It was back to nursery with a bump yesterday. I arrived and everyone in the nursery seemed to be screaming, although not, at that precise moment, the staff. The toddler looked concerned and clung on tightly, clutching his Wii remote. I had had a conversation in the car about the importance of not uttering his favourite word of the moment, which rhymes with bucket but is very obviously not bucket. Every time he spills something, he says it and hurries to find something to clean it up. I am anticipating arriving at nursery one day and being told off for teaching him such words. Or perhaps we will be suspended. Can you be suspended from nursery?
Meanwhile, daughters two and three are on a bit of a love-in and have been playing weird games together all week which involve making things about of cardboard, nail varnish and wool and making a lot of mess.
Their father has now returned and read the riot act so they are supposed to be spending the week tidying up, but I know their tidying up generally makes more of a mess than was there in the first place. My partner lists all his other friends who have tidy houses. Mostly, this is because they have just the one child or a grown-up child. "Why do our children create such mess?" he inquires, looking intently at me. I am indeed not known for my tidiness. I tend to consider tidiness an overrated virtue, similar to ironing. If I were organised enough to have a list of priorities, tidiness would not be at the top or even in the middle.
I say that, but despite the mess, I am pretty much organised. In my head. I feel I have developed master strategising skills over the last 12 years. I now cut corners effortlessly by using every spare second to plan ahead. Maybe not very far ahead, but at least to the end of the day. If I survive that far without everything collapsing I consider I have done well. For instance, I designed daughter three's Easter egg hunt and caught up on the news while getting the baby to sleep on Monday night. I planned my work schedule for the week while in the bath. While dropping off the baby at nursery, I rang the mechanic and booked the car for an MOT, dropped it off, bought milk and got home in time to clock on whilst simultaneously planning what to do about the toddler's scratch on his nose which looks potentially infectious. I was meeting a friend who is a doctor later in the day. I would ask her then, if I needed a prescription, I would book the GP for both the toddler and daughter one for her migraines later in the week. My mind has grown used to using every spare minute to plan and combine tasks in order to save time. I do everything as soon as possible so I don't have to retain much information and the other stuff gets written on the calendar. In short, I have become an efficiency machine.