All in a day’s work

So this week at work has been the most challenging in probably my whole life 🙂

I work in government PR, and suffice to say after 70 questions from journalists,  2 TV interviews to organise, multiple radio interviews, a TV Op and multiple speeches, at the end of the week my small group of colleagues and I were barely able to state our names coherently.

Anyway it got me thinking about some of the odd jobs I have had over the years, and the various challenges each of them brought …

Ice Cream Scooper

My very first job, as a sixteen-year-old, was working at a Great Australian Icecreamery. It was all very exciting to have a job and money, but let me tell you, scooping ice cream is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s really hard. Especially the rum and raison. And my wrists are horribly weak. I found it quite stressful and after an unfortunate batch of malformed waffle cones I didn’t last very long at all.

Party fairy

While I was at Uni, I answered an ad to be a fairy for children’s parties. It was kind of fun, but I only lasted two parties. During my first outing, the head fairy (I was just the assistant) was severely hung over from her antics the previous evening, and we kept having to stop on the way for her to vomit on the side of the road (yes, dressed as fairies). Then on the second outing her car broke down and we had to walk in the pouring rain for ages along a highway, dressed in our costumes. It’s not all tinsel and wings, I assure you.

Singles party organiser

I don’t know what on earth possessed me to answer an ad seeking someone to organise singles parties, but for some reason I did. It was very strange – firstly I had to pretend to be single myself (I have no idea why – you would think being happily married was a walking advertisement) and had to act as a conversation starter for the singles that came along. Imagine every worst first date scenario and multiply it by the number of people at a large party. I don’t think I did a terribly good job at it – at the end of my one and only party, everyone ditched me for the local nightclub.

So I think the lesson learned here is that my job might be stressful, but at least it’s the right one for me 🙂

Sole pursuits

I love having kids. I really do. I like doing things with them too – generally.

But today I really found myself longing for the things I used to do on my own, like:

Sleeping in

As Little Miss (the youngest) is now nearly 5, I shouldn’t complain. They all – usually – sleep through the night and they don’t get up at 4am. But WHY does she get up at 6am on a Saturday? And especially a day like today – when it was all dark and rainy and absolutely perfect weather for snoozing until well into the day???? Needless to say she was cranky as anything by 11am and had to have a nap. It could all have been avoided with a sleep in!

Shopping

It was a rainy day, and we needed to get my Mum a present. So I thought it sounded like a lovely idea to go out for breakfast and wander around the shops. Why don’t I ever remember that shops with kids is not fun??? I just end up getting cross at everyone.

Cooking

I love cooking. I was really looking forward to cooking dessert for my Mum’s birthday dinner. Then I had three helpers and it all went downhill. It seems EVERYONE needs to do EXACTLY the same amount of “helping” tasks or all hell breaks loose.

Doing puzzles

We did all enjoy this for a little while, then everyone gets bored and then you have puzzle pieces all over the table and no one else can do anything on it.

Don’t get my wrong – it’s nice to spend a rainy day with the fam. But it really feels like hard work sometimes!!!!!

Nature not nurture?

When you have kids you learn many things. Like how to yell in that quiet way so your child hears your insane threat at the shops but the lady in front of you (hopefully) doesn’t. Or that it really is possible to survive on 4 hours’ sleep a night. And that you are indeed capable of rocking a baby to sleep while cooking the dinner while playing fairies with your toddler while reading up for a uni assignment.

At the moment, Bookworm and Picasso are teaching me all about nature over nurture. My two boys are only 16 months apart, and while poor Bookworm copped the full force of my probably neurotic and crappy first-time-as-a-mum parenting, they have had a fairly similar experience. But no two different boys could you find! A couple of weeks ago I did the Myer-Briggs personality test for kids on each of them and was astounded at the accuracy of the results. While I know they are young and will change, I found it really helpful information. Anyway in the three categories (they only have three for kids) Bookworm got an E for Extrovert, N for iNtuitive and a P for Perceiving. Picasso, on the other hand, got an I for Introvert, an S for Sensory and a J for Judging. Yes, completely opposite on every scale.

It was reinforced for me as the school year began, and I watched them do their homework. Bookworm complains dramatically and when he finally gets his book out he dashes it off as quickly as possible. It’s barely legible and as one of the teachers pointed out to me this year, he’d write with his feet if he thought that would make it easier. Despite him talking the whole time it’s done in about 5 minutes. Now we come to Picasso. He is so painstakingly slow I want to tear my hair out, and I could, because it would actually grow again by he time he finished. Every word is perfectly formed, and rubbed out and redone the minute there’s a stroke of pencil out of place. And since his teacher told him to leave a two-finger gap between words, he has fully embraced the letter of the law. Two-finger spaces are carefully measured with a precision that would make an OCD sufferer proud. When I suggested he didn’t ACTUALLY have to be QUITE so specific his eyes welled up with tears so I hastily just left him to it.

Funny kids. It will be very interesting to see how things go as they grow up!

The week that was…

It’s been a big week for us and lots of stuff happened. Here are some of the things that caught my attention:

Little Miss started school

Yep, it’s official; I now have three children at school! I honestly didn’t really feel too sad with her starting, mostly just happy that she was so looking forward to going, and of course deliriously excited there is now one central drop off and pick up point. She has loved it, although we hit a wall of exhaustion last night. It took me an hour and a half to get her to sleep, and I sang my entire repertoire of soft, melodic songs. I particularly like U2’s “Running to Stand Still” for this kind of thing. Only when I was half way through I realised I was actually singing about a drug addict’s slow and painful demise.

I visited the bank

I don’t really ever do this anymore, but I had to bank a cheque. I was very pleased to discover I didn’t have to fill in those small, rectangular, complicated forms you used to have to fill in (did ANYONE know what numbers were supposed to go where?) so it was very fast. One odd thing is that now banks have gone all customer friendly, there’s couches everywhere and it’s a bit hard to know where you’re supposed to line up. You think you’re just sitting down to wait and you find you’ve unwittingly applied for a business loan.

My eye got infected

Unfortunately, I suffered the consequences of wearing my contact lenses too much over the holidays and my right eye rebelled. I got worried and went to the eye hospital where there was a four-hour wait! It was all Ok in the end but I had to take very good care of my eye for a few days. It was like having a newborn again – I had to bathe it and rest it and not get it overstimulated.

We survived Week 1 of the crazy routine

For a long time I held off on extracurricular activities. But now they have become a full-blown part of our lives. Bookworm does tennis and science club, Picasso does tennis and piano, and Little Miss does ballet and acrobatics. I devised an intricately detailed rotating  fortnightly plan of who drops off and who picks up and where everyone has to be and what they have to remember, and WE DIDN’T STUFF IT UP. Yet. As my colleague would say, no one got left at the side of the road, so it was all a huge success.

Someone wanted to send me a fax at work

I don’t know what century they are living in, but it sure was weird.

So! Onwards and upwards for the rest of the school term now.

Friendship is good for the soul

This afternoon I got the chance for a much-needed catch-up with Soul Sister; my best friend since I was five year’s old. I thought I would share some of the things I really love about this wonderful friend, who truly is a sister to my soul…

  • The fact we can spend an entire day in each others’ company just reading, and both feel like it’s been the best day ever. And if there’s a cup of tea and some chocolate involved, well…we’re perfectly happy.
  • Her continual quest for self-improvement. This has taken various forms over the years –  goals regarding the proper pronunciation of certain words, taking up ballet for ex-student ballet “has-beens”, and most recently, sewing. After deciding sewing would be a good skill to have, Soul Sister learned how to do it. Impressive and inspiring, and also very useful for me, as I can barely sew a button back onto a shirt.
  • The fact she maintains that Anne of Green Gables actually changed her life.
  • Her passion for children, and their education.
  • Her deep commitment to her faith.
  • Her generosity in opening up her home to other people’s kids, whenever she can. It’s not uncommon for her to say to me, “Oh, I have six kids here today…”
  • How she is constantly on the lookout for “teaching opportunities” with not only her own kids, but other people’s’ as well.
  • Her “five-second volunteering” policy. This means that if there’s a call for volunteers, and no one puts their hand up, she’ll wait five seconds and then volunteer herself. This has led to her taking on rather more than she can chew over the years.
  • The fact that she always knows what I mean, even if I don’t myself.
  • The fact she made the best speech ever at my wedding. We laughed, we cried, and everyone was talking about it for ages.

I don’t know what I’d do without her. I hope you have someone in your life like this too.