SWB on the Hazards of Home Learning

Lads, totally disgracing myself here, or as The Mothership would say, I am ‘letting myself down a bucketful.’ * But, my children. Dear God, my children. Here’s what mornings are like: They get their books out (or I locate the books after they’ve feen fired under a table/sofa/bed and show them what they have to do. They start and I get told to ‘Go away,’ and off they go. I try to intervene and be helpful which is met with opprobrium. They are working on my laptop so I can’t write anything myself, so I don the marigolds and start to clean. Hearing much chortling and sounds of ‘carrying on’ I go and check their progress. They are rolling about the floor, giving the dogs treats and wrecking the place. The Maths programme on the computer is bleeping away to itself, merrily. ‘DO THE WORK,’ I say, retreating to the chaos that is the kitchen.

Next there are wails of hunger. ‘We didn’t get much for breakfast,’ say the Older Child in a mournful tone. This would be because the Older Child can’t fix her arse to a seat long enough to ingest the food in front of her. Getting her to eat Muller Fruit Corner is an achievement. (And yes, I hate the f**king plastic but it’s the only yogurt they eat and I don’t want them to have a calcium deficiency.) I dole out toast. The worktop is now cluttered and covered in crumbs.

I give up on cleaning and fetch the laptop. The little b*****ds have sneaked lychees out of the fridge and the keys and screen are a revolting, sticky mess.  Cue much shouting. I fetch work books and make them toil the old-fashioned way. Once again, I am told to ‘leave them alone’.

Then, in they trot: ‘Finished!!’ I look. It’s pile of shite. I fetch the rubber and set to.

I have now taken to supervising them. They are not getting near my laptop unless I can see there are no foodstuffs upon their person.  I mean, I’m an ACTUAL teacher. I have also done home-schooling before, like everyone else. Why is it still making me want to gouge my eye ball out with a tooth pick in frustration?

They have been playing outside in the rain too, because I am a great advocate for ‘fresh air’. I am not, however, a great advocate for muddy leggings and wet sock and knockers stashed under beds. They have gone feral. ‘SHUT THE FUCKING DOOR,’ I yelled yesterday, in true fishwife style as they raced in and out in their bogging welly boots for the zillionth time. ‘You shouldn’t use the f-word to your child’ said the Small One, primly. ‘You shouldn’t leave the fucking door open,’ I replied.

I know. It’s terrible. I’m awful. I’m just so bloody tired and stressed and everything is dirty and sticky and there doesn’t seem to be any end to it. HELP ME. Send me kind thoughts. Share me the profanities that you have not only muttered but directed at your children. Make me feel less of a rubbish mum. Please.

*I wrote this post a few years ago when I still called The Small Child ‘Father Jack’ because she was such a fierce three year old and used to run around looking for her bottle shouting ‘ MILK!’ in the sort of enraged tone Father Jack demanding ‘DRINK!”

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