Monday, October 1, 2007

Successful Business Woman

Since my eldest child; Biggest Boy started his secondary education at Tullamore College in August things at home have been dramatically calmer.

Littlest Boy appears to have found his own wings; he's started to 'fly' in school and appears to be finally settling into his own space; rather than in the shadow of BB. With very few exceptions homework has been tackled early & without trouble, rather than later. The whole pace of life has been that little bit slower.

Yes, the two boys still quarrel, from time to time they fight in the true sense of the word; ie physically; but all in all life has been so much nicer since the schools' reopened.

BB has fallen onto his feet and, despite an incident early on in the last month, seems happier and more settled. Most of the boys from his old school have gone to the supposedly more 'respectable' Christian Brother's; leaving my lad to get on and make his own way without any pressure.

Communications between BB & LB, myself & BB, LB & DG, etc have all improved and there is less disquiet in the house all round. I get one evening off a week; other than the weekends; and it is lovely.

Scouts on Monday, plus assorted requirements at weekends, Cubs on Tuesday, Gymnastics in Tullamore on Wednesday + Night-Class for me starting this week, Thursday - Recover from other three nights and on Friday Gymnastics in Curragh Camp Gym; for four hours!

This last weekend wasn't too bad. Unfortunately LB was unwell on Friday and so spared me the four hours waiting period on the Curragh; also the expense of coffees and buns in the Whitewater Centre, Newbridge!

Saturday I packed the two boys off to BJK for the day. I had an opening ceremony to attend at the new Scout Hostel up the mountains; aka The Slieve Blooms. I had to borrow a shirt and lend my camera to fellow scouter to record the grand affair.

Sunday; DG was suddenly working. LB had to stay with BJK again, while BB & I went on an early morning 5 mile hike with the scouts; 'up the mountains', over boglands and heath. It was jolly hard work; but at least the weather held off and none were injured. Afterwards we celebrated our success with ice-creams & tayto's!


I recently read the Scouting Ireland Code of Good Practice. It's all above board and incredibly sensible;the thing is, that once having opened the first page; to reveal the table of contents, it makes me realise just how serious the business of interacting with other people's children is.

Within the HSE similar codes of good practice have applied, and sadly like most of my colleagues; I have been forced by society to view our charges with a slightly jaundiced eye. No longer can the teacher sit poor Sally on her knee to comfort her after a fall in the playground; no longer can we take photographs of our gymnastic hopes for the future and so on, and so on.

The application form for child members of the Scouting Ireland is very clever. In requesting the parent(s)/guardian(s) to sign that they give permission for their charges to participate in all scouting activities and to be photographed whilst doing so, such pressure is relieved.

It is a tragic shame that we can no longer enjoy the company of our children; without care or worry. Each act of kindness, while spontaneous and reciprocal has also to be weighed up; lest it be misinterpreted.

Often I have been threatened with a telephone call to Childline; reporting me for some imagined slight, and this by BB; my own offspring. I am afraid that such threats fall upon stony ground with me; as I generally offer to fetch him the telephone number. That somewhat defuses the situation.

We were lucky as children, we lived in an age of innocence. As adults we ventured out into the world, only to discover our naivety. Today it seems it is quite a different story. A little knowledge will protect our children from some of the evil that lies in wait.

Years ago we were expected to show a degree of respect 'for our elders and betters' and yet in a society which is so advanced respect appears to be a thing of the past.

The Scouting Ireland has contributed much to society during its one hundred years; it is one of the few remaining bastions of sanity. The boys and girls who grow up in the scouts are given a set of values based on respect for others; irrespective of their race, creed, colour or gender.

After a life time of caring for sick patients I now find myself in the strange position whereby I am one of the patients and no longer the carer. This is an unsettling situation to find oneself in and has been very difficult to come to terms with.

It has however given me opportunities that I would not have been able to avail of whilst working. First is the time I can now spend with the two boys, DG & BJK. I am much more relaxed and it seems that people actually like me now!

Secondly I am now making greeting cards; by hand and am enjoying the fact that I am doing something for other people to enjoy whilst enjoying it myself. In the near future things will look up for me and I will be a successful business woman, with an amazing & unique product that people can't wait to get their hands on!

Thirdly, through my relatively new involvement with Scouting Ireland I have an opportunity to give something back to the community; without making myself unwell. If I can pace myself, I'll be okay.

It is a great satisfaction to feel that the youngsters we deal with will hopefully have better things to do with their time than hang around street corners.


The incident I referred to at the beginning was one of bullying. It was an unfortunate one off incident; which was dealt with efficiently, at the time by the school, who have been incredibly supportive since.

Some of the older boys; venture scouts, are also looking out for BB & helping him settle into his new school; which is a reflection of what scouting is all about.

Polly P x

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