Another year over, and what have you done? That's a Christmas song of course, but I always think of it at this time of year, because for parents of school age kids, the "year" begins in September and ends in July.
It seems to have flown by. So I thought I'd just list a few things, data-wise, to remind myself that actually, quite a lot has happened since September 2014.
1. Casualties of Lost Property: 4 (two different kinds of sock, 1 track suit bottoms, 1 pair of pyjamas taken in for a swimming test).
Not bad really and sometimes you just have to "let it go" as the song goes. I remember once really losing it over a lost towel at summer camp, and having to remind myself that there are bigger things in life. Mind you, I find banging on about how the lost items will come out of pocket money is quite helpful these days. It would have been 5, but a lost shoe was miraculously recovered today.
2. Music exams taken, 3.
All passed, two with merits. All that practising, nagging and banging on about scales wasn't totally wasted then. And Littleboy 1 seems to have taught himself to play "Dumb Ways to Die" on the violin. Result!
3. Detentions, 0.
We are doing well here and I hope it continues this way. One of my sons even got invited to a "Good boys' tea," which in my day would have sounded like a recipe for being teased, but these days appears to be a badge of honour, even among boys.
4. Sports Days/swimming galas I missed: 1 (out of 8)
One of the advantages of working from home means I can be flexible about these things. Mind you, judging from the numbers of Dads there, most of whom I am sure don't work from home, sports days are a 3 line whip these days.
5. Prizes won: 1
Proud parent disclaimer *Littleboy 2 has had a fantastic year at school, and came away with a prize for academic achievement. I couldn't be happier for him.* But actually just as important to me is the fact that he's made some really lovely friends in this first year at the school.
6. Things forgotten in the mornings: Not too many!
Much better on this score than last year, thanks to my trusty chalk board in the kitchen that reminds us what we have to take every day. I only once had to race back in the car to deliver something this year. Although Littleboy 1 went to school with a sopping wet PE kit last week that I had failed to put in the dryer overnight.
7. Inter-school Sports matches kids played in: 1
Not a great score this year -- Littleboy 2 has no interest in competitive team sports, and Littleboy 1, while athletic and fit, doesn't seem to make it into any school teams either (although he's doing very well at tennis lessons, done out of school, and has been selected for a local squad). Still, it means that weekends have been free of ferrying boys to sports matches, which more than makes up for anyone's disappointment.
8. Number of times I have been to the school for events since half term: too many to count.
See no 4. Again possible because I work at home. What on earth you do if you work in an office I have no clue.
9. Number of times we walked to school: 5
This is pretty disgraceful. We did mean to do it more. The walk is about half an hour. The problem is partly all the stuff they have to carry - musical instruments, cricket bats, heavy PE bags, homework, projects. Maybe next year we'll try to rationalise it somehow.
10. Funny conversations with boys on the way home: countless
This is my favorite quote from Littleboy 2. We were driving home when we saw a boy who looked to me about 15 walking down the road. "Oh that's Mr. X." he said. "He's one of the teachers." When quizzed more closely it turned out he was one of the Gap year boys they have helping at the school. Then he added: "Yeah, we used to have another Gap teacher but he went skiing and never came back. I think he retired."