Send the buggers back

Friday, 8 September 2017

How is it that the days have seemed so inexplicably long and yet the weeks have grown their little cliché wings and flown by in the blink of a sleepless eye?

I have a complete love/hate relationship with the six week summer holidays. I'm a full believer in having them, I think they're a rite of passage of childhood. They're indoctrinated into the system at such a young age,it's when they truly get to just 'be' children free from the unnecessary constrictions of uniforms and timetables. Informal education through simply living is as invaluable as formal education. The little sods have earned their summer of wet, miserable freedom.

Yet as a parent, my god it's some exquisite form of torture! An entire summer of sweet inadequacy and daily battles. Six long weeks of contemplating running away and considering vodka on your cornflakes.

One of the main problems is that you can take a child out of school but you can't take the school out of a child. Once they enter the gauntlet that is formal education, that's it. It changes them.

At school, my kids are awesome. It's not bragging if it's true. Honest. They're meticulously behaved and work hard. However, knowing their true gremlin selves I can only imagine the sheer exhaustion acting that way entails so naturally when they get home, they revert to form. The gloves come off. Each child for themselves. This usually results in way too much attitude from Thing One who seems not to understand the whole respect thy parents commandment and turns into an obnoxious brat. But hey, it's okay because every bugger else who comes into contact with him compliment us on how lovely he is, to them. To us? not so much. Not at all. Then there's The Dude, now there's a dark horse. He is a wildling, there's some intangible spark that crackles and flares within him that draws us in like moths to a flame. I hope he never ever loses that spark. However he's a sensitive little thing. His temper is extraordinary, he blames his 'testeroni' His curiosity is depth-less and his insight is endearing. His explosions however, not so much. He is the king of tantrums. And fucking hell the boy can tantrum. He is also the arch Nemesis of Thing One. There's six years between them and fight ALL the time. Seriously, it never stops.

This summer has been especially poignant as it is the first ever summer that I've had to parent alone, with The Husband working 6 days a week in a physical job he's either at work or understandable exhausted. The Mothership has done her usual trick and pissed off to her second home in Spain, missing the school holidays and her grandchildren's birthdays. Well played Mum, well played. As a none driver, even just a trip into town to shop is £9 in bus fares before you even do anything else.

I have a philosophy that the more you plan for children the more reliant they become on being planned and the more they struggle when there are no plans. If little Maximillion-Ralph and China-Kale have scheduled clubs and classes, activities and entertainment planned everyday how will they ever learn to be by themselves? It's an important life skill to be able to just 'be', to master the art of having fuck all to do and thus doing fuck all.   It's character building and soul expanding. At least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. How often do we let what we feel they should be doing cloud over what they'd actually choose to do? I know I'd personally despise every single day planned and mapped out with activities.

It doesn't stop the guilt though. That godawful heart crushing guilt that you're not enough. That you're failing them. That they're losing out.

I simply have neither the funds nor the mentality to do much. It takes all of my will to leave the house and more often than not that's only through absolute necessity such as bread and milk and all that jazz.

Then there's the brilliant excuse that even if I did have the funds and wasn't a complete mentalist the local train-station has been closed. Bummer. Plus it's a bus to the train-station then a train to wherever you're going and more often than not a long walk or expensive taxi to get to your actual destination. Rinse and repeat homeward bound only add four kids into the mix, who can't even get along at home let alone pretend to when in public.

Plus children are inanely ungrateful little cretins. I know my Mum would arrange around one coach trip out a week for me and my brother in the summer holidays to places such as Leeds Castle and Thorpe park and in all honesty I think it was the exhausting Mum expectations thinking that she needed to do that when in fact as kids we couldn't actually give a flying toss and would have been just as happy without the boring coach journey, squashed butties and just being left alone to play in a mates garage.

I remember one year when it was just Thing One and Thing Two, Husbandface and I took the little darlings to the zoo. Never again. Ever. Thing one activated psycho brat mode and spent the whole time having a mass tantrum fit because despite travelling all that way at great expense all he wanted to do was play on a tiny shit playground in the zoo and Thing Two just wanted ice cream (and then didn't like said ice cream) We used to have an annual day out to Blackpool to celebrate all the birthdays but now there's six of us? I'd rather stick forks in my eyes. It would be less painful. Thing One would only be interested in The Pleasure Beach and/or sending us bankrupt in the arcades. Thing Two only really likes the beach. The Dude would only want the pier with the kiddies rides of which the other two are too old for and Moomin isn't quite ready for. Moomin, would just generally want to ask 'Why?' 27697697 times and complain about being too little for most things. Husbandface? Hates the beach. Thing One & Then Dude can't even spend ten minutes in each others presence without sheer hell breaking loose which then makes HusbandFace angry and the two girls cry. Oh and the world would end if there was no WiFi.

I think part of the thing they like about school is the break from each other!

The kids haven't had a fabulous summer but I need to stop blaming that on myself and my own misplaced guilt. It's not because of what we didn't do or where we didn't go. It's because the weather was shitarsed and they couldn't play out 24/7 every single day and they had to tidy their rooms. If you asked them, they didn't have a bad summer, that's me projecting, they just had an uneventful summer yet is that such a bad thing? In a world of shit, uneventful is pretty damn luxurious. At the end of the day they got to play out whenever the weather permitted and a lot later than usual, they had a LOT of tech time. They got to spend their days in their own clothes, hanging out (and the ensuing drama of when they fall out) with their friends without the restraints of too much structure and they went to bed a lot later.

So why do I feel so bad?

I'd love to go on holiday, in theory. Yet the reality of a holiday is nay impossible due to costs and lack of passports (because lets face it a holiday abroad is often cheaper than one in this country these days) etc and the hard reality that a holiday with four VERY willful children who argue like cat and dog wouldn't actually be a holiday for any of us, it would merely be expensive new scenery to fall out in, fight in and get bollocked in.

So alas, the summer is over and they're all back at school. Normality . Now my Mother Guilt is solely focused on the fact I'm probably boring Moomin senseless with my lack of enthusiasm and reclusive ways. I say this whilst staring at the little chatterbox who's singing, dancing and generally pratting about and seems incredibly content with the mum who just lets her be, whilst occasionally chucking crayons and stickers within reach in her general direction (and trying desperately not react when she sticks all the stickers on top of each other! gah! who even does that?! why would she do that?!).

I love the peace now they're back at school yet how odd that I also miss the noise.

Autumn Essentials Giveaway with Babymoov

Friday, 9 October 2015

Time for a competition?

How would you like to win some autumn essentials for baby?

The lovely people at Babymoov are offering the following prize bundle in their Autumn Essentials giveaway:

*   Muslin blanket set

  *   Aquarium humidifier

  *   Messenger bag

  *   Thermo hygrometer

  *   Baby boat + bath stand

The total value exceeds £150

***Click here to enter! ***

Need a clue? A clue for the question in the entry criteria can be found at the following link:

Good luck!

Competition closes on 15.08.15, terms and conditions apply.

My Sunday Photo 16/08/15

Sunday, 16 August 2015

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