Second semester has started at TAFE (actually, now called an Institute of Technology. La de da). Subjects have been chosen, the timetable has been established and juggled and balanced against family life. It all fits in and we're off on another busy 6 months. Busy, yet satisfying.
After taking last semester off, starting back on monday night was a welcome distraction and SO what I needed. At TAFE I am just me, not Tom's mum or Juliet's mum or 'that woman down the street who wears socks with her birkenstocks' *cough*, ummm... I'm just me, a fellow student in an eclectic group working towards a common goal. Oh, how poetic. I try my UTMOST not to initiate any talk about children or schools or parks or playgrounds or kid friendly food or juggling kids with life, or poo or vomit or washing or housework... etc. So basically I try not to talk about my life. Unless asked, and even then I am quite restrained. 18 to 24 year olds without children either don't care or don't get it, probably both, and finding other things to talk about is wonderful.
My first class back was with a group of people I don't know. All are mature aged (!!) like me (!!!) and had come to class straight from work. I thought about how different our days would have been while silently pretending I'd come straight from work too. My cover was blown, however, when I pulled my scarf out of my bag and this small collection of items were scattered over the floor...
It got a few smiles.
When I first started at TAFE Juliet was only 9 months old, Tom was two and my one night a week at TAFE was a God send. I didn't have time to think about what I was going to wear or if my hair needed a brush or a wash, I'd just walk out the door at 5pm, and in the empty car sing happily and loudly to the radio the whole way there.
One night, I remember, after a particularly full on day with baby and toddler, I sat in class and realised that I was still in the clothes I'd put on that morning to go to the park. Then I thought through what had happened since then and realised that I probably should have changed my clothes...
- The shoulder of my black top was smeared with white stuff which was in fact a mixture of milk, tears, spit and snot.
- I had pureed apple on the front of my top.
- A nappy had leaked on my lap, so there was baby wee on my pants (now dried).
- Around the same time as the nappy leak a milk vomit had landed on my other leg which I wiped off within the hour (I think)(now dried).
- I thought I'd washed my hands at some point but couldn't be sure.
- and there was an unidentified sticky something in my hair.
I wonder what my classmates thought? I would have looked a MESS! That was 3 years ago. These days the only stuff I take to TAFE belonging to my children are inside my handbag, and it's not their bodily fluids or regurgitated food.
Phew. Very pleased those days are over. I've got another kettle of fish on the fryer now. Never a dull moment.