Friday, 17 April 2009

Memo: write notes

Mama might be scurrying around cancelling the milk, crawling about in the eaves to find suitcases and beating herself around the ears because she has lost her glasses AGAIN but this sustained household chaos in preparation for a trip away is nothing compared to the need screaming from my soul right now to provide an education for Shark, Squirrel and Tiger.

Listen. Can you hear the autonomous home ed crowd yelling, Preparation for going away is an education! Share it! Let it flow!

But this misses the fact that I need an education for Shark, Squirrel and Tiger that puts them out of the house and far away from me.

With just a few days to go before we climb on board that flight to HK I need to keep a thought in my head that is held in for more than two minutes fourteen seconds, otherwise we are going to be leaving this country having packed three empty milk bottles, a waste disposal pipe and a bin liner. Try sharing out those between the four of us to wear for more than three days and you see my problem.

Now one of the best things about home education is that you maintain a lot of contact with everyone in a fifty mile radius who offers workshops, lessons, things to do, places where you can dump your kids. And this week I have found a two-day course in woodworkingsomething with someonewhoIjustdon'tcare.

This workshop represents a total of twelve hours when these kids will be away from my brain which they are pecking at like hens with stuff like who took the dolly outside and mummy I cannot get the snowman round the corner in the computer game.

So I ring up and book them in and tell the organiser I won't be staying. I will do a kid-dump-and-run. And the first sight I see when we arrive is a table piled with dangerous tools.

For a split second there I almost think of backing out of this arrangement and staying to supervise the wielding of those glue guns, hacksaws and screwdrivers, but then the sensible part of my brain takes over and tells me the worst that could happen is Dig will have to nurse Squirrel in A&E with a screwdriver impaled in her head which will give me an extra five hours to pack, find my missing glasses and cancel the newspapers.

So it's a very smug Grit who walks away from the hall of hazards because a big part of my life can now be given over to undivided attention. I can make a commitment to some intense activity like remembering to pack crayons, paper and masking tape in case the little grits start acting up on board flight 666 with twelve hours to go.

But it is strange, is it not, because my perforated and punctured brain cannot operate for more than 30 minutes at a time. It may need the constant kid-type interruption in order to function.

After an hour of wondering what to do I am strongly reminded of that time when Nanjo offered to babysit the eighteen month old triplets to give me and Dig three evening hours off together, so we could be in the same place at the same time, possibly to try and save our marriage. For an hour of that time we wandered aimlessly in a carpark not knowing how to get out because we did not know where to go, what to do or who we were.

It is the same today on this day of freedom when I must be purposeful, use this time constructively and must focus, focus, focus.

Of course it all goes to waste. After three hours I have packed two items of clothing, lost my recent memory, and cannot recall what I have set out to do. An inability to go forward or go back has me spending an hour trying to remember what I have to do so I can write a to-do list which I will probably lose.

So it is not without relief that I spend the last hour of my free time today at the woodworkingsomething workshop taking these photographs.

And if it comes to the worst, I can pack and take these, and at least this will serve as a memory of a purposeful moment.


Rubberbacon said...

Grit! Your going to Hong Kong??? I'm going on May 4th for a week!

Wife in Hong Kong said...

You're coming to HK? Should we put anonymity aside and meet for coffee?

Grit said...

hi rubberbacon! i've replied with our dates in an email. and i hope you have a rewarding time in hk!

hello wife in hk, i would love to do that, but be quick with that contact info email!

The Gossamer Woman said...

Let's face it, you are nowhere without those triplets. You need them in order to function through the chaos. The silence was deafening and immobilized your brain.

Grit said...

irene, i think this is true. they have structured my life and i'm not sure what to do about that.

sharon said...

Why pack? According to my sister-in-law, you can get anything you want made-to-measure in the styles and fabrics you chose for very little cash and in very short space of time. The Gritlets may benefit from exposure to the production methods as an educational bonus.

Grit said...

hi sharon! we check in no luggage, we take one carry on bag each.

the one-hand-luggage-each rule sustains each person and we buy what we need as we travel. the bag contains three changes of clothes, books, and preferred personal items like hairbrushes and NO DOLLIES.

it does take some thinking about to create a mini wardrobe for these little people to be able to walk potentially from beach to a situation where they may be meeting someone in a semi-formal context.

BUT WORSE. in my one bag, apart from laptop, is a PROJECT BOOK (horror horror) which i put together in the days before a trip which provides my brain with a focus for ideas/activities in situ, and is especially useful for those days when Dig is away working and i am providing a purposeful day with the gritlets.

i may be stoned for that admission.

sharon said...

No stoning from my direction Grit. The Project Book sounds like an eminently sensible idea ;-) Presume your three outfits are very scanty as after the book and laptop are in the bag there can't be a lot of room for much else!