It’s January and it’s dark and cold and no-one wants to get up and go to school…
It’s the first full week back to school and this is how it’s been going so far.
7am – I can hear alarms pinging on phones. I can hear my partner saying ‘get up’ or words to that effect. He doesn’t actually go into the rooms though. There is no response from inside the rooms.
7.10am I haul myself up and over a sleeping only son who has, at some point in the night, arrived in our bed. I enter his sisters’ rooms with an upbeat ‘Welcome to Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday etc’. There is a grunt from deep below a duvet. Mobile phones are beeping quietly to themselves.
I go in again at 7.20am. More grunts so I turn on the light. People groan. By 7.45 there is some sense of activity. My partner is virtually silent as he makes his porridge. He has not acclimatised to 2019 yet. Only son bounds down the stairs raring to go…to the sofa and hide under a duvet. He is not at all happy about going to school, “the most boring place EVER”.
People eat their breakfast gloomily. I attempt to speak Spanish and/or French to daughter two who has GCSE orals. Daughter two is not interested so instead I try to break the impasse, for instance, by telling her about my brother’s attempt at Spanish oral where he had to role play a zookeeper. He knew no vocabulary for animals. The examiner asked him what animals he could see in the zoo. “I see no animals,” he replied in perfect Spanish. “It is raining and all the animals are indoors.”
People get ready for school. No-one can find their gloves despite only just recently being given them by Santa. Sandwiches are made and packed; those who don’t have sandwiches complain about school dinners, but refuse to have sandwiches. We get in the car with minus five minutes to get to the various schools – or at least it seems like it. We get stuck behind a tractor, person in a horse and cart [really], learner driver, etc. We arrive at daughter three’s school with two minutes till it starts. Only son complains about doing clubs. “Isn’t it enough that I have to go to school?” he says, daily.
Life returns to normal at home, but daughter three’s school now finishes half an hour earlier which means I have to pick her up then go back to pick up only son then pass by her school on the way to pick up daughter two in a sort of figure of eight pattern.
Only son says the high point of his day was lunch. Daughter three refuses to speak point blank about her day and just glowers. Daughter two is in a tangled triangle thing at school where she is being picked on for ‘speaking’ to a boy by text who had broken up with his girlfriend at the time but is now back with her. “But you didn’t even go out with him,” I said. “There was no relationship unless text messages now count as a relationship…” I feel a million years old.
We go home. It is dark and cold and there is the looming prospect of homework. People start to thaw out over Netflix and then they realise they have to do it all again tomorrow…