I’ve come to the conclusion that never mind massages and spa treatments, what I really need after work and before going head first into a long weekend with two small boys is a decompression chamber.Maybe it’s just me, but after being in an office where everyone sits still, the computer more or less does what it’s told and the noise levels are fairly muted, suddenly being reintroduced to the demands of two energetic boys is like surfacing too fast from relatively tranquil depths.
The decibels, the goading, the speed at which the boys fly round the house, the way they ricochet off the walls (summer temps mean we can’t exercise them outside), their neediness after my absence – whilst I’m overjoyed to be back home, it makes me feel quite giddy.
So, now it’s the weekend – and it’s a long one because Sunday, when we usually all go back to work and school, is a holiday for the ascension of Prophet Mohammad. And DH is out of the picture because he’s ‘in the Sim’ – airline lingo for training in the simulator, during which they practice fires, engine failures and other such scenarios.
My mind is thinking about something less terrifying but which has left me scratching my head nevertheless – BB’s homework.
It’s that time of term again when instead of doing the usual spellings and reading for homework, he has to complete a project – and present it – for his end-of term summative assessment. All very well, but he’s six. Some of his classmates are five. They’re in kindergarten!
Last week he had to design a ‘mode of transport’, this week he has to create it. There was the option of using Lego, but that would have been too easy. He’s opted to junk model a train, and so I’ve spent much of the week collecting boxes, buying art supplies and wondering how to turn cereal packets and toilet rolls into an express train.
As my working friend put it, there’s no way such young children can do these projects on their own. So when little Johnny comes home from school and says he has to create a solar system, it’s mum who ends up printing off stuff at work, coming up with ideas (styrofoam balls on sticks? genius!), and cajoling a child who can’t sit still for two minutes (heaven knows how mine gets through six hours of school) into completing the project. On time.
And, with all the tiger-mothering that goes on in Dubai (including presentations by seven-year-olds on iPads!), you really need to make sure your child takes it seriously. BB’s told me some of his classmates have brought their projects in early. On display already, there’s a rocket made out of bottles, a flying car and a train with wooden wheels.
By the end of this week, I’m fully expecting there to be 4by4s made from matchsticks, robotic trucks and remote-controlled airplanes.
I’d better get back to those loo rolls…