Linda is feeling rather tearful quite a lot because she misses James so much. She doesn't want to moan about it because she knows she's been lucky to be able to stay at home with the little fella these past four years, but it's all gone far too quickly and it feels like he's all but left home already. Of course, Matthew's still at home for another two years, and that helps. Linda's throwing herself into playing Lego and Happyland and alsorts of things with the titchy kid, and both she and he are having tremendous fun. But Linda still can't help but be teary after James has gone to school in the mornings. She thinks she's finding it harder with James than she did with Thomas, though she's not sure why. She'll get over it though. She's looking forward to two things: 1) James bringing home some homework so that she will be forced to make some time to sit with him before tea; 2) the half term holiday, when she can have all three of her precious babbaloos around her for a whole week :)
Kev is feeling a bit down because he's had to go back to work after such a lovely holiday and Noomski-stag-do. Linda knows how lucky she is that she wasn't the one who had to go back to work. Poor Kev. Wouldn't it be better if money, as a whole concept, didn't exist, and if we could just share everything freely and fairly and everyone could have enough food and water, clothing and shelter, and we could just spend all our time growing food, pursuing happiness and learning and achieving great things. Utopia. Linda's utopia anyway - not everyone's, certainly! (Who thinks that the word 'utopia' should actually be spelled 'eutopia'? Not for any intelligent or credible reason - just because it looks nicer. I do.)
Thomas is reading a chapter of his school library book to Linda every day, and improvements are very noticeable daily. By the half term holidays, Linda is certain that Thomas will be just whizzing through his school books. She has inspired him to read by showing him her copies of 'Harry Potter ...' and the Narnia Chronicles. (She will allow him to read them, she's not just taunting him with her closed copies, only in readiness to whip them away from his hungry eyes once he reaches the required reading speed.)
Unfortunately there aren't enough hours in the day to work on his reading and his maths, so maths has to wait until the weekend. Linda wonders how she will manage to find time to help three with homework. And go out to work. Linda knows that working mums are incredible if they manage to find time for their kiddies!
James has breezed into school, with not a single tear, and has made LOTS of friends already. Who knew that settling into the big world of school could be so easy. Fantastic! Heartbreakiness aside, Linda is incredibly proud. She is looking forward to the Macmillan coffee morning tomorrow, when she will get to see James (and Thomas) at school.
And finally, Matthew. Linda is working on the little monkey's naughtiness. He really doesn't give a sod what anyone thinks of him, he will just try his damnedest to do whatever he wants to do, whenever he wants to do it. Very naughty boy! But since James went to school Linda has been spending better time with her tiniest son, and has seen improvements already. She is very confident that she will be able to sort out this wee devil's behaviour before he goes to school in two years - and if she doesn't, well, never mind, he's so bloody cute that no-one will mind!
Linda now has to get ready for Barbados - oh dear, what a terrible shame for her that she is being forced to go to the Caribbean. She doesn't know what she's done to deserve such a punishment.
Oh God! She still hasn't written her speech - must get that done!