Phew. Frazzled about covers it. This week has been a hectic whirl of early morning treks to work making it to the station with a minute to spare, rushing home in time for pickup (and being late today thanks to leaving the office a minute or two later than usual) and running from the station*, swimming lessons (H did nearly a width underwater with her arms doing the crawl stroke – I’m quite impressed with her new teacher), and playtime with friends. Relying on unreliable trains and buses which wait for too long at stops, a gamble you take in the hope it will be the right bus, as others then overtake you.

Add to that the many letters we’re bringing home and notes to fill in, and so much more, new reading books every two days and new library books every week (we’ve stopped borrowing at the local library for now) and I find myself on Thursday after work wondering where the week has gone.

I’m beat. Our evenings used to be spent watching whatever was on tv then heading to bed for eleven, whereas this week it’s spent with the laptop plugged into the tv watching Breaking Bad, making it through half an episode before falling asleep. This would be at approximately 9.30.

This school lark is eating into my own time. I can see what it’s doing though – we’re all at school too. Reading books aren’t just about reading the words and talking about the pictures, it’s about reading the words, getting your child to read the words, looking at the pictures, talking about the pictures, anticipating what comes next even though you know the story off by heart and looking and learning. We’re back to school too.

Way back in time I was taught how to train people; you start as an unconscious incompetent, move into a conscious incompetent, then a conscious competent before finally becoming an unconscious competent – so to learn you need to take that step back and understand how people learn. See, we do things, I’m typing and know the words I want to type and think my fingers there as I’m touch typing at the final stage – whereas if I couldn’t type I’d be looking at the keyboard. Now take that back even further where you don’t know the letters, and even further back where you’re learning what letters are and you get the idea.

Those four stages are applied in so many ways. Right now H is somewhere between the first two – she can read some words and knows almost all the letters of the alphabet, and numbers (though still gets 3 and 5 mixed up). So it’s repetition, practice and practice more, finding the time to do it.

I crave my weekends now for our valuable family time, two whole days we get to spend time with each other, the three of us. Never has that time felt so precious as it does now.

*scout’s pace