The Teaching Mum

A light-hearted look at parenting through the eyes of a very busy English Teacher.

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Moderation Sickness and Multibuys

Saturday 16th May and it’s the bedtime hour (two hours).

I have been trying to blog all week about my first week of moderation and to think of a way to make it interesting.  Truth is: I can’t. At the back of my mind though, I have it in my head that this is a teacher blog so I have to get some teachery (totally a word) stuff on here too. What you have then is an amalgamation of the week’s events where I try and fail at my first attempt at moderation, survive a vomit filled night and attend a birthday party where three of the girls all wore the same dress.

Tuesday morning arrived and I know you have missed them so the first thing I will tell you is that my trusty jogging bottoms made an appearance. As did my make up free face, a t-shirt that was ‘won’ in a 10k race from years gone by and the (everyone has to have one) mum bun. In fact, I even planned ahead as I knew that I was going to wear the exact same outfit on Wednesday too. And I did. 
However, as with every morning comes the dreaded night before and on both Monday night and Tuesday night when I really needed to be ‘on it’ the following day, I was doing the old tried and tested lay down feed every two hours. 

Both nights played out a little like this: 2am – awake again for the third time. I can’t do a sitting up feed again in fear of falling asleep, slumping over the boy and giving him a deathly bosom for a pillow. Sideways on. Boob out. Boob in. Doze. Wince as boob is shaken all about. Doze. Have a weird lucid. Doze. Become aware that the boy is waking again. Oh, he can’t be, it’s only been ten minutes. It’s 4.30am. Repeat the pattern. It’s 6.15am and he is still asleep when suddenly the bedroom door is pushed open by the other half, who is currently getting uninterrupted sleep by bunking up with his favourite girl (which, by the way, certainly isn’t me). The carpet to our room is really thick so when he opens it, it’s like he is opening a World War Two bunker that’s been locked for seventy years. He isn’t even opening it to say good morning; he does it to make sure I am awake for when the girl wakes, realises Daddy isn’t there and wants a *shakes head in shame* morning Fruitshoot. The opening of the bunker this morning did wake both me and the boy or maybe is was my ‘SHUUUUSH’ before slamming my head back into my pillow and silently screaming.

With the girl dropped off at nursery, it was time to begin my work. I took out my first batch of coursework and began. Within minutes, the boy decided to reach a milestone in his little life and he rolled over. He was very pleased with himself; so was I. Pen down. Phone out. Video on.
‘Roll for Daddy,’
No movement.
‘Come on, roll so I can show Daddy.’
A blank stare. 
This continued for a while until I returned to my work and then he ninja flipped onto the carpet. Perhaps I was looking for a reason not to start my work as I tried to film it again and again. Poor Daddy had to wait four days to finally see a roll.  We learnt that he does not roll on demand as he isn’t a performing monkey. How were we supposed to know that? 

A knock at the door came just as I was about to tear my hair out. It was my mum; she had come to look after the boy whilst I ‘got my head around’ the first batch.  It wasn’t so much the moderation I was struggling with; it was (and still is) all the paperwork that I have to fill out and return alongside it.  My mum came and helped out on Wednesday also and I finally finished and posted my first batch that afternoon after starting it on Tuesday morning. I have to do this for twenty two other schools – it’s going to be a long old slog. Oh well, only twenty one to go.

Thursday morning arrived and it was the same pattern Tuesday and Wednesday.  The guilt hit on Thursday.  Was it unfair and selfish of me to stay at home all day with the boy just to try to earn a bit of extra cash?  I felt like he was missing out on baby classes similar to the ones I did with my daughter when she was a baby.  Although, I have to admit that Baby Yoga and Baby Massage were pretty bloody horrendous when I took the girl.  She used to get ‘olive oiled up’ and then scream the place down and I would leave the place dishevelled and smelling like a chip pan.  By Thursday afternoon I had almost finished my second batch of moderating and was starting to feel a bit more confident about it.  Then the girl returned home from Grandma and Granddad’s and for the next twelve hours a sea of vomit descended upon us all.  We were doomed.

She came through the door.
‘Mummy, can I have some big girl crispies?’
Granddad informed me that she had already eaten a lot today.  However, I had two more scripts to moderate and if I did that then that would be another complete batch.  I gave her the crisps and the next hour passed without drama.  I am not the cook in the house and Daddy was at Parent’s Evening so as a treat I suggested that we go to the local garden centre for tea. (How lucky are my children?) We were putting on our shoes when the girl put her hand to her mouth.
‘Do you want to be sick?’ I asked.
She shook her head.
‘Shall we go to the toilet?’
She shook her head.
‘Let’s just go for a wee before we leave anyway,’
‘Noooooo, I don’t neeeeed a wee.’ She said.  She raised her hand to her mouth again.
‘Do you need a poo then?’
She shook her head.
‘Are you going to be sick?’
She nodded her head.
I grabbed her to rush to the toilet, but the pointless conversation you have just read above meant that we were too late and BLEUGH.  All over the living room floor.  Twice.  I didn’t panic.  We jumped over it and made it to the toilet just in time for her to stand over it and just spit.

After wiping everything up and making sure that the girl got fluids, I went to check on the boy.  I had left him on his play mat.  The ninja flipping Little Dude had somehow made it over to the TV and was currently face planting the laminate floor.  Oh.

I decided on an early bath for all.  I simultaneously bathed boy the girl in the big bath and the boy in the baby bath all while silently cheering myself on for being so calm and completely handling the situation.  Suddenly, the girl retched again and her hand came to her mouth.  I lifted the boy from his bath, wrapped him in a towel, emptied his bath in the shower, brought the bath to the girl’s mouth and BLEUGH!  I caught it.  Could not have timed it any better if I had tried.  Amazed at my quick thinking, the girl could remain in untainted waters until the boy’s PJs were put on.  It wasn’t until I emptied her bath that I noticed three pieces of sweetcorn and a stick of carrot going down the plug hole.  There is always a bit of carrot isn’t there?

The night was pretty awful with the girl waking and retching every hour.  For Friday then, I envisaged a trip to the doctors followed by another day of being trapped in the house with a poorly princess, Peppa Pig and unmoderated coursework staring at me.  However, she woke, smiled and asked for a Fruitshoot so off to soft play we went.  Hurrah!

That kind of brings us back around to today.  We have been to a joint third birthday party and I have two very tired but content children on my hands.  Now, I assume that three years ago there was nothing much on television one night as most of my friends all had babies within days of each other. This means lots of birthday presents and parties – which is lovely for the children as they are now growing up and playing together.  However, with me being the most unimaginative birthday present buyer ever, I think my friends have come to expect a present from Next.  I am worried that the kids have too.  ‘Oh look the boring lady who brings us shirts every year is here, yey’.  But hey, at least clothes don’t take up a load of room in your dining room or living room, right guys?  Needless to say, three children at the party (including my girl) were all wearing the same dress that yours truly bought them for their birthdays.  You’re welcome!  They looked cute though and I promise that they weren’t purchased on a ‘buy one get two free’ offer!  Fortunately, today’s parties were boys’ but it’s safe to say that had they been born girls, then they too would have received a grey spotty dress for their third birthday.

Just before I sign off.  After returning home from the parties, I noticed that my first batch of marked moderation had been returned back to me with a request to do it all again.  I had filled out the paperwork incorrectly but on a Postit note have been reassured not to feel ‘downhearted’ as I started with a ‘problematic centre’.  So that’s twenty two to go then…

Oh and just before going to bed last night, the other half was sick. BLEUGH indeed.

Pictures: That Dress! and The Little Dude rolling amongst my work.