I'm in panic mode. 6 long weeks with both my boys at home as the summer holidays begin this week. I need to get my arse in gear and plan some fun activities to keep the smalls entertained. If my Facebook news feed or Pinterest is anything to go by they need to be educational, outdoors, homemade, involve a lot of mess, and everyone will have a spiffing time.
The realist in me knows I am crap at anything homemade, and if we can get through 10 minutes without anyone being bored or throwing a tantrum then we are on to a winner. As much as I love my boys, 6 weeks of me being their constant source of entertainment, and the person who answers approximately 457 questions a day, is HARD work.
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Week One of The Summer Holidays
The calendar is jam packed with fun activities for the small people. There's play-dates and picnics and craft and baking. You totally have this entertaining small people nailed. No one has moaned about being bored and screen time rules have not had to be enforced. The house is somewhat trashed from the play-dates, and every surface is covered with 'artful' masterpieces waiting for the paint to dry. The cupboards are bare because your kids are always hungry, but there's enough homemade cakes to feed the entire neighbourhood (although you're not sure if your neighbours appreciate cakes that are 95% icing, and topped with you daily sugar allowance of sprinkles that may have been licked by the toddler). But it's OK, you are winning. Five more weeks like this and the summer holidays will be a breeze.
Week Two of The Summer Holidays
You seem to have spent a small fortune in week one so decide to keep things simple with water fights in the garden and trips to the park. The week starts well and you are starting to feel like supermum. However, the small people cotton on quick and seem to be taking advantage of this 'fun and relaxed' mum, and are asking for ice cream for breakfast. In an effort to keep the peace and your sanity you say "yes" to every request. Everyone is happy until you have to say "no" to chocolate buttons before bedtime, and the week ends with a tantrum of epic proportions.
Week Three of The Summer Holidays
You are running out of ideas and need some guidance. You search Pinterest for some inspiration and come away feeling seriously lack luster in the fun mum department. You opt for some good old fashioned fun that doesn't need 3 months planning and a re-mortgage to achieve. You spend your days enjoying the simple things like throwing stones into the sea and building a den. After peaking way too soon in week one you may have finally found your summer holidays groove. You've become an expert at tuning out whinging and so far you've managed to answer 2000 questions about Batman without your head exploding.
Week Four of The Summer Holidays
You've done all the 'simple' things. You are exhausted and wonder how teachers do this all day long. You make a mental note to campaign for better pay for teachers or at least sign a petition or something. You are all still in your pajamas at 11 O'clock and "I'm bored" is said on repeat every 20 minutes. The kids are begging to go to school, because school is way more fun than you. You give in to the 247th request to watch Alvin & The Chipmunks and get the popcorn. By the end of the week you've watched the movie 10.5 times.
Week Five of The Summer Holidays
You decide the summer growth spurt must have happened and now is the time to visit Clark's for new school shoes. It also happens to be the same day everyone else has decided to visit Clark's for new school shoes. You are given a ticket and told there is a two hour wait and to come back later. Two hours, two happy meals, 3 trips to the toilet, 1 bottle of wine (to be consumed later), 1 Star Wars t-shirt, 1 Paw Patrol backpack, and 2 new bears from the Bear Workshop later you head back to Clark's.
You spend the next half hour replacing all the shoes that the little one pulls of the shelves and slowly loosing the will to live, whilst the big one moans about how much he hates waiting. You finally get his feet measured only to be told he is still the same size. It takes the rest of the week to recover from this ordeal and several more bottles of wine may be consumed.
Week Six of The Summer Holidays
The craft stuff is packed away and the paintings that still haven't dried from week one are given to Nana. Normal routines are firmly put back in place, such as bedtimes and cereals for breakfast. You try to remember how on earth you got two small people up dressed fed and out of the door by eight thirty every morning. New uniforms are ironed and labelled in a futile attempt to avoid the jumper dumper. You stare at the uniforms and wonder when they got so big, and begin to wish for just one more week before they start back.
Of course two weeks into the new school year and you are fed up of the school runs and the homework. The house seems too quiet and you start counting down until half term.
Read more of Claire's posts on her blog Life, Love and Dirty Dishes