Thank God it's Friday

27th February 1998 at 00:00
Monday 8.15am. I have a leisurely breakfast with both my daughters and partner. As I stick a spoonful of Weetabix in the baby's mouth and spoon marmalade on to a second croissant, I remember that senior briefing is probably now under way in the head's office. I can't remember the last weekday breakfast I had, but it must have been before my senior management post.

A leisurely day of four wash loads, interspersed with Wom-an's Hour and other delights from Radio 4 as well as caring for the baby. Daughter One arrives home at 3.30pm. I ask if she's learned anything. She shows me Tudor dancing - well, I did ask! My partner is overjoyed to arrive home and find roast potatoes on the menu with vegetarian haggis - and it isn't even Sunday. I watch Newsnight - what a treat. Jeremy Paxman hasn'tchanged a bit since election night.

Tuesday Daytime TV is concerned about large cats breeding in the wild. If urgent action isn't taken, humans around the country will be eaten by tigers, lions and even pumas. I vow to stick to Radio 4 in daylight hours - it's so much more comforting.

Reality rears its ugly head at 10am with a phone call from school. The baby is not impressed and howls and claws at my shins until I bribe her with a rusk.

Wednesday Daughter One and my partner have already left the house by 9am. The baby sleeps on. I rearrange my knickers and socks neatly as the space manager showed me yesterday on Daytime TV. Four drawers are replaced by two. I marvel at this feat and move on to partner's drawers.

The baby wakes up, grins widely on seeing my face, then grabs a handful of my hair. I instigate assertive discipline techniques as the fifth lunge nearly rips off my nose.

The local radio news informs me that a comprehensive is about to be shut, reopened with new staff and a new name. I am at a loss to see how this will cure the problems of a school with the highest deprivation by any indicator.

Major breakthrough with baby - she has worn her hearing aids all day.

Thursday Great news at the clinic today - the baby's put on 1lb 2oz since coming to live with us and is now 18lb 2oz. I make spinach soup for lunch, doubting she will eat any. She devours two bowls.

Phone call from baby's hearing support teacher. I've been undertaking her individual education plan - I dream of "Round and round the garden" not to mention "One two three four five". Progress is good: she says "hello", "bye", "ta", "here y'are", "good girl", "oh dear".

Friday It's a bright, sunny day, so we venture out to the park. I now realise we are incompatible. I am terrified of dogs; she loves them. She runs after every canine, especially those closely resembling wolves that bark ferociously.

She then tries all 10 swings in turn. Then she tries them all again. I manage to wean her off the swings on to the slide, only to be led back to the swings again. I'll be glad when she can speak. As I appreciate the sunshine and head for home, I realise it's Friday and I don't feel shattered. I haven't had one headache all week, my legs don't ache, and my feet aren't killing me. I haven't sworn once, I've witnessed no violence, and I haven't got angry. No bells, no bleeper. I could get used to this.

Clare Sullivan writes under a pseudonym. She is currently on adoption leave from a South Yorkshire comprehensive

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