Friday, February 29, 2008


Just working on a few more grey hairs...

Nothing drastic - it's just been a bit of a manic mum week, with events on Wednesday reflecting the essence of the 'crazy' in crazytrace.

So I'm going to regale you with said events- particularly seeing that you won't interrupt while I do so in order to tell me what I SHOULD have done. And should not have done - Does your other half do that to you? Interrupt when you're telling him about something that happened? Well, mine does, and I think that is sending me more crazy than the events in themselves... Even Caitlin told him that it wasn't one of those computer game where you could choose the outcome. This had already happened. It was PAST TENSE! Not that she is any better. All my family have a habit of interrupting me to tell me I'm taking too long to tell a story. I know brevity is not my strong point, but they cause me to prolong the story by a factor of ten, and then use it as proof that I take a long time to tell a story.

And they wonder why I have my own blog. (At least I can't see you wander off when I get long-winded!)

Anyway. This is my story.

School swimming carnival time of year is enough to send most parents slightly bonkers anyway. - unless you're the professional swimming parent type who revels in it all. (Which I am not.) I am, however, in my seventh year, at least, of my kids winning through one or two (or three) more levels after the school swimming carnival purely on the back of a one hour swimming squad once a week. (As you end up at higher levels you see the parents with stop watches, and PBs committed to memory... I am not one of those!)

So, Monday this week was the primary school District carnival - comprising up to a dozen local schools I suppose. I don't know if our region is special or what, but it seems to have an extra level that other public schools in the state don't have. They skip straight to "Zone", while we have a District carnival for swimming, and cross country and athletics too. Then Zone. Then Regional. Then State. (One year Cait's junior relay team got through to State.)

Whatever. For some reason our school doesn't see fit to take the kids who have come 1, 2 or 3 in their respective races in on a bus to District or above - for the swimming it's private transport all the rest of the way, baby - and the teachers that come from the school sit at District doing some particular job and aren't available to organise and marshal the kids. It's up to the hapless parents to make sure their kids are sorted. (And to volunteer as timekeepers, which I've stopped doing in the name of looking after my girl instead, but that's another guilt trip altogether!)

Monday's District carnival ran ultra slowly - new organisers I gather - and results (no finals, just based on times) were painfully slow in being processed and posted. I was doing tag team with the Daddy around 12.30 so that I could go to my usual Monday swimming squad. (He is sweet like that, didn't want me to miss my class...)

Zoe had a few earlier races, and was in the junior girls relay (about the second last event). They thought they came in third, he said, but not only was that unclear, the organisers couldn't even say up to how many places went through to the next level anyway. Was it the first two, or the first three? Noone seemed to be sure. Problem was, Zone was only two days away! They would let the schools know the next day.

In hindsight I wish I'd stayed at the bloody pool so that I could have communicated with the parents of the other swimmers in the relay team.

The daddy and I did crazy tag team some more that day, meeting half way (10km mark) between home and town after my swimming squad to shuttle Zoe and a friend home. (And then I drove back into town an hour later to take Cait and netball teammate to rep training, and hung around for 2 hours to bring them back at 6.30... yes, I am trying not to think about my carbon emission imprint, footprint, or whatever it's called....)

On Tuesday the school didn't even find out if the relay team had to swim till after lunch. I rang them, and seeing that Zoe wasn't through in any other races, I told the office staff: "I will pick Zoe up from school before 12.00 and take her in. There is no point her hanging around a carnival all morning doing nothing. Could you please let people know this. Whoever needs to know, could you let them know."

I figured I'd been to enough Zone carnivals by now to know that even though they are usually better run than the District ones, there is no way, when they start at 9.30, that they'd be up to the relays by 12.00. Getting her there by 12.00 should be ample time.

So on Wednesday I went ahead and organised myself a morning bike ride with a friend who was down from another town 2 hours away... We did a 30 km bike ride, I got changed in the car, and shuttled back up to the school at 11.45.

As I arrived at school office the office manager meets me outside. 'Hurry, hurry - the other parents have just rung, they are in a panic, they are just about to start the medleys, then it's the relays.'

**** !!!

So I broke the speed limit driving to town (we're talking 15-20 min drive here) while Zoe got changed (under the seat belt) in the back seat... How could I have got it so wrong?! Please, nooooo, don't let me be the slacko parent who lets the relay team down. I have been in that other situation where it turned out that a breakdown in communication at the school end meant that one or two from the relay team didn't even know they were supposed to turn up. I know I was pretty cheesed off that day.)

At a set of lights in town I keyed in the school no. on my mobile, then, given the illegality of talking on mobile phones whilst driving, handed it to Zoe, and told her to ask the office lady to ring the parent at the pool and tell her we were nearly there. Just around the corner. I knew if I was that other parent I'd be spewing, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Whoever Zoe spoke to got her confused and what she heard was that we'd missed it. The relays had been run.

She cried. I cried. (And swore a lot.) How mortified was I to be a parent who would cause a team to forfeit? (And feeling SO bad about the cause being me going for a bike ride! )

And how could I have got it so wrong?! - I'd based my estimation on quite a few years experience of primary Zone carnivals!!!

I'd been going to drop Zoe off at the pool entry, let her bolt in, and I'd catch up after I'd found somewhere to park. But she was crying (which, Marc, is why I didn't throw her out of the car then) so we slowly drove a bit further, and luckily jagged a parking spot. I rang school again to get the phone no. of the other parent so I could ring to apologise. (Yes, I was feeling a bit chicken about facing them.)

I find out we're not late after all. Zoe has misheard. More expletives! I race Zoe across the road to the pool just as we hear an announcement that they are going to have a HALF HOUR BREAK before the medleys, which are the event before the relays!!!!

So we were nowhere near late.

And we probably waited more than an hour before their race. (They came 6th out of 12... and so they didn't get through to the next level. Thank god, really!)

I guess you have to learn from such events. All the 'shoulda's'.

I shoulda have remembered that if they were running that early they would in all likelihood take a lunch break. And so not panicked.

I shoulda talked to the office lady myself and not created a chinese whispers scenario putting Zoe on the phone.

The school shoulda had a teacher or parent in charge, with a list of swimmers, and memos such as "Zoe's mum will bring her in by lunchtime." And in all likelihood said teacher would have known me from our years at the school, and known that I am the reliable type.

Another parent already at the pool who knew the two relay team parents were worried shoulda known that Zoe's mum has done lots of swimming carnivals with her older sisters and isn't the sort not to turn up. (Except that said mother is more interested in the kids who do surf club....and we don't.)

Given I can't control what the school will do with staffing, I shoulda got the phone no's of the other parents and rung them the night before AND given them my number.

The swimming carnival run is thus over for Zoe for this year, but Alison is off to Regional for high school. Next Thursday. In a town nearly 2 hours drive away. Can't wait for that one. At least she is in a few races, but these include a few relays.

Meanwhile, the kids are working on giving me more grey hairs still this week. I had to drop Alison at school early today for recorder practice, and we are nearly 3km into the drive (and already running a bit late) when I ask the stupid, naggy Mum question: "You've got your recorder and all that don't you?"...

She clasps her hand over her mouth with an "oh no!"... and I think at first she is having me on.


Labels: ,

At least Zoe had ago - good on her for still turning up.

Mind you running late and getting call like that would have been very stressful ...
Our local school in NSW also had a district carnival ,then region etc.
whoa! I could feel your stress reading this!
You need hair dye Stat!
We have a saying - "Shoulda, coulda, woulda - didn't"

No use crying over spilt milk - yes, I too have learned that sitting back and letting those who SHOULD be in charge do their jobs often ends in stress, so sometimes just taking over and being bossy is all you can do.

Don't stress too much about the past. I talk the talk myself.

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?