There’s a club if you’d like to go

Microbe told me on Monday that he went to a lunchtime club called Technokids, even though I didn’t enrol him on it. I guess school didn’t get the memo.

Last year he was the only reception kid who attended this club and I felt bad that he was missing out on playtime with his pals. Also, despite the grand-sounding curriculum, all I could ever get out of him was that he’d been doing ‘mouse skills’ every week.  (An essential skill for the iPad generation, apparently). So I decided not to bother renewing it this year – but now he desperately wants to carry on with it because one of his besties is doing it this term. Tsk.

The exact same thing has happened with PZAZZZ!!! (yes that’s its name), an after-school craft club that wowed me with its promise of exposure to a wide range of multi-media arts and crafts.  Once again, the Microbe turned out to be the only reception kid doing it last year …and the reality seemed to involve him sitting for an hour in a crowded classroom, doing drawings of animals on printer paper, with zero supervision. (For £11 a week!)

In fairness the boy is seldom happier than when he’s drawing animals on scraps of paper but I decided not to renew it this term and am sending him to a drama club instead. But now (oh, such woe) the aforementioned bestie turns out to be also doing PZAZZZ!!!.  Tsk.

The trouble with all of these clubs is that they only last for one hour, so he still has to go to Fit For Sport (aka FFS) afterwards. It’s the only way his school day can approximate something close to working hours. The poor boy does FFS three days a week, for three hours a time. It’s like having half a school day all over again, except without his pals. Also it means that he’s totally knackered by the weekend and turns into a sluggardly, sullen teenager. The other day he said to me “Mummy I was really looking forward to coming home today… and then I remembered that I had to go to Fit For Sport.

Guilt button duly pressed.

I need to start banking some playdate credits on Mondays and Fridays in the hope that he’ll get invited to reciprocal ones on FFS days.

On the plus side, the boy is delighted with this term’s special science theme at school – which is all about animals! It’s as if he’s designed his own class curriculum. Today they’ve had a visit from a man called ‘Jungle Jonathan’, who brings weird and wonderful creatures to school. Next week they’re off to London Zoo and a local artist is coming in to do animal-themed art projects with them.

In Hubble news, her talking skills seem to have become specialised in words beginning with H. Nothing but “Hello!” and “Hiya!” and “Harry!” all day long. (In Hubbleworld, all cats are called “Harry”.)

But she understands far more than she speaks and will happily fetch and carry things on instruction these days. Also I’ve discovered that if I tell her to “lie down” she actually lies down. This is a game-changer, trust me! Usually you need 8 arms and the patience of a saint to pin the writhing little horror down on the changing mat for long enough to get her nappy changed.  But all of a sudden she’s toddling off to the bathroom willingly and getting the nappy and wipes out of the basket for me and lying down all by herself, and then putting the old nappy in the nappy bin. Bless! Whoever trained her to do this is getting a medal!

Next step…  laundry training.

I can’t be the only person who sees the second pic and wants to give that little bottom a shove.  *retreats back to sweetie-covered cottage in the woods*

Moving on…

I’m hoping to migrate both kids upstairs in a week or so.  And then I want to start putting them to bed together …at 7:30 on the dot!

The boy’s official bedtime has been 7:30 ever since nursery. But we seem to be struggling with the fact that he doesn’t get home from FFS until nearly 6:30  …and then we want to spend a little bit of time with him, to talk about his day or play top trumps or something. And he invariably needs feeding because he’s failed to eat whatever was on offer at FFS.  And then he needs bathing.  And…. before you know it it’s 8pm before he’s scrubbed and tubbed and adequately fed.

And, on top of that, he’s an insomniac little bugger who lies awake in bed long after story time, no matter how knackered he is. I chatted to his teacher about this last year and we agreed that he needs more sleep but neither of us had any winning ideas to switch his brain off, beyond what we’re already doing (i.e. a fixed routine of bath, bed & story).

And Hubble is just as bad. Why do my children have a default sleep setting of 9pm?? Usually one of us puts her to bed in a darkened room while the other one’s sorting out the boy. But you can only take a horse to water. Darkness and silence are no barriers to romping and thrashing and giggling and fighting for an eternity before she finally zonks out. I’m going to have to ask nursery if they can cut down her daytime naps.

Isn’t it great how we go to all of this trouble to have kids and then spend every waking hour trying to find ways to switch them off and put them back in their boxes?


About Susan Flockhart

Bonsai lady-geek and blogger. I can hardly recall what I used to blog about pre-microbes, but these days I generally ramble about motherhood, nonsense and whatever's going on the world of tiny people
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