I will warn you now that this is a whinge.
We are into the second week of the new term, the new start, my personal New Year of September, with all its promise of things starting over, slates and school shoes clean alike.
It isn’t going according to plan.
No2 elected to be lavishly sick all over the hall floor yesterday morning just as we got ready to leave for school. Boots (the shoes were still in the airing cupboard after Monday night’s school run downpour), coat, floor – a neat puddle from skirting board to skirting board, boys on one side, me on the other, appalled No2 in the middle.
Cue Plan B, a faintly guilt-ridden dropping of No1 and then No3 in the car (do you keep a child off for sibling sick or not?), purse forgotten, thirsty car unfilled and bleating piteously that it didn’t want to do the return trip.
One of my two child-free mornings of the week (and the first since the end of last term) spent juggling work calls with a puking and miserable 6 year old. Plans cancelled, errands un-run, people let down. Today, a repeat (minus, as of yet, the emissions) but with bored children and quarantine scuppering any ideas to get out and actually get anything done.
A computer which wheezes into life, and spends most of the available working time I have gasping “Help me!” and a to-do list growing wildly and laughing at me.
It is driving me mad.
None of it is serious, thank God. None of it is permanent, none of it changes the fact that I am incredibly lucky in life. I don’t know whether I have always struggled this much with lack of control over circumstances, or whether the simple fact of having three small children inevitably leaves me hostage to so much which it is beyond me to influence. I just find myself craving windows of clear time, and the small but satisfying hit of feeling like I’ve actually got something done.
I had such plans for this new term, and already I feel myself slipping into the same-old, same-old muttering through from hour to hour. Keeping the home fire burning sometimes feels like a thankless task.