Go Girls!

Saturday 6 July 2019

Small Boy and I have had the house to ourselves this week, but this weekend, both girls are back and we listen with great pride and awe to all that they have accomplished.

Last night, my eldest got back from her final Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition. She has walked for miles and miles, she is low on sleep, she has more Compeed than flesh visible on her feet, her bones and muscles ache and cramp, one toe is horribly swollen and …..she is starving. She is craving comfort food and we feed her pizza and garlic bread which she devours ravenously. Then it’s iboprufen, hot water bottles and bed. She is visibly tearful with the pain, and that only makes me feel prouder because I can see what a tough ordeal it must have been. But tough or not, my girl has done it – she is bloomin’ amazing!

Prom-dress daughter bursts through the door this afternoon. She has returned from a week of work experience in an Architecture firm ‘down south’. She is buzzing, with tales of 3D software packages, architectural research, trips to ‘the site’, hard hats and full high vis …and above all the fact that, shy as she is, she has done this. Yes she has pressed that button, announced her arrival, introduced herself in the Open Plan Office, accepted offers to go out for lunch and even presented her final ‘house design’ to her supervisors. What an amazing experience and what a brilliant boost to Prom-dress daughter’s confidence. I am over the moon for her!

Small Boy has planned a basket ball tournament to celebrate their return, and I can tell that the girls are glad to be home because they actually agree. Basketball is so much more fun with four than two! My muscles ache now, but it’s mostly with laughter and only the occasional bruise – this is family play after all, not always fair, but fiercely aggressive. Small Boy’s team, inevitably, triumph but there are no losers here today. Today all my brilliant kids are clearly winners and it’s lovely to be a family of four again.

What’s NOT on your CV?

Pancake Tuesday 2019

Feeling pretty proud today as I review my ‘to do list’ for last week:

  • House painted
  • Weeds killed
  • Prom dress bought
  • Driving lessons booked
  • First College Parent Evening survived

Believe me, behind every tick there’s a story, and tonight proves to be no exception. The next item on my list is a school ‘Mock Job Interview’ for Prom-dress daughter…

Prom-dress daughter is the style guru of our household, with a passion for Pinterest pages on design and decor. It is she who guided me away from a dull Magnolia paint of the house last week, and persuaded me to be a little bolder with colour. When she tidies a room or re-organises Small Boy’s den of despair, it really does look as if the professionals have been in. She’s a dab hand with a flat pack, daring with DIY, never misses an episode of ‘Grand Designs‘ and mathematics is her favourite subject at school. So Architecture seemed a reasonable pick for her Mock Job’. We spent a Sunday afternoon penning our ‘Mock Application Letter’ and tonight we set off to school, a little nervously, into the unknown world of interviews for fictional jobs with fictional bosses…

It’s an abrupt start. Prom-dress daughter’s interviewer has a free slot and so instead of joining me in the waiting area for a calming coffee she is whisked off instantly for her grilling. I am catching up with a friend, over a polystyrene cuppa, when she re-appears. Her 20 minute interview has only taken 12 minutes so I know it can’t have gone too well. In addition although she is smiling bravely and telling everyone that it has been ‘fine‘, the eyes that meet mine are screaming ‘Get me out of here!‘ We hurry back to the car, pausing only to collect our ‘Invitation to the Prom’ – the reward for completing the interview – as we pass School Reception.

Back in the car she relives the experience. The interviewer claimed to be so impressed with her ‘Mock Application Letter’ that he elected to put aside the standard question sheet and use some of his own! So it is that Prom-dress daughter, a shy teenager, sitting in a school room, talking to a complete stranger about a job that doesn’t exist, is completely thrown by an opening question of
“Tell me something that’s not on your CV?” followed by
“What’s the biggest decision you’ve ever had to make?” and
“Who has been the most inspirational figure in your life so far?”
(It’s not quite the ‘Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you are interested in Architecture‘ that we were expecting!)

” I said you mum” she continues, shrugging forlornly , ‘Would it have been better to say Zaha Hadid?

That pulls me back from my own thoughts, (about my biggest life decisions), with a jolt! I hug my lovely girl and announce that we are ‘chalking this one up to experience’. She may feel she could have done better and can do next time, when there is an actual job to apply for. Surely that is the whole point of the ‘Mock experience’. At least the questions can’t actually get any worse and she has told the make-believe boss that I am her greatest inspiration in life -so Zaha Hadid, stand in line!!

We treat ourselves to take-away food, as a reward for coming out the other side of a tricky ordeal, and by the time I am flipping 9 pm pancakes for my trusty trio, her smile is beginning to creep back. I’ll tell you what’s not on my CV, Mr Make-believe Boss, it’s that I have the three greatest children in the world…