Horrendous School Run

9.20am (writing at the table)

This project is most definitely cathartic. I was looking forward to reflecting on what went wrong with the school run this morning. Positive parenting techniques went right out the window. I shouted and I shouted and I got frustrated and angry. The children were completely unruly. They didn’t listen and they didn’t do.

I felt crazy with Syd when down on my hands and knees polishing his shoes he requested that I buff them up and make them shiny. It will do. I found myself saying. Your not disabled Syd you could shine them up yourself.

Later I even said I was glad that the children were at school today as I had not enjoyed there company this morning. This was a horrid thing of me to say. I feel guilty about that now. There are some things that should be thought and not said. I need to practice restraint. I need to hold back on such comments.


Patrick told me about a Ted Talk by a man who was a dog trainer and had used dog training techniques to bring his child up. It was basically the ignore praise parent technique that he was describing to me. I have tried to locate it, but I can’t, certainly worth a watch. If my children respond well and are happy to be trained like dogs I am happy to do anything, anything to make this life easier. This is meant to be a joy. Days like this are not joyous.

There are no amounts of sticker charts that could have saved my sanity and the children’s this morning. There is nothing worse that a six year old child misbehaving and a teenager laughing in the face of my maternal adversity.

Little Naoise would not wake up. He wrapped himself up like an Egyptian Mummy in the blue fleecy blanket, I unwrapped and unwrapped him and he returned again and again to his warm womb of blanket and sofa.


He ate his cereal sitting up with cushions behind his back. Moving on to teeth brushing was more difficult. He totally refused. Time ticking. If Syd is late he gets put into break time detention and besides the punishments from the draconian school, a child on crutches cannot be late, he needs to avoid the crush of pupils.

We made it to school, but I shouted and when I shouted Naoise tried to run away upstairs. I must have been frightening to him. Its hard to remain calm, so hard. Naoise said to me Stop shouting and I will brush my teeth, and I said to Naoise if you brush your teeth and do as you are told then mummy will not get frustrated and she won’t shout.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I shouldn’t shout. I did shout. I shouldn’t shout I did shout. Bad mummy writes her lines.

Only three more days to the half term. I will be so happy not to have to get out of the house in the morning. I will be glad of a slow start.

I have to apply for another job today. I haven’t managed to get to the studio all term. Job applications have been taking up all my time and energy. Its impossible. I don’t feel guilty for not utilising the studio space today, there is building work going on.

There have been so many disruptions this year in the studio. Radiators being fitted. Rent rise panics and then studio refurbishments. If I could find a space that was closer to home and cheaper that would be better. I would rather a space on my own. I don’t go to the studio for company, I go to work. This table space and this computer space and this pixel space have become my studio. This temporary space that holds onto time, that records the passing of the year.

I want to draw and paint though. I have been wanting to get a job so that I can then concentrate on creating. It will reduce the time that I have to make but the pressure will be off and then I can just draw to my hearts content. Well when I manage to get to the studio I can draw to my hearts content. I understand that the job will take up time too. There is no easy solution. There is no balance.

At least there is this though, between these words and images there is some art. There is some thinking and reflection and I have managed to make. There is value in this project. There is value in art making. There is value in mothering There is financial reward in job applying if I can get a job.


The buzzer on the oven clock is sounding. I can hear the sound of the men on the train track cutting down hedges and trees with a chain saw. Its wet and grey and damp and the leaves will soon rot back into the earth. The clocks go back at the weekend. The light days will be gone. The oven buzzer clock is persistent and tells me to stop.



I was

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