None of us will say it’s easy, but like all (OK most) second times, it does get easier.
The painful, arduous build-up to the end of KK’s exams last semester - when we all longed for the day he finished his last paper with a single-minded desperation and every day was miserable until that magical day - never showed up this time.
Even as I nurse a chesty cough, I am astounded that it doesn’t actually matter to me whether he is done or not. He’s done? Good. He’s not? Life goes on.
At this point, life is manageable.
I’ve gotten to the point where I am actually mostly sane juggling the two kids and the entire household from the time they wake up till the time I put them to bed (for Day that would be about 11pm when he actually shuts his eyes), seven days a week.
I do it with a certain mindlessness infused with an occasional cheeriness.
I hardly ever get angry or resentful. Not even on days like today where Day breaks two glasses, Dee spills Milo all over the carpet and when I stupidly accidentally tip her boiling hot fish stew all over my lap, I say: Better my lap than hers.
KK, he’s Mr Cool. No head-scratching and sighing and frowning this time round.
It’s not just because he’s dreaming of playing golf on the Blue Mountains trip I’ve got us booked on after his exams, or that he’s dreaming of fish ball noodles in Singapore. Neither is it just because he reckons he can continue via distance learning if he fails anything this time round.
It’s simply that some subjects he’s taking this time are extensions of subjects he studied last semester, so he’s been there done that.
And the kids; more than any attitude change on our part, it’s how the kids have changed in the last six months that have made all the difference.
They demand a lot less of us. Play a lot more together. Watch a lot more of The Wiggles. Basically they are much better housemates than they were last semester.
But they still disturb their papa.