I have been terribly neglectful of my blog of late, and whilst I have occasionally popped along to read and comment on some from time to time, it has been furtively and with a slightly guilty conscience.
This is because I am in the midst of marking A-level papers. Nearly three hundred of them: something that I used to find difficult and a burden before children, let alone with two of the small people around. The idea is that it is, at my own behest, supposed to be paying for our lovely summer holiday to France. The reality is that it has taken over my life and I will need a holiday more than ever at the end of it. And why did I pick a World Cup year? That coincided with Wimbledon and the one day cricket series against Australia?
The structure of my day has changed dramatically. I have to do a couple of hours in the morning before everyone else gets up, then work through the evening after the kids have gone to bed, perhaps sneaking in a couple during the bedtime hour whilst Gertie and Gilby are otherwise engaged with Peppa Pig, 64 Zoo Lane and occasionally In the Night Garden (though Gertie only 'tolerates' Upsy Daisy et al these days, for the sake of Gilby).
So Gertie sees me sitting at the dining table, red pen poised, quite a lot at the moment. Especially if she happens to wake up early and see a light on downstairs. The initially repeated, "What are you doing, Mummy?" has been substituted for, "Are you 'markin' again Mummy?"
'Markin' has now become one of her favourite games. Pen in hand she will take herself off quietly somewhere and go 'markin'. The back of an envelope or Daddy's latest print out of World Cup scores will become well and truly...marked. It has also become an excuse for not doing other things. (How quickly she emulates her mother's behaviour.) "No, I can't tidy up those things, I'm afraid, I'm markin". She has the degree of concentration just right, and embarks on it with a relish that has begun to wane in me.
As of today, 80 more scripts to go; shame I can't give her a few...