Friday, 22 July 2016

Pandora's Summer Holiday Box

So last week, just as the holidays started, I asked the twins what they'd like to do over the summer break.

In about five minutes flat we had compiled a fairly decent looking list of all the things they wanted to do, including all the usual suspects like baking, painting, bike riding, picnics, trips to the park, oh you get the idea. All the things that we can never quite be arsed to do after school and at the weekends, except now we'd have all this time to be able to do so.  Perfect.

I felt quite excited at this point.  Like a child on Christmas Eve, full of anticipation of what was to come.

There was also my hope of the use of a National Trust membership that we had bought back in January and have so far only used twice.  Yep, the summer holiday was looking to be OK at this point, dare I even say, fun filled? Bring it on, I thought, I'm totally ready for this.

Fast forward one week.  The Pandora's Box of the summer holidays has been well and truly opened, and all the evils of the summer holidays have flown out.

Over the weekend we'd caught up on all the sleep (seriously, are my kids the only ones that are so tired they practically go into a coma for 48 hours at the start of every holiday?) and were raring to start on our holiday plans.

Monday was spent crafting after I'd found an old jar of Hama beads in a cupboard, and painting, play doh, playing in the garden (which did eventually descend into three children bashing the sh*t out of each other with badminton rackets - I knew it was too good to be true).  They are now banned from being in the back garden at the same time as one another.

Tuesday, at the park for 9.30 am for an hour, followed by a trip to the sweet shop on the way home and a picnic in the garden at lunchtime.

We were the only people in the park.  I reckon everyone else was still in bed.


Wednesday, bicycle riding for one, colouring in Pokemon printables for another (the third child had been lost to mobile phone gaming at this point, but at least he seemed content and who am I to complain?).  The teens arrived home at 1.30 pm from their last day of school, and immediately one went back out while the other spent the remainder of the day in a Snapchat/Instagram haze.

Thursday was the day I first heard the immortal words "I'm so bored!".  Which resulted in one feral teen and another sulking in his bedroom.  Also more Hama bead creations and a lot of TV.

And here we are at Friday.  Surveying the scene so far I have two bored children, two sulking teens and one well, I don't really know what he's up to but I haven't seen him for a while and he's not complaining so I'd say he's happy in his own company.  For now.

I also have a kitchen worktop full of Hama bead creations on their little plastic boards waiting to be ironed (I haven't done it, because who gets the iron out in the holidays when there's no uniform to be ironed, or is that just me?). Piles of colouring in/paintings and play doh stuck to the soles of my slippers (it turns out that six year olds aren't all that good at sweeping up the crumbs, no matter how brightly coloured and obviously still there they are).

Pretty sure this was a task on the Krypton Factor.
Try to get a piece of bread in the toaster without destroying the Hama beads.
It's impossible.


Not forgetting the fact that while we've finally had some summer weather, it's been so hot this week that none of us have been bothered about anything else bar eating large amounts of ice cream to try and cool down.

I'm also yet to tackle the things that I usually do when the children are at school, like housework and planning meals properly (I must be the only mum who goes to the supermarket every day to replace the vast quantities of food they all eat, oh and loo roll, don't get me started on that!).  That and the small matter of being part way through my half marathon training which I'm having to fit in around DH being at home.  I have resorted to running with the sunrise some mornings, which sounds very dedicated and also feels like it should be quite a beautiful thing to do, (it is, and it's been nice to go out when the proper runners run, I feel like I'm one of them.  Not the cyclists though, they still blank me, the meanies) but after two consecutive days, I've admitted defeat for now.  I'm dead on my feet by lunchtime, who's idea was an Autumn half marathon anyway?  What an idiot I am.

Black and white,
because nobody deserves to look at my 6.00 am bloodshot eyes, bleurgh.


After eleven years of this, you'd think I would know the drill by now, wouldn't you?  The truth is that I'm just not very good at keeping the kids entertained, and I think it's almost impossible to do that every day for seven weeks anyway.  It's safe to say that the optimism I had a week ago has gone already.  It's the same every summer.

I don't remember my own mother ever planning out activities for me in the holidays.  I don't ever remember being bored either for that matter.  Why do I feel so guilty then for not coming up with exciting things for my lot to do all the time?

One week down and another six to go (yes six!  The Tour of Britain has added an extra day on the end because this town is one of the stages and every road is shut that day, bloody cyclists).

Maybe it's time I said to my children that sometimes they are going to have to make their own entertainment this holiday?  

Either that or they'll just have to get used to being bored.

I'm sorry, kids.  Really I am.  But rather like Pandora, there's still one more thing in the box on our list, a visit to the National Trust place down the road.  I will use that bloody membership if it kills me (and it may).

You see I'm still clinging onto the hope that this might turn out to be a fun filled summer holiday after all.

4 comments:

  1. Ha ha, I am so feeling your pain! I had to laugh at the kids not all being allowed in the garden at the same time. We have to set that sort of rule too. Any combination of my younger son and one sibling is fine, but all three together or my eldest and my daughter are a nightmare! Good luck to you with the running, not to mention the next six weeks!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! That blooming garden though, seems to bring out the worst in them!

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  2. Haha, one at a time in the garden, makes sense to me. You really make me laugh. ps...we have Hama bead creations all over this house : )

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    1. The hama beads drive me mad! I keep on vacuuming up all the broken bits - argh!

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