Friday, 19 June 2015

One down. Eleven to go.

One down. Eleven to go.

Put like that it sounds a little daunting. It was just yesterday they were all finishing primary school.

Buglet just finished her mid-year 11 exams. Three more semesters to go and then she has finished high school. That is followed by four semesters of upper school for Tink, and then four semesters for Pixie. Beginning of the end? (I will cross post-secondary stressors later, I need to get the first one through high school first).

In case you were wondering, she seems to have survived.

The biggest issue has been from people other than Buglet. She's been a little stressed, but you would expect that. And our normal schedule has been a little out of whack, but once again you expect that.

What did surprise me was how I reacted to Buglet's exams.

I am an awful student. I do genuinely love knowing stuff, but I have some how managed to survive high school and multiple degrees without ever really learning how to study. I do the readings (mostly). I go to lectures (pretty much always, I am petrified of missing out on exam or assignment tips*). But somehow I never managed to learn how to make notes, how to review, how to do all those things which help you to actually study. People don't believe me, but it is true! I managed to survive based on natural ability, good luck, and learning to live with the fact that my grades are not really a true indication of my ability. Mostly I credit good luck.

*Incidentally also the reason I rocked up to the last class of semester with a 6 day old Buglet.

The girls' school is amazing and their attention to the career pathway process, beginning in Year 10, was better than I could ever have dreamed. Buglet hasn't had the easiest time transitioning into some parts of Year 11. She has struggled a little with some of the ATAR (university pathway) subjects, and it upset me that I didn't have the tools to help her.

She got some help from Apple, some from her teachers, and some from DB. Buglet is pretty happy to have finished her exams and says she is pretty sure she passed. Just have to wait now!

DB spent a day sitting with Buglet and helping her prepare for her final study. He helped her timetable and organise her study time, and helped her go through her notes. This bothered me, and I hate that it bothered me. Don't get me wrong, I am so, so glad that he did.

But, the irrational part of me had a few things to process ...
... guilt, I should have found the time to do that.
... frustration, I manage to do the every day stuff, and he swans in at the last minute.
... annoyance, is this is a criticism of me for not having looked after her better?
... guilt, study is supposed to be my thing. I do the learning stuff, he does the practical stuff.

Unreasonable? Yes! Absolutely! He is her dad, and he helped out, and did a much better job than I could have. And I promise that there is no resentment! Just the never-ending battle of mother-guilt, and the unavoidable frustrations of co-parenting with an ex. (Let me repeat here, the issue is definitely me in this instance! I didn't say anything to him except "thank you very much, you made a big difference" 'cos he did. Unless he reads this blog in which case my cover is blown#).

#DB: Just remember, baby, you told me to write a blog. And I mean it, the crap feelings are all about me. You did an awesome job helping Buglet. Go Team!

The other thing that I wasn't expecting was tantrums from Pixie.

The girls have watched me study for years. They know the importance of study food. For me study food usually consists of Pepsi Max, chocolate and cheezels or chicken twisties. I have promised them that when they sit exams I will not only provide them with study food (the Pixie's main concern) but also I will be there to cook, make coffee, and replenish empty Pepsi Max glasses. I would not have got through the last two years of study without Buglet's taking over most of the cooking, and Tink seemingly to fill my glass before I'd realised it was empty.

I should also say, that because I am a responsible parent, study food is reserved for exam study (and in my case last minute assignment writing, but the girls are much better than I am at not doing this).

Study food survival kit; given to me by a friend to help me survive the last weeks

I dropped the little to off to school on Buglet's first day of exam week. She was home study. I endured a lecture from Pixie because I hadn't provided Buglet  with appropriate study rations. I promised her I would text DB and request that he rectify the situation at some point, which I did do and he rose to the occasion.

That night there were major dramas because Buglet didn't share her study food. I am now suspecting that the Pixie's concern attend to my duties in supporting Buglet may have been partially motivated by the hope that she would get some too.

Pixie was most indignant because is "studying too". There was much soothing of the moral upset, and validation of feelings. This was all balanced with the not-so-subtle reminder that not everything is about her, and reminding her they all get special stuff at different times depending on what they have going on in their lives. It is a hard life being the youngest (and being totally spoilt).

To end on a happy note, it's taken me a few days to write this post, so since I started Buglet has found out she passed one of her exams! Yay! I am so, so happy! Just waiting to hear about the other two now!

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am not qualified to give study advice.
  • I am not qualified to give nutritional advice.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any type.

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