Organising Chaos

As I type this I have been sat in the church hall of our local Methodist church for just over two hours, and I will be here for two hours more. It’s Saturday morning and that means alternating dance classes for D and V starting at 8:30 am. Now that H has gone back to working more hours she’s working a lot of Saturdays and that means that Dad’s on duty for the dance runs.

As we live only 5 minutes walk from the church we usually spend Saturday morning walking up and down the road dropping off and collecting our daughters. But as I’ve been ill for the last 3 days, and to be honest I am still feeling very rough, I decided to camp out at the dance school this Saturday morning with some of the Mums who come from further afield. So we are well stocked with food and drink, I have my book, my tablet, my phone and my laptop and I had hoped that in the 4 hours I will be here that I could get some work done to catch up ready for Monday.

So far I have achieved very little. I did write an email but D managed to delete that when she plonked her tablet down on my laptop keyboard, and as I was using web mail and not Outlook there was no automatic draft to fall back on! I have chatted with the other dance mums (not in the way you might be familiar with the the “hit” US TV program) and I have procrastinated on Twitter. Actually getting something useful achieved seemed to be eluding me, then I thought “I know, I’ll write a blog”.

So here I am writing a blog entry. Something I have invariably not been very good at over the years I have called myself a blogger. Actually, I am more of a vlogger as I find it easier to talk to a camera than actually sit down and write my thoughts. But write I shall as vlogging with an audience isn’t for me just yet; they may not be ready for that medium in the wilds of North Yorkshire (likely a familiar sight in down town New York or London though).

You would think that getting two young girls ready for dance classes on a Saturday morning might be quite straight forward. This might be especially true when you consider that 5 days a week we have 4 girls getting ready for school. But with dance classes comes dance uniforms, and bags, books, and hair. Oh the hair. I knew this day was coming. The day I would have to master the art of the classical ballet bun. I have done buns before but I am out of practice. And Helen has upped the anti on this and seems to require a level of perfection I have often felt unable to achieve when it comes to hair. I am pretty proficient at pony tails, but beyond that I am struggle. But, I am an advocate of being able to learn a new skill if I put my mind to it. I of course utilised YouTube to learn the art. They make it looked so simple don’t they? They seems to be able to get the smoothest pony tail and then with a mere flick of the fingers they have the hair in a bun that wouldn’t look out of place at the Royal Ballet. But I tried. I decided to practice, much to D’s disdain, the night before and it went pretty well. I think I just needed that little practice, without the pressure of having to leave the house. This morning I seemed to get the buns done pretty simply and so far they have remained tightly in place – although they’d be hard pressed to move given the amount of pins and gel spray used!!

I can’t claim to have succeeded this morning without Helen making sure they had their uniforms organised last night though. I always seem to forget something but not today. Well, actually I did forget to bring the payment for the dance school but that was easily fixed so I’m not counting that as a mark against me! But what I think I am getting at is that we, as parents, somehow become experts in organising the chaos. Of course the number of children increases the curve on that chaos too so the more children you have the better you have to be at it. It’s a skill that cannot be taught (a bit like common sense) and you just develop the ability to somehow get around the chaos that children bring without thinking about it. 

I can honestly say that Helen is better at it than me and I know there are list making, box ticking, ultra-organised parents out there that outclass us by some significant measure – but that’s not the point. Don’t compare yourself to others. Just be proud that you get through the day by getting done what you need to, and the children go to bed loved, alive, at peace and well fed!

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