Decisions, decisions

A quick change of plans for the day this morning as the guy who was coming to help us out in the garden today tacitly announced that he had decided to get drunk last night rather than help us out in the garden today.

I think we’ve all had that “drink now or work tomorrow?” decision to make at some stage in our lives, and I’m quite sure that most readers here have – even if they’re only willing to quietly admit it to themselves – come down on either side at least once. I know I have. Sometimes I have tried to come down on both sides, but that’s not pleasant for anybody the following day.

It did leave us with a fair amount more work to do in the garden though, although ironically, we also have a bit more beer money for tonight. What goes around and all that…*

Anyway, the garden is looking better after a quick makeover and haircut and the neighbourhood What is Up? group has been pinged for suitable replacement garden assistance for the future (this wasn’t the first time our guy chose to fall on that side of the fence).

It’s been a wonderful few weeks over the festive season and holiday, but Real Life™ begins again tomorrow with a return to work, school, gym and all the hustle and bustle of term 1. I have high hopes that the kids will fly this year – 2018 ended on such a high for them.

I guess it all comes down to making the right decisions.

 

* hence me tagging this with the BLF category.

The last week

The last week of any school term is always fairly hectic. The last week of the last term is something way beyond that. Exam results coming in left, right and centre, a prizegiving here or there, the inevitable Christmas concert, a charity civvies day, an activity day, a class party and a last-minute test of parental organisation by giving each child a different finishing time at school on each day.

I nearly left one at school today. Oops.

Is it just me, or are things really more stressful this time around than in previous years? I feel like we never got chance to “reset” our lives going into 2018 and we’re suffering the consequences now.

It’s all rather exhausting – a fact demonstrated by the beagle here:

Actually, this was taken after yesterday’s SPCA Wiggle Waggle Walkathon. It might only have been 4km, but when you’ve got four legs to power instead of two and you’re wearing a fur coat, it can be quite tough.

However, this will likely be my position (ok, not necessarily under the trampoline, but still…) come the end of the week.

Merit

Props to the Boy Wonder for his hard work at school of late.

The school has a merit/demerit system, whereby good behaviour and achievements (for example) are rewarded with points, while being naughty or being late to class (for example) will lose you points. Each week, the scores are totted up and those with the highest scores are celebrated in school assembly. Good for them.

Here’s my son’s chart for this week so far:

1 point for his simple, but effective Science project. Good.
1 point for “excellent” work in French. Bien.

And 2 points for calmly capturing and removing a decent-sized Cape Skink (Trachylepis capensis) while all around him in his History class were losing their heads. Awesome.

I’m happy to say that my kids have no issues with any of the harmless local wildlife:

…and (equally importantly) a healthy respect for the dangerous stuff.

There’s more to schooling than just academic achievement, and I’m really proud that in a class of 20+ screaming kids (and 1 screaming teacher?), my boy was the one who kept his cool and helped out. And saved the skink, as well.

Nice work.

Best Line from an Educational Psychologist in 2018

(So far, anyway.)

We went along to the High School introduction evening yesterday. It included details of how they were going to teach our high school child, some information about the school camps, and a talk by a local educational psychologist.

Lot of the stuff she said made a lot of sense to me and the assembled parents of pre-teens. But then she came out with this quote, and it was perfect:

I was talking to a group of parents of toddlers yesterday.
I love to talk to parents of toddlers: there’s still so much hope!

We all laughed. But then… actually… ouch.

Back to school 2018

And so, the day I was dreading on Monday has come to pass. And it wasn’t so bad after all.

Looking back now (and to be fair, it is some chronological distance), I can’t recall my feelings at heading back to school after the summer break. Obviously, coming from a Northern hemisphere nation, we started back in September, but other than that, not much has is very different, and when I dropped our two off this morning, there was the usual melange of oversized school bags, new uniforms, smiles, tears and anxious parents.

Not for us, of course. Our kids were gone – Single Use Plastic-free lunchboxes in hand – just as soon as the car doors opened. They’ve headed back to school with a good deal of enthusiasm, tempered with perhaps just a touch of resignation at the end of the holiday and a smidgen of trepidation at the challenges that lie ahead. But the experience was overwhelmingly positive – they enjoy school and they react well to having more structure to their days – especially after 7 (seven!) weeks of holiday.

Last year was exceptional. Let’s see if we can do even better in 2018.