Starting As I Mean To Go On

The children went back to school yesterday. The four year old started. All went ok, she took it in her stride. I took the same picture of each of my three eldest on their first day of school, I put the three photographs together last night.


Nice isn’t it? I am going to call it, thank fuck I have a baby.

They are just growing up too quick. I know that’s what they are meant to do and I am really proud of them but god days like yesterday make you just want to freeze time a bit.

It’s really quiet in the house right now and I miss them. I am a sap. It will pass and by the end of the week we will have readjusted back to the school routine.

Every September I have these high hopes of starting a new more organised regime and envisage myself as a pinterest parent. It lasts for a week or two, it didn’t even last a day this year.

Sunday night at 9pm found me sitting on my bedroom floor trying to remember which handbag I was using this time last year as I knew I left the labels in an envelope in it. After emptying out several, I found them. Organised chaos is I how I roll. At that stage I was too tired to iron on labels so 7am yesterday morning saw me writing initials onto jumpers and ties with a permanent marker instead. Illegible as it turned out and I ended up with more marker on my fingers than the uniforms.  “If you lose your tie remember it has a big black smudge on the back of it not your name, ok?” I explained to the kids.

People have been regularly asking me am I exhausted with a small baby and three older children. I haven’t been at all. I thought it was because my body had finally readjusted to sleep deprivation after years of preparation but no that’s not the case. I was fucking delusional. Of course I haven’t been worn out as for the last two months, none of us have gotten dressed before 11am any morning. We have spent the summer lounging around doing very little with absolutely no routine what so ever. By 3pm yesterday I couldn’t talk with exhaustion. I communicated by nodding my head slowly. Walking up the stairs took supreme effort. How bloody naive was I thinking I was some sort of wonder person who survived on minimum sleep and was able to maintain a sunny deposition? It’s very easy to be cheery and non weary when you are wearing clothing with elasticated waist bands and not making lunches and washing uniforms all the live long day.


So back to starting the school year as I mean to go on. There is no disillusionment  this year. Right now I know there are parents out there who are making heart-shaped pancakes with smiley faces for their children before school and making fucking bento boxes for school lunches. That is fine. Good luck to them. I am fine with that. This year I am not even going to try to compete. My children are just fine with their cereal for breakfast and ham sandwiches and fruit all thrown in together in their lunch boxes. We have started as we mean to go on.  My head nearly exploded yesterday afternoon when I saw the boy going into the playroom with his pencil-case. I was kind of hoping he would hang on to its contents till at least mid-term. To achieve this the pencil-case must stay in his bag not the abyss that is the playroom. It’s not looking good that the pencil-case will survive the month…..

I like to think that what my children miss out in bento boxes and cook book worthy breakfasts they gain in other things. I am just not sure yet what those other things are yet though. I did have the time to jump up and down half-naked on the doorstep this morning to try to get my kids to laugh for a photograph the husband was trying to take of the three of them heading off together for the first time. I don’t think that is a positive though. I can see them lying on a psychiatrists couch in twenty years time “She didn’t even cut the crusts of our sandwiches” they will wail.  Fingers crossed the kids they are sitting beside in school have average low effort lunches too and not this type:



The husband is off work yesterday and today. The two of us have been able to feed and dress and drop the kids, together. Tomorrow morning I have to get out the door alone with four of them and I am flying through my maternity leave at the speed of light. I have no clue how I am meant to get myself ready for work and get four children up fed and dressed in the morning. I am considering, when the time comes, that we will get ready the night before and all go to sleep fully dressed to speed things up in the morning. I am sitting here now in the quiet house. With my baby. And the mess. Worn out. Its day two.  Bring It On.


23 thoughts on “Starting As I Mean To Go On

  1. Four Walls, Rainy Days says:

    I’m dreading having to get one ready on top of myself for work – you’re a total Superwoman able to do it with four! I’ve only heard very little about the Bento Boxes… so Cheesestrings and a Wagon Wheel aren’t what makes a lunchbox cool these days?

  2. Bumbles of Rice says:

    Fucking bento boxes, love it. How many real life children have bento boxes or heart shaped pancakes though? We’re a cereal for breakfast and ham sandwiches and fruit house too. I think most houses are:) good luck tomorrow! I remember panicking this time last year about this too, with one less kid.

  3. Tara Sparling says:

    Those Bento boxes are dangerous, you should know that. Six children in Japan were hospitalised 10 years ago after they ate the cocktail sticks spiked into their grapes. They are all serial killers now. Be grateful for ham sangers. I know I am only a productive member of society because of the horrible corned beef sandwiches I was force fed in national school.

  4. Anabela Almeida says:

    I’ve my 1st kid going to junior infants this year. Was feeling guilty that maybe I should be doing more, getting better pencil-case, better lunchbox, more variety of food to take. He looses everything anyway and doesn’t eat nearly anything I send him anyway!!! Thanks for this. Really. Feel so much better. Love you blog by the way! and share your articles very often on my business facebook page 🙂

  5. SusieChopstick says:

    Ha! I’m waving at Elizabeth in the post above me, we actually know each other! My second girl’s pencil case was on the floor of her room, empty, the night before she started school. I had high hopes of actually keeping them till the first of September, but the cousins were home from abroad and she and her cousin have a penchant for Pretty Princess puzzle pads (lovely alliteration there), so the Twistables ended up all over the house. We can have a scavenger hunt next time she wants to colour something.
    As for lunches, I’m a sandwich and fruit kinda gal too. I occasionally give them a wrap but they generally ask for them and then leave them in the lunchbox and say they hated them! That bento box in the pic actually looks dangerous to small children – those little forks in the cubes of feta look like a choking hazard to me! Some schools actually include a ban on bread in their healthy eating policy – don’t know what I’d do if we had that to deal with!
    You’ll do absolutely fine with four – you’re already flying it with three AND managing to win blog awards! Fair play to you!

      • SusieChopstick says:

        Absolutely fine thank God… she held out her hands on the first morning for her ‘kiss carriers’ on her palms to be filled up so that any time she missed me in school she could just press her palms to her cheeks and she’d get a mammy kiss. Ohhh pure CHEESE I know but it worked. No tears, and, in her words when she came home, ‘I was grand Mammy I had no ‘asterics’ (her word for hysterics). As I said she’s probably running the place by now. She’s TIRED though…

  6. Naomi says:

    Great post!

    Oh the feckin pencil cases and their contents. The bane of my life. I have only three kids but have significantly lowered the bar but I am determined not to be beaten by the damned pencils. This year I packed all three kids off to school and headed straight to the book shop for masses of supplies. I even had a box to put them all in…. ONLY FOR HOMEWORK! It was raided as soon as they got home (the pencils I bought were too nice to leave at home apparently). Back to the book shop the next day! I despair! We need security tags on them!

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