will either suffocate them or the watering drown, here is hoping) and I put in the broccoli seedlings.

Heck, so if my plans for fruitful self-employment are derailed too often, at least we shall have the fruits of our labours to enjoy!!!

Tomorrow the plan is all that worky stuff, make surprise Father's Day (or significant adult male or female in your life) gifts with the kids at school (as I was such a sterling minion on the Mother's Day project) and make surprise Father's Day (or significant adult male or female in your life) gifts with the kids at Guides in the afternoon.

And it being Tuesday, it will be Taco night - someone else cooks - woo hoo!!!

Here is to the Tuesday plan going clockwork - I loved today and the sense of pride and achievement as I walked the bastions and feel the tenderness of my muscles - but I think there is a need to tend to the worky stuff before the self-flagellation brings new stress...