We’ve all seen or heard that REALLY annoying thing about how we only have 18 summer holidays with our children, haven’t we?
Well I have one thing to say to that – please f*ck right off.
I mean let’s face it, how many kids do you know that actually leave home on their 18th birthday – and NEVER EVER come back? Seriously?? None.
So shut up with the whole ‘let’s make them count’ bollocks. Like my 17.5 year old will want to come to Saltram for a picnic play date on his balance bike with me.
Three weeks into the summer holidays
I’m three weeks into a seven week school summer holiday with my three boys – that’s a four year old and two year old twins, if you’re new here. (Did I write enough numbers, just then?)
And I’m sure like a lot of other mums, I’m having what can only be described as a love/hate relationship with the holidays right now. One minute I’m loving it and we’re having lots of fun. The next I’m counting down the days until the four year old starts school and life becomes a whole lot easier with one less child around all the time.
I think I can safely describe the past three weeks in one word. Noisy.
Very, very, very, very noisy.
My boys have decided that their current favourite thing to do is run around in a loop from my hallway, playroom and kitchen chasing each other. Over and over and over again. It’d be quite cute to watch – if you could hit the mute button.
This is an example but on a smaller scale, contained to just one room. And with no sound. Cute right?
It’s not just the running they’re loving though. It’s the noise they can make whilst they’re chasing each other. High-pitched screaming and laughter, getting louder and louder to out-do each other. Getting more and more frenzied with every loop they run.
On and on and on
And it goes on and on, getting louder and louder, until one of them trips the other up, someone gets whacked in the face, or another one runs into the door handle. Then the volume level goes up a few more decibels again, just for good measure.
Shit the bed, it’s annoying. Like REALLY annoying.
And obviously the more you tell them to quieten down, the louder they get, metaphorically all sticking two fingers up at me. Oh what jokers they are. I literally cannot WAIT for the teenage years when they’re all still snoring at 11am and I’m going to hoover really bloody loudly at the same time as playing music AND singing along to it (badly), at the foot of their beds.
I’ve got my oldest friend and god daughter coming to stay next week. I’ve apologised in advance and told her to bring ear plugs. And it’s little wonder the Other Half works away so much. He’s probably camping out in some internet cafe down the road for three days at a time but telling me he’s in London/Birmingham/Liverpool just to escape the noise!
If I’m honest, I’m quietly relieved the sun has gone for a bit. It means I can keep my windows closed and not fear my neighbours calling the council on me for noise pollution. Or worse, the police for some kind of suspected gang violence.
I’m not entirely sure my ear drums will survive the remaining four weeks of the holidays.
Give me some space!
The other thing I’m struggling with a little bit is that there is ALWAYS a child around, and they are ALWAYS climbing on me. It’s like they think, that of course there’s room for three of them on my lap the instant I sit down (on the floor obvs). Always having a child here is kind of an obvious thing to say considering two of them don’t go to school and the older one is on his break between finishing preschool and starting big school in September.
I’m a stay at home mum. It’s kind of stating the obvious. That’s what I do, look after my children – they’re still young, course they are always here. But it’s amazing how used to something you become. In the past year, the four year old has gone to preschool 2.5 days a week, and on one of those days the twins have gone to my parents’ for the morning – giving me the chance to sit in front of my laptop for four hours and generally save me from losing the plot entirely.
That’s not happening in the summer because my parents also look after my nephews two days a week whilst my sister in law works. They are older and got first dibs on the grandparental childcare before I had even considered having kids. But as I’ve written a hundred times before, my parents are awesome, so alternate weeks they are having either the twins, or the four year old alongside the nephews for the day. They’re either very brave or a little bit nuts volunteering for that, if you ask me!
Mixing it up this summer holiday
So as a result every other week, I have a day with just the twins, or just the four year old which has been great. It makes such a difference to be able to focus on one or the other without having to round up all three running off in different directions wherever we go places. And it’s actually EASY. Not that I ever expected to say looking after toddler twins is easy, but it bloody is, when you’ve not got their big brother around dominating every conversation and winding them up. (See above re: screaming).
Likewise having just a four year old to look after, and give undivided attention to is an absolute doddle as well as actually being enjoyable. Taking him to the park on our own yesterday, going on stuff he wanted us to go on, without having to basically leave him to his own devices whilst I’m in panic mode over where the other two are – was just bliss if I’m honest. I mean, I DIDN’T EVEN TAKE A BAG!! Get me.
So this arrangement is working well, I’m lucky, and I’m loving the time spent with them separately. But it also means I’m craving a bit of child-free time again.
Jealous? Me? Yep
I’m actually jealous of my friends who are going to work two or three times a week (the age-old debate on who has it easier/harder, to which there is no right or wrong answer), who are putting their kids into holiday clubs, or their nurseries and preschools still run in the summer holidays.
I stay up doing my freelance work until midnight or later, and my blog has been so neglected it’ll never forgive me (sorry about that). I’m currently writing this whilst the twins nap and the four year old is at Granny’s. A two hour slot every other week. So you just KNOW they’ll wake up any second, now I’ve just said that. I’ll probably get round to putting it online at 11.30pm tonight.
But enough of me feeling sorry for myself! We’re enjoying the summer holidays so far – obviously with the odd day where I’d happily sell them all on eBay. But I’m sure that’s pretty normal.
Out and about in the summer holidays
We’ve been going out and about with friends, play dates, our regular visits to my second home (Saltram House), the beach, Moo Music, and we’ve done a long weekend at Glynn Barton (amazeballs btw) with another one at Greenwood Grange in Dorset coming up.
Luckily there’s lots to do in Plymouth (I think I may have mentioned I wrote a days out guide for the summer holidays? No?) and the weather has been fantastic.
I’ve even managed two girls’ nights out which have been fabulous. And I’ve got a preschool mums’ night out next week which is quite likely to be carnage.
Not sure how it’s going to go once the weather turns to shit tomorrow though. More viewings of The Greatest Showman DVD I should think. We’ve only watched it about 8 times in the last fortnight, plenty more life left in it yet…
Summer holidays contingency plan
Although I do have another wet weather contingency plan. Our arranged outing with friends tomorrow has been changed to a play date at mine – complete with pebble painting and Play Doh. Jeez, desperate times or what, but anything to avoid soft play.
We have no pebbles, but our driveway is gravel so that’s okay? And we have no varnish – so I just bought a cheapy clear nail varnish from Sainsbury’s to do the job. I could have bought proper craft supplies, but let’s face it, the nail varnish will be better used in this house.
Four more weeks to fill. Four more weeks until big school starts. Plenty of time to teach the four year old how to put his own socks on and use a knife and fork, right?
And then only 14 years left until my eldest moves out and I never see him again according to the social media meme. Pah!
How are your summer holidays going? Do you love them or already fed up with them?