What is it about half-term, that induces this feeling similar to when you realised you forgot to do your essay and hand it in at college, you know, the dreaded sensation that feels like your stomach is about to fall out of your bum? I haven’t planned anything specific for my children to do every day, other than to save money by not sending them to holiday club at nursery, which would have enriched their week no end, I guess, but instead, they are at home with me whilst I am on maternity leave. We are on I think maybe the fifth movie of the week. They’re sat watching Arthur Christmas, it’s October ffs and it’s not even 10am yet. Do I win at parenting this week?
So far the week has been peppered with arguments about whose bed of cushions is whose, who can do a better forward roll, and drawing on each other’s paper because “she’s not given it any hair so I’m doing it for her.” And then saying ‘sorryyy-a’ because she means it so much she gave it an extra syllable.
To add to the pressure of giving my children a fun-packed week of wonderfulness, we have an extra house guest for the week. Bertie the bloody class bear. Bertie has his own personal journal where’s he all braggadocious (thanks Donald Trump) about the delightful things he’s been up to since his holiday started back in September. Seriously Bertie, get a job -stop exploiting children’s weekend freedom by insisting they pose with you for photos in front of the Eiffel Tower or whatever other parents do with their little sweethearts on their time off. He really has been up to all sorts. Well I’m sorry, Bertie, your extended holiday with us might not live up to your high-society expectations. We won’t be visiting the aquarium so you can pretend that you’re interested in learning about freshwater sting-rays, and I refuse to spend £8 on a ham sandwhich and a tiny yoghurt in an imitation happy-meal box for you in the cafe. You probably won’t even eat it, you’ll just sit their sulking like when you bring a friend home from school and your parents have got the wrong kind of ketchup. Then you’ll down the fruity drink of doom in 1 long gulp and refuse to admit you need a massive wee ten minutes later.
Bertie has so far, however, enjoyed watching his hostess go swimming with Daddy and her sister. I say watched, he napped in the bag with the towels after the obligatory photo-opportunity but after swimming he enjoyed drying under the hand-dryer after the humidity got to him, and I’m pretty sure he found this quite invigorating. Made him feel all macho and bear-like. He’s since had a ride into town in the pushchair basket, and was very content unlike his hostess, who complained about having to walk ‘for ages’ and questioned whether we were in town yet every 90 seconds even though she knows the frigging walk into town like the back of her hand, and the traffic lights at the cross-roads is not town, is it darling.
Later on today we plan on walking to the newly refurbished park so Bertie can be thrown gleefully down the slide and span round on the roundabout. If he pukes I will not be impressed. But I’ve already made a large parenting cock-up by suggesting that we might walk to the park later, while the girls were getting dressed. “Might”? What the hell was I thinking? Do I not know my own children at all, and realise this will start a cascade of ‘when are we going to the park? Can we go to the park yet? Are we actually going to the park? What time are we going to the park?’ So I’ve nipped this in the bud by stating that anyone who queries when we are going to the park, will not be going to the park. Not that I will follow through with that threat, because the idea of staying in all day and policing altercations over who lost Anna’s cape and winter fucking snow boots, is quite frankly hideous (I beg you, dearest doll manufacturers, glue the sodding stilettos, boots, crowns and other garments onto these princesses, please, they don’t need to come off. At no point in Frozen, did Anna remove her boots before frolicking in the snowy mountains with Kristoff because cartoon snow is still bloody freezing) and anyway Bertie must have a lovely lovely holiday and he really wants to go to the park and have a super time.
It is really going to be a wholesome and adventurous week, honestly. For all you know we might have taken an overnight trip to London yesterday and have been to the Natural History Museum already this morning, and after lunch we are nipping for a quick go on the London Eye and then cruising the Thames before catching the train home. I just can’t prove it because we left the sodding bear at home by accident which is such a shame as he would’ve loved the Big Smoke. I could’ve taken photos of the girls but we didn’t want Bertie to be jealous, we just told him we were popping to Aldi and would be back in an hour.
I know children find school exhausting by the end of half a term and they need a break, and I know half-terms are really for the teachers’ sanity so they don’t end up tying children to their chairs in their class. But I think it should be that schools send home a parenting care-package for the week, which I suppose can provide some good old-fashioned phonics fun, but really it should include daytime essentials like extra-strong PG Tips teabags, or a giftcard fot Costa, pre-made BLT sandwiches and chocolate, and also post-bedtime necessities such as a good white wine (not Chardonnay), Dominos vouchers for when our brains can only cope with phonecalls rather than trying to decide what to cook, and a list of activities to revise for tomorrow when they wake up and expect you to be all parenty and organised again. Or Netflix works just as well.
I’ll let you know if I survive the rest of the week.. Only had two cups of tea this morning so far, the girls are currently not arguing/crying/sulking/playing too loudly for my liking, and the baby is sleeping. For now.