A world on fast forward

Easter Bonnet


It was supposed to be that quiet week when everyone is back at school in our house, but half the country is still on Easter holidays. Ah well – it will be interesting to see how much issues like childcare and employment rights figure in the election campaign. In any event, it feels like the world is constantly speeding up. I’m not sure if that is in fact the case or whether having older children plus one six year old means that we are burning the candle at both ends, as it were, so it just feels like there is little time to recover anything that might pass for energy.

As it was, I spent Easter Monday catching up on work and on Easter Monday night discovered that only son had quite a bit of homework left to do. He had been given a load of worksheets to do over the holidays and discovered two Horrid Henry books which we had to speed read.

Everyone else was up late watching One Night with my Ex [daughter three is a sucker for romance turned sour], Agatha Christie [daughter two] or some sort of philosophical film from the distant past [daughter one]. They had an extra day off which only son took to be a major injustice, but the following night it was they who were discovering last minute homework.

In the meantime there was all the admin work to do to get them back to school – letters to write, dinner money to pay, uniforms to iron. We have three school trips this term and two Spanish exchanges visiting and crossing over for one week. One of them needs to be set up with some work experience. The fallback plan is that she will be my tech support. She doesn’t know this yet…

Daughter two wrote to her exchange the other day to warn her that she is a vegan and to describe in detail what that means. “Hallo. I just wanted to let you know a few things. I am a vegan. It might seem complicated, but it’s really not. I eat lots of things: nuts, lentils, chickpeas, etc” she began. I am stocking her suitcase with food because I am not overly confident of daughter two’s ability to explain veganism in Spanish without the help of Google Translate.

We live in a slightly divided household food wise. On the one hand, there is only son and daughter three whose main food interest is sweets; on the other are the health police, daughters one and two – one vegan, the other vegetarian – who won’t touch anything that has been near meat and are at one with all animals; in the middle is my partner whose take on the Easter Bunny is that it would be nice roasted with a couple of onions and a few carrots. It makes for an interesting mix.

Daughters one and two take a sharp intake of breath every time I get only son some sweets [which is rarely]. The other day he came to me a bit upset and said: “I don’t think I’m going to live very long.” I inquired why this was the case, thinking he might be worried about North Korea or some such. “It’s because I eat too much sugar,” he said, batting his big eyelashes. “Daughters one and two told me.” I have had words with daughters one and two who argued that they were trying to make him healthier. I told them that this was his parents’ job and we were, despite appearances, on the case.

Meanwhile, my partner has discovered Twitter and disappeared into it. He may not be out for some time, given current developments news-wise.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.

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