At the moment I'm writing this (6:04pm), there are 14 hours and 26 minutes before the children go back to school.
They have been on holidays for 8 weeks and 4 days.
But who's counting you ask?
Me, that's who!
I've been counting since Christmas!
Now I am one of those mothers who has a horrible tendency to leave things until the very last moment. Procrastination is my middle name. (Well, it was going to be but I haven't got around to changing it yet!) I'm usually the one who has to stop by the shops on the way to school to buy the very-important-must-have-for-the-first-day item and while we're there, we may as well get something for lunches because I forgot they need to be fed while at school.
I was determined to not be 'that mother' this year and I was doing so well. All the stationery, books and other assorted necessary sundry items had been bought and, shock horror, labelled with the correct child's name. No algebra or trigonometry books for Bradley this year!
Their school bags were clean and filled with all the things they require as well as having clean, dry and non-stinky lunchboxes ready in the kitchen for their lovingly prepared lunches to be placed into. (A girl can have dreams!)
I had even managed to drag all the uniforms out of the deep, dark recesses of the wardrobes, where they had been shoved in a fit of childish delight (mine, not theirs!) back at the beginning of December last year. I made the children try them on two weeks ago and once satisfied that they all still fit, I washed them and ironed them and hung them up neatly so there would be none of those lovely wails of "I can't find a shirt" or "my shorts are still in the wash" two minutes before we were due to walk out the door.
So you can imagine my angst when Alex informed me after trying his shorts on again today, "just to check", that they don't fit. Believing mother that I am, I immediately demanded he show me and sure enough, they really don't fit. And not just 'they're a bit uncomfortable' .. oh no! Not a snowball's chance in hell of getting them to do up so I can't even make him wear them to school until I get to the uniform shop. (Well, I could, but he has enough issues with being seen as 'different' as it is without me adding to them).
So now, I get to go to the uniform shop in the morning, wait in line with about 100 other frustrated parents in an non-airconditioned room, with three very frazzled and hot volunteers copping flak for things that aren't their fault, hoping to high heaven that they haven't sold out of the one size I need (which is usually the case), forking over an arm and half a leg to pay for them and all so I can give my 13-year-old-son the correct shorts to wear to school.
Oh, and then go to work for the day to deal with the remnants of an Amazonian rainforest that has taken up residence on my desk in the form of a huge pile of paper to be filed properly, for no-one to ever look at it again. Then come home and turn into the Homework Police.
Aren't I a good Mum?
(save the laughter until I've left the room will you?)