Thursday, 18 August 2016

Summertime when the living is easy... erm, what ?

It feels like they kids have been off school for ages. I've been through pretty much every emotion going and at times I've felt overwhelmed by the prospect of even more days with them at home. However, there are some things I've learned which have helped me with this second year of entertaining two boys.

Early morning TV for the boys: Brown Bear wakes up early whatever the time of year - he always has. I have to stop him from going into Blue Bear's room and waking him up because my youngest is not a morning person. In fact if it was possible I can imagine Blue Bear would be mainlining black coffee first thing to truly wake up. So in the absence of an acceptable alternative to caffeine for children I have to do whatever it takes. Some days that means Henry Danger from morning to night and others it's Paw Patrol back to back. I swear if I hear that theme tune one more time I'm going to turn into a pup myself.

boys sitting on the sofa with cat sitting between them
The boys chillaxing on the sofa

Naps during the day: My kids just don't sleep during the day any more, but holidays mean I run them ragged all morning then pop some soothing music on and get them to lie down so mama can watch Breaking Bad and forget about the washing up. It makes all the difference to what greets Hubbie when he gets home, is it the serene earth mother with her beloved boys cradled in her arms on the sofa or the screeching harpie who heads straight out of the door as soon as his foot steps over the threshold to prevent some domestic disaster from occuring ? That little bit of down time is my saving grace - honest !

Shopping for food: like every day. How is it possible for kids to eat so damn much ? I know that a lot of parents struggle to fund the holidays and swear that a lot of that is the extra meals when the kids aren't eating at school every day. How do they cope at school having to go for over an hour without having a snack or a meal of some kind ? It seems to be impossible at home to go for any length of time without a demand for a drink, a snack, apple fingers, a treat or 'those biscuits I saw in the shopping bag.' Hubbie asks me why I have been shopping again and I raise an eyebrow and consider letting all the food run out and leaving home for a few days to see if he can deal with the armageddon that will ensue.

Shopping cart helper 

Impulse purchases. Like going in to buy a bunch of bananas and coming home with folding camping chairs for the kids. I feel you judging me and no I just don't care. We don't take the boys away on holidays abroad so my way of making it up to them is to treat them to fun things to do at home. The tally so far this summer includes; bikes for both boys (second hand) a play circus tent for indoors, the aforementioned chairs, a new paddling pool and a ridiculous amount of clothes. I did also manage to sneak in these beauties.  I know, I know, hardly de rigeur on the school run, but what is life without a little luxury ? Besides a happy mummy makes for a less stressful house and looking at these shoes makes me happy. Imagine how joyful I'd be if I got to actually wear them !

My gorgeous gold sandals

Crumbs everywhere: Seriously. I must vacuum more than anyone I know. I have an aversion to wearing shoes indoors and walking on debris from their constant munching makes me cringe. It's not exactly obsessive compulsive, more a pernickity habit which isn't helped by having a cat that sheds all over the house. At least his fur is a similar colour to the carpets. Talking of which he seems to trot in half the garden too so as well as the carpets resembling the coating of a fishfinger I have to contend with random leaves and soil paw prints.

Play dates: this is the first year we've really embraced play dates. In previous years I've sent email to the school mums to suggest days out ideas. Some of them have met up with me and the boys and it's been a nice way to break up the long holiday and stop Brown Bear from missing his school mates. This year the others have also taken the initiative to suggest things and invite us to join them. It's been a real lifesaver for me (and the boys if I'm honest !) We've been to the lavender fields, had a fun afternoon with other friends and only today the boys had a great double play date and I even managed to talk to the other mum a little bit ! 

A traffic jam during our play date 

Movies: There are always lots of movies. Brown Bear loves watching them and we jump at the chance to go to the cinema. Last week we went to watch Blinky Bill the movie. It's about a well loved character who has been a celebrity in Australia for a century, but isn't so well known here. We watched it at the new screening room inside Soho House - now there's posh ! - and loved it. I admit it's not a movie that I knew much about before we went, but I'd recommend it if you're looking for a fun and family friendly movie. Blinky is a young koala who leaves his home in Greenpatch to search for his father who left a year ago on an adventure and didn't return. On his travels he meets Nutsy - a zoo koala - and various animals who help him and using his ingenuity he proves how brave he is. The adults in the cinema were rolling around laughing at the Aussie jokes - I suspect one of them was Antipodean himself. It was fun trying to spot the voices of well know Aussies including Barry Humphries - well, you really can't miss him - and Toni Colette. The movie opens nationwide this weekend.

Blinky and Nutsy in Blinky Bill the movie

I think I'm just getting into the swing of the holidays this year. Maybe by next time I'll even enjoy myself ? Let's not be silly though eh ?

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