Young Voices

This week has been a bit of a marathon. Not only was it daughter two’s birthday, but on Wednesday she was singing with 6,999 other children at the 02. Theoretically this is a great thing. It just, as with so many children-centred things, requires much more organisation than you at first realise. It’s not just the babysitting so both my partner and I can attend or the packed dinner. It’s that going out even for one night when you have four children throws the whole week out of balance. I had, for instance, to feed the guinea pig before breakfast instead of before dinner. He thought all his Christmases had come early.

Then daughter two announced at the last minute on Wednesday morning that she couldn’t wear her school cardigan, but had to wear something with the school logo on. I hunted out a sweatshirt about three sizes too small for her, ironed it and had to sew up the cuff, which was hanging off. Meanwhile, the baby was sitting on her Scaletrix set and mumbling about apples [his new word of the moment]. Daughter three had a nose bleed and then all hell broke loose when daughter two discovered that the cold pizza she wanted for her packed dinner was not, in fact, a Tesco value pizza as she had asked, but a home-made Mummy special.

This was due to my usual culinary forgetfulness. I put the value pizza in with the birthday cake and forgot it was there. It was burnt to a crisp. We were miraculously, however, still on time for school, except that daughter two realised at the last minute that she had forgotten the parents evening letter.

I was determined to get a particular slot since my partner is not around next week when parents evening takes place and to do that, you have to get the letter back quickly. We turned back. Daughter three then discovered she had lost her spelling book. With my amazing finding small things power, a skill only developed since giving birth, I found it under her bed. Luckily, she had remembered her letter about Victorian day when she has to dress up as Florence Nightingale. The teacher has provided some instructions which look really good, but basically I’m sticking to my long dress with a sheet tied round it, which serves for more or less every era.

I then approached the nursery and paid for extensions to the baby’s normal days because my mum and only free childcare provider is off to Argentina for six weeks – to do childcare for my brother. Since it is nearing the anniversary of the Falklands War, she is slightly worried she will be taken hostage in Buenos Aires and has decided to pass herself off as a Canadian.

I then headed home to do a blast of high-octane work before heading off for London. I got there early so I decided to head for a Macdonalds to access their free Wifi and toilet facilities. Of course, being London, there was a man lying in the middle of the floor who everyone else was trying to circumnavigate as if it was the most normal thing in the world. I did some work until my phone rang. It was daughter one’s school. Apparently she was given detention because her phone buzzed in class. Daughter one is possibly the most law-abiding person in the entire universe. She was devastated. Luckily, she didn’t get the detention that day as it would have been rather difficult to pick her up.

The 02 concert itself was fabulous. The kids were beside themselves with excitement. We could make out daughter two vaguely doing a very enthusiastic dance routine with her mates. It was exhausting just to watch them and they had been there since lunchtime doing rehearsals. If they weren’t already almost hyperventilating with excitement Alexandra Burke then came on as a surprise and sang a Whitney Houston song. I am sure daughter two was almost passing out by this time. We got home to find my mum had got everyone to sleep, although, of course, not for long in the case of one particular small person. I put the washing away, emptied the cat litter tray and got everything ready for the morning. Daughter two arrived on the coach at near midnight and had to be at school by 10am the next day. Two days on I’m still catching up.

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